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RA 10591


I. Features of RA 10591 vis--vis the old laws:
1. as its title suggests, it deals exclusively with firearms and ammunitions.
2. unlike PD 1866 and RA 8294, both deals with firearms, ammunitions and
3. Sections 1, 2, 5 and 7 of PD 1866 and Sec. 6 of RA 8294, all on firearms and
ammunitions have been expressly repealed by RA 10591.
4. only the provisions on explosives remain in the original laws.
5. In effect, the new law separated firearms and ammunitions from the laws on
6. RA 10591 is a comprehensive code on firearms and ammunitions.
II. What is a firearm?
-Unlike the old laws, RA 10591 defines categorically what a firearm is:
Any handheld or portable weapon, whether small arm or light
weapon, that expels or is designed to expel a bullet, shot, slug,
missile or any projectile, which is discharged by means of expansive
force of gases from burning gunpowder or other form of combustion
or any similar instrument or implement.
What are the major parts considered as firearm for purposes of the law?


What are the two(2) categories of firearms covered by the definition?

a. Small arms
b. Light weapons
Small arms- firearms intended to be or primarily designed for individual use
or that which is generally considered to mean a weapon intended to be fired
from the hand or shoulder, which are capable of fully automatic bursts of
discharge, such as:
a) handgun- a hand firearm
a firearm
to be fired from the hand, and includes:
1. pistol-a hand-operated firearm having a chamber integral with
or permanently aligned with the bore which may be self-loading;
2. revolver-a hand-operated firearm with a revolving cylinder
containing chambers for individual cartridges.
b) Rifle-a shoulder firearm or designed to be fired from the
shoulder than can discharge a bullet through a rifled barrel by
different actions of loading,
which may be classified as
lever, bolt, or self-loading; and

c) shotgun- a weapon designed, made and intended to fire a number of

ball shots or a single
projectile through a smooth bore by the
action or energy
from burning gunpowder.
Light weapons:
a) Class-A light weapons- refer to self-loading pistols, rifles and carbines,
submachine guns, assault rifles and light machine guns not exceeding caliber
7.62MM which have fully automatic mode; and
b) Class-B light weapons-weapons designed for use by two or more
persons serving as a crew, or rifles and machine guns exceeding 7.62
MM such as heavy machine guns, handheld under barrel and mounted
grenade launchers, portable anti-aircraft guns, portable anti-tank guns,
recoilless rifles, portable launchers of anti-tank missile and rocket
systems, portable launchers of anti-aircraft missile systems, and mortars
of caliber or less than 100MM.
III. KINDS of existing firearm:
Antique firearm: a) 75 years excluding replicas b) of museum interest
as certified by National museum c) other firearms which derive a substantial
part of its monetary value from its being novel, rare, bizarre or association
with historical figure, period or event;
Confiscated firearm-those taken by law enforcement agencies by virtue
of their mandate;
Forfeited firearm-by court order as accessory penalty or for the
disposition by FEO of the PNP because they are considered abandoned,
surrendered, confiscated or revoked;
Demilitarized firearm- those deliberately made incapable of performing
its main purpose of firing a projectile;
Imitation firearm- a replica of a firearm, or devise that is so
substantially similar in coloration and overall appearance to an existing firearm
as to lead a reasonable person to believe it is a real firearm;
Loose firearm- unregistered firearm, an obliterated or altered firearm,
firearm which has been lost or stolen, illegally manufactured firearms,
registered firerarms in the possession of an individual not the licensee and
those with revoked licenses.
IV. Source of firearms and ammunitions:
NOTE: Sec. 21 restricts the source where firearms and ammunition can be
acquired or purchased-only from authorized dealers, importers or local
manufacturers and may be transferred or sold only from a licensed citizen
or licensed juridical entity to another licensed citizen or juridical entity.
LEGAL IMPLICATION: This settled the issue on whether or not the use of a
paltik or home-made gun can give rise to the crime of illegal possession of
firearm and ammunition.
OLD DOCTRINE: an accused cannot be convicted of simple illegal possession of
firearm simply because the firearm is paltik. People v. Ramos, G.R . No.
101804, May 25, 1993, did not say that a paltik can not be issued a license, and
that proof that a firearm is paltik dispenses with the proof that it is unlicensed.
(People v. Evangelista, G.R. No. 84332-33, May 8, 1996)
1) Sec. 21 reversed above doctrine because now, possession of paltik
constitutes illegal possession because it is neither registrable nor

