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Costa Rica

90% of Costa Ricans Disagree With the Possession of Firearms

25 October 2022


Nine out of 10 Costa Ricans disagreed with gun ownership in Costa Rica. This was reflected in the National Survey on Citizen Security presented last week by the University of Costa Rica and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). This study was applied to 1,222 people, all over the age of 18. It has a confidence level of 95 per cent and an error of 2.8 per cent. 90.1% of those interviewed said they strongly and somewhat disagreed with anyone being able to own... (

Read More: Observador


Costa Rica

Gun Ownership in Costa Rica

21 September 2022 (Costa Rica)

Muggings are now a familiar element for Costa Ricans and are one of the most common crimes committed in the country, with at least one per hour on any given day of the year. Since weapons are one of the most common tools used by criminals to commit this type of crime, it is worth reviewing some figures on the possession of weapons in the country. There are 217,000 registered arms in Costa Rica, but only 18,000 people have a permit to carry them, a proportion that... (

Read More: (Costa Rica)


Jamaica,Venezuela,Honduras,Trinidad & Tobago,Colombia,Belize,Mexico,Brazil,El Salvador,Guatemala,Guyana,Ecuador,Haiti,Panama,Costa Rica,Dominican Republic,Uruguay,Paraguay,Nicaragua,Peru,Chile,Argentina,Bolivia

InSight Crime's 2021 Homicide Round-Up

1 February 2022

InSight Crime

In 2021, most countries in Latin America and the Caribbean experienced a marked increase in murders. Resurgent violence was to be expected after some of the world's longest COVID-19 lockdowns were lifted. Much of the population found themselves sinking deeper into poverty. With schools late to reopen, teenagers returned to the streets with little to do, making them prime targets for recruitment. The pandemic also made law enforcement more difficult. Police were... (

Read More: InSight Crime


Jamaica,Venezuela,Haiti,Honduras,Trinidad & Tobago,Mexico,Belize,Colombia,El Salvador,Brazil,Puerto Rico,Guatemala,Pakistan,Panama,Costa Rica,Nicaragua,Uruguay,Dominican Republic,Peru,Ecuador,Paraguay,Argentina,Chile,Bolivia

InSight Crime's 2020 Homicide Round-Up

29 January 2021

InSight Crime

While unrest gripped much of Latin America in 2019, it was the coronavirus that took center stage and ripped through the region in 2020, upending everything from commercial trade to the operations of local gangs and transnational criminal organizations. It's too early to tell with any degree of certainty how exactly the pandemic may have impacted levels of violence, but there were notable developments, including significant reductions in El Salvador, Guatemala,... (

Read More: InSight Crime


Jamaica,Honduras,Trinidad & Tobago,El Salvador,Belize,Mexico,Colombia,Guatemala,Puerto Rico,Brazil,Panama,Costa Rica,Uruguay,Dominican Republic,Peru,Nicaragua,Ecuador,Argentina,Chile,Bolivia,Paraguay

InSight Crime's 2019 Homicide Round-Up

28 January 2020

InSight Crime

Unrest gripped much of Latin America and the Caribbean throughout 2019. From record violence in Mexico that recalled the darkest days of the drug war, to increased fighting among armed groups in Colombia vying for control in the absence of the FARC and a rise in massacres in Honduras, the region was again one of the world's most homicidal last year. In its annual Homicide Round-Up, InSight Crime looks into the country-by-country murder rates and the factors... (

Read More: InSight Crime


Costa Rica

Destruction of Illicit Firearms in Costa Rica

18 July 2018

The Costa Rica Star

The General Directorate of Armaments in Costa Rica has destroyed 191 firearms this month, firearms which had been used in various crimes including homicide, robbery, drug trafficking, and illegal arms possession and sale. The Guns destroyed included 133 short weapons and 58 long weapons which have been in custody since 2012 and were previously used as evidence in criminal proceedings. They had been confiscated by the OIJ during raids throughout Costa Rica. How many... (

Read More: The Costa Rica Star


Costa Rica

Costa Rica Regulates Gun Use by Private Security Guards [ES]

