Colombian authorities have extended a law banning firearms in Bogota for three months.
The original ban, which had a trial period of 90 days starting February 1 of this year, prohibited any citizen from carrying a gun on the street, in their cars or in any public space.
A study by the Ministry of Defense highlights the decline in gun-related criminal activities in recent months. It claims the homicide rate in Colombia’s capital city has dropped 17% since the ban went into effect, according to media reports.
Up until the law passed, it had been possible for citizens to carry guns if they held a special certificate issued by the 13th Brigade of the Army, the military unit which approved the ban.
The Bogota District Government is also preparing legislation that would prohibit citizens from carrying knives, as one in every three murders in the city is reportedly knife-related.
According to Bogota Mayor Gustavo Petro, of the 2,632 homicides recorded in the city in 2011, 1,016 were committed with firearms, with up to 30% of these carried out using legally-held weapons, while 551of the killings involved knives.