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FORENSIC BALLISTIC
Ballistics Defined
Ballistics in the broadest sense is known as the science of motion of projectiles.
Science refers to the study of knowledge; motion refers to movement while projectile refers to
the metallic or non-metallic objects propelled from a firearm.
The term ballistics is derived from a Greek word ballo, which literally means to throw.
The root word was also taken from the name of an early Roman war machine ballista, a giant
bow or catapult used to hurl large objects into enemy forces.
Technically speaking, the term ballistics refers to the science of firearms identification.
This involves scientific examinations of firearm and/or firearm evidences such as bullets,
cartridge cases and other related evidence. With the present advancement in the field of forensic
investigation and with the aid of scientific instruments, crimes involving firearms can be easily
solved.
Forensic as applied to ballistics or to any other subject suggests a relationship to
courts of justice and legal proceedings. The term being derived from the Latin word forum,
which means a market place where people gathered together for public discussion or
disputation. Thus the title Forensic Ballistics aptly describes or mean as the study of the
science of investigation and identification of firearms and ammunitions used in the commission
of crime. Thus, when we use the word ballistics, forensic ballistics or firearms identification, we
mean and think only one same thing.

Branches of Ballistics

1. Interior or Internal Ballistics. This is a science which governs the properties and
conditions while the projectile (bullet) is still inside the barrel of the firearm. This
involves the reactions from the breech (close end) and up to the muzzle (open end)
of the barrel of the firearm such as firing pin hits the primer cup, priming compound
ignites, burning of the gunpowder, heated gas expands, presence of pressure,
presence of energy, recoil, speed of the bullet inside the barrel while rotating on the
rifling and impression of the rifling on the cylindrical surface of the bullet.
2. Exterior or External Ballistics. A science which governs the movement of the
projectile after it has left the gun muzzle. The governing attributes that can be
attributed are muzzle explosion or noise due to the sudden escape of expanded
gases, energy at the muzzle point, trajectory, range, speed of the bullet, opposing
reaction with the air, gravitational pull and penetration.

3. Terminal Ballistics. The science that governs the hitting force of the projectile on the
target. this involves accuracy of hitting the target, force or energy of the bullet when
it strike the target, depth of entry of the bullet on the target and speed of the bullet
when it hits the target.
4. Forensic Ballistics. It is the science of firearms identification by means of the
ammunition fired thru them. This branch of ballistics also involves the
following:
(a) Field Investigation. Includes proper recognition, collection, preservation, packing,
marking, and transmittal of evidences gathered by the investigator or expert from the
crime scene.
(b) Technical Examinations of ballistics evidences. This refers to the scientific
examination of the expert of the questioned and standard specimens with the aid
of laboratory equipments like the bullet comparison microscope.

(c) Legal Proceedings. This involves presentation of the expert of the results of
the scientific examinations conducted, stating thereon whether or not the
evidences examined gives positive or negative results.

Firearms Defined

Legal Definition. Section 877 of the Revised Administrative Code- Firearms or arms as
herein used includes rifles, muskets, carbines, shotguns, pistols, revolvers, pistols and all other
deadly weapons from which a bullet, ball, shot, shell or other missiles maybe discharged by
means of gunpowder or other explosives. The term also includes air rifles and air pistols not
classified as toys under the provisions of Executive order No. 712, dated July 1981. The barrel of
the firearm is considered as a complete firearm.

Technical definition of Firearm- A firearm is an instrument used for the propulsion of


projectiles by means of the expansive force of gases coming from a burning gunpowder. (FBI
Manual of Firearms Investigations)

The following depicts an approximate timeline for the evolution of firing


mechanisms:
Hand Gonne - circa 1400
The Flash Pan
Matchlock - Mid 1400s
Wheel Lock - circa 1517
Snaphaunce - circa 1570
Flintlock - circa 1612
Percussion Cap 1805

HAND GONNE

The earliest 'hand gonne' was developed in the fifteenth century, but was not a great influence
in battle. It was a small cannon with a touch-hole for ignition. It was unsteady, required that the
user prop it on a stand, brace it with one hand against his chest and use his other hand to touch a
lighted match to the touch-hole, and had an effective range of only about thirty to forty yards. It
surely must have taken iron nerves to use one of these against a charging knight, nearly within his
lance's reach, when the powder might not even ignite.

FLASH PAN

Users of primitive cannons and 'hand gonnes' came to realize that a more reliable ignition system
was needed. It was just too difficult to use one hand to touch a lit match to an open hole in the
gun barrel in the heat of battle while trying to hold the gun steady with the other hand. Also, there
was often not enough gunpowder exposed at the touch-hole to ignite reliably. So, the gun
designers had to come up with a more reliable system to get the gunpowder lit in a hurry.

Eventually, a clever invention was devised to solve the problem. The touch hole was moved to
the side of the gun barrel, and a cup was placed at the opening with a lid on it. This cup would
hold a small amount of gunpowder which could be easily ignited. When the powder began to
burn, some of the fire would go through the touch hole and ignite the gunpowder inside the
barrel, thereby firing the gun. This cup was called the "Flash Pan". The cover on the flash pan
prevented the powder from blowing away in the wind or from getting wet in a fog. The above
animation shows a top view of a gun barrel with flash pan.

All the later ignition systems on guns with a flash pan were designed to automatically ignite the
gunpowder in the flash pan at the press of a lever or trigger. This was accomplished by either
putting the end of a burning wick into the flash pan or using a flint and steel combination to
throw sparks into the flash pan.

MATCHLOCK

The Matchlock was a welcome improvement in the mid-fifteenth century and remained in use
even into the early 1700s, when it was much cheaper to mass produce than the better classes of
firearms with more sophisticated ignition systems. The Matchlock secured a lighted wick in a
moveable arm which, when the trigger was depressed, was brought down against the flash pan to
ignite the powder. This allowed the musketeer to keep both hands on the gun, improving his aim
drastically. The gun had its weaknesses, though. It took time to ignite the end of the wick, which
left the musketeer useless in case of a surprise attack. Also, it was difficult to keep the wick
burning in damp weather. For the most part, longbowmen were more effective in battle than the
musketeers. The one real advantage the musketeers possessed was the intimidation factor which
their weapons provided. The first important use of musketeers was in 1530 when Francis I
organized units of arquebusiers or matchlock musketeers in the French army.
By 1540 the matchlock design was improved to include a cover plate over the flash pan which
automatically retracted as the trigger was pressed.

The matchlock was the primary firearm used in the conquering of the New World. In time, the
Native Americans (Indians) discovered the weaknesses of this form of ignition and learned to
take advantage of them. Even Henry Hudson was defeated by an Indian surprise attack in 1609
due to unlit matches. The matchlock was introduced by Portuguese traders to Eastern countries
around 1498, particularly India and Japan, and was used by them well into the 19th century.

WHEEL LOCK
The Wheel Lock was the next step in firearms evolution. It is said to have been
invented by Johann Kiefuss of Nuremberg in 1517, and the idea probably came from
the spring driven tinder lighter in use at the time. The idea of this mechanism is
simple. Have you ever used a modern lighter which has a flint pressed up against a
roughened metal wheel? When you spin the wheel with your finger, the flint pressed
against its surface throws off sparks. The same system was used in these firearms to
create sparks as needed to ignite the gunpowder to fire the gun. No more waiting to
get a wick lit, and no more stressing about it going out when the fog rolls in.
In 1530, Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor who ruled over Spain and
Austria, imported the brothers Marquarte to transfer their workshops from
Augsburg to Madrid. They brought to Spain unsurpassed knowledge of
firearms production.
The wheel lock design was eventually improved with more durable springs,
their main weak point, and a cover over the wheel mechanism to protect it and
keep it dry. The wheel lock was an expensive gun to make and a matchlock
cost less than half as much, so it was impossible to equip a complete army
with the more costly mechanism. Only a person of substantial wealth could
afford one for himself.
By around 1560 German gunsmiths were using wooden stocks and adorning
them with inlays of ivory and horn. At about this time the metal parts were fire-
blued to add extra beauty and to protect against corrosion. Also, metallurgy
had improved to the point that gun barrels were no longer bursting very often.
The strongest barrels were of damascene manufacture. In this process, strips
of metal about the thickness of a man's finger are wound together. Then,
another strip is wound around them for the full length of the piece, then the
whole thing is heated and welded. It is hammered and forged into the final
shape, then bored out. The damascene barrel was the only one that could
survive being packed for its full length with gunpowder then fired. Other gun
barrels were at risk with only a quarter of their length

SNAPHAUNCE
The Snaphaunce first appeared around 1570, and
was really an early form of the Flintlock. This
mechanism worked by attaching the flint to a
spring-loaded arm. When the trigger is pressed,
the cover slides off the flash pan, then the arm
snaps forward striking the flint against a metal plate over the flash pan and hopefully
produces enough sparks to ignite the powder. This mechanism was much simpler and
less expensive than the Wheel Lock. The German gunsmiths, who tended to ignore the
technical advances of other nationalities, continued to produce and improve upon the
wheel lock up until the early 18th century.
FLINTLOCK
The Flintlock was developed in France around
1612. A key contributor to this development
was Marin le Bourgeoys who was assigned to
the Louvre gun shops by King Henri IV of
France. The Flintlock's manufacture slowly
spread throughout Europe, and by the second
half of the century it became more popular
than the Wheel Lock and Snaphaunce. The
main difference between the Flintlock and Snaphaunce is that in the Flintlock
the striking surface and flashpan cover are all one piece, where in the
Snaphaunce they are separate mechanisms. This made the mechanism even
simpler, less expensive, and more reliable than its predecessor. This simplicity
allowed for more creative gun designs, such as guns with multiple barrels and
miniature pistols which could be concealed easily inside a garment. By 1664
experiments with rotating-block repeated fire guns were under way (like a
revolver which holds a number of shots in a rotating cylinder) but such
weapons were dangerous to operate and would have to wait for another
century and a half to be made a standard weapon.
The northern Arabs acquired the Snaphaunce and Flintlock in the late 1600s
and often designed their long guns with a sharply curving butt so that they
could be tucked under an arm and fired single-handed from the back of a
camel or horse.
In the early 1700s the Brown Bess Flintlock made its appearance. It probably
got its name from the acid-brown treatment of its barrel. I mention this so that
any flintlock owners with those brown-treated guns (like mine!) will understand
just how late in the game they appeared. By this time, the flintlock was
accurate up to about 80 yards but nobody could aim at a man and kill him at
200 yards. A shooter of average experience could load and fire two to three
rounds per minute.

For more information on Flintlocks and Percussion Cap arms and enthusiasts, visit the
Kentucky Long Rifle page at http://www.webpub.com/~jhagee/ky-lr.html.
FIREARMS

PERCUSSION CAP

The Percussion Cap ignition system was developed in 1805 by the Reverend John Forsyth of
Aberdeenshire. This firing mechanism is a great step in advancement from its predecessors
because it does not use an exposed flashpan to begin the ignition process. Instead, it has a
simple tube which leads straight into the gun barrel.

The key to this system is the explosive cap which is placed on top of the tube. The cap
contains fulminate of mercury, a chemical compound which explodes when it is struck. This is
the same stuff as is used in the paper or plastic caps in a child's cap gun. As illustrated above,
when the cap is struck by the hammer, the flames from the exploding fulminate of mercury go
down the tube, into the gun barrel, and ignite the powder inside the barrel to propel the bullet.

This firing mechanism provided a major advance in reliability, since the cap was almost
certain to explode when struck. This mechanism is almost immune to dampness, though in a
rainfall one must still be cautious to avoid getting water in the gun barrel or into the ignition
system while loading the weapon. The percussion cap was the key to making reliable rotating-
block guns (revolvers) which would fire reliably, and in the early 1800s several manufacturers
began producing these multiple-shot sidearms in mass quantities. The percussion cap firing
mechanism gave an individual soldier a weapon of precision and reliability which was used to
devastating effect in the U.S. Civil War.

TWO GENERAL CLASSES OF FIREARMS (According to gun barrel & Internal Construction)

a) Smooth-bore Firearms These are firearms without riflings (lands & grooves) on
the inside of its barrel. Examples are Shotguns & Muskets.

b) Rifled bore Firearms These are firearms with riflings on the inside of its barrel.
Examples are Rifles, Pistols, & Revolvers.

The number of lands and grooves varies from two (2) to twelve (12). Most high
velocity firearms have 4 to 6 grooves. Some have microgrooves or micro-rifling.
Twist or Rate is the expression for one complete turn of the rifling on a certain
length of the barrel. We say the twist rate is 1:12 when there is one complete spiral
groove in 12 inch of the barrel. Spiral groove or twist may be:
a) Fast Twist When the number of inches of the barrel required for a
complete turn is small, like 1:8;
b) Slow Twist When a greater number of inches in the barrel is necessary
to have one complete turn, like 1:14;
c) Direction the direction of rifling may either be right or (Clockwise) or
left (Counterclockwise).
d) Width of the Groove and Land the width of the groove varies with the
manufacturer and caliber. Some have the width of the groove different
with that of the land while others are the same or equidistant. Example:
Colt 0.32 Caliber 6 lands and grooves, left twist, the width of the lands
and grooves are 0.048 and 0.108 respectively.
Smith & Wesson 0.32 caliber have 5 lands and grooves, twist to the right
and are equidistant at 0.095 inch.
MAIN TYPES OF FIREARMS (According to the size or caliber of the projectile propelled)
a) Artillery Arms-These are firearms that propels projectiles of more than One (1) inch
in diameter. Examples are cannons, bazookas, mortars.
b) Small Arms-These are firearms that propels projectiles of less than One (1) inch in
diameter and can be operated alone by one person. Examples are Machine guns,
Shoulder weapons, and Hand weapons).

b.1. Classification of Small Arms

As to Wounding Power:

1. Low Velocity Firearms- These are firearms with a muzzle velocity of not more
than 1,400 feet per second. (Ex. Revolver)
2. High Power Firearms- These are firearms with a muzzle velocity of more than
1,400 feet per second. The usual muzzle velocity is 2,200 to 2,500 feet per
second or more. Ex. Military Rifle.

