The government of Colombia prohibited this Friday the free sale of traumatic pistols, weapons identical in appearance to firearms they were marketed without restrictions as “less lethal” despite their ability to kill.
Henceforth the government will demand a “special permission” of the military authority that will evaluate case by case the “justification and “Citizen’s need to carry or possess the traumatic weapon”, according to the decree issued by the government.
The Minister of the Interior, Diego Molano, signed the document detailing the new measure, on behalf of President Iván Duque who is on an official visit in Dubai.
People will have a period of eight months to register their traumatic weapons with the state Military Industry (Indumil) and then they will have eight additional months to request the authorization of its carrying and use, according to the decree.
In the last decade, hundreds of thousands of these weapons were legally imported and sold without restrictions in a country that has been experiencing more than 60 years of armed conflict.
Identical replicas of Glock, Storm Beretta, CZ and Heckler / Koch pistols could be purchased in shopping malls simply by presenting an identity document.
Although they are usually used as security weapons or for sports activities, they often end up involved in robberies, drug trafficking or murders.
In 2021 alone, 6,569 traumatic weapons used in theft (125 cases), possession of narcotics (42), personal injury (42), domestic violence (8), homicide (6) have been seized among others, according to the Ministry of Defense.
A pistol of this type fired less than 15 meters against soft tissues or an artery can kill, according to experts consulted by AFP.
What’s more, their rubber ammunition is often replaced by lead bullets.
The Ministry of Defensa estimates that there are some 500,000 traumatic weapons in Colombia.
Since 2018, more than 19,000 have been seized in the middle of the commission of a crime, that is, about 15 a day.