transferrable due to strict requirement that it must come only from

authorized dealers.
2) The law also made clear that the punishable act is not only
possession BUT also unlawful acquisition of firearms.
1. Unlawful acquisition, or possession of firearm and ammunition.
NOTE: penalty is dependent on what category of firearm.
NOTE FURTHER. If the unlawful acquisition or possession of ammunition
for a small arm or Class A weapon is committed by the same person
charged with the unlawful acquisition or possession of a small arm, the
former is absorbed in the latter offense.
2. Use of loose firearm in the commission of a crime.
a) Aggravating-when the use of the firearm is inherent in the
commission of a crime punishable under the RPC or other special laws
subject to the following conditions:
1. if the crime committed with the use of loose firearm carries a
maximum penalty lower than that prescribed for illegal
possession, the penalty for illegal possession shall be imposed. In
other words, the court shall impose whichever is higher)
2. if the crime committed with the use of loose fireram carries a
maximum penalty equal to that imposed for illegal possession, the
penalty of prision mayor, minimum period, shall be imposed in
ADDITION to the penalty for the crime committed with the use of
loose firearm.
b) If in furtherance of, or incident to, or in connection with rebellion,
or attempted coup d'etat, it shall be ABSORBED as
element of the said crimes.
c) If committed by the person without using the loose firearm, the
violation of the law shall be a distinct and separate offense.
NOTE: if the crime involves a juridical person, prision mayor to
OR OTHER RESPONSIBLE OFFICER of any public or private entity
who shall willingly or knowingly allow any of the firearms
owned by it to be used by any person found guilty of
committing any crime with the use of loose firearm.
3.Use of an IMITATION firearm in the commission of a crime shall be
considered a real firearm and the person who committed the crime shall be
punished accordingly.
4.Carrying registered firearm outside residence without permit to carry5. Unlawful manufacture, importation, sale or disposition of a Firearms or
Ammunition or Parts Thereof, Machinery, Tool or Instrument Used or
intended to be used in the manufacture of firearms, Ammunition or Parts
NOTE:=What constitutes prima facie evidence on this? Possession of
any machinery, tool or instrument used directly in the manufacture of
firearms or ammunition or parts thereof by any person who does not

lawfully deal with the possession of such, is PRIMA FACIE evidence that
they are intended to be used in the unlawful manufacture of FAMP.
6.Unlawful taking, selling or disposition by laborer, worker or employee of a
licensed firearms dealer of firearms or ammunition which the company sells,
and other materials used in the manufacture or sale of firearms or ammunition.
NOTE: the buyer or possessor of such stolen part or material, who is
aware that they are stolen, shall suffer the same penalty of prision
mayor minimum to prision mayor medium.
NOTE FURTHER: This is theft in the RPC (qualified if there is trust and
confidence reposed on the employee) and fencing for the buyer or
So, will the absorption rule apply?
There seems to be such because remember the 2 nd punishable
act under item 2a above, where the use of the firearm is inherent in
the commission of a crime under the RPC OR special laws, such use is
deemed as aggravating.
Arms smuggling- refers to the import, export, acquisition, sale, delivery,
movement or transfer of firearms, their parts and components and
ammunition, from or across the territory of one country to that of another
country which has not been authorized in accordance with domestic law in
either of both countries.
Tampering, obliterating or altering without authority the barrel, slide,
frame, receiver, cylinder, or bolt assembly, including the name of the
maker, model, or serial number of any firearm, OR replacement without
authority of the barrel, slide, frame, receiver, cylinder, or bolt assembly,
including its individual or peculiar identifying characteristics essential in
forensic examination of a firearm.
9. Violation of the provision on custodia legis
NOTE: During pendency of case in court, seized Firearmor ammunition
or any part thereof shall remain in court unless turned-over to PNP
Crime Lab for custody. No bond shall be admitted for the release of such
articles in custodia legis.
Act of wilfully and maliciously inserting, placing, and/or attaching,
directly or indirectly, through any overt or covert act, any firearm or
ammunition, or parts thereof in the person, house, effects, or in the
immediate vicinity of an innocent person for the purpose of implicating or
incriminating the person, or imputing the commission of any violation of the
law to said person.-prision mayor maximum.
NOTE: This is equivalent to incriminating innocent person, Art. 363,
RPC. Will the absorption rule also apply? Yes for the same reason above.
NOTE: If this is committed by a public officer or employee-reclusion
11. Failure to report by a licensed firearm holder to the FEO that the
subject firearm has been lost or stolen within a period of 30 days from

12. Changing residence or office address other than that indicated in the
card by a valid firearm licensee who failed to notify the FEO within 30 days
from such transfer.
13. Unlawful transfer of possession of any firearm to any person who has
not yet obtained or secured a license or permit.
NOTE: The transferor is liable under this provision, WHILE the transferee
for illegal possession.
14. Any law enforcement agent or public officer who unlawfully dispose,
sell or transfer government-issued firearms, ammunitions or major parts of
firearm or light weapon to private persons.
NOTE: the private person is liable for illegal possession.
15. Any public officer or employee or any person who shall facilitate the
registration of a firearm through fraud, deceit, misrepresentation or
submission of falsified documents.


