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'Responsible gun owner' PNoy on calls for gun ban: 'knee jerk'
The online news portal of TV5

MANILA, Philippines - President Benigno Aquino III called proposals for a total gun ban a "knee jerk reaction" to a series of incidents involving firearms, saying he would prefer a new law increasing the penalties for violating the rules on the use of the weapons.

Aquino, an avowed gun enthusiast, also took exception to calls for him to refrain from target shooting to prove his seriousness in addressing the problem of loose firearms in the country.

He said he "lives by example" by being a responsible gun owner, adding that the Constitution does not prevent him from practicing self-defense.

MalacaƱang earlier said it would collate all pending gun control bills with an eye to the administration drafting it own version.

But until such a proposal is firmed up, MalacaƱang spokesman Edwin Lacierda Lacierda said Aquino's directive is to ensure that existing gun laws are strictly enforced.

There are at least 20 pending measures in Congress dealing with gun control.

The measures deal with amending the laws governing the possession of firearms as well as provisions of the Revised Penal Code on firearms-related crimes.