Government authorizes the import of firearms after 17 years of prohibition
The Executive Power issued decree 30-23 that allows the importation of firearms for civilian use and their respective ammunition and parts for a period of six months. The import of arms is for the exclusive use of duly registered private security companies, according to this government provision. Decree 30-23, signed on the night of February 7, repeals Decree 309-06, which for 17 years had prohibited the legal entry of firearms into the country. “The procedures for the processing of firearms import licenses must be carried out by the corresponding companies in accordance with the procedure and requirements established in article 33 of Law no. 631-16, for the Control and Regulation of Weapons, Ammunition, and Related Materials”, says the decree.
The piece instructs the Ministry of the Interior and Police to establish, by means of a resolution, the number of firearms that, during the stipulated period (six months), registered and authorized companies may import. Article 4 provides that upon expiration of the six month period, the importation of firearms, parts, and their respective ammunition for trade with individuals shall be prohibited until the Executive Branch provides otherwise in accordance with the law. The ban on the importation of firearms that remained in force for 17 years led to the proliferation of weapons of different calibers illegally in the country, coming mainly from the United States and Haiti, according to the Interior Minister. and Police, Jesús Vásquez Martínez, in July 2022.
In the country, there are around 500 regulated companies, but another 900 operate that are not formalized, according to the Superintendent of Private Surveillance and Security, General Francisco Miguel Corominas Sánchez.