Machine Guns-A weapon which is designed to fire automatically more than one load
without manual reloading by a single press of the trigger. Examples are Thompson
Sub-machine Guns and Grease Guns.

Shoulder Weapons-These are weapons that are fired by the use of a shoulder.
Examples are Rifles and Shotguns.

Hand Arms-These are weapons that are fired with the use of either right or left or
both hands. Examples are Pistols & Revolvers.

Crew-served Weapons These are firearms designed to be operated by two or more


persons.

TYPES OF FIREARMS ACCORDING TO MECHANICAL CONSTRUCTION:

a) Single shot Firearms-These are firearms that fires only one ammunition every loading.
Examples are Shotguns, Rifles, Pistols.
b) Selective Fire Types of Firearms These fires either automatic , semi-automatic or burst,
by the use of a selector lever.
c) Repeating Firearms-These are firearms that fires several ammunition in one loading.
Examples are Pistols, Revolvers, Rifles.
d) Bolt Action Firearms-These are weapons wherein loading & reloading is done by the
manipulation of the bolt. Examples are Rifles, Shotguns, Machine Guns.
e) Automatic Loading Firearms-These firearms automatically load the ammunition into the
chamber after cocking and expending the first charge. Examples are Rifles and Shotguns.
f) Slide Action Firearms-These are firearms that requires the back & forth manipulation of the
under forearm of the gun to load and fire the charge. Examples are Rifles and Shotguns.
g) Lever or Break Type Firearms-These are firearms wherein loading takes place by the action
of the lever of the firearm. Examples are Shotguns & Rifles.
h) Unusual or Miscellaneous Types of Firearms-These types are firearms which are unique in
mechanism and construction. Examples are Paltik Pistols, Paltik Revolvers, Paltik Shotguns
& etc.

Machine Guns Shotguns- with a barrel length of 26,28 or 30 inches


Muskets Shotgun Cartridge- 2-3/4 or 3 inches long
Carbines

COMPARISON OF SHOTGUN BORE EXPRESSED IN GAUGE & INCHES

GAUGE INCHES
10 .775
12 .730
16 .670
20 .615
28 .550
.410 (Not a true .410
gauge)
CHOKE- refers to the degree of constriction on the end portion of the shotgun barrel for the
purpose of controlling the spread of the shots/pellets after leaving the barrel.

CHOKE MUZZLE DEGREE OF Modified .712 .018(15 to 20


DIAMETER CONSTRICTION thousands of an
Cylinder .730 .000 inch)
Improved .721 .009 (3 to 5 Full .694 .036 (30 to 40
Cylinder thousands of an thousands of an
inch) inch)

COMMON METHODS OF OPERATION/ACTUATION OF FIREARMS:

1. Blowback System- This is a system on which the slide of a pistol or a bolt of the rifle
is held against the head of the cartridge in the chamber of the gun by a spring
pressure. The mass of the slide is much greater than that of the bullet and during
firing the slide or bolt and the bullet are accelerated away from each other by the
tremendous pressure generated by the burning gunpowder.

2. Locked breech System In this system the barrel is housed inside the full length
slide. Before firing, the barrel and the slide are locked together. After firing, the slide
moves back and unlock from the barrel and compressed the recoiled spring as the
slide continues to move rearward, it ejects the fired cartridge. The stored energy,
then, drives forward the slide and loads the next charge making the firearm ready
for the next cycle of firing. Examples are .45 caliber pistol, 9mm Luger & etc.

3. Gas Operated System Firearms that have a gas cylinder and piston. Examples are
Garand rifle, M16 Armalite Rifle.

4. Recoil Operated These are firearms that use recoil energy to operate.

5. Manually Operated- Firearms wherein the cycle of operation is manually


accomplished. Examples are Shotgun, Rifles & etc.

CLASSIFICATION OF FIREARMS ACCORDING TO THE MANNER OF FEEDING:

a) Muzzle Loading Firearms - These are firearms on which the ammunition is feed
through the muzzle. Examples are muskets, Mortars & etc.
b) Clip Loading Firearms It is a firearm wherein ammunitions are hold together on a
clip as a unit, serving as its magazine. Example : Garand Rifle
c) Magazine Loading Firearms- These are firearms which are feed by the use of
magazine. Examples are M16, M14 etc.
d) Breech Loading Firearms Firearms which are loaded on its breech.
Example : Howitzer.
e) Link or belt These are weapons designed to receive cartridges in belt or link. The
closed link type includes Caliber .50 Machine Gun and the open link type includes
LMG M 60.

How to mark Evidence Firearms?

The parts of the firearm which can be easily substituted must be marked with the date
and initials of the investigator on the barrel, on the slide, receiver group, magazine, & etc. to
prevent loss or possible substitution of evidence. The investigator must also place secret
markings on the firearm.
On the other hand complete description must be place on the evidence tag like the serial
number, finish, barrel length, and etc.

AMMUNITIONS
Ammunition Defined- (Legal Definition) The word ammunition is found in Chapter
VII, Section 290 of the National Internal Revenue Code as well as in Section 877 of the Revised
Administrative Code & under PD 1866/RA 8294 (Firearms Law of the Philippines). It is also
referred to as loaded shell for rifles, muskets, carbines, shotguns, revolvers, and pistols from
which a ball, bullet, shot, shell or other missile may be fired by means of gunpowder or other
explosives. This also includes ammunition for air rifles.

Ammunition Defined (Technical Definition) Refers to a group of cartridges or a single


unit or round of unfired cartridge, consisting of a bullet, cartridge case, gunpowder, and the
primer.

The term Cartridge is derived from the Latin word Charta which means paper or
from a French word Cartouche which means a roll of paper.

PARTS OF A CARTRIDGE :
1. Bullet. It is the projectile propelled through the barrel of firearm by means of the
expansive force of gases coming from burning gunpowder.
a) Shape of the free end:
a.1) Conical the free end of the bullet is tapering and pointed. The purpose
is to minimize the resistance offered by the atmosphere, to increasing its
penetrating power and to minimize deflection upon hitting the target.
b.2) Hemispherical the free end is dome-like and commonly observed in
short firearms.
b.3) Wad-cutter the free end is flattened commonly used in target practices.
b.4) Hollow point there is a depression at the tip to expand or mushroom at
the impact on hard object, to slow its speed in the body so that more kinetic
energy will be released thereby increasing its shocking effect.
b) As to the presence or absence of jacket:
b.1) Naked lead without outer covering.
b.2) Jacketed bullet- these are bullet with external coating usually copper, nickel,
steel or zinc. The purposes of the coating are to:
To prevent fouling of the barrel;
To withstand deformity in automatic loading process; &
To prevent deformity when carried and exposed to rough handling.
c) Jacketed bullet may be:
c.1) Full Jacketed Bullet- the whole bullet up to the base is enveloped with a metallic
jacket;
c.2) Semi-jacketed Bullet- the nose or free end is partly or fully exposed while there
is relatively thin but tough coating of the base and the cylindrical portion. This is
made to permit expansion of the bullet when it hits hard objects. Semi-jacketed
bullets may be hollow-point.
The general rule is that:
*soft-metal, round nose bullets are fired from a revolver;
*full-jacketed bullets are fired from a rifle and self-loading firearm;
*semi-jacketed bullets are fired from automatic (self-loading) firearm or
rifle.
d) Bullets Kinetic Energy:
Kinetic energy is the energy associated with motion. In the English system it is
expressed in foot pound or the work of a force resulting when a weight of one pound
is brought to a height of one foot. In ballistics, the wounding power of a bullet is due
to the mass (weight) and its velocity, with the velocity playing a very important role.

Bullet abbreviations
ACC Remington JHC Jacketed Hollow RNFP Round Nose
Accelerator [2] (see sabot) Cavity Flat Point
AP Armor Piercing JHP Jacketed Hollow RNL Round Nosed
(has a steel or other Point Lead
hard metal core) JHP/sabot Jacketed SJ Semi-Jacketed
BBWC Bevel Base Hollow Point/sabot SJHP Semi-Jacketed
Wadcutter JSP Jacketed Soft Hollow Point
BEB Brass Enclosed Point SJSP Semi-Jacketed
Base L Lead Soft Point
BJHP Brass Jacketed L-C Lead Combat SP Soft Point
Hollow Point L-T Lead Target SP Spire Point
Blitz Sierra BlitzKing LFN Long Flat Nose Sp,SPTZ Spitzer
Bt Boat-tail LFP Lead Flat Point SpHP Spitzer Hollow
BtHP Boat-tail Hollow LHP Lead Hollow Point
Point Point SST Hornady Super
CB Cast Bullet LRN Lead Round Shock Tip
CL, C-L Remington Nose SSp Semi-Spitzer
Core-Lokt LSWC Lead ST Silver Tip
DEWC Double Ended Semiwadcutter STHP Silver Tip
Wadcutter LSWC-GC Lead Hollow Point
DU Depleted Semiwadcutter Gas SWC Semiwadcutter
Uranium Checked SX Super Explosive
EVO, FTX Hornady LWC Lead Wadcutter SXT Winchester
LEVERevolution Flex LTC Lead Truncated Ranger Supreme
Tip eXpanding Cone Expansion Technology
FMJ Full Metal Jacket MC Metal Cased TC Truncated Cone
FMC Full Metal Case MHP Match Hollow TMJ Total Metal
FN Flat Nose Point Jacket
FP Flat Point MK Sierra MatchKing TNT Speer TNT
FST Winchester Fail MRWC Mid-Range VMAX Hornady V-
Safe Talon Wadcutter Max Ballistic tip
GC Gas Check NP Nosler Partition VLD Very Low Drag
GD Speer Gold Dot OTM Open Tip Match WC Wadcutter
GDHP Speer Gold OWC Ogival WFN Wide Flat Nose
Dot Hollow Point Wadcutter [3] WFNGC Wide Flat
GS Remington Golden PB Lead Bullet Nose Gas Check
Saber PB Parabellum WLN Wide Long Nose
HBWC Hollow Base PL Remington Power- X Barnes X-Bullet
Wadcutter Lokt XTP Hornady Extreme
HC Hard Cast PSP Plated Soft Point Terminal Performance
HP Hollow Point PSP, PTDSP Pointed
HPJ High Soft Point
Performance Jacketed RN Round Nose

2. Cartridge Case. It is the tubular metallic container for the gunpowder. Also called
shell or casing.
3. Gunpowder. Refers to the powder charge which when ignited by the primer flash, is
converted into a heated gas under high pressure and propels the bullet or shot
charge through the barrel and to the target. Also called propellant or "powder
charge.

There are Different Types of Powder Propellant:


a) Black powder a mixture of potassium nitrate (75%), Sulfur (15%) and Charcoal
(10%).
Explosion of one (1) grain of black powder (1 Grain= 0.065 gm.) will
produce 200 to 300 cc. of gas composed of carbon dioxide (50%), carbon
monoxide (10%), Nitrogen (35%), Hydrogen sulfide (3%) and traces of methane
and oxygen. The solid residues following its combustion are potassium sulfate,
potassium sulfide, potassium carbonate together with its original components.

b) Smokeless powder
1. Single base- when it contains either cellulose nitrate or nitroglycerine.
2. Double base- when the powder is composed of both cellulose nitrate and
nitroglycerine.
Explosion of one (1) grain (One grain=0.065 gm.) of smokeless
powder will cause the development of 800 to 900 cc. of gas consisting of
carbon dioxide, nitrogen, hydrogen with some unburnt powder in the
form of nitrate and cellulose nitrate which can be detected chemically.
c) Semi-smokeless powder This is a mixture of 80% of black powder and 20% of
the smokeless powder.
Smokeless powder causes development of less flame and less powder
residue as compared with black powder. There is more complete burning of gun
powder in smokeless as compared with the black powder. In as much as the gas
produced by combustion of smokeless powder is three times more than the black
powder, the muzzle velocity of bullets with smokeless powder is also
approximately three times greater than the bullets using black powder.
Smokeless powder granules are usually coated with graphite and
consequently from different shapes. They appear as:
1. Ball
2. Square
3. Cylinder
4. Disc or
5. Flakes
Consequently when discharged from firearm after explosion they will cause
individual shapes of tattooing. The flake or disc shape powder may cause varying
shapes of tattoos depending upon how the grain struck the skin. Ball powder may cause
small hemorrhagic punctuate marks. The cylindrical shape powder grains may cause
heavy tattooing with deposition of soot at 6 inches range.
Things coming out of the Gun Muzzle after the fire:
a) Bullet
b) Flame
c) Heated, compressed and expanded gas
d) Residues coming from:
1. Bullet (fragment such as jacket or lead) and lubricant
2. Powder particles (burned & Unburned), soot, graphite
3. Primer (lead, barium, antimony)
4. Barrel (lubricant, rust, dust etc. & scraping from the bullet by previous fire.
5. Cartridge case: Copper, zinc

4. Primer. The cup containing the highly sensitive priming mixture of chemical
compound, which when hit or struck by the firing pin would ignite. Such action is
called percussion.

