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Costa Rica — Gun Facts, Figures and the Law

StockpilesGun Numbers

Civilian Guns

Number of Privately Owned Firearms

ChartThe estimated total number of guns (both licit and illicit) held by civilians in Costa Rica is

2018: 271,3361 2
2017: 493,0003
2016: 263,6441 2 4
2015: 258,9301 2 5
2013: 247,192
2012: 400,0006 7 8 1
2011: 227,5831 2 7
2010: 216,7011 2
2009: 209,188
2008: 198,3251 2 9 8 10
2007: 182,1801 2
2006: 172,074
2005: 430,0001 2 11
2004: 156,4401 2
2003: 150,662
2002: 143,531
2001: 135,894
2000: 127,326
1999: 120,418
1998: 114,2941 2 7
1997: 108,6481 2
1996: 102,931
1995: 95,912
1994: 89,541
1993: 80,750
1992: 74,454
1991: 70,517
1990: 66,916
1989: 128,042

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population

ChartThe estimated rate of private gun ownership (both licit and illicit) per 100 people in Costa Rica is

2018: 5.442
2017: 10
2016: 5.41
2015: 5.38
2014: 6.88
2013: 5.27
2012: 8.63
2011: 4.97
2010: 4.8
2009: 4.7
2008: 4.51
2007: 4.21
2006: 4.03
2005: 3.88
2004: 3.77
2003: 3.69
2002: 3.57
2001: 3.43
2000: 3.28

Number of Privately Owned Firearms - World Ranking

In a comparison of the number of privately owned guns in 206 countries, Costa Rica ranked at No. 8412

Rate of Privately Owned Firearms per 100 Population - World Ranking

In a comparison of the rate of privately owned guns in 206 countries, Costa Rica ranked at No.7412

Number of Licensed Firearm Owners

ChartThe number of licensed gun owners in Costa Rica is reported to be

2015: 230,8315
1999: 152,92313

Rate of Licensed Firearm Owners per 100 Population

ChartThe rate of licensed firearm owners per 100 people in Costa Rica is

2015: 4.7914
1999: 4.02

Number of Registered Firearms

ChartThe number of registered guns in Costa Rica is reported to be

2021: 217,000{926}
2018: 246,6692
2017: 244,4552 3
2016: 239,6762 4
2015: 235,3912 5
2014: 230,0862
2013: 224,720
2012: 216,378
2011: 206,8942 7
2010: 197,0012
2009: 190,171
2008: 180,2952 9 8 10
2007: 165,6182
2006: 156,431
2005: 148,3982 11
2004: 142,2182
2003: 136,965
2002: 130,483
2001: 123,540
2000: 115,751
1999: 109,471
1998: 103,9042 7
1997: 98,7712
1996: 93,574
1995: 87,193
1994: 81,401
1993: 73,409
1992: 67,685
1991: 64,106
1990: 60,833
1989: 58,201

Rate of Registered Firearms per 100 Population

ChartThe rate of registered guns per 100 people in Costa Rica is

2021 4.212:
2018: 4.95
2017: 4.96
2016: 4.92
2015: 4.89
2014: 4.84
2013: 4.79
2012: 4.67
2011: 4.52
2010: 4.36
2009: 4.27
2008: 4.1
2007: 3.82
2006: 3.66
2005: 3.53
2004: 3.43
2003: 3.35
2002: 3.25
2001: 3.12
2000: 2.98
1998: 4.0214

Estimated Number of Unregistered and Illicit Firearms

ChartUnregistered and unlawfully held guns cannot be counted,15 but in Costa Rica there are estimated to be

2018: 24,6671 2
2017: 257,3693
2016: 23,9681 24
2015: 23,5391 25
2014: 97,0008
2013: 22,472
2012: 21,638
2011: 20,6891 27
2010: 19,7001 2
2009: 19,017
2008: 18,0301 29810
2007: 16,5621 2
2006: 15,643
2005: 280,57711 2
2004: 14,2221 2
2003: 13,697
2002: 13,048
2001: 12,354
2000: 11,575
1999: 10,947
1998: 10,3901 2 7
1997: 98,771 2
1996: 9,357
1995: 8,719
1994: 8,140
1993: 7,341
1992: 6,769
1991: 6,411
1990: 6,083
1989: 11,640

Estimated Rate of Unregistered and Illicit Firearms per 100 Population

Unregistered and unlawfully held guns cannot be counted,15 but in Costa Rica the rate of such firearms per 100 people is estimated to be 2.2714

Government Guns

Number of Military Firearms

The defence forces of Costa Rica are reported to have 016 7 17 firearms

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in Costa Rica are reported to have 17,00018 firearms

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Total Number of Gun Deaths

ChartIn Costa Rica, annual deaths resulting from firearms total

2019: 43919
2017: 439
2016: 433
2015: 410
2014: 361
2013: 315
2012: 29320
2011: 345
2010: 390
2009: 331
2008: 325
2007: 226
2006: 285
2005: 252
2004: 234
2003: 224
2002: 18721 22
2001: 210
2000: 210

