San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Government seeks approval of stricter gun laws

President Laura Chinchilla announced on Wednesday a series of measures to tighten gun control laws in Costa Rica.

The announcement was made during the launching ceremony of a government information campaign to prevent gun violence, set to start in coming days.

Chinchilla also said the executive branch will submit a bill to reform the Gun Control law (Law #18,050), aimed at approving stricter controls and regulations of gun ownership in the country.

She ordered the destruction of 3,675 weapons seized by police, in addition to 3,000 guns already destroyed during her administration.

Funding for the public information campaign was provided by the Local Initiatives Fund of the Canadian Embassy, and the messages are directed at three audiences: children, adolescents and women, based on a study carried out by the Peace Vice Ministry, part of the Presidency Ministry.

The campaign includes the placement of 200 billboards in the greater metropolitan area, posters at tables in three mall food courts, the airing of four radio spots on four stations during three months and three spots to be broadcast on social networks.

According to the Public Security Ministry’s General Directorate of Armaments, nearly 45 percent of weapons seized in crimes in 2012 are not registered in the country.

Contact L. Arias at

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