CLASSIFICATION OF CARTRIDGES ACCORDING TO THE LOCATION OF THE


PRIMERS:

1. Pin Fire Cartridges. These are cartridges wherein a pin protrudes and connected to the
priming mixture. Striking of such pin by the hammer, initiates the explosion of the cartridge.
The term pin fire can be attributed to Monsieur Le Facheux of Paris in 1836.
2. Rim Fire Cartridges. These are cartridges on which the priming mixture is placed around the
rim of the base of the cartridge case. Rim fire cartridges may also be identified by its smooth
base which may or may not have a head stamp(Manufacturers name) letters or designs
imprinted on it.
3. Center Fire Cartridges. These are cartridges wherein the priming mixture is located at the
center of the base of the cartridge case. The firing pin must strike the central area of the primer
in order to crush the priming mixture between the primer cup and the anvil.

There are two (2) Primer Ignition Systems for center fire cartridges:

a) Boxer Type. This is one which has only a single, centrally located flash
hole.
b) Berdan Type. These are cartridges designed to have two (2) flash holes.

CLASSIFICATION OF CARTRIDGES ACCORDING TO HEAD TYPES:


1. Rimmed Cartridge Cases. These are cartridge cases having an extractor flange
that is larger than the diameter of the cartridge case body. Letter " R" is added
after the case numbers in the metric system of caliber designation.

2. Semi-rimmed Cartridge Cases. These are cartridge cases having an extractor


flange that is slightly larger in diameter than the cartridge case body and also
have a groove around the body of the case just in front of the flange. The
metric designation for these cartridges is " SR".

3. Rimless Cartridge Cases. These are cartridge cases having an extractor flange
whose diameter is the same as that of the cartridge case body and also have a
groove around the body of the case in front of the flange. In the metric system
of caliber design, no letter is used for this type of cartridge case.

4. Rebated cartridge case. It has an extractor flange that is smaller than the
diameter of the case. A groove around the body of the case is present in front
of the flange. The metric designation is " RB".

5. Belted Cartridge Case. It has a pronounced, raised belt encircling the


cartridge case body in front of the groove in the body. The diameter of the
extractor flange is immaterial. The metric designation is " B ".

Head Stamps. These are series of letters, numbers, symbols, and /or trade names. These
are either imprinted or embossed on the cartridge case head for identification purposes. Civilian
cartridges are usually marked with the initials or code of the manufacturer, as well as the
caliber. Military Cartridges are usually marked with the manufacturer's initials or code plus the
two last two numerals of the year of manufacture. The caliber may also be indicated. American
military Match ammunition has the word "Match" or letters "NM" (National Match) imprinted
on it. Ammunitions meeting NATO specifications carries the NATO symbol which is a cross
within a circle.
Head stamps are not reliable indicators of the caliber of a particular cartridge case or the
manufacturer because the cartridge case may be reformed to another caliber. Example, a .308
cartridge case may have been necked down to a .243 cartridge. Commercial buyers that buy
large quantities of ammunition may have their names stamped on the cartridge cases rather
than the designation of the actual manufacturer. Hand gun ammunitions with a head stamps
reading +P or +P+ indicates that the ammunition is loaded to higher pressures than normal for
the particular caliber cartridge.
Cartridge Case with surcharge. These are markings added to the base of the cartridge
after the original head stamp has been formed. They are not necessary applied in the plant that
performs the original head stamp operation on the cartridge case, and they may indicate that
the cartridge has been reloaded.

SHOTGUN AMMUNITION

Shotgun Shell. Refers to a single unit of ammunition for shotgun. It consists of a tubular case,
(either paper, plastic, or metal) with a metallic base, containing the primer, powder or
propellant, wads, and shots of pellets.
In general the allowable pressure in shotgun is not more than 10,000 to 12,000 pounds
per square inch.

Low brass shell. One in which the brass head extends only a short way up the side.

High brass Shell. One in which the brass extends further up the side.

Low base shell. One in which the paper reinforcement inside the head of the shell is relatively
small in amount, which is a usual construction when black or bulk smokeless powders are
used.

Buckshot. These are comparatively large lead balls formed in molds, without hardeners
alloyed with the lead.

Drop shot. These are smaller lead balls which is formed by pouring molten lead alloy through
perforated pans of selected sizes located at the top of a shot tower.

17-Shot Size/100= Diameter in inches. This is the formula applied in deriving the nominal
diameter of shot sizes from One (1) through Twelve (12).

Gauge. This is the nominal bore diameter of a shotgun barrel. Shotgun gauge is shown
according to the number of round lead balls to the pound.

BULLETS

Bullets Defined. A bullet is a metallic or non metallic, cylindrical projectile propelled from a
firearm by means of expansive force of gases coming from burning gunpowder.
The term bullet was originated from a French word boulette which means a small ball.
For the shotguns the projectile designed for its propulsion are called shot slug or
pellets.
There are two basic classifications of bullets:
1) Lead bullets. Bullets which are made of lead alloys of this metal-lead, tin, &
antimony, which is slightly harder than the pure lead.
2) Jacketed bullets. These are bullets which are made of core a core of lead covered by
a jacket of harder material such as gilding metal a copper-alloy of approximately 90
% copper & 10 % zinc.

CLASSIFICATION OF BULLETS ACCORDING TO SHAPE:

1. Round nose/flat base


2. Pointed nose/boat tailed
3. Wad type/Square base
4. Semi-wad/hollow base
COMMON BULLET TYPES;

a) Solid lead
b) Solid lead hollow point
c) Solid paper- patched
d) Metal cased
e) Soft
f) Metal-cased hollow point
g) Metal point

Ball Bullets. These have soft lead cores inside a jacket and are used against personnel
only.

Armor Piercing Bullets. Bullets having a hardened steel cores and are fired at vehicles
and other armored targets.

Tracer Bullets. These bullets contains a compound at the base usually similar to barium
nitrates, which is set on fire when the bullet is projected. The flash of smoke from this
burning permits the flight of the bullet to be seen, especially during night time.

Incendiary Bullets. These bullets contains a mixture, such as phosphorus or other


material, that can be set on fire by its impact on the target. Used on target that will
readily burn such as aircraft or gasoline depot.

Explosive or Fragmentary Bullets. These are bullets that contains a high charge of
explosive. Because of their small size, it is difficult to make a fuze that will work reliably
in small arms ammunition. For this reason the use of high explosive bullets is usually
limited to 20 mm and above.

Bullets without rifling marks- These are bullets that will show no rifling during
recovery from the crime scene, which indicates that the weapon from which it was fired
is a zip gun, a smooth bore handgun or rifle or a revolver whose barrel has been
removed.

Cast bullets . These are bullets which are obviously harder than commercial bullets,
during recovery its color is dull silver-gray with deep lubricating grooves and with a
circular marking caused by the sprue.
Sprue- is the opening in the bullet mold throgh which the molten lead is poured.
Flechettes- is a small arrow- shaped 8 and 13 gram projectile with a metal tail fin.

CARTRIDGE CASES:

Cartridge Case Defined. It is a tubular metallic or non metallic container which holds the
bullet, gunpowder, and the primer. it is also termed as shell or casing.
Drawing-refers to the machine operation done in making a cartridge case.

Functions of a cartridge:
1. Holds the bullet, gunpowder, and primer assembled into one unit.
2. Serves as a waterproof container for the gunpowder.
3. Prevents the escape of the gases from the rear as the sidewalls of the cartridge are
forced against the walls of the chamber by the pressure. Serves as a gas seal at the
breech end of the barrel.

Parts of the cartridge case:


1. Rim
2. Primer pocket
3. Vents or flash holes
4. head & body
5. neck
6. Cannelures
7. Crimp
8. base
9. shoulder
10. Extracting groove

Shape of Cartridge Cases:


a) Straight
b) Tapered
c) Bottleneck

Marks found on fired bullets:


1. Land marks
2. Groove marks
3. Skid marks- due to worn out barrel
4. Stripping marks- due to bullet jumping the rifling/loose fit barrels

How to mark evidence Fired Bullets?

Mark fired bullets on the base, ogive or anterior portion with the date of recovery and the
initials of the investigator and/or if necessary just place your complete description of the bullet
in the evidence tag and properly pack separately each piece of bullet evidence.

Marks found on fired shells:

a) Firing pin mark- Shapes of firing pin.


b) Breech face marks
c) Extractor marks
d) Ejector marks
e) Shearing or secondary firing pin mark
f) Chamber marks
g) Pivotal marks
h) Magazine lip markings

How to mark evidence Fired Shell/Empty?

Mark the evidence shell at the inside near the open mouth with the date of recovery and
initials of the investigator. But when necessary, you may place the complete description of the
shell evidence on the evidence tag. This will somehow prevent contamination of the markings
found near the mouth of the shell. Each piece of evidence shell must be pack on a separate
container.
HP Malagamba
Class Characteristics- are identifiable characteristics found on the firearm even prior to its
manufacture. These are:
1. Bore diameter
2. Number of lands & grooves Width of lands & grooves
3. Direction of twist
4. Pitch of the riflings
5. Depth of grooves

Individual characteristics- are characteristic markings which are peculiar & not found in any
other firearm.

a) Wear & tear


b) Abuses
c) Mutilations /Corrosions
d) Erosions
e) other fortuitous causes.

JUXTAPOSITION. Using a compound microscope, the evidence and the questioned or test
specimen are examined and compared: at the same time; at the same direction; using the same
magnification, examining the same image; and using the same level or focus.

List of Equipments Generally used in Ballistics Examination:

1. Bullet Comparison Microscope


2. Stereoscopic Microscope
3. Shadowgraph
4. CP-Comparison Microscope
5. Bullet Recovery Box
6. Helixometer
7. Micrometer
8. Caliper
9. Analytical Balance or Torsion Balance
10. Onoscope
11. Chronograph
12. Taper Gauge
13. Electric Marker

THE SEVEN (7) TYPES OF PROBLEMS IN FIREARM IDENTIFICATION

1. Given a fired bullet determine the type and make of firearms from which it was fired;
2. Given a fired cartridge case, to determine the type and make of firearm in which it was
fired;
3. Given a bullet and a suspected firearm to determine whether or not the bullet was fired
from the suspected firearm;
4. Given a fired cartridge case and a suspected firearm, to determine whether or not the
cartridge case was fired in the suspected firearm;
5. Given two or more bullets, to determine whether or not they were fired from the same
firearm
6. Given two or more fired cartridge cases to determine whether or not they were fired from
the same firearm;
7. Given a suspected firearm determine whether or not it is serviceable.

MINIMUM INFORMATION NEEDED TO DESCRIBE A FIREARM

1. Caliber
2. Make- Smith & Wesson, Colt.
3. Model- Colt Official Police, Smith & Wesson Military & Police.
4. Type- Revolver, Automatic, Semi-automatic
5. Serial Number
6. Finish- Blue, nickel, parkerized.
7. Additional data- Barrel length, over all length, magazine capacity.

RECONSTRUCTIVE ASPECTS OF SHOOTING INCIDENT


1. The manner in which the firearm was discharged;
2. The range from which the firearm was discharged;
3. The position or orientation of a firearm at the moment of discharge;
4. The position of victim at the moment of impact;
5. The number and sequence of firing in multiple discharge shooting incidents;
6. Other exterior and/or terminal ballistics that may provide evidence.

SHOOTING RECONSTRUCTION CHECKLIST


I-The FIREARM
A. SHOOTERS OR WITNESS EXPLANATION OF THE MANNER OF DISCHARGE
1. Storage and condition of the gun prior to the incident. Is it previously cleaned,
oiled, dirty, rusty, loaded, magazine separate, etc.)
2. Loading or preparation of the gun;
3. Source and type(s) of ammunition used, such as its brand, bullet type, weight
etc.);
4. Means of discharge, such as single action, double action, dropped, etc.);
5. Manner in which the gun was held (the height above ground level);
6. Type of sights of the gun and its position;
7. Conduct or events after the discharge of the gun.
8. Proposed laboratory examinations.

B. LOCATION, POSITION AND ORIENTATION OF THE RECOVERED


FIREARM

1. Diagram and orientation photographs of the scene of shooting incident;


2. Close-up photographs showing the configuration of the gun;
3. Documentation of the:
a) Position of cylinder if the firearm involved is a revolver and the position of
the slide or bolt in cases of repeating arms;
b) Position and sequence of cartridges in the cylinder/magazine;
c) Position of hammer;
d) Position of safety lever;
e) Magazine whether in or out of the catch, number of rounds remaining, type
and description;
f) Live or expended cartridges on the chamber;
g) Cocking and loading indicators;
h) Visible damage to gun;
i) Type and location of extracted or ejected cartridges in the crime scene;
4. Proposed laboratory examination.

C. TRACE EVIDENCE CONSIDERATIONS

1. On the Firearm :
a) Powder particles on the bore and chamber;
b) Flares on the cylinder;
c) Bullets metallic deposit on the bore;
d) Primer lacquer on the breechface;
e) Hairs, fibers, blood, tissues; trace evidence transferred due to impact.
2. On the Victim:
a) Gunshot residue;
b) Bullet wipes;

PRINCIPLES OF IDENTIFYING FIRED CATRIDGE CASES

a) The breechface and firing pin of every firearm leave microscopic individualities of their
own;
b) The firearm leave its fingerprint or thumbmark on every cartridge case which it fires;
c) The whole principle of identification is based on the fact that since the breechface of every
firearm must be individually distinct, the cartridge case which it fires are imprinted with
this individuality. The imprint on all cartridge case fired from the same firearm are the same
and those fired from other weapon is always different.

