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January 19th, 2013 (InsideCostaRica.com) The Costa Rican government is hoping to strengthen its gun laws, and encourage citizens against gun ownership.
A new bill being sent to Congress seeks to punish anyone who has a firearm without a permit with up to 8 years imprisonment, as well as to make stricter the requirements for firearm possession. President Chinchilla said the goal is to “promote more regulations,” for firearm ownership.
In addition to changes in the law, the government is launching what it describes as an “awareness campaign,” throughout the nation’s communications media.
With messages such as “32 women were killed in 2011 with firearms,” the government hopes to wage a battle against the possession of firearms.
The campaign is being supported by the Funcadion Para La Paz y Democracia (Peace and Democracy Foundation), the Canandian government and other private organizations.
The campaign makes heavy use of statistical data, which is complemented with messages such as “A gun will only bring problems, do not allow firearms in your house.”
During a presentation, President Laura Chinchilla also stated that the government would be taking other measures such as the destruction of 3,675 confiscated firearms.
The vice minister of Government, Marcela Chacon, also said the government hopes it create better systems for the marking and tracking of firearms and ammunition.
In 2011, 48 children, 172 young men, and 32 women were killed using a firearm.
Unlike in the United States, possession of firearms is not a guaranteed right.