8 November 2016

Info Defensa (Spain)

[Translated summary: A new resolution by the Constitutional Division of the Supreme Court of Costa Rica will allow the Public Security Ministry to regulate the use of firearms by private guards. Private security employees will be able to use permitted firearms while transporting valuables and merchandise and for the protection of people.] La Sala de lo Constitucional de la Corte Suprema de Justicia de Costa Rica respaldó el uso de armas para los vigilantes privados.... (

Read More: Info Defensa (Spain)


Costa Rica

Costa Rica Police Seized 1,340 Firearms So Far this Year [ES]

28 September 2016

Teletica (Costa Rica)

[Translated summary: 1,340 illegal firearms were seized by Costa Rica police so far this year, or five guns each day. San José is the province where most of these seizures occurred. The guns are sent to the Security Ministry to be destroyed. Last year, 1,712 firearms were confiscated, most of them from organized crime.] San José es la provincia donde se decomisan más armas en condición irregular. Según el Ministerio de Seguridad, solo de enero a setiembre de... (

Read More: Teletica (Costa Rica)


Costa Rica

Most Security Guards Can No Longer Carry Guns in Costa Rica

7 September 2016

Q Costa Rica

In 90 days, most private security guards in the country must give up their firearms. Only bodyguards and guards involved in the transportation of valuables, such as armoured bank trucks guards can carry firearms. Guards at condominiums, malls and banks, for example, will not be able to carry firearms according to the new requirements by Ministry of Security published last Friday in the official government newspaper, La Gaceta. The head of the Asociación Costarricense... (

Read More: Q Costa Rica


Costa Rica

New Gun Carry Controls for Private Security in Costa Rica [ES]

3 September 2016

El Mundo (Costa Rica)

[Translated Summary: The Public Health Ministry of Costa Rica has set up new controls on carrying firearms. Private security companies that want their officers armed should present a paper explaining their reasons, prepared by a criminologist who has to be part of the School of Professionals in Criminology.] Los nuevos controles instaurados por el Ministerio de Seguridad Pública (MSP) a la portación de armas para oficiales de seguridad privados, entró en vigencia... (

Read More: El Mundo (Costa Rica)


Costa Rica

Costa Rica Aims to Curb Misuse of 25,000 Security Guns [ES]

23 June 2016

Prensa Libre (Costa Rica)

[Translated summary: A new measure by Costa Rica's Ministry of Security will make it harder for private security companies to obtain licences for purchasing firearms. This way, the Ministry hopes to prevent more than 25,000 unjustified guns from reaching the streets. 98% of homicides in Costa Rica are committed with firearms that, many of which come from private security companies.] Ya no serían entregadas con tanta facilidad a empresas de seguridad Con el propósito... (

Read More: Prensa Libre (Costa Rica)


Costa Rica

More than 100 Guns Seized Each Month in Costa Rica [ES]

18 April 2016

Diario Extra (Costa Rica)

[Translated summary: In Costa Rica, more than 100 guns are being seized each month. The Ministry of Public Safety announced it had confiscated 412 firearms in just the first three months of 2016.] Uno de los trabajos más comunes por parte de las autoridades de la Fuerza Pública es la incautación de armas ilegales en el país, cifras que según el Ministerio de Seguridad Pública superan las 100 por mes. La información fue revelada por la Sección de Análisis y... (

Read More: Diario Extra (Costa Rica)


Costa Rica

Over 21,000 Guns Destroyed in Costa Rica

28 March 2014

Tico Times (Costa Rica)

President Laura Chinchilla and Public Security Minister Mario Zamora donned safety glasses to bring a circular saw down on the last two firearms destroyed out of tens of thousands Wednesday in what authorities say was the largest single destruction of weapons in Costa Rican history. In total, authorities destroyed 21,318 firearms and incinerated 872,882 small-caliber ammunitions. "One of the most important blows to violence and crime has to do with the destruction of... (

Read More: Tico Times (Costa Rica)