Rate of All Gun Deaths per 100,000 People

ChartIn Costa Rica, the annual rate of all gun deaths per 100,000 population is

2019: 8.8019
2017: 9.01
2016: 8.99
2015: 8.62
2014: 7.69
2013: 6.79
2012: 6.40
2011: 7.64
2010: 8.75
2009: 7.53
2008: 7.50
2007: 5.29
2006: 6.77
2005: 6.08
2004: 5.73
2003: 5.57
2002: 4.65
2001: 5.31
2000: 5.41

Total Number of Male Gun Deaths

ChartIn Costa Rica, annual male deaths resulting from firearms total

2019: 41119
2017: 404
2016: 402
2015: 388
2014: 332
2013: 292
2012: 267
2011: 311
2010: 367
2009: 309
2008: 293
2007: 211
2006: 263
2005: 223
2004: 209
2003: 206
2001: 193
2000: 186

Rate of Male Gun Death per 100,000 People

ChartIn Costa Rica, the annual rate of male gun death per 100,000 population is

2019: 16.4419
2017: 16.53
2016: 16.64
2015: 16.26
2014: 14.08
2013: 12.54
2012: 11.61
2011: 13.71
2010: 16.39
2009: 13.99
2008: 13.45
2007: 9.82
2006: 12.42
2005: 10.68
2004: 10.17
2003: 10.17
2001: 9.69
2000: 9.51

Total Number of Female Gun Deaths

ChartIn Costa Rica, annual female deaths resulting from firearms total

2019: 2819
2017: 35
2016: 31
2015: 22
2014: 2
2013: 23
2012: 26
2011: 34
2010: 23
2009: 22
2008: 32
2007: 15
2006: 22
2005: 29
2004: 25
2003: 18
2001: 17
2000: 24

Rate of Female Gun Death per 100,000 People

ChartIn Costa Rica, the annual rate of female gun death per 100,000 population is

2019: 1.1319
2017: 1.44
2016: 1.29
2015: 0.93
2014: 1.24
2013: 1
2012: 1.14
2011: 1.51
2010: 1.04
2009: 1.01
2008: 1.49
2007: 0.71
2006: 1.05
2005: 1.41
2004: 1.23
2003: 0.90
2001: 0.87
2000: 1.25

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn Costa Rica, annual homicides by any means total

2021: 58823
2020: 57024
2019: 563
2018: 585
2017: 603
2016: 578
2015: 557
2014: 477
2013: 411
2012: 407
2011: 474
2010: 527
2009: 525
2008: 512
2007: 369
2006: 351
2005: 335
2004: 280
2003: 300
2002: 258
2001: 257
2000: 249
1999: 24521
1998: 224
1997: 210
1996: 189
1995: 184

Rate of Homicide per 100,000 People (any method)

ChartIn Costa Rica, the annual rate of homicide by any means per 100,000 population is

2021: 11.523
2020: 11.1924
2019: 11.15
2018: 11.70
2017: 12.18
2016: 11.80
2015: 11.49
2014: 9.95
2013: 8.67
2012: 8.68
2011: 10.23
2010: 11.51
2009: 11.61
2008: 11.47
2007: 8.38
2006: 8.08
2005: 7.82
2004: 6.63
2003: 7.20
2002: 6.29
2001: 6.37
2000: 6.28
1999: 6.421
1998: 6.0
1997: 5.8
1996: 5.3
1995: 5.3

Male Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Costa Rica, annual male homicides by any means total

2018: 55825
2017: 573
2016: 531
2015: 524
2014: 477
2013: 375
2012: 357
2011: 410
2010: 466
2009: 366
2008: 345
2007: 242

Rate of Male Homicide per 100,000 People (any method)

ChartIn Costa Rica, the annual rate of male homicide by any means per 100,000 population is

2018: 22.3225
2017: 23.18
2016: 21.73
2015: 21.69
2014: 19.99
2013: 15.91
2012: 15.33
2011: 17.84
2010: 20.54
2009: 16.35
2008: 15.62
2007: 11.11

Female Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Costa Rica, annual female homicides by any means total

2018: 7225
2017: 75
2016: 80
2015: 45
2014: 4919
2013: 36
2012: 50
2011: 64
2010: 61
2009: 43
2008: 47
2007: 26

Rate of Female Homicide per 100,000 People (any method)

ChartIn Costa Rica, the annual rate of female homicide by any means per 100,000 population is

2018: 2.8925
2017: 3.05
2016: 3.29
2015: 1.88
2014: 2.0719
2013: 1.54
2012: 2.17
2011: 2.81
2010: 2.71
2009: 1.94
2008: 2.15
2007: 1.21

Gun Homicides

ChartIn Costa Rica, annual firearm homicides total

2020: 40524
2019: 380
2018: 401
2017: 435
2016: 384
2015: 385
2014: 32724
2013: 278
2012: 261
2011: 300
2010: 349
2009: 271
2008: 275
2007: 179
2006: 21826 21 27
2005: 19621 27
2004: 150
2003: 147
2002: 131
2001: 134
1999: 12621
1998: 118
1997: 108
1996: 95
1995: 87

Rate of Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn Costa Rica, the annual rate of firearm homicide per 100,000 population is

2020: 7.9524
2019: 7.53
2018: 8.02
2017: 8.79
2016: 7.84
2015: 7.94
2014: 6.82
2013: 5.86
2012: 5.57
2011: 6.48
2010: 7.70
2009: 6.08
2008: 6.26
2007: 4.13
2006: 5.1114 21 27 28
2005: 4.521 27 28
2004: 3.5
2003: 3.521 27
2002: 3.2
2001: 3.3
1999: 3.321
1998: 3.2
1997: 3.0
1996: 2.7
1995: 2.5

