Costa Rica Guns – What’s the process? Free shooting video.

Costa Rica doesn’t even have an army so most people wouldn’t even dream of owning a gun however…

Since a few of our website members have been asking about the process… I thought I had better look into it for you.

I used various firearms when I was in the Her Majesty’s Special Forces and even took extensive sniper training with the Royal Marine Commandos but, what would do you have to do to buy a Costa Rica gun if you wanted one?

You can see the Costa Rican government website for Armas y Explosivos here.

In order to find out about Costa Rica guns and the process behind buying one, we thought the best thing to do would be visit a couple of different local gun stores which were recommended to me by three separate professionals whose opinions I respect…

Most foreigners are not aware that they can legally own a firearm in Costa Rica if they are a legal, permanent resident.

After you have one through the process of registering for a digital signature firma digital, buying a firearm in Costa Rica is a relatively straight forward process. This can be done in two ways:

Costa Rica Guns: How to own one?

  1. To own a firearm in your own name you MUST be a legal resident or a citizen of Costa Rica.

    The Curso Teorico-Practico course is taught in simple Spanish and you will be required to take a written exam (which can be taken in English) as well as a practical exam (target shooting). The course is free of charge, but if you do not take your own firearm, you will be required to rent one and pay for the ammunition used.

    Costa Rica Guns: Are you fit?

    You must take and pass a psychological exam. The exam is given by most psychologists. It is a fairly standard format. Most gun shops have a doctor they work with. The standard charge is about Colones 30,000

    With your approved shooting exam card and psychological exam, now all you need is a copy of your “cedula”, be it your cedula that accredits you as citizen or legal resident.

    At this point you can choose your Costa Rica gun and pay for it. Most gun shops will do the gun registration paperwork for you free of charge. The one thing you will have to do personally is to pick up the actual matricula, which is the registration card at the Ministry.

    It normally takes them two to three weeks to have it ready. This card allows you to have the gun in your property (home/farm/car,etc.) but not to carry it concealed.

  2. To carry a concealed gun, you need to take another step and apply for a concealed carry permit, which, again, is only available if you are a a legal resident or a citizen of Costa Rica.

    When you purchase in a corporation the legal representative of the company must have residency. They will look at the corporation legal representative as the “owner” and applicant of the weapon so purchasing in a corporation has become more complicated.

    Neither a shooting course or psychological evaluation is required. However, you will need:

    1. A recent (less than a month old), original, power-of-attorney (personeria juridica).
    2. A photocopy of the company i.d. number (cedula juridica), authenticated and notarized by a lawyer.
    3. Photocopy of the passport, authenticated by a lawyer. Here, you will also need to write in the name of the father and mother of the bearer.
    4. At this point you again choose the gun and pay for it, and the guns tore registers the gun on the company’s behalf. Again, the buyer is responsible for picking the registration card at the ministry. Although citizens or permanent residents can apply for a concealed carry permit to carry the firearm owned by the corporation, the foreigner may NOT.

    If you are not a legal resident of Costa Rica or citizen, you may not have a concealed carry permit.

    Bottom Line: Personal or Corporation?

    If you are a legal resident of Costa Rica or citizen and wish to carry a concealed weapon, it makes absolutely no difference as in both cases you need to take the psychological and government handling test.

    However… Remember that if you have the gun in the name of a corporation, and the corporation has other assets in it’s name besides the gun, and you are involved in a wrongful death suit, then all the other assets of the corporation are liable to get attached if there is a judgement against you.

    The advantage of owning a gun in the name of the corporation is the limited liability to the assets of the corporation. But you would need to discuss the exact legal advantages with a qualified attorney

    It is important to buy a quality firearm that will be 100% reliable…and reliability comes at a price. Reliability must be the #1 criteria when buying a firearm… after all, it may be your life on the line.

    Costa Rica Guns Video:

    To watch this short video taken of myself, an ex-South African commando friend of mine and my son shooting at the Pavas indoor shooting range (poligono), please click on the small white triangular Play button in the middle of the screen below and allow a few seconds for the video to begin.

    Lastly, for those of you who are surprised I carry a gun… Please let me assure you that it has nothing to do with Costa Rica or any negative experience I have had with the Ticos.

    Even after ten years living here, I have never had a violent encounter with a Costa Rica person and the only crime I have personally experienced was my car radio being stolen one day and on another occasion, a rocking chair was stolen from my front garden.

    You can see the Costa Rican government website for Armas y Explosivos here.

    The reason I carry has everything to do with professional scam artists – primarily from the USA – who have threatened me on numerous occasions.

    You can see more details by reading: Costa Rica Scams – Doing the right thing!

    Costa Rica Gun Laws are changing so please consult with your attorney before making any serious decisions about buying or importing a gun to Costa Rica.

    Written by Scott Oliver, author of 1. Costa Rica Real Estate Scams & How To Avoid Them, 2. How To Buy Costa Rica Real Estate Without Losing Your Camisa and 3. Costa Rica’s Guide To Making Money Offshore.

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