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Government Toughens Up Concealed Weapons Measures on Foreigners
By Ernesto Campos
  • Over 2,000 foreigners have concealed weapon permits
  • Civic security problems prompt measure on behalf of the government

Stemming from the death of a 20-year-old university student and an OIJ (Judicial Investigation Organization) agent at the hands of a band of Jamaicans, an executive order has restricted the issuance of new concealed weapons permits for foreigners that reside in Costa Rica.

This is one of the measures the government is using in a plan that further seeks an expedited route to reform the Firearms Law of 1995 in congress to fight the problem of growing civil insecurity. However, the measure has not been openly applauded. This measure has encountered strong criticism on behalf of various experts on the subject which has echoed in various international media. It has been classified as ineffective and trivial because, according to experts on the subject of security, the majority of firearms used to commit crimes are not found in the weapons registry and come from the black market.

From another perspective, it is also important to stress that studies from the Program for Development of United Nations (PNUD) in Costa Rica show that 90% of prison sentences for crimes against life fall on Costa Ricans. Newspapers such as La Prensa in Nicaragua and El País in Spain have emphasized the government’s measure and have observed that the issue could be politicized due to the presidential elections in February 2010.

In Costa Rica it is required by law to have a concealed weapons permit, as well as properly registering any type of firearm permitted to the owner himself. Currently around 2,000 foreigners hold concealed weapons permits; more than half of them are Nicaraguans. Part of the action that the Ministry of Health, the entity responsible for regulating and issuing concealed weapons permits, will take is revising and suspending the permits of those individuals who have criminal backgrounds, as well as those that have lost a firearm and not reported it missing.

More Regional News

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Government Toughens Up Concealed Weapons Measures on Foreigners

Stemming from the death of a 20-year-old university student and an OIJ (Judicial Investigation Organization) agent at the hands of a band of Jamaicans, an executive order has restricted the issuance of new concealed weapons permits for foreigners that reside in Costa Rica. More >

Pelada Community Unites to Improve Local Safety

On November 12, over 40 Playa Pelada residents and business owners convened at Pancho’s restaurant to candidly discuss recent criminal activities; to teach the community how to better prevent and protect themselves (and each other) from future crimes; as well as to introduce Playa Pelada residents to one another, in order that the community can better respond, collectively, to crime, natural disasters and/or medical emergencies. More >

UN, Nosara and Samara Team Up on Community Development

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Puente Capulin

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Drought Relief Short Lived in Guanacaste

When VON questioned the National Meteorology Institute (IMN) on the effects of the late-October rains in Guanacaste, Meteorologist Gabriela Chinchilla reported on November 13th that “this cyclone marked the end of the transition period from the rainy season to the dry season in Guanacaste” and that “this region has now begun the dry period”. She further declared that because “the rains did not maintain for 24 continuous hours”, the storm in fact “did not come to establish a long rainy spell in the region”. In light of these factors Chinchilla announced “the contribution of rain generated by Hurricane Ida was not very high”, leaving little reason to believe that the rains had any sizeable impact on Guanacaste’s water shortage. . More >

Casatur promotes a new image for Samara

Working toward having the “Bandera Azul” (Blue Flag) raised once again over Playa Samara is one of the goals that the Cámara Samareña de Turismo (Casatur) (Samara’s Chamber of Tourism) has undertaken for the upcoming year. . More >

Small Budget for Samara and Nosara in 2010

It seems as though the districts of Samara and Nosara will have to make due with a low road maintenance budget next year, as they will have to share 48 million colones ($85,000) allocated by the Municipality of Nicoya.. More >


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