(QCOSTARICA) In 90 days, most private security guards in the country must give up their firearms. Only bodyguards and guards involved in the transportation of valuables, such armoured bank trucks guards can carry firearms.
Guards at condominiums, malls and banks, for example, will not be able to carry firearms according to the new requirements by Ministry of Security published last Friday in the official government newspaper, La Gaceta.
The head of the Asociación Costarricense de Empresas de Seguridad y Afines (ACES), an organization grouping some 37 security companies in the country employing 17,000 of the 27,000 registered security guards in the country, Cesar Tapia said they have been preparing to meet the new regulations.
Tapia added that his association will be providing training and consulting to companies who want to maintain a number of armed guards, in meeting the new requirements that include passing an evaluation by a criminologist, who will determine if there is a need to use weapons for the service provided. Subsequently, the Ministry of Security has the power to reject or approve applications after the examination.
According to Tapia most security guards do not require firearms.
The new regulation may be in response to several incidents of late where private security guards have responded to deadly force, such as the incident in Limon in July, where during an attempted robbery a bodyguard opened fire inside a dental office killing the assailant, an innocent bystander and wounding an off duty police officer.