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Nicaragua
Source
: National Report on the Implementation of the PoA and the ITI, 2008 
Date
: 11/07/2008
National Report
:
 
Contact
: Commissioner Horacio Sobalvarro Barberena, Head of the Bureau of Weapons, Ammunition, Explosives and Related Materials (DAEM) of the National Police
Email
: daem@policia.gob.ni
 
 
 
 


National laws, regulations and administrative procedures:

Act No. 228 (National Police); Special Act for the Control and Regulation of Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and Other Related Materials (Act No. 510)

 

 
 
 


National Marking Practices:

Article 138 (“Marking and Identification of Weapons”) of the Special Act for the Control and Regulation of Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and Other Related Materials (Act No. 510) provides that the Nicaraguan coat of arms and the inscription “Republic of Nicaragua”, the year of manufacture, serial number, name of the institution which owns the weapon, country of origin and any technical specifications that might characterize or distinguish the weapon or serve as a means of identification shall be visibly engraved on one side of any weapon of war owned or acquired by the State of Nicaragua. There are no weapons manufacturers in Nicaragua. However, the Bureau established under the Special Act for the Control and Regulation of Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and Other Related Materials (Act No. 510) has issued 25 commercial licences to workshops that repair and mark weapons, authorizing them to engrave a new serial number assigned by the Bureau on weapons whose serial number has been removed. Official records show that 2,018 new serial numbers have been assigned.

Marking at the time of import:

Marking of SALW in the possession of government armed and security forces:

Ten per cent of the heavy weapons in the possession of the National Police have the name of the institution engraved on one side. Eighty per cent of the pistols in the possession of the National Police have the name of the institution and the Nicaraguan coat of arms engraved on one side. It should be noted that the majority of the unmarked weapons in the possession of the National Police are old. All replacements are duly marked. Information on weapons in the possession of the National Army and the national prison system is not available.


Measures against the removal or alteration of markings:

With a view to preventing the alteration of markings, article 123, on offences relating to the alteration of technical characteristics of weapons, provides that any person who alters, removes or modifies the technical mechanisms, manufacturer’s trademark, serial number, model, type, barrel or calibre without requesting in writing and receiving prior authorization from the authority designated under the Act and its Regulations shall have committed the offence of alteration of the technical characteristics of a weapon. The weapon shall be seized and the offender shall receive a principal penalty of one to three years’ imprisonment plus a fine equalling 12 times the average minimum monthly salary.

 
 
 


Accurate and comprehensive records for all marked SALW within their territory:

The Division of Administrative Police Services operates a database on firearms containing information obtained from permit applications filed by natural and legal persons.

 
 
 


Measures taken for undertaking traces and responding to tracing requests
:

The National Archive Division is responsible for tracing arms through a database containing records of all firearms used in the commission of a crime and/or stolen, as reported by the victims. The National Police has developed a working method for obtaining information called the “investigative measures system”. The Weapons Bureau uses the system to obtain information on weapons in circulation and to identify legal and illegal arms and individuals engaged in the illicit trafficking of firearms, using among other sources of information:

Operational Informaton Exchange:

At the international level, the National Police consults with INTERPOL on crimes involving natural and legal persons and firearms with a view to obtaining relevant information.

Needs and Request for Assistance::
Needs: To secure transfers of technology for the detection of weapons; To promote the development of specialized training programmes and best practices; To train Weapons Bureau staff and acquire the appropriate technical equipment for disabling collectors’ weapons; To develop a regional system for registering legal weapons and weapons seized in each country; To improve cooperation between law enforcement agencies and importers, exporters and manufacturers with respect to follow-up and monitoring; To intensify efforts to standardize the system for marking and tracing weapons; To increase regional resources for combating illicit trade; To harmonize national laws by ensuring the timely exchange of information, compliance with legal controls and streamlining of national statistical systems; To acquire technical equipment for deactivating collectors’ weapons.

Implementation challenges and opportunities:

Challenges: To establish effective systems for the exchange and distribution of information and improved access to databases; To establish a regional body comprised of the competent national authorities from each country; To modernize the working methods of the specialized entities; To increase the use of available databases in coordination with the Weapons Bureau in order to enhance Nicaragua’s capacity to prevent arms trafficking and to trace illicit weapons. This will enable the Government to determine whether persons under investigation who carry a weapon and/or who have applied for a weapons permit possess a record for violence of any kind, in which case the permit will be denied or suspended and the firearm seized.