Gun Laws in Uruguay 🇺🇾
Good place to own firearms as a foreigner?!
In the next installment of the gun laws series, time to talk about the most armed country of all in Latin America…
🇺🇾 Uruguay 🇺🇾
While many LatAm countries have governments who want to disarm their citizens, Uruguay stands as the 5th most armed civilian population in the world — per capita.
And the most armed in Latin America:
It is estimated that one in three Uruguayans own at least one gun, legally or illegally. This rate far exceeds the sum of the rates for countries such as Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay, which have already been covered in our series of articles on gun laws.
However, statistics reveal that when it comes to gun violence, Uruguay is about 20% more peaceful than the United States. The country ranks 46th in the Global Peace Index and has a low intentional homicide rate, currently at 8.5 per 100,000 inhabitants. With less than 400 deaths annually caused by firearms, you do not have to worry about gun violence.
There is a peculiar paradox when it comes to firearms among the general population:
There is significant per capita ownership of guns, but average knowledge about them is limited, and most people show no interest in being involved with guns at all.
The reasons why people pursue gun ownership seem to be more functional than a reflection of a strong gun culture.
In rural areas, where there are many predators, hunting is one of the main reasons for acquiring weapons. In more populous cities, however, the collectors' market boosts the arms trade.
However, regardless of location, it's common to hear that defending property against thieves is reason enough to keep a gun or two tucked away. The typical profile of a gun owner in Uruguay is a man, usually a family man, who defends the right to have a gun to protect his home from external threats.
It is important to point out that at least half of the guns in Uruguay do not have proper registration. However, don't follow the crowd:
Carrying an unregistered weapon can result in up to 6 years in prison.
So what are the legal procedures one must follow to enter this "armed paradise" of a country?
Let's explore the steps required to legally acquire and register a gun in Uruguay.
T.H.A.T.A. — Gun Permit in Uruguay 🇺🇾
Gun laws in Uruguay are regulated by a set of decrees, which includes amongst many others:
Decree No. 10415/1943.41
Decree No. 2605/943.58
Decree No. 365/969.64
Decree No. 652/970
But to make things simple, what you're looking for to legally own firearms is a THATA — aka Authorization for the Acquisition and Possession of Firearms.
In Spanish, this is known as, ''Habilitación para la adquisición y tenencia de armas de fuego''
With THATA you are enabled to "own" a weapon, not to "carry" it.