Solon wants negligent gun owners penalized

Appalled at the number of killings involving minors in the country, a
lawmaker has filed a bill seeking to punish irresponsible gun owners
who have placed children’s lives in grave danger.

Rep. Carmelo Lazatin (1st District, Pampanga) filed House Bill 5357,
which aims to heavily punish firearms owners whose negligence resulted
to the injury and death of children.

Lazatin said the bill also proposes to penalize gun manufacturers who
fail to put safety devices in firearms that would prevent children
from accidentally discharging them.

“Negligence and laxity on the part of gun owners and gun manufacturers
have put children’s lives in grave danger,” Lazatin said.

Lazatin said wanton disregard of loaded weapons sometimes leads to
injuries and even death of minors.

“The approval of this measure will help put a stop to this
irresponsibility,” Lazatin stressed.

Under the measure to be known as “Safe Gun Act of 2011,” it shall be
unlawful for a person to leave a loaded firearm within reach of
children.

It is also prohibited under the bill to manufacture, sell, cause to
sell or import a firearm that does not have as an integral part a
device or devices that prevent a child of less than seven years of age
from discharging a firearm by reason of the amount of strength,
dexterity, cognitive skill, or other ability required to cause a
discharge.

The bill provides a penalty of P500,000 or imprisonment of prision
mayor without parole to the manufacturer who caused the injury or
death of a child through accidental firing.

The gun owner who, if found to be negligent, will be penalized with
imprisonment of three months and a fine of P50,000 or both.

Moreover, if the neglected firearm caused the injury or death of a
child through accidental firing, the owner shall be penalized with a
fine of P500,000 and imprisonment of prision mayor without parole.

“It is the State’s policy to reduce injuries and deaths caused by
firearms to children.  The State shall guarantee the safety of
children from irresponsible gun owners and the production of
child-proof safety firearms or devices,” Lazatin said.

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