San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Costa Rica cops seize toy guns from private security guards

Officials from the National Police and Public Security Ministry confiscated 70 unregistered firearms and four toy guns from private security forces last week. The seizures were part of a three-day sting last Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.

The police visited 53 businesses that employed private security guards. Officials found illegal guns at 26 of the 53 businesses.

Costa Rica law mandates private security providers to register with the Public Security Ministry and have weapons registered. To not do so is “not only illegal, but unsafe,” said Patricia Meléndez, a spokeswoman for the Public Security Ministry.

Officials confiscated the artificial firearms because they also lacked registration permits.

“We had to be sure. We had no idea they were toys when we took them,” Meléndez said.

While the use of un-inscribed toy artillery is not illegal, Meléndez said it is just bad business.

“These are security companies and their job is to provide security. They should offer an honest service.”

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