Proportion of Homicides Committed With a Gun

ChartIn Costa Rica, the percentage of homicides committed with a firearm is reported to be

2013: 68%29
2012: 65%29 26 30
2011: 64%29 26
2010: 66%
2009: 64%26
2008: 68%
2007: 61%
2006: 62%
2005: 58.5%21
2004: 53.6%
2003: 49.0%
2002: 50.8%
2001: 52.1%
1999: 51.4%
1998: 52.7%
1997: 51.4%
1996: 50.3%
1995: 47.3%

Male Gun Homicide Victims

ChartIn Costa Rica, annual male firearm homicides total

2019: 35819
2017: 373
2016: 347
2015: 349
2014: 283
2013: 238
2012: 216
2011: 258
2010: 304
2009: 253
2008: 249
2007: 169
2006: 199
2005: 163
2004: 141
2003: 141
2001: 131
2000: 110

Rate of Male Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn Costa Rica, the annual rate of male firearm homicide per 100,000 population is

2019: 14.1719
2018:
2017: 15.09
2016: 14.20
2015: 14.45
2014: 11.86
2013: 10.10
2012: 9.28
2011: 11.22
2010: 13.40
2009: 11.30
2008: 11.27
2007: 7.76
2006: 9.26
2005: 7.70
2004: 6.76
2003: 6.86
2001: 6.57
2000: 5.62

Female Gun Homicide Victims

ChartIn Costa Rica, annual female firearm homicides total

2019: 2419
2017: 32
2016: 27
2015: 17
2014: 24
2013: 19
2012: 18
2011: 31
2010: 18
2009: 18
2008: 25
2007: 10
2006: 13
2005: 26
2004: 18
2003: 14
2001: 5
2000: 21

Rate of Female Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn Costa Rica, the annual rate of female firearm homicide per 100,000 population is

2019: 0.9519
2018:
2017: 1.30
2016: 1.11
2015: 0.71
2014: 1.01
2013: 0.81
2012: 0.78
2011: 1.36
2010: 0.80
2009: 0.81
2008: 1.14
2007: 0.46
2006: 0.61
2005: 1.24
2004: 0.87
2003: 0.69
2001: 0.25
2000: 1.09

Suicides (any method)

ChartIn Costa Rica, annual suicides by any means total

2019: 43319
2017: 308
2016: 379
2015: 345
2014: 311
2013: 362
2012: 355
2011: 361
2010: 353
2009: 331
2008: 302
2007: 310
2006: 407
2005: 328
2004: 389
2003: 380
2002: 246
2001: 261
2000: 305
1995: 21122

Rate of Suicide per 100,000 People (any method)

ChartIn Costa Rica, the annual rate of suicide by any means per 100,000 population is

2019: 8.5919
2018: 0
2017: 6.25
2016: 7.78
2015: 7.17
2014: 6.54
2013: 7.71
2012: 7.66
2011: 7.89
2010: 7.82
2009: 7.43
2008: 6.87
2007: 7.16
2006: 9.53
2005: 7.79
2004: 9.38
2003: 9.31
2002: 6.0
2001: 6.60
2000: 7.86
1995: 5.0622

Male Suicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Costa Rica, annual male suicides by any means total

2019: 37919
2017: 252
2016: 324
2015: 291
2014: 262
2013: 321
2012: 307
2011: 306
2010: 308
2009: 285
2008: 262
2007: 262
2006: 346
2005: 285
2004: 341
2003: 324
2001: 223
2000: 275

Rate of Male Suicide per 100,000 People (any method)

ChartIn Costa Rica, the annual rate of male suicide by any means per 100,000 population is

2019: 1519
2017: 10.19
2016: 13.26
2015: 12.05
2014: 10.98
2013: 13.62
2012: 13.19
2011: 13.31
2010: 13.57
2009: 12.73
2008: 11.86
2007: 12.03
2006: 16.11
2005: 13.46
2004: 16.34
2003: 15.76
2001: 11.19
2000: 14.06

Female Suicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Costa Rica, annual female suicides by any means total

2019: 5419
2017: 56
2016: 55
2015: 54
2014: 49
2013: 41
2012: 48
2011: 55
2010: 45
2009: 46
2008: 40
2007: 48
2006: 61
2005: 43
2004: 48
2003: 56
2001: 38
2000: 30

Rate of Female Suicide per 100,000 People (any method)

ChartIn Costa Rica, the annual rate of female suicide by any means per 100,000 population is

2019: 2.1519
2017: 2.28
2016: 2.26
2015: 2.25
2014: 2.07
2013: 1.75
2012: 2.08
2011: 2.41
2010: 2
2009: 2.08
2008: 1.83
2007: 2.23
2006: 2.87
2005: 2.06
2004: 2.33
2003: 2.76
2001: 1.94
2000: 1.56

Gun Suicides

ChartIn Costa Rica, annual firearm suicides total

2019: 4919
2017: 27
2016: 43
2015: 33
2014: 43
2013: 50
2012: 5320
2011: 45
2010: 42
2009: 51
2008: 41
2007: 40
2006: 57
2005: 54
2004: 62
2003: 63
2002: 5322
2001: 55
2000: 63

