October 1st, 2013 (InsideCostaRica.com) The procedure to obtain a permit to carry a firearm, as well as the registration of firearms can be performed online beginning today.
According to Public Security Minister, Mario Zamora, and the Director of Digital Government, Alicia Avendaño, the primary objectives are to simply the procedures and eliminate long lines at the institutions responsible for the permitting and registration process.
The officials also estimate that within two years they will know how many firearms are in the country, and who owns them.
Although the online system goes into service today, the Dirección de Armamento in Sabana Sur will continue to manually process permits and registrations. However, it is expected that within a month the system will be online-only.
The new system comes at a cost of ¢ 800 million (about $1.6 million USD).
Current law allows each individual to own a maximum of three weapons.
In order to utilize the online system, users must first obtain a digital signature, which can be purchased at BAC San José, Banco Popular, Banco Nacional, Banco BCT and Digital Government offices. The signature card costs $22, but can be utilized for many other Digital Government and banking purposes.
Next, an applicant needs an exam from a psychologist, who will directly enter the results into the system. In fact, psychologists have already been using this system since August 1st, and have submitted 2,293 exam results, Avendaño said.
Finally, the applicant must pass both a written and practical firearm exam and have their fingerprints taken at the offices of the Ministry of Security.
“Once a person has all the requirements, go to the page www.controlPAS.go.cr and you will be guided through all the steps you need to follow. It is very easy, and can be done at any time, seven days a week,” Avendaño said.
The system will also allow anyone to verify if a person has a permit to carry a weapon, though it will protect the identities of law enforcement officials.
Under Costa Rican law, a person must have permanent resident status or be a citizen of Costa Rica in order to obtain a carry permit.