PRINCIPLES OF IDENTIFYING FIREDBULLET

a) No two barrel of a firearm are microscopically identical, as the surface of their bore all
possess individual and characteristics markings;
b) When a bullet is fired from a rifled gun barrel, it becomes engraved by the riflings and these
engravings varies in its minute details with every individual firearms. So that the
engravings on fired bullet fired from the same firearm are the same and those fired from
different firearm will be different;
c) Every barrel leaves its thumbmark or fingerprint on every bullet fired on it.

Terms to remember:

Action. A term referring to a mechanism of a firearm.


Air Gun. A weapon designed to discharge normally from the shoulder by means of expanding
force of compressed air to propel a projectile.
Air Pistol. An air weapon which can be discharge normally using one hand, either with a
smooth bore or rifled barrel.
Air Rifle. A n air weapon having a rifled barrel.
Air Shotgun. A smooth bore shoulder arm, using compressed air to propel a small quantity of
round shot.
Autoloading. A firearm which fires and reloads on a single pull of the trigger so that the
weapon is ready to be fired with the next pull of the trigger.
Barrel Length of a Revolver. Measured from the muzzle to the front end of the cylinder.Barrel
Length of a Pistol and/or Automatic Weapons. Measured from the muzzle to the face of the
breech.
Bore. The cylindrical passage which the bullet travels.
Breechblock. The steel block which closes the rear of the bore against the force of the charge;
the face of this block is known as BREECHFACE.
Caliber. The bore diameter measured between two opposite lands.
Cannelure of the Bullet. The knurled ring or serrated groove around the body of the bullet,
containing lubricating agent, to minimize friction during passage of the bullet inside the bore.
Cannelure of the Shell. A knurled ring or serrated group around the body of the
shell,purposely to hold the bullet firmly in place.
Chamber. A part of a firearm barrel where the cartridges are placed into position for firing.
Choke. The degree of constriction on the muzzle of the shotgun to decrease the spread of the
shots.
Corrosion. The chemical wear & tear of the inside of the gun barrel due to rust formation or
chemical action of the by products of combustion after firing.
Double Action. A mechanism of a firearm in which pressure on the trigger both cocks and
releases the hammer.
Ejector.A firearm mechanism which causes the cartridge case or shell to be thrown out of out of
the ejection port.
Erosion. It is the mechanical wear & tear of the inner surface of the gun barrel due to
mechanical abrasion or sliding friction.
Extractor. That mechanism of the firearm that causes the case or shell withdrawal from the
chamber.
Foot-pound. It is the amount of work required to raise one pound one foot high against the
force of gravity.
Foot-second. It is the velocity expressed in feet per second.
Fouling. The accumulation of the deposits inside the bore of the firearm caused by the chemical
content of the gunpowder after firing.
Gauge. The nominal diameter of a shotgun barrel. Shotgun gauge is measured according to the
number of lead balls to the pound. Thus, 12 gauge means that originally 12 lead balls of that
diameter weighed one pound.
Gyroscopic Stability. This means that the bullet during its flight towards the target rotates on
its axis and hit the target nosed on.
Hammer Block. That part of a firearm that prevents hammer blow to the primer.
Hangfire. This is the term given when the cartridge fails to explode on time or its delayed firing
due to faulty functioning of the primer or non-ignition of the propellant.
Hand. A firearm nomenclature that rotates the cylinder when the hammer is cocked.
Jacket. It is the outer covering of a bullet.
Key-hole shot. It is the term given when the bullet hits the target sideways as a result of not
spinning on its axis due to a worn out barrel.
Lapping. The process of eliminating the roughness of the interior of the gun barrel after
installation of the grooves, done using a mixture of oil & abrasive.
Misfire. Means the total failure of the cartridge to fire.
Muzzle. The forward end of a firearm barrel where the bullet exits.
Muzzle velocity. Speed of the bullet at the muzzle end.
Muzzle energy. Capacity of the bullet for hitting, measured in foot pounds at the muzzle end.
Ogive. The symmetrical curved portion of the bullet that forms the head of the projectile.
Plated bullet. A bullet covered with a thin coating of copper alloy to prevent adherence of lead
on the bore surface.
Pitch of the riflings. It is the distance advanced by the bullet in one complete turn.
HP Malagamba
Powder charge. It is the amount of gunpowder in a load.
Pressure. The outward push of the gases at all direction during combustion of the gunpowder
during firing.
Primer. The complete assembly of cup , priming composition,, paper disc and anvil.
Range. It is the straight distance between the muzzle and the target.
Reaming. The process enlarging the rough undersized bore after drilling operation, using
roughing, finishing and burnishing reamer.
Recoil. The equal and opposite reaction of the gun against the forward movement of the bullet
after explosion.
Richochet. It is the bouncing of of the bullet from its original trajectory.
Sear. The lever in the gun lock which holds the firing pin back until released by the trigger.
Single action. An actuation of the firearm in which the pressure upon the trigger releases the
hammer after it has been manually cocked.
Trajectory. The actual curved path taken by a bullet during its flight from the gun muzzle
towards the target.
Trigger. A lever of a firearm that releases the hammer to strike the firing pin and initiate
discharge of the cartridge.
Trigger Guard. A bent strip of metal that protects firearms accidental discharge.
Trigger pressure- is the amount of force (pressure) on the trigger necessary to fire a gun. Its
determination in the assessment of whether the firing can possibly be accidental. Single action
firearms varies from 3 to 10 pounds and in double action it varies from 6 pounds to as much
as 18 pounds. The following are the approximate trigger pressures of certain types of firearms:

a) Shotgun4 pounds
b) Self-loading pistols.3 to 4 pounds
c) Revolver3 to 5 pounds
d) Service rifle6 to 7 pounds

Hair Trigger- is a vague term used when the firearm trigger pressure is 1.0 lb. (pound) or less.
Table showing the relation between American, English and Continental Caliber:

AMERICAN ENGLISH CONTINENTAL


CALIBER IN CALIBER IN CALIBER IN MM.
INCHES INCHES
.22 .220 5.6
.25 .250 6.5 (6.35)
.28 .280 7.0
.30 (.32 Rev.) .300 (.303) 7.65
.32 .320 8.0
.35 (.351) .350 9.0
.38 .360 9.3
.38 .370 9.5
.38-.40-.41 .410 10.0
.405 Inch 10.5
.44 .440 11.0
.45 .450 11.25

To convert millimeter calibration to inches, multiply the caliber in millimeters by


0.03937 or divide by 25.4
To convert inches calibration to millimeters, multiply by 25.4 or divide by 0.03937.

TOOLMARKS IDENTIFICATION

Tool mark identification is a discipline of forensic science which has a primary concern
of determining if a tool mark was produce by a particular tool.

THE TWO (2) GENERAL TYPES OF TOOLMARKS:


1. Impression type- which as its name implies a little more than a dent. A pry-bar may
leave an impression-type mark on a window frame which it is applied. The shape and
size of the mark, plus irregularities cause by nicks or breaks in the pry bar, maybe such
as to permit a positive statement as to its source.

2. Striated tool mark- is left by a tool scraping over an object or surface rather than itself.
Thus a pry bar which slips during application may scrape over the jamb of a door
leaving striae. Tin snips or bolt cutters have blades which frequently leaves striae on the
edges of metal cut. An axe will leave striae on wood chips as well an auger or blade of a
plane. Mechanical tools such as planer, joiner, and lathe all have blades and edges which
leave striae on chips, shavings and stock being worked. Many examples could be given
but these are typical if the tools most commonly encountered in criminal investigations.
Striated marks are often referred to as friction marks, abrasion marks or scratch
marks.

THE CHARACTERISTICS OF STRIATIONS DEPENDS UPON THE FOLLOWING


FACTORS
1. The size and shape of the microscopic irregularities on the acting tool.
2. The original surface smoothness of the object acted upon.
3. The relative hardness of the two materials.
4. Speed of application or rate of relative motion.
5. Pressure on the areas involved.
6. Texture and uniformity of material acted upon.

METHODS OF EXAMINATION ON IMPRESSION-TYPE MARK


A comparison may be made between the impression and the tool itself.
1. The comparison maybe made between the impression in evidence and a test impression
made by the suspected tool.

METHOD OF EXAMINATION ON STRIATED TOOL MARKS


Examine the tool to see whether its nature and shape are such that it could have made
the evidence mark. Having located one or more areas or edges which seem consistent, with
that possibility, he must then make test marks for comparison purposes. During this process
he must further ascertain by a combination of logic, and trial and error, which angles of
application seem most consistent with the mark in question.
For comparison with marks on metal, lead is most commonly used for test purposes.
The instrument most generally suited to the examination of striated markings in the
comparison microscope.

Barrel Swaging- is the process of forming the interior and/or exterior shape of the barrel of
a firearm by hammering. Also called hammer forging.
Bullet trap- is a means of safely stopping a bullet in flight when recovery is not the
objective. Usually incorporates a steel plate set at an angle to deflect the bullet up or down
to a pit or receptacle.
Blank Cartridge- a cartridge case loaded without a projectile, designed to produce a loud
noise.
Bullets Kinetic Energy- is the energy associated with motion. In the English system it is
expressed in foot pound or the work of a force resulting when a weight of one pound is
brought to a height of one foot.
In ballistics, the wounding power of a bullet is due to the mass (weight) and its velocity,
with the velocity playing a very important role.
MV2
Kinetic Energy= 2G

M= Mass (Weight)
V= Velocity
G= Gravity

Bullet Efficiency: The cartridge powder charge can be burned in approximately 0.00001
second. The conversion rate by combustion of the gunpowder to bullet energy is about 30
to 32 percent. The loss of some energy from the gunpowder explosion may be due to:

a. Loss of energy to force the bullet out of the cartridge case, rifling and friction in
the barrel;
b. Heating of the barrel and chamber;
c. Escape of some of the compressed gases at the breech and barrel;
d. Not all gunpowder is ignited.

Obturation: This is the sealing or prevention of gunpowder gas after explosion from escaping
so as to maintain high pressure in the firing chamber thereby increasing the propulsive power
on the bullet. This is maintained:
a) By insuring that the bullet tightly fits the bore throughout its entire length;
b) By sealing the cartridge case to the chamber wall; and
c) By preventing leakage between the primer cap and its retaining wall in the cartridge.

Ballistics Coefficient:
This describes the ability of the bullet to maintain its velocity against air resistance.
Expressed in the following formula:
C= M
id2
C= ballistics coefficient
M=mass
i= form factor
d= diameter
The larger the coefficient, the more efficient is the bullet or projectile. The better the
ballistics coefficient of a bullet, the less velocity loss it will suffer over a given resistance.

Movements of the Bullet as it Moves Out of the Muzzle:


1. Forward movement
2. Spinning movement
3. Tumbling movement
4. Wabbling movement (Tailwag)-when the rear end of the bullet aside from spinning may
also vibrate vertically or sidewise in its flight
5. Pull of gravity.

Flame is the product of the ignition of the propellant. It is conical in shape with the vertex
located at the gun muzzle. The flame does not usually go beyond a distance of 6 inches and
in pistols or revolvers the flame is often less than 3 inches.
The flame causes scorching or burning of the skin and searing of the hair at the target in
a very near shot. In contact fire, the edges of the wound maybe burned.

Heated, Compressed and Expanded Gas


The volume of the gas generated is dependent on the nature and quantity of the
propellant. Thus a 50 grain gunpowder in a cartridge with black powder (One grain
producing 200 to 300 cc of gas) will cause the production of 10 to 15 liters of gas while the
same amount of cartridge with smokeless powder (One grain producing 800 to 900 cc. of
gas) will cause production of 40 to 45 liters of gas confined in a very limited space. This is on
the presumption that all of the gunpowder was ignited.

Smoke (Soot, Smudging, Fouling, and Smoke Blackening):


The smoke and its by products is merely deposited on the target and readily wiped off
and may be seen with a distance of 12 inches. The presence of smudging at the wound of
entrance infers a near shot. A circular shape deposition may be may be typical of a
perpendicular position of the barrel towards the target and while in acute angle the
deposition may appear elliptical.

Powder Grains:
The unburned, burning and partially burned powder grains in a near shot is responsible
of the production of tattooing (stippling, peppering) around the gunshot wound entrance.
In close range, the powder grain penetrates the dermal and epidermal layers of the skin
and may cause hemorrhage in deeper tissue which cannot be removed by ordinary wiping.
Micro contusion may be observed around the punctured area and the shape of the puncture
may denote the shape of the penetrating grain. As the distance of the gun muzzle to the
target increases, the area of destruction increases, but the density of tattooing decreases.
In black powder the residue is composed of (a) Nitrates (b) thiocyanates (c)
thiosuphates (d) Potassium carbonates (e) Potassium sulphates and (f) Potassium sulfide
while in Smokeless powder, the residue is composed of granules with nitrites and
cellulose nitrates with graphite. Tattooing or stippling may be seen around the wound of
entrance up to a distance of 24 inches, although there may be considerable variation from
gun to gun.

Powder Burns refers to the blackening of the margin of the gunshot wound entrance. The
blackening is due to smoke smudging, gunpowder tattooing and to a certain extent burning of
the wound margin.