Rate of Gun Suicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn Costa Rica, the annual rate of firearm suicide per 100,000 population is

2019: 0.9819
2018:
2017: 0.55
2016: 0.89
2015: 0.69
2014: 0.92
2013: 1.08
2012: 1.16
2011: 1
2010: 0.94
2009: 1.16
2008: 0.95
2007: 0.94
2006: 1.35
2005: 1.30
2004: 1.52
2003: 1.57
2002: 1.2722
2001: 1.39
2000: 1.62

Male Gun Suicide Victims

ChartIn Costa Rica, annual male firearm suicides total

2019: 4719
2017: 26
2016: 40
2015: 31
2014: 39
2013: 48
2012: 47
2011: 43
2010: 40
2009: 47
2008: 35
2007: 36
2006: 51
2005: 52
2004: 58
2003: 60
2001: 46
2000: 61

Rate of Male Gun Suicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn Costa Rica, the annual rate of male firearm suicide per 100,000 population is

2019: 1.8619
2017: 1.05
2016: 1.64
2015: 1.28
2014: 1.63
2013: 2.04
2012: 2.02
2011: 1.87
2010: 1.76
2009: 2.10
2008: 1.58
2007: 1.65
2006: 2.37
2005: 2.46
2004: 2.78
2003: 2.92
2001: 2.31
2000: 3.12

Female Gun Suicide Victims

ChartIn Costa Rica, annual female firearm suicides total

2019: 219
2017: 1
2016: 3
2015: 2
2014: 4
2013: 2
2012: 6
2011: 2
2010: 2
2009: 4
2008: 6
2007: 4
2006: 6
2005: 2
2004: 4
2003: 3
2001: 9
2000: 2

Rate of Female Gun Suicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn Costa Rica, the annual rate of female firearm suicide per 100,000 population is

2019: 0.0819
2017: 0.04
2016: 0.12
2015: 0.08
2014: 0.17
2013: 0.09
2012: 0.26
2011: 0.09
2010: 0.09
2009: 0.18
2008: 0.27
2007: 0.19
2006: 0.28
2005: 0.10
2004: 0.19
2003: 0.15
2001: 0.46
2000: 0.10

Unintentional Gun Deaths

ChartIn Costa Rica, annual unintentional shooting deaths total

2019: 219
2017: 1
2016: 3
2015: 4
2014: 4
2013: 2
2012: 220
2011: 3
2010: 2
2009: 4
2008: 2
2007: 2
2006: 5
2004: 1
2002: 322
2001: 6
2000: 5

Rate of Unintentional Gun Death per 100,000 People

ChartIn Costa Rica, the annual rate of unintentional shooting death per 100,000 population is

2019: 0.0419
2018:
2017: 0.02
2016: 0.06
2015: 0.08
2014: 0.08
2013: 0.04
2012: 0.04
2011: 0.07
2010: 0.04
2009: 0.09
2008: 0.05
2007: 0.05
2006: 0.12
2005:
2004: 0.02
2003:
2002: 0.0722
2001: 0.15
2000: 0.13

Unintentional Male Gun Deaths

ChartIn Costa Rica, annual unintentional male shooting deaths total

2019: 119
2017: 1
2016: 3
2015: 3
2014: 3
2013: 2
2012: 2
2011: 3
2010: 2
2009: 4
2008: 2
2007: 2
2006: 3
2004: 1
2001: 4
2000: 5

Rate of Unintentional Male Gun Death per 100,000 People

ChartIn Costa Rica, the annual rate of unintentional male shooting death per 100,000 population is

2019: 0.0419
2017: 0.04
2016: 0.12
2015: 0.12
2014: 0.13
2013: 0.08
2012: 0.09
2011: 0.13
2010: 0.09
2009: 0.18
2008: 0.09
2007: 0.09
2006: 0.14
2004: 0.05
2001: 0.20
2000: 0.26

Unintentional Female Gun Deaths

ChartIn Costa Rica, annual unintentional female shooting deaths total

2019: 119
2015: 1
2014: 1
2013: 0
2012: 0
2011: 0
2010: 0
2006: 2
2001: 2

Rate of Unintentional Female Gun Death per 100,000 People

ChartIn Costa Rica, the annual rate of unintentional female shooting death per 100,000 population is

2019: 0.0419
2015: 0.04
2014: 0.04
2006: 0.09
2001: 0.10

Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

ChartIn Costa Rica, annual shooting deaths in which the cause remains undecided total

2019: 619
2017: 6
2016: 13
2015: 7
2014: 719
2013: 6
2012: 420
2011: 6
2010: 24
2009: 5
2008: 7
2007: 4
2006: 11
2005: 8
2004: 12
2003: 6
2001: 12
2000: 1022

Rate of Gun Death from Undetermined Cause per 100,000 People

ChartIn Costa Rica, the annual rate of unknown-cause shooting deaths per 100,000 population is

2019: 0.1219
2018: 0
2017: 0.12
2016: 0.27
2015: 0.15
2014: 0.15
2013: 0.13
2012: 0.09
2011: 0.13
2010: 0.53
2009: 0.11
2008: 0.16
2007: 0.09
2006: 0.26
2005: 0.19
2004: 0.29
2003: 0.15
2001: 0.30
2000: 0.26

