Anda di halaman 1dari 3

R.A. No.

8294 -- Illegal Possession of Firearm

on 12:10 AM in Criminal Law, Law Primer
Started with R.A. No. 54. The penalty was only arresto mayor. During his regime, Pres.
Marcos ammended it by passing P.D. 1866.

The decree set the new penalty from arresto mayor to reclusion temporal in its
maximum period (17 yrs. and 1 day - 20 yrs.) to reclusion perpetua (20 yrs. and 1 day -
40 yrs.). Furthermore, if the unlicensed firearm was used in the commission of the crime
of murder or homicide, penalty is death.

The offender, however, could be tried for both crimes - Illegal Possession of Firearm
and Murder/Homicide - and still it would not constitute double jeopardy. There was also
no distinction made as to the caliber of the weapon. Whether it is .22, .35, .45, high-
caliber or low-caliber, the penalty is the same RT max to RP.

Robin Padilla was sentenced to 17 yrs. and 1 day to 21 yrs. The Indeterminate
Sentence Law did not apply so no possibility of parole. No probation either, and no
mitigating circumstance, not even if the offender pleaded "guilty."

Q: If the firearm was licensed but the same is already expired?

A: It is the same as possessing an unlicensed firearm.

Q: How is a firearm obtained?

A: File an application at the Firearms and Explosives Office. If you are a member of the
police force, you already have the "privilege" to carry a firearm. There are two separate
licenses, one for the purpose of keeping a licensed firearm at home and one for carrying
it outside. The order required for the latter is often termed as the "mission order."

Q: If your licensed firearm is only for home use and you are caught carrying it
outside, are you liable under this law?
A: Yes, you're liable for carrying a firearm without authority.

Q: Can Illegal Possession of Firearms be complexed by Murder or Homicide?

A: In the case of People v. Barros, Justice Laurence Regalado said that under P.D. 1866,
two kinds of crimes could be charged -- that of Illegal Possession of Firearm and Murder
or Homicide. It would not constitute double jeopardy. However, if the law already
punishes the act (Murder or Homicide) with death, the highest penalty under the law, it
would be useless to punish the accused by another penalty for the other crime, which is
Illegal Possession. The Supreme Court thus ruled, en banc, that there is only one crime
- that of Murder or Homicide aggravated with the use of unlicensed firearm.

Later on, in a separate case of People v. Quijado, Justice Davide overturned Justice
Regalado's ruling, by stating that the two crimes are under two separate laws. Murder or
Homicide is governed by the Revised Penal Code while Illegal Possession is under
Special Penal Laws. One crime cannot be absorbed into the other because the two are
distinct and separate from each other. Besides, one is not barred from making two
separate charges.

The issue became moot when Congress passed R.A. 8294.

Under the new law, several new distinctions were made, including the caliber of the
weapon. For low-powered weapons, the penalty is only prision correccional (6 mos. and
1 day - 6 yrs.), which means that the offender can avail of the benefits of probation. If it
is a high-powered gun, the measurement of the ring exceeds 9mm, the penalty is
prision mayor (6 yrs. and 1 day - 12 yrs.).

Q: Are air rifles covered under this law?

A: There are air rifles that can be converted into .22 caliber rifles, in which case, it is
covered under the law.

Q: Under the new law, are there still two separate crimes of Murder or Homicide
and Illegal Possession?
A: No. R.A. No. 8294 provides that if the unlicensed firearm is used in the commission of
any of the acts under the Revised Penal Code or special laws, possession is considered
as an aggravated circumstance. The crime therefore is Murder or Homicide aggravated
with the use of unlicensed firearm, and the penalty is death.

Q: The firearm is licensed but you are not the owner. Liable?
A: Yes, because the holder of the license is only the owner of the firearm.

Q: Security guards do not apply for license. Are they liable?

A: Not liable if the agency has a license. What the security guard holds, therefore, is not
the actual license but an authority from the agency that he works for and that has a
license. The rule is that these firearms are restricted to the designated posts of the
guards. They could not be brought home. Otherwise, it would constitute a violation of
the law. This is true even if the guard did not intend to bring home the gun. Under the
Special Penal Laws, intention is immaterial.

Q: There are instances where the agency will only secure licenses for three guns
and then go ahead and distribute six guns to six different guards, changing only
the serial numbers of each gun to match the serial numbers in the licenses. Who
is liable - the agency or the security gun?
A: A distinction must be made. If the security guard is aware that he is carrying an
unlicensed firearm, then he can be charged with the crime. If not, the other two possible
offenders are the owner of the company or the manager of the agency.

An employee is entitled to assume that his employer had the requisite license to
possess the firearm.
Q: How many guns is a person allowed?
A: Usually two - one long caliber and one short. Long caliber weapons are usually just
issued to the military.

Q: Who issues the license?

A: Only the President has the authority to issue a license, but his power is delegated to
the Chief of the PNP. If your license was not issued by the PNP Chief, then that license
is invalid.


There is no such thing as a complex crime of Illegal Possession of Firearm with


There is only one crime, but aggravated (Justice Regalado's ruling).

If you are a member of a gun club, the club will be the one who will process everything
for you and you will only receive the gun.