The ODD and EVEN Rule in Gunshot Wound


If the number of gunshot wounds of entrance and exit found in the body of the victim is
even, the presumption is that no bullet is lodged in the body but if the number of gunshot
wounds of entrance and exit is odd, the presumption is that one or more bullets might have
been lodged in the body.

How to Determine the Number of Fires made by the Offender


1. Determination of the number of spent shells.
Search must be made at the scene of the crime or at the place where the offender made
the fire, for spent shells, if the weapon used is automatic pistol or rifle. In case of revolver fire,
the empty shells may be found still inside the cylinder. In machine gun, the spent shell may still
be attached to the cartridge belt.

2. Determination the entrance wound in the body of the victim.


The number of wounds of entrance may be given an idea as to the minimum number of
shots made. The number of wounds of entrance may not show the exact number of fire because:
a) Not all the fire made may hit the body of the victim.
b) The bullet may in the course of its flight hit a hard object thereby splitting it and each
fragment may produce separate wound entrance.
c) The bullet may have perforated a part of the body and then made another wound of
entrance in some other parts of the body; thus a single shot may produce two wounds of
entrance.
Souvenir Bullet is the term given when the bullet has been lodged and remained in the body.

Bullet Migration is when the bullet did not lodge in a place where it was previously located.

Bullet embolism is a special form of bullet migration when the bullet loses its momentum while
inside the chamber of the heart or inside the big blood vessel and carried by the circulating
blood to some parts of the body where it may be lodged. It may cause sudden loss of function of
the area supplied or death if vital organs are involved.

Tandem Bullet refers to two or more bullets that leave the barrel one after the other.
Russian roulette refers to when a group of persons agree to load a revolver with a single live
cartridge and each member of the group will cock and pull the trigger with the muzzle pressed
or directed to the temple or towards other vital parts of the body.

PERSONALITIES, DATES AND IMPORTANT EVENTS INVOLVING FIREARMS

a) Col. Calvin H. Goddard-Father of modern ballistics


b) Horace Smith Founded the great firm Smith and Wesson and pioneered the making
of the breech-loading rifle.
c) Daniel B. Wesson An associate or partner of Smith in revolver making.
d) John M. Browning wizard of modern firearms and pioneered the making of breech
loading single shot rifle.
e) John T. Thompson pioneered the making of Thompson Submachine Guns.
f) David Carbine Williams Maker of the first known carbines.
g) Alexander John Forsyth Father of percussion ignition.
h) Elisha King Root designed the machinery for making Colt Firearms.
j) Eliphalet Remington One of the first rifle makers.
k) John Mahlon Marlin Founder of marlin Firearms Company.
l) James Wolf Ripley stimulated the development of the Model 1855 rifle-musket.
m) Samuel Colt (1814-1842)- produce the first practical revolver.
n) Henry Deringer he gave his name to a whole class of firearms (rifles and pistols).
o) John C. Garand designed and invented the Semiautomatic US Rifle, Cal.30, M1.
p) Oliver F. Winchester One of the earliest rifles and pistol maker.

1313- the age of gunpowder began with its first use as a projectile.

1350 Small arms. Gunpowder was first use in canons. It was not until the middle of the
14th century that portable hand firearms were introduced. These guns were ignited by a
hand held hot wire or lighted match.

1498 Riflings. The first reference to rifled barrel happened around this year. Although
its importance as an aid to accuracy was recognized by some, it took many years before
rifling was generally used.

1575 Cartridge. Paper cartridge were developed. This combined both powder and ball
about 1575. This greatly speed up loading a reduced the hazards of carrying loose
powder.

1807 Percussion system. Forsyth discovered that certain compounds detonated by a


blow could be used to ignite the charge in a firearm, forming the basis for all percussion
and cartridge development later.

1835 Samuel Colt patented the first practical revolver in which the cylinder is rotated
by the cocking of the hammer.

1836 Pinfire Cartridge The pin fire cartridge was developed by Le Faucheux . It was
probably the first self-exploding cartridge that come into general use.
1845 Rim fire cartridge In France, Flobert developed bullet breech cap which was
in reality the first rim fire cartridge.
1858 - Center fire Cartridge. The Morse Cartridge marked the beginning of the rapid
development of the center fire cartridges.

1884 Automatic machine gun. Hiram Maxim built the first fully automatic gun,
utilizing the recoil of the piece to load and fire the next charge.

1885 Smokeless powder. In France, Vieille developed the first satisfactory smokeless
powder, a new propellant, which lacked smoke characteristics similar to black powder.

FIREARM EVIDENCE COLLECTION CHECKLIST

1. Never submit a loaded gun to the laboratory unless it is


delivered in person. Unfired cartridges may be left in the magazine provided the
magazine is removed from the gun. A firearm with a cartridge in the chamber
should never be shipped by any method, even if the weapon is not cocked or is
on safety.
2. Never clean the bore, chamber or cylinder before submitting a
firearm and never attempt to fire the gun before it is examined in the laboratory.
3. Never pick up a weapon by placing a pencil or other object in
the end of the barrel.
4. Record serial number, make and model of the weapon and mark
it in some inconspicuous part before sending it to the laboratory. Marking of
evidence firearm is important since duplicate serial numbers are sometimes
found on different guns of the same make and general type.
5. Place the weapon in a strong cardboard or wooden or wooden
box well packed to prevent shifting of the gun in transit.
6. Rifles or shotguns may be taken apart to make it easier to pack
and ship, but do not disassemble more than necessary.
7. If blood or other material of interest is present on the muzzle of
the gun, place a small paper bag around the muzzle and seal it to the barrel with
plastic tape to prevent loss of the sample during shipment.

Bullets as Evidence
1. Never mark a bullet on or near the rifling markings on the bullet side, even if
they are not clearly defined. Certain examinations may not be possible if the
base or nose is marked even though these are the preferred marking
locations. If there is any question dont mark the bullet but seal it in a marked
container.
2. Wrap recovered bullets individually in tissue paper and seal in separate pill
boxes or envelopes.
3. Submit all evidence bullets recovered to the laboratory. A conclusive
identification may be possible on only one of several bullets recovered even
when they all appear to be in good condition.
4. Do not attempt to clean recovered bullets sending them to the laboratory
except in the case of bullets removed from a body. The latter may be washed
off immediately in running water and dried by blotting on a soft dry towel in
those cases where the study of fiber and other evidence adhering to the bullet
nose is not important.
5. Handle fired evidence bullets as little as possible to prevent damage to the
identification characteristics in the rifling markings or loss of material
adhering to the bullets. Never use forceps or other tools to handle bullets.

Cartridge Cases as Evidence:


1. Mark cartridge cases on the inside of the open end, if possible. Use initials or
other characteristics marks which are kept as small as possible. Cases may be
marked on the outside near the open end, but care must be taken not to
damage clip or other markings which may be present. Never mark on or near
the primer end of the case. Again, if there is any question, seal the cartridge
in a marked container.
2. Fired shotgun shells may be marked either on the inside or the outside of the
paper or plastic portion of the shell.
3. Submit all evidence cartridge cases or shotgun shells recovered to the
laboratory. Frequently some cases before more identifying detail than do
others.
4. Do not attempt to clean recovered cartridge cases before submitting them to
the laboratory.
5. Wrap each cartridge case separately in tissue paper to prevent damage to
breech block, firing pin or other markings by contact with other cartridge
cases.
6. Place wrapped cartridge case in envelopes or pill boxes, label and sea the
container.

Ammunition as Evidence
1. Always attempt to recover unused ammunition for comparison purposes
when firearms are obtained as evidence. If not in the weapon itself, suspects
often have additional ammunition in their car, clothing, house or at other
locations. While the laboratory maintains an adequate supply of cartridges of
all types for test purposes, some types are not always available. In addition, it
may be important for test purposes to duplicate exactly the make, type and
age of the ammunition used in the crime. Other ammunition in the
possession of the suspect frequently is identical to that fired at the time of the
crime.
2. Unfired ammunition may be marked on the side of cartridge case, near the
bullet end.
3. Ammunition may be compared to establish similarities in type and
manufacturer. It is sometimes possible to show that a particular bullet or
cartridge came from cartridges manufacture within a specific time period.
4. In some instances it is possible to prove that hand loaded bullets had a
common source or that the cartridges were reloaded with the same tools.

MARKING EVIDENCE-GENERAL COMMENTS

Evidence must be marked to assure that its identify can be legally established in court.
When evidence is produced in court, it is imperative to prove it is the same as that found at the
scene. Normal descriptions of items are not sufficient; distinctive symbols or initials should be
used. These marks can be written, scratched or carved; however, they should be as small as
possible and in manner and location so as not to damage the item or alter its evidential value.
For example, a watch can be marked on the inside of the back of the case or jewelry can be
sketched or photographed and packaged rather than risk damage by marking.
A piece(s) of broken glass may be traced on a piece of paper and the properly marked
for identification and packaged. All persons who came into possession of the evidence for
storage or examination, etc., should mark the articles or containers for identification and to
verify the unbroken chain of custody. The container of evidence must be marked for
identification even if the item inside is marked. When tags are used on large objects, the tag
must be securely attached and marked as well as the item of evidence. All items of evidence,
their serial numbers and distinctive characteristics, identification markings by investigators, etc.
must be recorded in the investigators notes.

PRESERVING EVIDENCE-GENERAL COMMENTS

Physical evidence may be most effectively presented in court if it has been properly
handled and preserved. An analysis of evidence by the laboratory may be impossible, if the
evidence has been altered or contaminated. Conclusions drawn from such evidence may be
erroneous or invalid. Evidence must be preserved in its natural state. Each item must be
preserved as a separate sample. There can be no mixing of the unknown and the known. For
example, a knife which is to be examined for traces of copper screen wire not be placed in the
same container with samples of the copper screen wire.

Containers

Various types of containers can be used for items of physical evidence. Several different
packaging methods are listed here. The investigator should try to suit his containers to the
sample. Due to bacterial or fungal it is imperative that one does not put damp or biological
evidence in plastic bags. The following is suggested:

1. Plastic or cellophane envelopes are suitable for small dry objects.

2. Paper envelopes are suitable for folded paper bundles containing very small or powdery
material if all concerns are sealed. Do not use paper envelopes for fiber evidence, a vial
or pill box is preferred.

3. Vials, pill boxes, capsules and like containers are frequently suitable, depending upon
the exhibit and its condition.

4. Garments and large exhibits can be placed in bags or rolled in paper.

5. Paper or plastic envelopes can be sealed around the ends of large exhibits, such as tools,
with plastic tape to prevent loss of adhering evidence.

6. Loss of adhering evidence on large exhibits, such as safes, vehicle bumpers, etc., can be
prevented by placing plastics or paper over the evidence and sealing it with tape.
7. Always use clean and new containers to prevent contamination.

Storing Evidence

Evidence should be stored in a safe, evidence vault, locker or some other location where
unauthorized persons do not have access to it. This applies to both temporary and long
range storage.

DELIVERY OF EVIDENCE TO THE LABORATORY FOR EXAMINATION

Recommended Procedures

1. Personal delivery of evidence is the best method, where the investigation other
evidence involved is complex or the exhibits are large or perishable, or there are many
separate items. This personal contact with permit a consultation between the criminalist
and the investigator, which may be very beneficial.

2. Mail shipments of evidence. Use registered or certified mail if evidence is of high


monetary value or its is small and of critical value. Otherwise, first or fourth class mail
is satisfactory.

3. Prevent damage. Package contents so that breakage or contamination will not occur
during shipment.
4. Restrictions. Follow postal regulations. Do not mail explosives and other will not occur
during shipment.
5. Seal package completely, even if fourth class mail is employed. Do not just tie with
string, but rather employ tape which meets postal service regulations (masking tape is
not authorized.
6. Place the cover letter on the outside of package.

7. Express shipments packaging procedures are the same as for regular mail shipments.

EVIDENCE REQUIRING SPECIAL HANDLING:

1. Explosives: Do not deliver or ship explosives to the laboratory without contacting the
criminalist by telephone first; he will evaluate the situation and indicate the procedures
to be followed.
2. Dangerous Materials. The same telephonic contact must be made prior to delivering
loaded weapons, dangerous chemicals, etc.
3. Perishable Materials: Deliver only during working hours. If the items are to be shipped,
the laboratory must be contacted first, except in the case of blood related specimens who
are sent for alcohol, drug or grouping tests.

Disposal of Evidence
Some evidence is declared contraband or a nuisance by laws. As such it may be
confiscated by the court and ordered destroyed by chief of police or sheriff, once its evidentiary
need or value is terminated. This applies most frequently to certain guns, knives, drugs, etc.
Some evidence must be returned to its owner when it is longer needed for court trial purposes.
In any case, no evidence should be disposed of until the case is finally terminated by the court.

THE CRIMINALISTICS LABORATORY

A criminalistics laboratory utilizes the skills of professional criminalists, technical


assistants, questioned document and latent fingerprint examiners, photographers, and
polygraph examiners. Criminalists are university graduates holding degree in crimnalistics and
related physical sciences. Other staff members may hold various degrees in connection with the
duties they perform. All staff members must eventually be qualified to present expert testimony
before courts in connection with the services they render. Some laboratories may also include
surveyor and composite artists as staff members. Many laboratories are organized in sections,
each responsible for specific functions. Note: A major portion of the information and
illustrations in this chapter are from the physical Evidence Manual, State of California,
Department of Justice, Division of Law enforcement, Investigative Services Branch, with
permission from that agency.

