There are many steps in getting a firearm permit

Dear AM Costa Rica:

I have been troubled to read of proposals to make legal gun permits more difficult to obtain.  For law abiding citizens, I will walk you through the steps required at this time to obtain a gun permit in Costa Rica.

Your first step will be to sign up for a gun handling course at an official shooting range, known as poliganos in Spanish.  You will pay for the course, which includes classes and a test afterward.  If you do not pass the test, you will pay again and start from zero.

After passing the test you will then be administered a shooting test under the auspices of the Fuerza Publica.  Many fail as you are required to have high accuracy from six meters distance.  I failed the first time as the officer was not happy with how I loaded the gun.  I had to return the next month. and this time I passed.

The next step in the process is to visit a specialized psychiatrist.  My test was a full three hours in duration.  The next step is fingerprinting.  Then you will need a clearance from the Judicial Investigating Organization showing you are not a delinquent.

Finally with all these steps in order, you can buy a gun and register it with the governmental agency.  Now if you are not a law abiding citizen, you can obtain a gun by stealing it or buying it from another delinquent.  My point is that the honest people that need to defend their lives and their properties are already required to do enough to show that they are qualified to own a gun.  Punish the illegal owners of guns with tough laws that get them off the streets.  If they are found with a ski mask and a gun, throw the book at them!

Last September our house was broken into while my wife was in the shower.  A few months later our door was kicked in and those feared, masked ninja types pistol whipped and terrorized our house guests with threats of death!  Plata! plata they yelled until our Canadian friends gave them $3,000.  This was the money they were going to use for their vacation in Costa Rica.  Now they may never return.  We have a right to defend ourselves against terrorists!

My last comment is to advise everyone to fortify your home and have no entry where these thugs can break in without much effort.  The new tactic of these punks is to take you by surprise and then terrorize you so that you divulge to them where theplata  or other treasures are.  Buy yourselves time to get help or to load your trusty shotgun.  These assaults cannot be permitted on the sacred ground of our own homes.

Thomas Haworth
Naturalized Costa Rican citizen
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