A) RA 8294 (Padilla Law) defined unlicensed firearm to include not only
a) unregistered firearm but also:
b) firearms with expired license, and
c) firearms used without authority in the commission of the crime.
STUPID law!!!! Is there an instance when one can authorize someone to
use his firearm in the commission of a crime????hehehe
-It also provided that simple illegal possession of firearm can only be
committed if no other crime is committed by the possessor.
-Consequently, the law allows absolving the offender from graver
crime if he committed any crime with or without the use of the
B) RA 10591,on the other hand, described unregistered firearm as loose
firearm and defined it by enumeration to refer to:
a) unregistered firearm;
b) obliterated or altered firearm;
c) lost firearm or stolen;
d) illegally manufactured firearms;
e) registered firearm in possession of one other than the licensee;
f) firearms with revoked licenses.
-it categorized the crime and its penalty more specifically unlike the old
law where the penalty merely depends whether the firearm is of low or
high caliber.
-NOW the penalty depends a) whether the firearm is a small arm or a
Class A or B weapon b) on the number of weapons possessed, and c) on
whether the thing possessed is a part of the firearm or ammunition.
-the new law also provides that qualifying circumstances will increase
the penalty one degree higher (since the law uses the penalty of the
RPC, its rules on modifying circumstances shall apply).

- Qualifying circumstances under the NEW LAW are:

a) firearm is loaded;
b) firearm is accessorized with gadgets like laser or thermal weapon
sight for accuracy in hitting the target
c)accessorized with sniper scopes, firearm muffler or silencer to lessen
the sound of the shot; or
c) converted to increase its firing capacity.
-absorption rule applies under the new law-when the person charged of
possession of loose firearm is also found in possession of ammunition for the
said firearm, the former charge shall absorb the latter.
-the law also dictates specifically the kind of weapon that may be acquired
by and licensed to a citizen- only small arms
NOTE: Other ways of committing illegal possession under RA 10591:

Sec. 26-failure of a possessor to deliver the firearm/ammunition

within 6 months after the death or disability of the licensee;
Sec. 27-non-compliance with the requirement to register antique
firearm, secure a collectors license, and properly store the
antique firearm in accordance with sec. 10.

NOTE FURTHER: Illegal possession of firearm remains to be malum

prohibitum notwithstanding the use of the RPC penalties. Consequently,
intent to commit the crime is not required. What is required is intent to
perpetrate the act prohibited by law, coupled with animus possidendi.
However, it must be noted that animus possidendi is without regard to any
other criminal intent which an accused may have in possessing the firearm.
(People v. Quijada, G.R. No. 115008-09,July 24, 1996).

-The prosecution has to prove the following:
1. the existence of the subject firearm; and
2. the fact that the accused who owned or possessed it does not have
the corresponding license or permit to possess the same.
a) existence- by presentation of the firearm or by the testimony of
witnesses who saw the accused in possession of the same.
b) No license or permit- by the testimony or certification of the PNPFEO
NOTE: the essence of the crime is primarily the lack of license or
permit to carry or possess the firearm or ammunition for possession
by itself is not prohibited by law.
What is the effect if the accused cannot explain why he possessed the
firearm or ammunition?
=since the burden is with the prosecution to prove the guilt of the
accused and not vice versa, acquittal is still in order. To hold otherwise
would in effect be speculating that the accused is not authorized to

possess firearm, whereas what is required in conviction is proof beyond

reasonable doubt.
A) RA 8294, amending PD 1866, provides:-the crime of illegal possession of firearm is aggravating in homicide and
murder provided that the cases for illegal possession and the homicide/murder
were tried jointly. (People v. Navarro, GR No. 132696, Feb. 12, 2001).
-in other words, for the use of unlicensed firearm to be merely aggravating
circumstance, only one information should be filed and the trial should be joint
for both the homicide/murder and illegal possession. If 2 informations were
filed and tried separately, the accused can be convicted for both.
-RA 8296 amended 1866 on June 6, 1997, saying that if homicide or
murder is committed with the use of an unlicensed firearm, such use shall
be treated as a special aggravating circumstance.
a) the use of unlicensed firearm to commit homicide/murder shall not
be treated as a separate offense, but only as a special aggravating
b) since only a single crime is committed, only one penalty shall be
imposed. (People v. Castillo, GR No. 131592, Feb. 15, 2000)
B) RA 10591-modified the above doctrine by the following improvements:
it made the use of a loose firearm an aggravating when such is INHERENT
in the commission of a crime punishable under the RPC or other special laws.

it does not limit the crimes to murder or homicide;

it added the provision on imitation firearm used in the commission of a
crime which shall be considered a real firearm and the person who committed
the crime shall be punished accordingly.
if a crime is committed without using the loose firearm, the violation of
the law shall be treated as a distinct and separate. Likewise, if the use of the
firearm is not necessary in the commission of the crime, the use of the loose
firearm is separate and distinct. This abandoned the old rule that illegal
possession can only be committed if no other crime is committed with or
without the use of the firearm.
it retained the rule that if the violation of the law is in furtherance of,
or incident to, or in connection with the crime of rebellion, insurrection, or
attempted coupt d etat, such violation shall be absorbed as an element of said
Proper charge-Homicide (or such other crimes committed) aggravated
by illegal possession.
possession includes actual and constructive possession or the subjection
of the thing to ones control and management.