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Republic Act No.

10591, an Act Providing for a Comprehensive Law on


Firearms and Ammunition and Providing Penalties for Violations thereof was
signed into law on May 29, 2013.

Among the salient features of the new firearms law is its repeal of the
sweeping no other crime clause under the Sec.1 of P.D. 1866 as amended
by R.A. 8294. A person is not liable for violation of the old firearms law, (say,
illegal possession of firearm) if he also committed another crime (like
violation of COMELEC gun ban or even a lighter offense of Alarms and
Scandals under the Revised Penal Code). Prior conviction in the other crime
committed will obliterate ones otherwise separate liability under the
firearms law. In the old law, what is punished is the other crime regardless
if the use or possession of firearms is inherent or necessary in the
commission of that other crime.

Under the new law, the rules are different. The penalty for violation of the
new firearms law, particularly the use of loose firearms (Loose firearm refers
to an unregistered firearm, an obliterated or altered firearm, firearm which
has been lost or stolen, illegally manufactured firearms, registered firearms
in the possession of an individual other than the licensee and those with
revoked licenses in accordance with the rules and regulations) is not imposed
only when the use of loose firearms is inherent in the commission of the
other crime. In such case, the use or possession of loose firearms is merely
considered as an aggravating circumstance. Otherwise, the use or
possession of loose firearms and violation of other penal law shall be treated
as distinct crimes and will thus be punished separately. The new law
expressly provides that if the crime is committed without using the loose
firearm, the violation of this Act [RA No. 10591] shall be considered as a
distinct and separate offense.

The new law further provides that if the crime committed with the use of a
loose firearm is penalized by the law with a maximum penalty which is lower
than that prescribed for illegal possession of firearm, the penalty for illegal
possession of firearm shall be imposed IN LIEU OF the penalty for the other
crime charged. If the crime committed with the use of a loose firearm is
penalized by the law with a maximum penalty which is equal to that imposed
under the preceding section for illegal possession of firearms, the penalty
of prision mayor in its minimum period shall be imposed IN ADDITION to the
penalty for the crime punishable under the Revised Penal Code or other
special laws of which he/she is found guilty.