Citation(s) from the Gun Policy News media archive

Illegal Gun Craftsmen Thrive Despite Philippines Crackdown

Associated Press

2 June 1997

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Officials say they want to stop the guns produced in Danao's many workshops from reaching criminals, communist and Muslim rebels, local warlords, and even "Yakuza" gangsters in Japan.

In a country with meager indigenous manufacturing resources, Danao's estimated 5,000 gunsmiths -- armed only with files, hacksaws and drills -- are among the country's most skilled metal workers, producing exquisite weapons that rival some of the world's major gun factories…

"Nobody has had the political will to stop it," says Byron Garcia, who heads one of two recently legalized gun factories in town. "If you do, how would you feed the 15,000 people now involved in the industry?"

Of that number, about one-third are gunsmiths and the others sell materials, do finishing work or distribute the weapons, Garcia says. Each gunsmith is able to produce one or two weapons a month.

ID: N136

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