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Public may apply for exemption to election period gun ban

The public may apply for a certificate that would exempt them from the gun ban during next year's election period, the Commission on Elections said Wednesday.

The application for the Certificate of Authority to bear, carry or transport firearms or deadly weapons during the 2016 election period can be found on the Comelec website and may only be accomplished and submitted online.

The election period is from January 10, 2016 to June 8, 2016, or 120 days before and 30 days after Election Day.

According to the poll body, during this time it is forbidden to carry firearms and deadly weapons outside residence or place of business, and in all public places; to engage the services of security personnel; and to transport firearms and explosives, including spare parts and components.

Comelec Resolution No. 10015, promulgated on November 13, 2015, specifies that "[o]nly regular members of the Philippine National Police, the Armed Forces of the Philippines and other law enforcement agencies of the Government who are duly deputized in writing by the Commission for election duty" are automatically allowed to carry and possess firearms during this period.

Implementing the gun ban during this period is the Committee on the Ban on Firearms and Security Personnel (CBFSP). Comelec, through the CBFSP, is the sole agency that may issue the Certificates of Authority.

The CBFSP is headed by Comelec Commissioner Al Parreño and includes senior officers from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) among its members.

Those who may apply for the Certificate of Authority include law enforcement agencies and officials; security personnel of foreign diplomatic corps; cashiers, disbursing officers and others who habitually carry large sums or valuables in their line of work; security agencies, securiity details; and those who transport or deliver firearms.

For more information on the gun ban and the application for the Certificate of Authority, the public may access the Comelec website or call its hotline, 525-9294. — BM, GMA News