Male Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

ChartIn Costa Rica, annual male shooting deaths in which the cause remains undecided total

2019: 519
2017: 4
2016: 12
2015: 5
2014: 719
2013: 4
2012: 2
2011: 5
2010: 21
2009: 5
2008: 6
2007: 3
2006: 10
2005: 7
2004: 9
2003: 5
2001: 11
2000: 9

Rate of Male Gun Death from Undetermined Cause per 100,000 People

ChartIn Costa Rica, the annual rate of unknown-cause male shooting deaths per 100,000 population is

2019: 0.2019
2017: 0.16
2016: 0.49
2015: 0.21
2014: 0.29
2013: 0.17
2012: 0.09
2011: 0.22
2010: 0.93
2009: 0.22
2008: 0.27
2007: 0.14
2006: 0.47
2005: 0.33
2004: 0.43
2003: 0.24
2001: 0.55
2000: 0.46

Female Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

ChartIn Costa Rica, annual female shooting deaths in which the cause remains undecided total

2019: 119
2017: 2
2016: 1
2015: 2
2014: 0
2013: 2
2012: 2
2011: 1
2010: 3
2008: 1
2007: 1
2006: 1
2005: 1
2004: 3
2003: 1
2001: 1
2000: 1

Rate of Female Gun Death from Undetermined Cause per 100,000 People

ChartIn Costa Rica, the annual rate of unknown-cause female shooting deaths per 100,000 population is

2019: 0.0419
2017: 0.08
2016: 0.04
2015: 0.08
2013: 0.09
2012: 0.09
2011: 0.04
2010: 0.13
2008: 0.05
2007: 0.05
2006: 0.05
2005: 0.05
2004: 0.15
2003: 0.05
2001: 0.05
2000: 0.05

Legal Intervention Gun Homicides

ChartIn Costa Rica, annual legal-intervention gun homicides total

2011: 219
2007: 1

ProductionGun Industry

Regulation of Firearm Makers

In Costa Rica, the manufacture of small arms, ammunition and/or their components is permitted only if the maker holds a valid licence,31 32 33 34 35 but is not conducted in practice36

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Firearm Exports

In Costa Rica, firearm and ammunition exports are limited by transfer control law31 37 32 38 34 39 40 41

Firearm Exports (Number)

ChartThe annual number of firearms exported from Costa Rica is reported by manufacturers to be

2019: 842
2018: 142
2017: 8
2016: 0
2015: 0

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

ChartThe annual value of small arms and ammunition exports from Costa Rica is reported by Customs to be US$

2021: 180,00043
2020: 96,000
2019: 67,000
2010: 1,000
2008: 5,000
2007: 43,000
2004: 32,000

Firearm Imports

In Costa Rica, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law31 32 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 34 39 52 40 41

Firearm Imports (Number)

ChartThe annual number of firearms imported to Costa Rica is reported to be

2019: 042
2018: 4,621
2017: 3,729
2016: 4,270
2015: 2,904

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

ChartThe annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to Costa Rica is reported by Customs to be US$

2021: 2,883,00053
2020: 2,129,000
2019: 3,837,000
2018: 4,819,000
2017: 3,737,000
2016: 3,043,000
2015: 3,143,000
2014: 2,631,000
2013: 2,486,000
2012: 3,937,000
2011: 3,441,000
2010: 2,094,000
2009: 2,720,000
2008: 3,499,000
2007: 2,602,000
2006: 1,794,000
2005: 1,213,000
2004: 1,014,000
2003: 1,327,000
2002: 1,363,000

Smuggling Guns and Ammunition

Reports suggest that the level of firearm and ammunition smuggling in Costa Rica is moderate13

Regulation of Arms Brokers

In Costa Rica, the activities of arms brokers and transfer intermediaries are specifically regulated by law54

End User Certificates

Customs regulations in Costa Rica include37 39 certification of the intended end user of any small arms or ammunition transfer, and/or a written declaration of its intended end use

MeasuresGun Regulation

Firearm Regulation - Guiding Policy

The regulation of guns in Costa Rica is categorised as restrictive55

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in Costa Rica includes the Arms and Explosives Law No. 7530 of 1995,56 35 its Regulation of 2013,57 the Regulation for the Administration, Use, and Control of Firearms by the Ministry of Public Works and Transport,58 the Agreement No. 180 of 2014 on the Import of Firearms Similar to Prohibited Firearms,59 the Agreement No. 112 of 2015,60 as amended by Agreement No. 122,61 the Circular No. 147 of 2012 on Reducing the Number of Arms Belonging to the State62 and the Directive No. 0 of 201263

Firearm Regulation Authority

Guns in Costa Rica are regulated by the Ministry of Public Security, the Armaments Directorate, the Arms Registry, the National Arsenal, and the Arms and Explosives Control Department64 65 66 67 68

Right to Possess Firearms

In Costa Rica, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law69 70 71 72 63

Restricted Firearms and Ammunition

In Costa Rica, civilians are not allowed to possess automatic firearms, machine guns, sub-machine guns, as well as rifles and semi-automatic carbines whose magazine can hold more than ten rounds (except rimfire cartridges), silencers and armour-piercing, tracer, explosive and incendiary ammunition73 74

Regulation of Automatic Weapons

In Costa Rica, private possession of fully automatic weapons is prohibited73 74 75 30