THE FIREARMS SECTION

This section conducts firearms identification examinations, comparisons of firearms, and


bullets, studies to determine trigger pull, operation of safety devices, alteration or modification
of weapons or any condition of the weapon that might cause accidental fire or make it unsafe.

Functions

The Firearms Section is responsible for:

Test firing of all firearms.

Comparisons of bullets and cartridge casings to evidence guns.

Securing all firearms.

Restoration of serial numbers.

Clothing analysis for gunshot evidence.


Analysis of any firearms-related evidence.
Firearms Identification
Each firearm has an individual set of characteristics which can serve to identify it, even
though it is compared with one of the same type, model, caliber and manufacturer. Individual
characteristics will be found as follows:

1. Barrels: No two barrels are microscopically identical. Rifling (which consists of a number
of spiral grooves) is cut into the surface of the bore to provide the fired projectile with
rotation, stability and direction in motion.
This rifling is individual with each barrel, and leaves raised portions (lands) which
are actually original surfaces of the bore before the rifling are cut. Both grooves and
lands will contain identifiable characteristics due to the individual cutting (boring)
process and the character of the steel tubing the barrel was made from.

The rifling may have a right-handed or left-handed twist. Either twist may be
constant throughout the bore or increase from the breach to the muzzle. The number of
grooves may vary from four to six. The grooves and lands of the bore may be of equal
width, or broad grooves and narrow lands, depending on the manufacturer. Other
characteristics of rifling are the pitch, the measure of the rate at which the direction of
the groove changes; diameter bore, the distance from land to land; and groove diameter,
the distance from bottom to bottom of opposite grooves.

2. Caliber: this is the diameter of the bore measured in hundredths of an inch. Example: A .
30 caliber gun is one in which the bore has a diameter of 30 one hundredths of an inch.

3. Firing Pins: These are individually finished during manufacture and contain file marks
and pit marks which will leave an impression on the primer of the bullet when it is fired.

4. Extractor Marks: These are produced when the extractor under spring tension is forced
over the rim of the case in loading the cartridge into the chamber. This occurs in the use
of automatic, self-loading, bolt, pump and lever action rifle and shotguns and automatic
pistols.

5. Ejector Marks: These are produced on the base of a casting, or the rime of flange, when
the fired cartridge is drawn from the chamber by the extractor. They are normally found
on cartridges fired from self-loading and automatic weapons.

The comparison Microscope


Additional Reference:

Republic Act No. 10591


Published: May 29, 2013.
S. No. 3397
H. No. 5484
Republic of the Philippines
Congress of the Philippines
Metro Manila
Fifteenth Congress
Third Regular Session

Begun and held in Metro Manila, on Monday, the twenty-third day of July, two thousand
twelve.

[REPUBLIC ACT NO. 10591]

AN ACT PROVIDING FOR A COMPREHENSIVE LAW ON FIREARMS AND


AMMUNITION AND PROVIDING PENALTIES FOR VIOLATIONS THEREOF

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled:

ARTICLE I
TITLE, DECLARATION OF POLICY AND DEFINITION OF TERMS

SECTION 1. Short Title. This Act shall be known as the Comprehensive Firearms and
Ammunition Regulation Act.

SEC. 2. Declaration of State Policy. It is the policy of the State to maintain peace and order and
protect the people against violence. The State also recognizes the right of its qualified citizens to
self-defense through, when it is the reasonable means to repel the unlawful aggression under
the circumstances, the use of firearms. Towards this end, the State shall provide for a
comprehensive law regulating the ownership, possession, carrying, manufacture, dealing in
and importation of firearms, ammunition, or parts thereof, in order to provide legal support to
law enforcement agencies in their campaign against crime, stop the proliferation of illegal
firearms or weapons and the illegal manufacture of firearms or weapons, ammunition and parts
thereof.

SEC. 3. Definition of Terms. As used in this Act:

(a) Accessories refer to parts of a firearm which may enhance or increase the operational
efficiency or accuracy of a firearm but will not constitute any of the major or minor internal
parts thereof such as, hut not limited to, laser scope, telescopic sight and sound suppressor or
silencer.
(b) Ammunition refers to a complete unfixed unit consisting of a bullet, gunpowder, cartridge
case and primer or loaded shell for use in any firearm.
(c) Antique firearm refers to any: (1) firearm which was manufactured at least seventy-five (75)
years prior to the current date but not including replicas; (2) firearm which is certified by the
National Museum of the Philippines to be curio or relic of museum interest; and (3) any other
firearm which derives a substantial part of its monetary value from the fact that it is novel, rare,
bizarre or because of its association with some historical figure, period or event.

(d) Arms smuggling refers to the import, export, acquisition, sale, delivery, movement or
transfer of firearms, their parts and components and ammunition, from or across the territory of
one country to that of another country which has not been authorized in accordance with
domestic law in either or both country/countries.

(e) Authority to import refers to a document issued by the Chief of the Philippine National
Police (PNP) authorizing the importation of firearms, or their parts, ammunition and other
components.

(f) Authorized dealer refers to any person, legal entity, corporation, partnership or business
entity duly licensed by the Firearms and Explosive Office (FEO) of the PNP to engage in the
business of buying and selling ammunition, firearms or parte thereof, at wholesale or retail
basis.
(g) Authorized importer refers to any person, legal entity, corporation, partnership or business
duly licensed by the FEO of the PNP to engage in the business of importing ammunition and
firearms, or parts thereof into the territory of the Republic of the Philippines for purposes of sale
or distribution under the provisions of this Act.

(h) Authorized manufacturer refers to any person, legal entity, corporation, or partnership duly
licensed by the FEO of the PNP to engage in the business of manufacturing firearms, and
ammunition or parts thereof for purposes of sale or distribution.

(i) Confiscated firearm refers to a firearm that is taken into custody by the PNP, National
Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), and all other law
enforcement agencies by reason of their mandate and must be necessarily reported or turned
over to the PEO of the PNP.

(j) Demilitarized firearm refers to a firearm deliberately made incapable of performing its main
purpose of firing a projectile.

(k) Duty detail order refers to a document issued by the juridical entity or employer wherein the
details of the disposition of firearm is spelled-out, thus indicating the name of the employee, the
firearm information, the specific duration and location of posting or assignment and the
authorized bonded firearm custodian for the juridical entity to whom such firearm is turned
over after the lapse of the order.

(l) Firearm refers to any handheld or portable weapon, whether a small arm or light weapon,
that expels or is designed to expel a bullet, shot, slug, missile or any projectile, which is
discharged by means of expansive force of gases from burning gunpowder or other form of
combustion or any similar instrument or implement. For purposes of this Act, the barrel, frame
or receiver is considered a firearm.
(m) Firearms Information Management System (FIMS) refers to the compilation of all data and
information on firearms ownership and disposition for record purposes.

(n) Forfeited firearm refers to a firearm that is subject to forfeiture by reason of court order as
accessory penalty or for the disposition by the FEO of the PNP of firearms considered as
abandoned, surrendered, confiscated or revoked in compliance with existing rules and
regulations.

(o) Gun club refers to an organization duly registered with and accredited in good standing by
the FEO of the PNP which is established for the purpose of propagating responsible and safe
gun ownership, proper appreciation and use of firearms by its members, for the purpose of
sports and shooting competition, self-defense and collection purposes.

(p) Gunsmith refers to any person, legal entity, corporation, partnership or business duly
licensed by the FEO of the PNP to engage in the business of repairing firearms and other
weapons or constructing or assembling firearms and weapons from finished or manufactured
parts thereof on a per order basis and not in commercial quantities or of making minor parts for
the purpose of repairing or assembling said firearms or weapons.

(q) Imitation firearm refers to a replica of a firearm, or other device that is so substantially
similar in coloration and overall appearance to an existing firearm as to lead a reasonable
person to believe that such imitation firearm is a real firearm.

(r) Licensed citizen refers to any Filipino who complies with the qualifications set forth in this
Act and duly issued with a license to possess or to carry firearms outside of the residence in
accordance with this Act.

(s) Licensed, juridical entity refers to corporations, organizations, businesses including security
agencies and local government units (LGUs) which are licensed to own and possess firearms in
accordance with this Act.

(t) Light weapons are: Class-A Light weapons which refer to self-loading pistols, rifles and
carbines, submachine guns, assault rifles and light machine guns not exceeding caliber 7.62MM
which have fully automatic mode; and Class-B Light weapons which refer to weapons designed
for use by two (2) or more persons serving as a crew, or rifles and machine guns exceeding
caliber 7.62MM such as heavy machine guns, handheld under barrel and mounted grenade
launchers, portable anti-aircraft guns, portable anti-tank guns, recoilless rifles, portable
launchers of anti-tank missile and rocket systems, portable launchers of anti-aircraft missile
systems, and mortars of a caliber of less than 100MM.

(u) Long certificate of registration refers to licenses issued to government agencies or offices or
government-owned or -controlled corporations for firearms to be used by their officials and
employees who are qualified to possess firearms as provider in this Act, excluding security
guards.

(v) Loose firearm refers to an unregistered firearm, an obliterated or altered firearm, firearm
which has been lost or stolen, illegally manufactured firearms, registered firearms in the
possession of an individual other than the licensee and those with revoked licenses in
accordance with the rules and regulations.

(w) Major part or components of a firearm refers to the barrel, slide, frame, receiver, cylinder or
the bolt assembly. The term also includes any part or kit designed and intended for use in
converting a semi-automatic burst to a full automatic firearm.

(x) Minor parts of a firearm refers to the parts of the firearm other than the major parts which
are necessary to effect and complete the action of expelling a projectile by way of combustion,
except those classified as accessories.

(y) Permit to carry firearm outside of residence refers to a written authority issued to a licensed
citizen by the Chief of the PNP which entitles such person to carry his/her registered or
lawfully issued firearm outside of the residence for the duration and purpose specified in the
authority.

(z) Permit to transport firearm refers to a written authority issued to a licensed citizen or entity
by the Chief of the PNP or by a PNP Regional Director which entitles such person or entity to
transport a particular firearm from and to a specific location within the duration and purpose in
the authority.

(aa) Residence refers to the place or places of abode of the licensed citizen as indicated in
his/her license.

(bb) Shooting range refers to a facility established for the purpose of firearms training and skills
development, firearm testing, as well as for sports and competition shooting either for the
exclusive use of its members or open to the general public, duly registered with and accredited
in good standing by the FEO of the PNP.

(cc) Short certificate of registration refers to a certificate issued by the FEO of the PNP for a
government official or employee who was issued by his/her employer department, agency or
government-owned or -controlled corporation a firearm covered by the long certificate of
registration.

(dd) Small arms refer to firearms intended to be or primarily designed for individual use or that
which is generally considered to mean a weapon intended to be fired from the hand or
shoulder, which are not capable of fully automatic bursts of discharge, such as:

(1) Handgun which is a firearm intended to be fired from the hand, which includes:

(i) A pistol which is a hand-operated firearm having a chamber integral with or permanently
aligned with the bore which may be self-loading; and

(ii) Revolver which is a hand-operated firearm with a revolving cylinder containing chambers
for individual cartridges.
(2) Rifle which is a shoulder firearm or designed to be fired from the shoulder that can
discharge a bullet through a rifled barrel by different actions of loading, which may be classified
as lever, bolt, or self-loading; and
(3) Shotgun which is a weapon designed, made and intended to fire a number of ball shots or a
single projectile through a smooth bore by the action or energy from burning gunpowder.

(ee) Sports shooting competition refers to a defensive, precision or practical sport shooting
competition duly authorized by the FEO of the PNP.

(ff) Tampered, obliterated or altered firearm refers to any firearm whose serial number or other
identification or ballistics characteristics have been intentionally tampered with, obliterated or
altered without authority or in order to conceal its source, identity or ownership.

(gg) Thermal weapon sight refers to a battery operated, uncooled thermal imaging device which
amplifies available thermal signatures so that the viewed scene becomes clear to the operator
which is used to locate and engage targets during daylight and from low light to total darkness
and operates in adverse conditions such as light rain, light snow, and dry smoke or in
conjunction with other optical and red dot sights.

ARTICLE II
OWNERSHIP AND POSSESSION OF FIREARMS

SEC. 4. Standards and Requisites for Issuance of and Obtaining a License to Own and Possess
Firearms. In order to qualify and acquire a license to own and possess a firearm or firearms
and ammunition, the applicant must be a Filipino citizen, at least twenty-one (21) years old and
has gainful work, occupation or business or has filed an Income Tax Return (ITR) for the
preceding year as proof of income, profession, business or occupation.

In addition, the applicant shall submit the following certification issued by appropriate
authorities attesting the following:

(a) The applicant has not been convicted of any crime involving moral turpitude.

(b) The applicant has passed the psychiatric test administered by a PNP-accredited psychologist
or psychiatrist;

(c) The applicant has passed the drug test conducted by an accredited and authorized drug
testing laboratory or clinic;

(d) The applicant has passed a gun safety seminar which is administered by the PNP or a
registered and authorized gun club;

(e) The applicant has filed in writing the application to possess a registered firearm which shall
state the personal circumstances of the applicant;

(f) The applicant must present a police clearance from the city or municipality police office; and
(g) The applicant has not been convicted or is currently an accused in a pending criminal case
before any court of law for a crime that is punishable with a penalty of more than two (2) years.
For purposes of this Act, an acquittal or permanent dismissal of a criminal case
before the courts of law shall qualify the accused thereof to qualify and acquire a license. The
applicant shall pay the reasonable licensing fees as may be provided in the implementing rules
and regulations of this Act. An applicant who intends to possess a firearm owned by a juridical
entity shall submit his/her duty detail order to the FEO of the PNP.

