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News > Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic To Purchase Privately Owned Guns

  • The meme reads,

    The meme reads, "We can't stand so much violence and crime anymore", Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, 2020. | Photo: EFE

Published 22 March 2021

This policy seeks to reduce the levels of violence associated with the illegal possession of weapons in this Caribbean country.

The Dominican Republic's President Luis Abinader announced that a program to buy illegal weapons will start on April 6 to reduce the violence levels.


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Besides the destruction of the weapons, his plan establishes compensation in cash and coupons redeemable for any product in commercial establishments.

It also includes compensation for police, military, and customs officials who identify and seize weapons and awareness campaigns on social media. 

Abinader noted that the presence of drug trafficking groups is a factor for the increase of weapons in possession of civilians. So far, authorities have detected some 238,000 registered weapons, 50,000 of which have the proper permits.

This civilian disarmament policy follows similar actions taken by countries such as Australia, Argentina, Brazil, New Zealand, Mexico, and the U.S. 

Dominicans must undergo psychiatric, shooting range, and doping tests to obtain a firearm possession certificate. They also must be at least 30 years of age and acquire the gun in an authorized shop.

"We estimate that for each legal firearm, there could be approximately up to three illegal weapons," Abinader said.

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