Costa Rica

Rise of Gun Culture in Costa Rica

24 February 2014

Costa Rica Star

Even though statistics and public opinion surveys indicate that the administration of President Laura Chinchilla has been able to make good on the campaign promise of a safer Costa Rica, uncomfortable news reports about crimes against persons and property are prompting both Ticos and expats in Guanacaste and other affluent parts of the country to weigh their options with regard to firearms. Gun culture was practically non-existent in Costa Rica until the turn of the... (

Read More: Costa Rica Star


Costa Rica

Costa Rica has Seized More Than 8,000 Illegal Firearms Since 2010

3 December 2013

Latin American Herald Tribune (Venezuela)

SAN JOSE – Costa Rican authorities have seized more than 8,000 firearms since President Laura Chinchilla took office in May 2010, the Security Ministry announced Tuesday. "It is important to emphasize the planning and preventive work that is being carried out at different places in the national territory and conflict zones, where we are seizing these weapons every day to thus prevent crimes and violent acts," said Security Minister Mario Zamora in a... (

Read More: Latin American Herald Tribune (Venezuela)


Costa Rica

Costa Rica Police Work With Schools to Prevent Gun Crime

21 November 2013

Tico Times (Costa Rica)

Jenifer Lizano lives in one of the five most violent places in Costa Rica, the neighborhood of León XIII in the northern San José canton of Tibás. "Guns are used here on a daily basis and there are shootings at any time of the day," she said. In the first 10 months of 2013, 15 people have been murdered in the urban neighborhood. Some victims are children, including Lizano's 14-year-old nephew, who was killed by a stray bullet two years ago. Since then, Lizano... (

Read More: Tico Times (Costa Rica)


Mexico,Costa Rica,Caribbean,South America,Central America

Costa Rica Looks to Gun Control as Homicides Hit 'Epidemic' Levels in S America

13 November 2013

Tico Times (Costa Rica)

In most of Latin America homicide rates have exceeded 10 per 100,000 inhabitants, a rate that the World Health Organization considers "epidemic," according to a new report released Tuesday by the United Nations Development Program for Latin America. The report came out one day before police leaders from 27 different countries across the Americas, including the United States, gathered in San José for the American Community of Police's (AMERIPOL) annual meeting to share... (

Read More: Tico Times (Costa Rica)


Costa Rica

Costa Rica Shooting Leaves At Least Twelve People Injured

4 November 2013

Inside Costa Rica

A man opened fire after leaving a bar last night, leaving at least twelve people wounded, one of them seriously. The incident took place in La Carpio, a low-income area of San José. According to the Regional Director of the Fuerza Publica in San José, Juan Carlos Arias, a man opened fire and shot indiscriminately at bystanders shortly after leaving a bar. Eleven people were reported to be in stable condition. One person was seriously injured, requiring surgery. That... (

Read More: Inside Costa Rica


Paraguay,Panama,United States,Costa Rica

Costa Rica Puts Gun Permit Applications Online

1 October 2013

Tico Times

Starting Tuesday, aspiring gun owners in Costa Rica can now obtain their permits online, part of a larger trend by the government to include more services on the web. The head of the Public Security Ministry, Mario Zamora, made the announcement at a Tuesday press conference in the western San José neighborhood of La Sabana. Zamora noted that the system will make it easier for permit-holders and will be a law enforcement tool, tracking the country's firearms. "The new... (

Read More: Tico Times


Costa Rica

Gun Sales Drop in Costa Rica, Authorities Attribute to Tough Laws

28 August 2013

Costa Rica Star

Less guns, more bullets: According to figures recently reported by Ronny Rojas of news daily La Nacion, there is a clear interest among people in Costa Rica in purchasing firearms of higher round (ammunition) capacity. In 2012, gun dealers in Costa Rica imported 4,540 semiautomatic pistols, double the annual rate since 2010. Revolvers, on the other hand, are losing favor; only 367 were imported in 2012, compared to 7,471 in 2007. Revolvers usually hold up to eight... (

Read More: Costa Rica Star