How can I bring my handgun to Nicaragua?
Another reason could be that recently there are many people interested in retiring in Nicaragua or in running a business and making a living here. Some of them are retired police officers or military, so weapons have been a big part of their lives.
Well, bringing a handgun to Nicaragua is possible; though, you must follow an annoying process like in most countries in Latin America. Can you imagine if a Nicaraguan Law abiding citizen tried to bring a handgun to the USA?
According with Nicaraguan Law named: Ley 510, Ley Especial para el Control y Regulación de Armas de Fuego, Municiones, Explosivos y otros materiales relacionados;
Article 101. If someone over 21 years old desires to bring a firearm for civil purposes like pistols, shotguns and some rifles, not for military purposes: AK–47 or M–16, submachine, etc; will be allowed to do so just once, and only for personal use. A maximum of two (2) firearms may be brought to Nicaragua. You need to submit the receipt of purchase (or license) and an application at the Nicaraguan Consulate in your respective country along with a letter to the local Police in Nicaragua.It is permitted to bring a military purpose weapon, but just for a collection. The weapon must be modified so there would be no possibility for it going off at any time.
These firearms can come to Nicaragua by airplane or in a container. If you are going to bring your luggage with you, each airline has its own policy and you must comply with it. American Airlines and Continental have a hard policy about this so they require checking the handgun at the airline counter at the airport in a special box and locking it in front of an airline worker which is then sent as piece of luggage on the airplane.
When you arrive in Nicaragua you must declare your firearm at the airport. A Customs officer will take it, issue you a receipt and give it to the Police. Once inside the country you must obtain a Certification of Importation from the “Dirección de Registro y Control” of D.A.E.M (police area of gun´s legalization) your license (all paperwork) and present them to the Police headquarters to retrieve your gun.
To get the License is imperative to comply with the following requirements:
- Be over 21 years old.
- Get the Nicaraguan Residency: only Nicaraguan Citizens and Legal Residents can get a Weapon’s License, and I make emphasis in Legal Resident because usually there are people living in Nicaragua without their Residency card, as retirees or investors.
- Get a certification by the Nicaraguan Police of No Criminal Record.
- Get a certification from the Court to prove there isn’t any criminal process against the applicant.
- Fill out a Police form of application.
- Certification of a Psychologist or a Doctor to prove the applicant is mental and physically able to carry and handle a weapon.
- Certification of completion of a Course from a Shooting School previously approved by the Nicaraguan Police.
- Copy of the Bill.
If the applicant has a Foreign License, like a Concealed Handgun License or has an I.D. to prove he or she is a Police or Army retiree, steps number 6 and 7 will not be necessary.
In Nicaragua the gun must be concealed all the time.
According to the Law, importation of ammunition is not allowed for common people just armory companies. However, according to the Police, you can bring it with you in your luggage or container as part of your Household Goods if you are coming as a retiree, but you cannot bring it every time you come to Nicaragua. In Nicaragua there are several stores with a guide range of ammunitions and accessories for your handgun.
Probably before you read this article, you may ask yourself, why not purchase my gun in Nicaragua instead of bringing it from abroad? You can do it, but there are at least two things you must consider before doing so:
- You can bring the weapon you already have in your country…… as my client who informs me: “I just have two guns: a .357 magnum and a .44 magnum, that I want to bring with me for I’ve had them with me for several years”.
- Costs and options: because of recent law on weapons, the cost of guns in Nicaragua have soared, e.g., in Nicaragua a Glock can cost $1,350.00 while in the US it would be around $600.00; also, there are much better opportunities to buy your favorite brand in the US.
Paul Tiffer, Attorney at Law