Regulation of Semiautomatic Assault Weapons

In Costa Rica, private possession of semi-automatic assault weapons is permitted under licence,76 77 with some exceptions73

Regulation of Handguns

In Costa Rica, private possession of handguns (pistols and revolvers) is permitted under licence,76 77 78 30 with some exceptions73 74

Law Regulates Long Guns

In Costa Rica, civilian possession of rifles and shotguns is regulated by law76 77 73 74 78 30

Gun Ownership and Possession

In Costa Rica, only licensed gun owners79 72 80 81 82 34 83 30 may lawfully acquire, possess or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Genuine Reason Required for Firearm Possession

Applicants for a gun owner’s licence in Costa Rica are required to establish a genuine reason to possess a firearm, for example personal protection,71 72 84 85 security,61 60 hunting, sports shooting81 86 and collection82

Minimum Age for Firearm Possession

The minimum age for gun ownership in Costa Rica is 18 years to possess and carry, or 14 years for hunting and target shooting while under the immediate supervision of an appropriately licensed adult87 88 89 90

Gun Owner Background Checks

An applicant for a firearm licence in Costa Rica must pass a background check which considers criminal,87 88 91 92 93 61 addiction,85 and mental health88 94 95 96 97 63 30 records

Reference Required for Firearm Licence

In Costa Rica, third party character references for each gun licence applicant are not required98

Partner to be Advised or Interviewed

In Costa Rica, licensing authorities are not required98 to conduct interviews with, or to advise an applicant's spouse, partner, or next of kin before issuing a gun licence

Domestic Violence and Firearms

Where a past history, or apprehended likelihood of family violence exists, the law in Costa Rica stipulates85 that a gun licence should be denied or revoked

Firearm Safety Training

In Costa Rica, an understanding of firearm safety and the law, tested in a theoretical and/or practical training course is required99 100 97 101 102 93 35 for a firearm licence

Gun Owner Licensing Period

In Costa Rica, gun owners must re-apply and re-qualify for their firearm licence every year, only for a special licence to carry a firearm for self-defence72

Licensing Records

In Costa Rica, authorities maintain a record79 99 91 94 103 104 105 35 of individual civilians licensed to acquire, possess, sell or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Limit on Number of Guns

Licensed firearm owners in Costa Rica are permitted to possess no more than three firearms intended for personal protection, but there is no limit on firearms for hunting and target shooting79 106 85 107 83

Limit on Quantity, Type of Ammunition

Licensed firearm owners in Costa Rica are permitted to possess any quantity of ammunition98 83

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In Costa Rica, the law requires79 99 100 104 35 108 91 that a record of the acquisition, possession and transfer of each privately held firearm be retained in an official register

Gun Dealer Record Keeping

In Costa Rica, licensed firearm dealers are required109 110 111 83 to keep a record of each firearm or ammunition purchase, sale or transfer on behalf of a regulating authority

State-Owned Firearm Records

In Costa Rica, State agencies are required64 112 113 114 115 108 116 to maintain records of the storage and movement of all firearms and ammunition under their control

Gun Sales and Transfers

Regulation of Private Gun Sales

In Costa Rica, the private sale and transfer of firearms is prohibited unless registered by the Arms and Explosives Control Department111 104 85

Regulation of Dealer Gun Sales

In Costa Rica, dealing in firearms by way of business without a valid gun dealer’s licence is unlawful31 117 32 118 103 33 52

Background Checks for Private Gun Sales

The buyer of a firearm in a private sale in Costa Rica is obliged85 to pass official background checks before taking possession

Background Checks for Dealer Gun Sales

The buyer of a firearm from a licensed gun dealer in Costa Rica is obliged85 109 to pass official background checks before taking possession

Waiting Period for Gun Possession

In Costa Rica, the minimum wait for a lawful firearm purchase to be completed is undetermined98

Regulation of Gun Shows

In Costa Rica, gun shows and temporary firearm dealing events are not regulated98 in law

Storage and Transport of Guns and Ammunition

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Private

Firearm regulations in Costa Rica include71 119 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of private firearms and ammunition by licensed gun owners

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Dealer

Firearm regulations in Costa Rica include117 120 121 52 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by licensed arms dealers

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Government

Government regulations in Costa Rica include116 122 123 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by state entities

Firearm and Ammunition Transport Regulations

Regulations in Costa Rica include50 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition while in transit

Carrying Guns

Law Regulates Firearms in Public

In Costa Rica, carrying a gun in a public place is regulated by law72 84 80 93 92 95 34 30

Carrying Guns Openly in Public

In Costa Rica, carrying a firearm in plain view in a public place is prohibited124

Carrying Hidden Handguns in Public

In Costa Rica, carrying a concealed firearm in a public place is allowed, subject to a valid permit124 72 80

Gun Free Zones

In Costa Rica, private guns are prohibited in State facilities, public institutions, health and educational institutions, and in demonstrations or public meetings125

Penalty for Illicit Firearm Possession

In Costa Rica, the maximum penalty for unlawful possession of a firearm126 is three years in prison127 128

MeasuresInternational Controls

Regional Agreements

Central American Integration System

As a member of the Central American Integration System (SICA), Costa Rica is party to the 2007 Central American Programme on Small Arms Control and the Code of Conduct of Central American States on the Transfer of Arms, Ammunition, Explosives and Other Related Material129

Organization of American States

On 14 November 1997, as a member of the Organisation of American States (OAS), Costa Rica adopted the Inter-American Convention against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Explosives, Ammunition and Other Related Materials (CIFTA), a legally binding multilateral treaty of which the OAS is depository. The CIFTA Convention has since been signed and ratified130 131 by Costa Rica

Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development

The Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development, a diplomatic initiative aimed at addressing the interrelations between armed violence and development, was signed in 2006132 by Costa Rica.