SEC. 5. Ownership of Firearms and Ammunition by a Juridical Entity. A juridical person


maintaining its own security force may be issued a regular license to own and possess firearms
and ammunition under the following conditions:

(a) It must be Filipino-owned and duly registered with the Securities and Exchange
Commission (SEC);

(b) It is current, operational and a continuing concern;

(c) It has completed and submitted all its reportorial requirements to the SEC; and

(d) It has paid all its income taxes for the year, as duly certified by the Bureau of Internal
Revenue.

The application shall be made in the name of the juridical person represented by
its President or any of its officers mentioned below as duly authorized in a board resolution to
that effect: Provided, That the officer applying for the juridical entity, shall possess all the
qualifications required of a citizen applying for a license to possess firearms. Other corporate
officers eligible to represent the juridical person are: the vice president, treasurer, and board
secretary. Security agencies and LGUs shall be included in this category of licensed holders but
shall be subject to additional requirements as may be required by the Chief of the PNP.

SEC. 6. Ownership of Firearms by the National Government. All firearms owned by the National
Government shall be registered with the FEO of the PNP in the name of the Republic of the
Philippines. Such registration shall be exempt from all duties and taxes that may otherwise be
levied on other authorized owners of firearms. For reason of national security, firearms of the
Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Coast Guard and other law enforcement agencies shall
only be reported to the FEO of the PNP.

SEC. 7. Carrying of Firearms Outside of Residence or Place of Business. A permit to carry firearms
outside of residence shall be issued by the Chief of the PNP or his/her duly authorized
representative to any qualified person whose life is under actual threat or his/her life is in
imminent danger due to the nature of his/her profession, occupation or business.
It shall be the burden of the applicant to prove that his/her life is under actual threat by
submitting a threat assessment certificate from the PNP.
For purposes of this Act, the following professionals are considered to be in imminent
danger due to the nature of their profession, occupation or business:

(a) Members of the Philippine Bar;


(b) Certified Public Accountants;
(c) Accredited Media Practitioners;
(d) Cashiers, Bank Tellers;
(e) Priests, Ministers, Rabbi, Imams;
(f) Physicians and Nurses;
(g) Engineers; and
(h) Businessmen, who by the nature of their business or undertaking, are exposed to high risk of
being targets of criminal elements.

ARTICLE III
REGISTRATION AND LICENSING

SEC. 8. Authority to Issue License. The Chief of the PNP, through the FEO of the PNP, shall
issue licenses to qualified individuals and to cause the registration of firearms.

SEC. 9. Licenses Issued to Individuals. Subject to the requirements set forth in this Act and
payment of required fees to be determined by the Chief of the PNP, a qualified individual may
be issued the appropriate license under the following categories;

Type 1 license allows a citizen to own and possess a maximum of two (2) registered firearms;

Type 2 license allows a citizen to own and possess a maximum of five (5) registered firearms;

Type 3 license allows a citizen to own and possess a maximum of ten (10) registered firearms;

Type 4 license allows a citizen to own and possess a maximum of fifteen (15) registered
firearms; and

Type 5 license allows a citizen, who is a certified gun collector, to own and possess more than
fifteen (15) registered firearms.

For Types 1 to 5 licenses, a vault or a container secured by lock and key or other security
measures for the safekeeping of firearms shall be required.

For Types 3 to 5 licenses, the citizen must comply with the inspection and bond
requirements.

SEC. 10. Firearms That May Be Registered. Only small arms may be registered by licensed
citizens or licensed juridical entities for ownership, possession and concealed carry. A light
weapon shall be lawfully acquired or possessed exclusively by the AFP, the PNP and other law
enforcement agencies authorized by the President in the performance of their
duties: Provided, That private individuals who already have licenses to possess Class-A light
weapons upon the effectivity of this Act shall not be deprived of the privilege to continue
possessing the same and renewing the licenses therefor, for the sole reason that these firearms
are Class A light weapons, and shall be required to comply with other applicable provisions
of this Act.
SEC. 11. Registration of Firearms. The licensed citizen or licensed juridical entity shall register
his/her/its firearms so purchased with the FEO of the PNP in accordance with the type of
license such licensed citizen or licensed juridical entity possesses. A certificate of registration of
the firearm shall be issued upon payment of reasonable fees.
For purposes of this Act, registration refers to the application, approval, record-
keeping and monitoring of firearms with the FEO of the PNP in accordance with the type of
license issued to any person under Section 9 of this Act.

SEC. 12. License to Possess Ammunition Necessarily Included. The licenses granted to qualified
citizens or juridical entities as provided in Section 9 of this Act shall include the license to
possess ammunition with a maximum of fifty (50) rounds for each registered
firearm: Provided; That the FEO of the PNP may allow more ammunition to be possessed by
licensed sports shooters.

SEC. 13. Issuance of License to Manufacture or Deal In Firearms and Ammunition. Any person
desiring to manufacture or deal in firearms, parts of firearms or ammunition thereof, or
instruments and implements used or intended to be used in the manufacture of firearms, parts
of firearms or ammunition, shall make an application to:

(a) The Secretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) in the case of
an application for a license to manufacture; and

(b) The Chief of the PNP in the case of a license to deal in firearms and firearms parts,
ammunition and gun repair.

The applicant shall state the amount of capitalization for manufacture or cost of
the purchase and sale of said articles intended to be transacted by such applicant; and the types
of firms, ammunition or implements which the applicant intends to manufacture or purchase
and sell under the license applied for; and such additional information as may be especially
requested by the Secretary of the DILG or the Chief of the PNP.

The Secretary of the DILG or the Chief of the PNP may approve or disapprove
such application based on the prescribed guidelines. In the case of approval, the Secretary of the
DILG or the Chief of the PNP shall indicate the amount of the bond to be executed by the
applicant before the issuance of the license and the period of time by which said license shall be
effective, unless sooner revoked by their authority.

Upon approval of the license to manufacture or otherwise deal in firearms by


the Secretary of the DILG or the Chief of the PNP as the case may be, the same shall be
transmitted to the FEO of the PNP which shall issue the license in accordance with the
approved terms and conditions, upon the execution and delivery by the applicant of the
required bond conditioned upon the faithful compliance on the part of the licensee to the laws
and regulations relative to the business licensed.

SEC. 14. Scope of License to Manufacture Firearms and Ammunition. The scope of the License to
Manufacture firearms and ammunition shall also include the following:

(a) The authority to manufacture and assemble firearms, ammunition, spare parts and
accessories, ammunition components, and reloading of ammunitions, within sites, areas, and
factories stated therein. The Secretary of the DILG shall approve such license;
(b) The license to deal in or sell all the items covered by the License to Manufacture, such as
parts, firearms or ammunition and components;
(c) The authority to subcontract the manufacturing of parts and accessories necessary for the
firearms which the manufacturer is licensed to manufacture: Provided, That the subcontractor of
major parts or major components is also licensed to manufacture firearms and ammunition; and

(d) The authority to import machinery, equipment, and firearm parts and ammunition
components for the manufacture thereof. Firearm parts and ammunition components to be
imported shall, however, be limited to those authorized to be manufactured as reflected in the
approved License to Manufacture. The Import Permit shall be under the administration of the
PNP.

A licensed manufacturer of ammunition is also entitled to import various


reference firearms needed to test the ammunition manufactured under the License to
Manufacture. A licensed manufacturer of firearms, on the other hand, is entitled to import
various firearms for reference, test and evaluation for manufacture of similar, types of firearms
covered by the License to Manufacture.

An export permit shall, however, be necessary to export manufactured parts or


finished products of firearms and ammunition. The Export Permit of firearms and ammunition
shall be under the administration of the PNP.

SEC. 15. Registration of Locally Manufactured and Imported Firearms. Local manufacturers and
importers of firearms and major parts thereof shall register the same as follows:

(a) For locally manufactured firearms and major parts thereof, the initial registration shall be
done at the manufacturing facility: Provided, That firearms intended for export shall no longer
be subjected to ballistic identification procedures; and

(b) For imported firearms and major parts thereof, the registration shall be done upon arrival at
the FEO of the PNP storage facility.

SEC. 16. License and Scope of License to Deal. The License to Deal authorizes the purchase, sale
and general business in handling firearms and ammunition, major and minor parts of firearms,
accessories, spare parts, components, and reloading machines, which shall be issued by the
Chief of the PNP.

SEC. 17. License and Scope of License for Gunsmiths. The license for gunsmiths shall allow the
grantee to repair registered firearms. The license shall include customization of firearms from
finished or manufactured parts thereof on per order basis and not in commercial quantities and
making the minor parts thereof, i.e. pins, triggers, trigger bows, sights and the like only for the
purpose of repairing the registered firearm. The license for gunsmiths shall be issued by the
Chief of the PNP.

SEC. 18. Firearms for Use in Sports and Competitions. A qualified individual shall apply for a
permit to transport his/her registered firearm/s from his/her residence to the firing range/s
and competition sites as may be warranted.
SEC. 19. Renewal of Licenses and Registration. All types of licenses to possess a firearm shall be
renewed every two (2) years. Failure to renew the license on or before the date of its expiration
shall cause the revocation of the license and of the registration of the firearm/s under said
licensee.

The registration of the firearm shall be renewed every four (4) years. Failure to
renew the registration of the firearm on or before the date of expiration shall cause the
revocation of the license of the firearm. The said firearm shall be confiscated or forfeited in favor
of the government after due process.

The failure to renew a license or registration within the periods stated above on
two (2) occasions shall cause the holder of the firearm to be perpetually disqualified from
applying for any firearm license. The application for the renewal of the license or registration
may be submitted to the FEO of the PNP, within six (6) months before the date of the expiration
of such license or registration.

SEC. 20. Inspection and Inventory. The Chief of the PNP or his/her authorized representative
shall require the submission of reports, inspect or examine the inventory and records of a
licensed manufacturer, dealer or importer of firearms and ammunition during reasonable
hours.

ARTICLE IV
ACQUISITION, DEPOSIT OF FIREARMS, ABANDONED, DEMILITARIZED AND
ANTIQUE FIREARMS

SEC. 21. Acquisition or Purchase and Sale of Firearms and Ammunition. Firearms and ammunition
may only be acquired or purchased from authorized dealers, importers or local manufacturers
and may be transferred or sold only from a licensed citizen or licensed juridical entity to
another licensed citizen or licensed juridical entity: Provided, That, during election periods, the
sale and registration of firearms and ammunition and the issuance of the corresponding licenses
to citizens shall be allowed on the condition that the transport or delivery thereof shall strictly
comply with the issuances, resolutions, rules and regulations promulgated by the Commission
on Elections.

SEC. 22. Deposit of Firearms by Persons Arriving From Abroad. A person arriving in the
Philippines who is legally in possession of any firearm or ammunition in his/her country of
origin and who has declared the existence of the firearm upon embarkation and disembarkation
but whose firearm is not registered in the Philippines in accordance with this Act shall deposit
the same upon written receipt with the Collector of Customs for delivery to the FEO of the PNP
for safekeeping, or for the issuance of a permit to transport if the person is a competitor in a
sports shooting competition. If the importation of the same is allowed and the party in question
desires to obtain a domestic firearm license, the same should be undertaken in accordance with
the provisions of this Act. If no license is desired or leave to import is not granted, the firearm or
ammunition in question shall remain in the custody of the FEO of the PNP until otherwise
disposed of in-accordance with law.

SEC. 23. Return of Firearms to Owner upon Departure from the Philippines. Upon the departure
from the Philippines of any person whose firearm or ammunition is in the custody of the FEO of
the PNP, the same shall, upon timely request, be delivered to the person through the Collector
of Customs. In the case of a participant in a local sports shooting competition, the firearm must
be presented to the Collector of Customs before the same is allowed to be loaded on board the
carrier on which the person is to board.

SEC. 24. Safekeeping of Firearms and Ammunition. Any licensee may deposit a registered firearm
to the FEO of the PNP, or any Police Regional Office for safekeeping. Reasonable fees for
storage shall be imposed.

SEC. 25. Abandoned Firearms and Ammunition. Any firearm or ammunition deposited in the
custody of the FEO of the PNP pursuant to the provisions of this Act, shall be deemed to have
been abandoned by the owner or his/her authorized representative if he/she failed to reclaim
the same within five (5) years or failed to advise the FEO of the PNP of the disposition to be
made thereof. Thereafter, the FEO of the PNP may dispose of the same after compliance with
established procedures.

SEC. 26. Death or Disability of Licensee. Upon the death or legal disability of the holder of a
firearm license, it shall be the duty of his/her next of kin, nearest relative, legal representative,
or other person who shall knowingly come into possession of such firearm or ammunition, to
deliver the same to the FEO of the PNP or Police Regional Office, and such firearm or
ammunition shall be retained by the police custodian pending the issuance of a license and its
registration in accordance, with this Act. The failure to deliver the firearm or ammunition
within six (6) months after the death or legal disability of the licensee shall render the possessor
liable for illegal possession of the firearm.

SEC. 27. Antique Firearm. Any person who possesses an antique firearm shall register the same
and secure a collectors license from the FEO of the PNP. Proper storage of antique firearm shall
be strictly imposed. Noncompliance of this provision shall be considered as illegal possession of
the firearm as penalized in this Act.

