Gun ownership in Belize

 

Ok,

So I have been asked what the laws are regarding gun ownership in Belize. Please know that when I was there, I asked, but I wanted to know what the law was, not just what the locals told me.

Below is the information that I found.

 

Belize. 2000. ‘Licences, By Whom Granted and Conditions of Issue.’ Firearms Act, Chapter 143, Revised Edition 2000; Section 7. Belmopan: Law Revision Commissioner. 31 December.

Relevant contents

7. Licences, By Whom Granted and Conditions of Issue

(1) Subject to this Act, every licence under this Act shall be granted by the Commissioner of Police.

(2) No licence shall be granted-
(a) to any person under the age of sixteen years; or
(b) to any person who has been convicted of any crime of violence to the person or of any crime against the public peace within three years immediately preceding the date of his application, except for some special reason shown;
(c) to any person who at the time of his application for a gun licence is already in possession of any firearm, except for some special reason shown; or
(d) to any person who, in the opinion of the Commissioner of Police, is not a fit and proper person to hold any such licence; or
(e) to any person who is unable to show any reasonable ground why a licence should be issued to him; or
(f) in respect of any firearm which in the opinion of the Commissioner of Police is of such a dangerous kind as to be unsafe in the possession of any person;
(g) to any person who has had his previous firearm lost or stolen, and it appears to the Commissioner of Police after due investigation that the loss or theft of the firearm was due to the negligence or fault of such person.

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Prohibited Firearms, Ammunition and other Materials

Rifles
1. Rifles of calibre greater than 7.62 mm or 0.30 inch
2. All Assault Rifles
3. Machine Guns of any calibre
4. Rifles designed or adapted to have bayonet affixed
5. Sawed-off Rifles of any type
6. Rifle that is a replica of or designed for security forces in Belize

Shot Guns
7. Shot guns of barrel length 21 inches or under
8. Rifled shotguns

Hand Guns
9. Hand Guns of calibre greater than 9mm or .38inch
10. All firearms chambered for Magnum cartridges except for .22 inch or 5.6mm
11. Homemade firearm of any type or calibre
12. .22 pen guns and flare guns
13. Any altered handgun to make it semi or fully automatic

Others
14. All types of firearm sound suppressors
15. Extended magazines for handguns
16. Bullet-proof vest or similar protective apparel except by security/military personnel
17. Any armour-piercing ammunition of any calibre
18. Any equipment, material or accessories to be used in recharging of any expended ammunition or light weapon casing

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Prohibition against Keeping Firearms without Licence

3.(1) Subject to subsection (2), no person shall own, keep, carry, discharge or use any firearm or ammunition unless he has been granted a gun licence in Form 1.

(2) Subsection (1) shall not apply to a licensed gun dealer in respect of any firearm he may possess in the ordinary course of his business or to a carrier.

(3) No person licensed under subsection (1)shall own or keep a greater number of firearms or ammunition than is specified in his licence.

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Application for Firearms Licence

2. Particulars of Firearm(s) to be Licenced
Rifle/Pistol/Shotgun/Others:
Make and Calibre:
Serial No. and Mark:

3. Type of Licence Being Applied For:
(a) Special-Protection Licence
(b) Gun Dealers Licence
(c) Gun Repair Licence
(d) Sport Hunter Licence
(e) Farmer Gun Licence
(f) Company Gun Licence

5. List all Firearms Previously Licenced
Type:
Make:
Caliber:
Licence No.:
Place Issued:
Category:

7. What type of security do you have for the storage of your firearm?

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There is more info here http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/belize

About Robin and Brian

Brian and I have dreamed for years of relocating to the Caribbean, we will see this through and in the meantime, I am busy collecting all the needed information needed to facilitate this move. If you have any information to contribute, please feel free to make a post and share your experiences with us... Beach Dreams....Robin
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One Response to Gun ownership in Belize

  1. Robin and Brian says:

    The law as it stands today, does not deny Belizeans the right to carry a gun. It simply says that everyone who wants to carry a gun must first obtain a license from the Commissioner of Police.
    Such licenses, signed by the Commissioner, are issued regularly, and have to be renewed once every year. But not everybody who applies for a license obtains one. In practice the Commissioner is selective about who gets a gun license. An applicant has to produce convincing reasons to show why he/she needs to have a gun.
    This is distinctly different from the situation in the United States. There the Constitution gives to citizen the right to bear arms. Individual States in the Union qualify this constitutional right with various regulations which make it difficult for certain people to exercise that right.
    In Belize there is no constitutinal right that anybody can claim to carry a gun. Instead of having a right, citizens have only state permission, and that permission is regulated, somewhat severely, by the Commissioner of Police.
    Gun advocates argue that if more people had guns to defend themselves, gun-toting outlaws would have to be more careful.They would not be so brazen in their use of guns.
    But the reverse is also true. If there were more guns in the city – legal guns mind you, there would be more opportunities for outlaws to get to them.
    While it is true to say that a man or a woman with a gun can do more to defend himself/herself, it has been shown that people with guns also become targets for the simple reason that they have something that the outlaws want. They attract outlaws who are prepared to take some risks to get the gun. Security guards are favourite targets because they are known to carry guns.
    If everybody were free to obtain a gun, what proportion of the adult population would invest money to buy a gun — 20 percent, 30 percent, 50 percent?
    Bearing in mind that guns are expensive, and dangerous, and that not everybody will want to have one, the protection factor that guns offer drops off significantly if a substantial proportion of the population decides not to arm itself.
    Regardless of how many people buy guns, there will always be many who remain unarmed – women, the elderly, people who can find better use for their money, and even some who abhor guns. These are vulnerable to gun attacks from armed predators.
    The probability is that gun-related accidents will become more frequent as more guns come into circulation.
    Illegal guns have no trouble finding their way into Belize. As we have seen from recent press reports, they come with household items sent in barrels by Belizeans in the United States. Guns also come to Belize from across the border – mostly from Guatemala. Criminals who want to rent a gun can now do so. Such guns, complete with a couple of bullets, cost $100 a night!
    Law enforceement, desperate to get the illegal guns off the street, encounter a lot of fustration. It doesn’t seem to matter how many guns they seize; these are quickly replaced. Criminals welcome the chance to trade in their old guns for cash because that allows them to upgrade their arsenal with newer, better weapons.
    For these and other reasons one has to weigh carefully the argument in favour of more legal guns. Will they make the community safer? Or will they simply make it easier for outlaws to get to them?
    Before we spend too much time on the gun arguments, perhaps we should give some of our attention to non-lethal defensive personal devices. These include stun-guns, pepper spray, and tasers.
    The development of stun-guns and tasers have made great strides in recent years. They can be disguised to look like something else and are quite effective in stopping even the most burly and determined criminal. Most stun guns can be bought for under US$50. The new tasers for civilians use cost more, but they can hit target at 15 feet.
    We believe law enforcement authorities should start to encourage civilians to switch to non-lethal defensive weapons instead of guns.
    They’re safer. They’re cheaper, and in close quarters they’re just as effective. One more advantage: the victim does not need the services of a doctor or surgeon.
    He can recover on his own — without being an expense of the hospital services.

    source http://ambergriscaye.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/370001/Re_Gun_Laws_in_Belize.html

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