Arms Trade Treaty

The Arms Trade Treaty has been signed and ratified133 by Costa Rica

United Nations Firearms Protocol

The United Nations Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Their Parts and Components and Ammunition has been signed and ratified134 by Costa Rica

United Nations Small Arms Programme of Action UNPoA

UNPoA Commitment

On 21 July 2001, Costa Rica committed to a consensus decision of the United Nations to adopt, support and implement the UN Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects135

UNPoA Implementation Monitor Score

In its UN small arms Programme of Action Implementation Monitor (PoAIM Phase 1), the Small Arms Survey scored Costa Rica against its commitments to the PoA, then ranked it at No. 115136 137 138 139 among 159 Member States

UNPoA National Reporting

Under the terms of its 2001 commitment to the United Nations small arms Programme of Action, Costa Rica has submitted one or more national reports140 141 on its implementation of the UNPoA

UNPoA National Point of Contact

In Costa Rica, a National Point of Contact to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated141

UNPoA National Coordinating Body

In Costa Rica, a National Coordinating Body to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated142

UNPoA Civil Society Involvement and Support

In National Reports of Costa Rica submitted to the UN from 2001 to 2010, a history of substantive cooperation with civil society in support of UNPoA activities was apparent143

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have not been donated141 by Costa Rica to other UN Member States

UNPoA International Assistance – Recipient

Funds for UNPoA implementation have been provided141 to Costa Rica by other UN Member States

United Nations Small Arms Register

According to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, Costa Rica has not declared144 its small arms exports in one or more annual National Reports on Arms Exports.

United Nations Membership

In the UN List of Member States, Costa Rica has been a Member State of the United Nations since 1945145

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies does not list146 Costa Rica as a Participating State

BackgroundSustainable Development Goal Profile

About SDG 16

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are 17 goals set by the United Nations to be implemented by all member states by 2030. Adopted in 2015, they outline a vision of development in which peace and security are an integral part. SDG 16,147 which seeks to “promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development,” includes targets and indicators focused on reducing violence (Target 16.1) and the proliferation of illicit arms (Target 16.4). The indicators – or measurement criteria – of these targets include the number of victims of intentional homicide (Indicator 16.1.1), the number of conflict-related deaths (Indicator 16.1.2), and the number of illicit firearms collected and traced (Indicator 16.4.2). In light of these targets and indicators, GunPolicy.org provides granular national data pertaining to homicides, gun homicides, conflict deaths, disarmament efforts, and marking and tracing.

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn Costa Rica, annual homicides by any means total

2021: 58823
2020: 57024
2019: 563
2018: 585
2017: 603
2016: 578
2015: 557
2014: 477
2013: 411
2012: 407
2011: 474
2010: 527
2009: 525
2008: 512
2007: 369
2006: 351
2005: 335
2004: 280
2003: 300
2002: 258
2001: 257
2000: 249
1999: 24521
1998: 224
1997: 210
1996: 189
1995: 184

Rate of Homicide per 100,000 People (any method)

ChartIn Costa Rica, the annual rate of homicide by any means per 100,000 population is

2021: 11.523
2020: 11.1924
2019: 11.15
2018: 11.70
2017: 12.18
2016: 11.80
2015: 11.49
2014: 9.95
2013: 8.67
2012: 8.68
2011: 10.23
2010: 11.51
2009: 11.61
2008: 11.47
2007: 8.38
2006: 8.08
2005: 7.82
2004: 6.63
2003: 7.20
2002: 6.29
2001: 6.37
2000: 6.28
1999: 6.421
1998: 6.0
1997: 5.8
1996: 5.3
1995: 5.3

Male Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Costa Rica, annual male homicides by any means total

2018: 55825
2017: 573
2016: 531
2015: 524
2014: 477
2013: 375
2012: 357
2011: 410
2010: 466
2009: 366
2008: 345
2007: 242

Rate of Male Homicide per 100,000 People (any method)

ChartIn Costa Rica, the annual rate of male homicide by any means per 100,000 population is

2018: 22.3225
2017: 23.18
2016: 21.73
2015: 21.69
2014: 19.99
2013: 15.91
2012: 15.33
2011: 17.84
2010: 20.54
2009: 16.35
2008: 15.62
2007: 11.11

Female Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Costa Rica, annual female homicides by any means total

2018: 7225
2017: 75
2016: 80
2015: 45
2014: 4919
2013: 36
2012: 50
2011: 64
2010: 61
2009: 43
2008: 47
2007: 26

Rate of Female Homicide per 100,000 People (any method)

ChartIn Costa Rica, the annual rate of female homicide by any means per 100,000 population is

