Gun owners' group asks PNP to reconsider gun ban extension By Michael Punongbayan (The Philippine Star) Updated May 25, 2010 12:00 AM MANILA, Philippines - Members of the countrys largest group of civilian gun owners want the Philippine National Police (PNP) to reconsider its proposal to extend the gun ban beyond the end of the election period on June 9. According to the Peaceful Responsible Owners of Guns (Progun), they are even willing to engage PNP chief Director General Jesus Versoza on a public debate on the issue. We want to engage him in a public debate and dispute his statements and figures on gun control PROGUN acting secretary Ernesto Tabujara told The Star. He said Progun has 15,000 card-carrying members and 1.2 million sympathetic licensed gun owners nationwide. According to Tabujara during the gun summit last year, the PNP agreed with Proguns position to implement an amnesty program to account for all the loose firearms in the country. However, the PNP shot down PROGUNs position not to implement a total gun ban. The gun ban, imposed by the Commission on Elections, started last Jan. 10 and will end on June 9. Tabujara said Progun stands by its position argues that a total gun ban is unrealistic and not feasible within the Philippines. He said that unlike Western countries, the Philippines has suffered from rampant crime In spite of the best efforts of the PNP and the Armed Forces (AFP), these crimes have not been curbed or lessened over the years. If anything, the crime situation in the country has gotten worse, he said. Tabujara said while some could afford private security guards, a total gun ban would leave many ordinary citizens totally defenseless against criminals. If he (Versoza) wants a total gun ban, he should also be willing to become my bodyguard, he said.