Although within the legal parameters of calibre and performance, the ministro de Seguridad, Celso Gamboa, has banned the importation of weapons like in the photo above for its “military look”. (Photo José Cordero, La Nacion)

COSTA RICA NEWS — Weapons dealers in Costa Rica have voiced their objection and criticize the directive by the Ministro de Seguridad Pública (MSP) – Secuirty Minister, Celso Gamboa, banning the import of weapons that although legal, have a “military look”.

The directive 180-2014-MSP dated July 10, 2014, justifies the ban as it can mislead police and public, to confuse with assault rifles or military weapons.

“It leads to increased feelings of insecurity, increasing the problem if these (weapons) fall into the hands of criminals,” says the justification.

Maurici0 Alvarado, head of the Asociación Pro Defensa Civil y de la Seguridad Ciudadana (Association Pro Civil Defense and Public Safety) said the decision by Gamboa is “arbitrary” and “subjective” and is in violation of the law.

“There is an implicit recognition of the lack of training of police…,” said Alvarado.

Oldemar Echandi, owner of the EPM armory, told La Nacion, he has been denied the import of 50 AR-15 semia-automatic rifles for sale to the public.

Echandi said this version is used by the police swat teams, for whom the prohibition is not applicable. He aded that regulations should exist, but criminals know how to get their hands on these types of weapons.

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