[QODLink]
Americas
Bogota cracks down on illegal guns
Temporary ban in public places seen as a new chapter for the capital city of a country with a long legacy of violence.
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2012 04:17

Under the constitution, Colombians can carry guns with a permit. However, researchers estimate that for every two licensed guns in the South American country, there are four illegal ones, making up to five million illegal weapons in circulation.

Many are tied to the country's rebel, paramilitary and drug trafficking-groups.

Until now, carrying guns in Bogota, Colombia's capital city, has been a way of life - in cinema halls, shopping malls, on buses and in the streets - and perfectly legal too.

But a new three-month ban against guns in public places means that Colombians will now have to leave them at home.

The mayor of Bogota is experimenting with a measure to try to cut the city's murder rate. For the next three months, Bogota has banned all guns in public places.

Colombia has the fifth-highest rate of violent deaths in the world, and if the gun ban does work, it could not only become permanent but also implemented nationwide.

Al Jazeera's Jesse Mesner-Hage reports.

Source:
Al Jazeera
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.