Will the COMELEC “gun ban” effective Jan 13 make the 2019 elections safer?

The New Year opens the runway towards the Philippines’ 2019 mid-term elections. As campaign activity ramps up and politicking intensifies between parties vying for power and making a bid to cash in on all the spending associated with elections, the risk of violence supposedly also increases. Following tradition, bearing of firearms will be curtailed in the lead up to that crucial event.

The Daily Gauardian reports that the ban will be effective the 13th January through to the 12th of June this year, and…

During said period, bearing, carrying or transporting of firearms, explosives or other deadly weapons are prohibited.

Deliveries of firearms, ammunition, and explosives without proper certifications are also disallowed.

Chief Superintendent John Bulalacao, Western Visayas police chief, said qualified individuals can seek exemption by applying for the appropriate certificate of authority from the Comelec.

The application must be filed with the Comelec’s Committee on Ban on Firearms and Security Personnel (CBSFP) at the poll body’s main office in Intramuros, Manila until May 29, 2019.

The big assumptions there are, well, pretty big:

(1) limiting access to firearms will reduce the risk of violence;

(2) issuance of a “Certificate of Authority” to exempt certain people from the ban will be transparent and fair; and,

(3) such a ban is actually enforceable.

The question in the context of the above untested assumptions is: Does the Philippines’ gun ban even make sense to begin with?

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