The government of Costa Rica has announced the implementation of a new arms control system that will track weapons from importation to sale as a way to address rising crime.
The ControlPas platform will provide authorities with information about the quantity of arms import requests, their source, permits issued, and users’ psychological profiles, according to the Ministry of Public Security.
“This project, which has been in development for more than three years, has allowed us to gain control of the arms market in the country. We’ll take advantage of this platform to continue redirecting our prevention and repression policies to improve citizen safety in our communities,” Public Security Minister Gustavo Mata said at a news conference to present the new platform.
He said the data from the platform will be analyzed on a daily basis by ministry personal to support the police in their efforts against homicide, assault and drug trafficking.
Costa Rica registered 603 homicides last year, an average of 12 per 100,000 people. This is the highest level in the country’s history and qualifies as an epidemic by the standards of the World Health Organization.
According to the ControlPas platform, Costa Rica has 12,452 firearms registered to individuals and another 22,616 registered to companies.
So far in 2018, 106 requests for permits to import weapons have been filed, along with 3,657 requests to register a weapon and 13,606 applications to carry a weapon, the ministry reported.