Gov. Ralph DLG Torres has signed a bill regulating firearms in the CNMI into law this morning.
In the presence of Attorney General Edward Manibusan, Department of Public Safety Commissioner Robert Deleon Guerrero, members of the Legislature, and members of the Cabinet, Torres approved Senate Bill 19-94, HD 10 and the measure is now Public Law 19-42
Torres emphasized the importance of the Special Act for Firearm Enforcement, or SAFE Act, to put strict regulations in place.
Manibusan stated that there is still a long way to go, in terms of effectuating the intent of the law so U.S. citizens can rightfully own guns and be safe and secure.
He noted that the law provides for repeal of certain terms in the Weapons Control Act including strict guidelines, regulations, and provisions. He expressed that although the court ruling is unfortunate, he called for an orientation and asked for law enforcement to come together for a better understanding of the law.
Torres reiterated that his first priority is the safety of law enforcement and the community.
“It’s something that none of us want and we want to make it as strict as possible.”
Rep. Angel Demapan (R-Saipan) shared that the bill was met with controversy but that for the Legislature and the landscape of the community, implementation of safeguards was necessary. This included the addition of gun free zones.
“We aren’t trying to make it difficult for people, we are trying to make it safe.”
Rep. Joseph Leepan Guerrero (R-Saipan) expressed his sentiments on the importance of the law, while DPS Commissioner Robert Guerrero commented on the continued need to work together with the administration to accomplish goals in terms of long term gun regulation.
Public Law 19-42 will soon be available online to be read in its entirety on www.cnmileg.gov.mp.
More details in tomorrow’s issue of Saipan Tribune.