Costa Rica News – Mario Zamora, the head of the Ministry of Public Security, announced that the system is about to make it easier on gun permit holders, in an attempt to track the firearms throughout the country.
“The new online system by the Public Security Ministry will permit transparency, support police investigations and improve ease of access. When the system is completely online it will allow for better investigations of crime,” he explained.
The changes allow foreigners with work permits or residence to get firearms permits. Immigration information is already online and it’s easy for gun permit agencies to check eligibility. 90 day tourist visas do not make one eligible. Every owner is limited to 3 guns.
The online program is thanks to a $1.6 million investment. Those wishing to own a firearm would have to pay $22, pass a psychological exam in addition to a theoretical and practical test, give fingerprints, and get a digital identification. Those who prefer to go to the ministry’s office instead of filing online may still do so. Permits must be renewed every two years, but the fee is issued only once.
The online database is useful for those who hire private security. They can monitor whether the guns used to guard their homes and businesses are legally licensed. In Costa Rica, 10 firearms are owned for every 100 people. In the U.S. it is 88.8 per 100.
In Costa Rica, owning or illegally possessing a firearm can get you five years in prison. There are no automatic weapons allowed. Most semi-automatic weapons are also banned.