Two former ministers announced they would challenge Colombian President Duque loosened gun ban in court, claiming the decree “opens the door to the rearmament of civilians.”
Duque controversially amended the ban on guns on Christmas Eve at the request of his party, the hard-right Democratic Center, and the president’s political patron, controversial former President Alvaro Uribe.
Former Interior Minister Guillermo Rivera said he would appeal the decree as soon as Colombia’s judicial branch returns from Christmas recess.
Rivera received the support of his predecessor, former Interior Minister Juan Fernando Cristo and former vice-Interior Minister Luis Ernesto Gomez.
According to Gomez, the decree that would allow military commanders to cherry pick who is allowed to carry guns is against the law.
The generic faculty established in Decree 2362 of 2018 violates articles 10 and 11 of Law 1119 of 2006 that establish the specific criteria for granting permits to carry and possess weapons. An ordinary decree cannot repeal a law.
Former vice-Minister Luis Ernesto Gomez
Gomez additionally lambasted the fact that the decree changed the gun ban without this change being made public ahead of the presidential signing.
In Cali, a city that has been struggling to curb deadly violence, officials also spoke out against the granting of gun licenses to civilians, claiming this is likely to escalate violence.
Citizens have the perception that being armed gives them greater security, but this is statistically not true. A person who is armed is at greater risk because if he has a fight, a quarrel, or is going to be robbed he may have the intention of using the firearm, which could end in a homicide.
Cali Security Secretary Andres Villamizar
Security experts consulted by news agency Colprensa expressed concern about the fact that the decree fails to specify criteria to determine who could obtain a license to carry a gun and who not.
Without a strict protocol that allows us to determine psychological, social and security conditions, we could end up in situations that are the same or worse than those registered, for example, in the United States.
Central University professor Andres Nieto
The decree reportedly also caused concern in Congress where Duque and those who support loosening the gun ban are in the minority.
Liberal Party Representative Nevardo Eneiro Rincon called to create a gun registry that would allow homicide investigators to link bullets used in homicides with the used firearms.