The ban, introduced by Bogota Mayor Gustavo Petro, will have a trial period of 90 days, during which the government will carry out security assessments of the city.
Bogota government secretary Antonio Navarro Wolff said, “We expect all citizens to comply with the restriction and in these three months […] there will be a drop in homicides in the city.”
According to Petro, 1,016 of the 2,632 homicides recorded in the city in 2011 were committed with firearms, with up to 30% of these carried out using legally-held weapons.
Up until now, it has been possible for citizens to carry guns when they hold a special certificate issued by the 13th Brigade of the Army, the unit which approved the ban.
Members of the Armed Forces and private security companies will be exempt from the new measure.
The ban will be accompanied by an aggressive media campaign to encourage the surrendering of weapons, with Petro previously suggesting that citizens may be offered cash in return.
The ban will also take effect in 21 municipalities of Cundinamarca, the department in which Bogota is located.
The move means Colombia’s two largest cities have now imposed gun bans, after Medellin enforced a similar measure last month.