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All gun permits, which were set to expire in June, are automatically extended until the end of the year.
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Published Monday, June 14, 2021

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

All gun permits, which were set to expire in June, are automatically extended until the end of the year.

According to the Ministry of Security, the extension is due to delays in applications for the renewal of permits for the use of weapons for individuals. Now, all the use of gun permits are automatically valid until December 31, 2021

"It is important to remark that the ministry has made an effort to meet the demand for the gun renewal of permits," the ministry said in its statement. "However, due to the pandemic, on many occasions it was not possible to assist the public, which has caused a large number of delays in the attention of requests in the Weapons and Explosives Control Department, especially from private security companies, which has caused a higher volume of work."

The ministry announced that they will increase the number of workers who attend the requests for a permit to carry guns in order to advance with the requests pending approval.

The decision to automatically renew for the rest of the year was made with the goal to help people who have an expired document, especially people who work in private security companies, can work without any problem, according to Eduardo Solano, Vice Minister of the Ministry.

The ministry estimates that during this year all requests for the expired permit of carrying guns for individuals could be attended.

Created by a 2019 law, which orders all individuals must register their guns with the Weapons and Explosives Control Department of the Ministry of Security.

Law, No. 9692 is entitled Reform Law against Domestic Violence and Weapons and Explosives Law, orders for the registration of firearms owned by the public.

The law mandates penalties of three to five years in prison for those who own a firearm without registration.

Law also includes penalties of between four to eight years in prison to those who buy, sell, export, manufacture or otherwise produce or use unregistered firearms.

The registration of the weapon can be made at the facilities of the Ministry of Security, or on the ContolPas website, which was created for that purpose. Those who seek to do so must have a digital signature, according to the site.

For those people who have a weapon but don't want to register to have the option of surrendering the weapon at the police delegation nearest to their communities.

At the police delegation, the police must fill out a form to record that the weapon was received and give a copy to the person who surrendered it. According to the ministry, all collected firearms are destroyed.

Also, the law establishes the obligation of the seller of a weapon to report any sales to the ministry. It established sanctions for those who do not report the loss or theft of a weapon within five days after that loss.

Private security companies have to give their weapons to the ministry when they close operations to prevent guns from ending up in the hands of criminals.

The law allows a maximum of two firearms per adult.

What have you heard of expats facing problems renewing their weapon use permit?
We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to

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