[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
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Tokyo government claims its homeless population has hit a record low, but analysts - and the homeless - beg to differ.
3D printers can cheaply construct homes and could soon be deployed to help victims of catastrophe rebuild their lives.
Featured
Pro-Russia leaders' election in Ukraine's east shows bloody conflict is far from a peaceful resolution.
Critics challenge Canberra's move to refuse visas for West Africans in Ebola-besieged countries.
A key issue for Hispanics is the estimated 11.3 million immigrants in the US without papers who face deportation.
In 1970, only two mosques existed in the country, but now more than 200 offer sanctuary to Japan's Muslims.
Hundreds of the country's reporters eke out a living by finding news - then burying it for a price.