Phillipines Relaxes Rules for Rifles to Counter Threats From China

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

Gun laws in the Philippines aren't as atrocious as many other countries in southeast Asia, but they're still wildly draconian compared to most states in the U.S. There are an estimated 4 million gun owners in the country, but in order to lawfully possess a gun owners have to jump through numerous government-imposed hoops like psychological testing and training mandates, and some guns that are commonly owned here are off-limits to the average Filipino.


This week, however, the Philippine National Police announced that soon civilians will be able to purchase and possess semi-automatic rifles; a major change to the country's gun laws that's being applauded by groups like Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption, whose founder believes the change will help increase national security at a time when China is ramping up its aggression against Philippine interests. 

VACC president Arsenio Evangelista said with tensions remaining high at the West Philippine Sea (WPS), having a civilian population trained in using long firearms is beneficial to the country’s defense.

“Alam naman natin masyadong heightened ‘yung conflict ng China sa WPS so in case of external threat ay well-trained tayong mga civilians sa high-powered,” Evangelista said in an interview with Net 25.

In a separate phone interview, Evangelista believes responsible gun owners will not hesitate to join the uniformed service in defending the country in the event of an invasion.

“If you have the shooting skills, you can be a volunteer in defense of the Philippine flag and our country,” he said.

That's a far cry from the days of the Marcos regime, when the government confiscated legally owned firearms after martial law was declared, as well as more recent gun control efforts like the carry bans that have been enacted around elections, forbidding Filipinos from carrying or possessing guns outside of their home in the weeks leading up to Election Day. 


Whilie those carry bans are likely to come back during the next election cycle, the threat of an aggressive neighbor has apparently spurred on the Philippine government to get serious about having a civilian population that's capable of fighting back in the case of an invasion. They're not the first nation that's recently taken that point of view, either. Finland recently announced it's opening hundreds of public ranges across the country to bolster the number of armed citizens in response to Russian saber-rattling.

Meanwhile, here in the United States we have anti-gun goofballs like Joe Biden and Eric Swalwell who say armed citizens would be useless against a modern-day military with jet fighters and nuclear weapons. They're either unwilling or unable to admit what the Finns and Filipinos have already embraced; when your neighbor is intent on your subjugation and destruction, it's up to you to fight back with everything you have. 

Our forefathers understood this even if their political predecessors would rather bury their heads in the sand. A "well regulated" (i.e., trained) militia, composed of the body of the people capable of bearing arms, is necessary to the security of a free state. As attorneys Chuck Michel and Kostas Moros have pointed out, the Founders would be appalled at the gun control lobby's efforts to ban commonly owned semi-automatic rifles, which are useful for a variety of lawful purposes, including individual and collective self-defense. 


An armed citizenry serves as protection against the formation of a tyrannical government as well as a defense against totalitarian states and their aggression. That lesson may be lost on far too many Democrats (at least those who aren't trying to institute tyranny themselves), but I'm glad to see that some of our allies haven't forgotten that fundamental fact of national security. 

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