The mayor of Bogota requested on Thursday that the restrictions on carrying firearms be extended in the Colombian capital by three additional months.
Gustavo Petro wrote a letter to the commander of the 13th Army Brigade, Gabriel Pinilla, asking that the ban on carrying firearms in public places, which is due to end at the end of the month, be extended in the Colombian city.
Petro cites a reduction in armed offenses since the ban came into effect as the reason behind his request. The mayor claimed that the ban, coupled with child protection strategies and controlling alcohol consumption, has improved safety in Colombia’s largest city.
Colombian authorities already extended the ban, which was initially trialled at the beginning of February, twice before and Petro added that it is highly important to maintain the measure to further improve peace in the city.
According to 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.
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.