ARTICLE V
PENAL PROVISIONS

SEC. 28. Unlawful Acquisition, or Possession of Firearms and Ammunition. The unlawful
acquisition, possession of firearms and ammunition shall be penalized as follows:

(a) The penalty of prision mayor in its medium period shall be imposed upon any person who
shall unlawfully acquire or possess a small arm;

(b) The penalty of reclusion temporal to reclusion perpetua shall be imposed if three (3) or more
small arms or Class-A light weapons are unlawfully acquired or possessed by any person;

(c) The penalty of prision mayor in its maximum period shall be imposed upon any person who
shall unlawfully acquire or possess a Class-A light weapon;

(d) The penalty of reclusion perpetua shall be imposed upon any person who shall, unlawfully
acquire or possess a Class-B light weapon;
(e) The penalty of one (1) degree higher than that provided in paragraphs (a) to (c) in this
section shall be imposed upon any person who shall unlawfully possess any firearm under any
or combination of the following conditions:
(1) Loaded with ammunition or inserted with a loaded magazine;
(2) Fitted or mounted with laser or any gadget used to guide the shooter to hit the target such as
thermal weapon sight (TWS) and the like;
(3) Fitted or mounted with sniper scopes, firearm muffler or firearm silencer;
(4) Accompanied with an extra barrel; and
(5) Converted to be capable of firing full automatic bursts.

(f) The penalty of prision mayor in its minimum period shall be imposed upon any person who
shall unlawfully acquire or possess a major part of a small arm;

(g) The penalty of prision mayor in its minimum period shall be imposed upon any person who
shall unlawfully acquire or possess ammunition for a small arm or Class-A light weapon. If the
violation of this paragraph is committed by the same person charged with the unlawful
acquisition or possession of a small arm, the former violation shall be absorbed by the latter;

(h) The penalty of prision mayor in its medium period shall be imposed upon any person who
shall unlawfully acquire or possess a major part of a Class-A light weapon;

(i) The penalty of prision mayor in its medium period shall be imposed upon any person who
shall unlawfully acquire or possess ammunition for a Class-A light weapon. If the violation of
this paragraph is committed by the same person charged with the unlawful acquisition or
possession of a Class-A light weapon, the former violation shall be absorbed by the latter;

(j) The penalty of prision mayor in its maximum period shall be imposed upon any person who
shall unlawfully acquire or possess a major part of a Class-B light weapon; and

(k) The penalty of prision mayor in its maximum period shall be imposed upon any person who
shall unlawfully acquire or possess ammunition for a Class-B light weapon. If the violation of
this paragraph is committed by the same person charged with the unlawful acquisition or
possession of a Class-B light weapon, the former violation shall be absorbed by the latter.

SEC. 29. Use of Loose Firearm in the Commission of a Crime. The use of a loose firearm, when
inherent in the commission of a crime punishable under the Revised Penal Code or other special
laws, shall be considered as an aggravating circumstance: Provided, That if the crime committed
with the use of a loose firearm is penalized by the law with a maximum penalty which is lower
than that prescribed in the preceding section for illegal possession of firearm, the penalty for
illegal possession of firearm shall be imposed in lieu of the penalty for the crime charged:

Provided, further, That if the crime committed with the use of a loose firearm is
penalized by the law with a maximum penalty which is equal to that imposed under the
preceding section for illegal possession of firearms, the penalty of prision mayor in its minimum
period shall be imposed in addition to the penalty for the crime punishable under the Revised
Penal Code or other special laws of which he/she is found guilty.
If the violation of this Act is in furtherance of, or incident to, or in connection with the
crime of rebellion of insurrection, or attempted coup d etat, such violation shall be absorbed as
an element of the crime of rebellion or insurrection, or attempted coup d etat.
If the crime is committed by the person without using the loose firearm, the violation of this Act
shall be considered as a distinct and separate offense.

SEC. 30. Liability of Juridical Person. The penalty of prision mayor in its minimum to prision
mayor in its medium period shall be imposed upon the owner, president, manager, director or
other responsible officer of/any public or private firm, company, corporation or entity who
shall willfully or knowingly allow any of the firearms owned by such firm, company,
corporation or entity to be used by any person or persons found guilty of violating the
provisions of the preceding section, or willfully or knowingly allow any of them to use
unregistered firearm or firearms without any legal authority to be carried outside of their
residence in the course of their employment.

SEC. 31. Absence of Permit to Carry Outside of Residence. The penalty of prision correctional and a
fine of Ten thousand pesos (P10,000.00) shall be imposed upon any person who is licensed to
own a firearm but who shall carry the registered firearm outside his/her residence without any
legal authority therefor.

SEC. 32. Unlawful Manufacture, Importation, Sale or Disposition of Firearms or Ammunition or Parts
Thereof, Machinery, Tool or Instrument Used or Intended to be Used in the Manufacture of Firearms,
Ammunition or Parts Thereof. The penalty of reclusion temporal to reclusion perpetua shall be
imposed upon any person who shall unlawfully engage in the manufacture, importation, sale or
disposition of a firearm or ammunition, or a major part of a firearm or ammunition, or
machinery, tool or instrument used or intended to be used by the same person in the
manufacture of a firearm, ammunition, or a major part thereof.

The possession of any machinery, tool or instrument used directly in the manufacture
of firearms, ammunition, or major parts thereof by any person whose business, employment or
activity does not lawfully deal with the possession of such article, shall be prima facie evidence
that such article is intended to be used in the unlawful or illegal manufacture of firearms,
ammunition or parts thereof.

The penalty of prision mayor in its minimum period to prision mayor in its medium
period shall be imposed upon any laborer, worker or employee of a licensed firearms dealer
who shall unlawfully take, sell or otherwise dispose of parts of firearms or ammunition which
the company manufactures and sells, and other materials used by the company in the
manufacture or sale of firearms or ammunition. The buyer or possessor of such stolen part or
material, who is aware that such part or material was stolen, shall suffer the same penalty as the
laborer, worker or employee.

If the violation or offense is committed by a corporation, partnership, association or other


juridical entity, the penalty provided for in this section shall be imposed upon the directors,
officers, employees or other officials or persons therein who knowingly and willingly
participated in the unlawful act.
SEC. 33. Arms Smuggling. The penalty of reclusion perpetua shall be imposed upon any person
who shall engage or participate in arms smuggling as defined in this Act.

SEC. 34. Tampering, Obliteration or Alteration of Firearms Identification. The penalty of prision
correctional to prision mayor in its minimum period shall be imposed upon any person who shall
tamper, obliterate or alter without authority the barrel, slide, frame, receiver, cylinder, or bolt
assembly, including the name of the maker, model, or serial number of any firearm, or who
shall replace without authority the barrel, slide, frame, receiver, cylinder, or bolt assembly,
including its individual or peculiar identifying characteristics essential in forensic examination
of a firearm or light weapon.

The PNP shall place this information, including its individual or peculiar identifying
characteristics into the database of integrated firearms identification system of the PNP Crime
Laboratory for future use and identification of a particular firearm.

SEC. 35. Use of an Imitation Firearm. An imitation firearm used in the commission of a crime
shall be considered a real firearm as defined in this Act and the person who committed the
crime shall be punished in accordance with this Act: Provided, That injuries caused on the
occasion of the conduct of competitions, sports, games, or any recreation activities involving
imitation firearms shall not be punishable under this Act.

SEC. 36. In Custodia Legis. During the pendency of any case filed in violation of this Act, seized
firearm, ammunition, or parts thereof, machinery, tools or instruments shall remain in the
custody of the court. If the court decides that it has no adequate means to safely keep the same,
the court shall issue an order to turn over to the PNP Crime Laboratory such firearm,
ammunition, or parts thereof, machinery, tools or instruments in its custody during the
pendency of the case and to produce the same to the court when so ordered. No bond shall be
admitted for the release of the firearm, ammunition or parts thereof, machinery, tool or
instrument. Any violation of this paragraph shall be punishable by prision mayor in its minimum
period to prision mayor in its medium period.

SEC. 37. Confiscation and Forfeiture. The imposition of penalty for any violation of this Act shall
carry with it the accessory penalty of confiscation and forfeiture of the firearm, ammunition, or
parts thereof, machinery, tool or instrument in favor of the government which shall be disposed
of in accordance with law.

SEC. 38. Liability for Planting Evidence. The penalty of prision mayor in its maximum period
shall be imposed upon any person who shall willfully and maliciously insert; place, and/or
attach, directly or indirectly, through any overt or covert act, any firearm, or ammunition, or
parts thereof in the person, house, effects, or in the immediate vicinity of an innocent individual
for the purpose of implicating or incriminating the person, or imputing the commission of any
violation of the provisions of this Act to said individual. If the person found guilty under this
paragraph is a public officer or employee, such person shall suffer the penalty of reclusion
perpetua.

SEC. 39. Grounds for Revocation, Cancellation or Suspension of License or Permit. The Chief of the
PNP or his/her authorized representative may revoke, cancel or suspend a license or permit on
the following grounds:

(a) Commission of a crime or offense involving the firearm, ammunition, of major parts thereof;
(b) Conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude or any offense where the penalty carries an
imprisonment of more than six (6) years;
(c) Loss of the firearm, ammunition, or any parts thereof through negligence;
(d) Carrying of the firearm, ammunition, or major parts thereof outside of residence or
workplace without, the proper permit to carry the same;
(e) Carrying of the firearm, ammunition, or major parts thereof in prohibited places;
(f) Dismissal for cause from the service in case of government official and employee;
(g) Commission of any of the acts penalized under Republic Act No. 9165, otherwise known as
the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002;
(h) Submission of falsified documents or misrepresentation in the application to obtain a license
or permit;
(i) Noncompliance of reportorial requirements; and
(j) By virtue of a court order.

SEC. 40. Failure to Notify Lost or Stolen Firearm or Light Weapon. A fine of Ten thousand pesos
(P10,000.00) shall be imposed upon any licensed firearm holder who fails to report to the FEO of
the PNP that the subject firearm has been lost or stolen within a period of thirty (30) days from
the date of discovery.

Likewise, a fine of Five thousand pesos (P5,000.00) shall be imposed upon any person
holding a valid firearm license who changes residence or office address other than that
indicated in the license card and fails within a period of thirty (30) days from said transfer to
notify the FEO of the PNP of such change of address.

SEC. 41. Illegal Transfer/Registration of Firearms. It shall be unlawful to transfer possession of


any firearm to any person who has not yet obtained or secured the necessary license or permit
thereof.

The penalty of prision correctional shall be imposed upon any person who shall violate the
provision of the preceding paragraph. In addition, he/she shall be disqualified to apply for a
license to possess other firearms and all his/her existing firearms licenses whether for purposes
of commerce or possession, shall be revoked. If government-issued firearms, ammunition or
major parts of firearms or light weapons are unlawfully disposed, sold or transferred by any
law enforcement agent or public officer to private individuals, the penalty of reclusion
temporal shall be imposed.

Any public officer or employee or any person who shall facilitate the registration of a
firearm through fraud, deceit, misrepresentation or submission of falsified documents shall
suffer the penalty of prision correctional.

ARTICLE VI
FINAL PROVISIONS

SEC. 42. Firearms Repository. The FEO of the PNP shall be the sole repository of all firearms
records to include imported and locally manufactured firearms and ammunition. Within one (1)
year upon approval of this Act, all military and law enforcement agencies, government
agencies, LGUs and government-owned or -controlled corporations shall submit an inventory
of all their firearms and ammunition to the PNP.
SEC. 43. Final Amnesty. Persons in possession of unregistered firearms and holders of expired
license or unregistered firearms shall register and renew the same through the Final General
Amnesty within six (6) months from the promulgation of the implementing rules and
regulations of this Act. During the interim period of six (6) months, no person applying for
license shall be charged of any delinquent payment accruing to the firearm subject for
registration. The PNP shall conduct an intensive nationwide campaign to ensure that the
general public is properly informed of the provisions of this Act.

SEC. 44. Implementing Rules and Regulations. Within one hundred twenty (120) days from the
effectivity of this Act, the Chief of the PNP, after public hearings and consultation with
concerned sectors of society shall formulate the necessary rules and regulations for the effective
implementation of this Act to be published in at least two (2) national newspapers of general
circulation.

SEC. 45. Repealing Clause. This Act repeals Sections 1, 2, 5 and 7 of Presidential Decree No.
1866, as amended, and Section 6 of Republic Act No. 8294 and all other laws, executive orders,
letters of instruction, issuances, circulars, administrative orders, rules or regulations that are
inconsistent herewith.

SEC. 46. Separability Clause. If any provision of this Act or any part hereof is held invalid or
unconstitutional, the remainder of the law or the provision not otherwise affected shall remain
valid and subsisting.

SEC. 47. Effectivity. This Act shall take effect after fifteen (15) days from its publication in a
newspaper of nationwide circulation.

Approved,
(Sgd.) FELICIANO BELMONTE JR. (Sgd.) JUAN PONCE ENRILE
Speaker of the House President of the Senate
of Representatives
This Act which is a consolidation of Senate Bill No. 3397 and House Bill No. 5484 was
finally passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives on February 4, 2013 and February
5, 2013, respectively.

(Sgd.) MARILYN B. BARUA-YAP (Sgd.) EDWIN B. BELLEN


Secretary General Acting Senate Secretary
House of Representatives
Approved: May 29, 2013

(Sgd.) BENIGNO S. AQUINO III


President of the Philippines
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