2018: 2.8925
2017: 3.05
2016: 3.29
2015: 1.88
2014: 2.0719
2013: 1.54
2012: 2.17
2011: 2.81
2010: 2.71
2009: 1.94
2008: 2.15
2007: 1.21

Gun Homicides

ChartIn Costa Rica, annual firearm homicides total

2020: 40524
2019: 380
2018: 401
2017: 435
2016: 384
2015: 385
2014: 32724
2013: 278
2012: 261
2011: 300
2010: 349
2009: 271
2008: 275
2007: 179
2006: 21826 21 27
2005: 19621 27
2004: 150
2003: 147
2002: 131
2001: 134
1999: 12621
1998: 118
1997: 108
1996: 95
1995: 87

Rate of Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn Costa Rica, the annual rate of firearm homicide per 100,000 population is

2020: 7.9524
2019: 7.53
2018: 8.02
2017: 8.79
2016: 7.84
2015: 7.94
2014: 6.82
2013: 5.86
2012: 5.57
2011: 6.48
2010: 7.70
2009: 6.08
2008: 6.26
2007: 4.13
2006: 5.1114 21 27 28
2005: 4.521 27 28
2004: 3.5
2003: 3.521 27
2002: 3.2
2001: 3.3
1999: 3.321
1998: 3.2
1997: 3.0
1996: 2.7
1995: 2.5

Proportion of Homicides Committed With a Gun

ChartIn Costa Rica, the percentage of homicides committed with a firearm is reported to be

2013: 68%29
2012: 65%29 26 30
2011: 64%29 26
2010: 66%
2009: 64%26
2008: 68%
2007: 61%
2006: 62%
2005: 58.5%21
2004: 53.6%
2003: 49.0%
2002: 50.8%
2001: 52.1%
1999: 51.4%
1998: 52.7%
1997: 51.4%
1996: 50.3%
1995: 47.3%

Male Gun Homicide Victims

ChartIn Costa Rica, annual male firearm homicides total

2019: 35819
2017: 373
2016: 347
2015: 349
2014: 283
2013: 238
2012: 216
2011: 258
2010: 304
2009: 253
2008: 249
2007: 169
2006: 199
2005: 163
2004: 141
2003: 141
2001: 131
2000: 110

Rate of Male Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn Costa Rica, the annual rate of male firearm homicide per 100,000 population is

2019: 14.1719
2018:
2017: 15.09
2016: 14.20
2015: 14.45
2014: 11.86
2013: 10.10
2012: 9.28
2011: 11.22
2010: 13.40
2009: 11.30
2008: 11.27
2007: 7.76
2006: 9.26
2005: 7.70
2004: 6.76
2003: 6.86
2001: 6.57
2000: 5.62

Female Gun Homicide Victims

ChartIn Costa Rica, annual female firearm homicides total

2019: 2419
2017: 32
2016: 27
2015: 17
2014: 24
2013: 19
2012: 18
2011: 31
2010: 18
2009: 18
2008: 25
2007: 10
2006: 13
2005: 26
2004: 18
2003: 14
2001: 5
2000: 21

Rate of Female Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn Costa Rica, the annual rate of female firearm homicide per 100,000 population is

2019: 0.9519
2018:
2017: 1.30
2016: 1.11
2015: 0.71
2014: 1.01
2013: 0.81
2012: 0.78
2011: 1.36
2010: 0.80
2009: 0.81
2008: 1.14
2007: 0.46
2006: 0.61
2005: 1.24
2004: 0.87
2003: 0.69
2001: 0.25
2000: 1.09

Conflict Deaths

For a profile of conflict in Costa Rica, select the Link icon to open an external web page from the UCDP Conflict Encyclopedia at Uppsala University

Disarmament

Authorities in Costa Rica are known to have148 149 9 150 68 151 implemented voluntary firearm surrender schemes, and/or weapon seizure programmes in order to reduce the number of illicit firearms in circulation

Firearms Surrendered and Seized

ChartIn Costa Rica, the number of firearms voluntarily surrendered, bought back or seized by authorities is reported to be

2017: 13,310152
2016: 12,735
2015: 1,711153
2014: 1,960
2013: 1,834154
2012: 2,037155
2011: 2,291
2010/14: 38,000156 157 158 4
2010: 2,453159
2009: 3,333160
2006/08: 14,3829
2004: 3,241161 150
2003: 1,002161
2002: 1,047

Small Arms Destroyed

ChartIn Costa Rica, the number of firearms destroyed following amnesty, collection and seizure programmes is reported to be

2015: 656162
2013: 9,000158
2011-2016: 49,226163
2010/14: 32,000156
2006/08: 10,9749

Destruction and Disposal Policy

In Costa Rica, it is not state policy164 165 166 167 149 83 to destroy surplus, collected and seized firearms rather than return them to the secondary arms market

Marking and Tracing

Firearm Marking

In Costa Rica, a unique identifying mark on each firearm is required by law99 168 114

Firearm Tracing

In Costa Rica, state authorities carry out91 169 170 recognised arms tracing and tracking procedures

Ballistic Record of Firearms and Ammunition

In Costa Rica, the ballistic characteristics of each civilian firearm and its ammunition are not originally83 91 75 recorded in a register

Global Peace Index

To see where Costa Rica ranks, select the Link icon to open an external web page at the Global Peace Index, and then click on Costa Rica on the map or in the "Select Country" menu on the right of the web page


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