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Owning a Gun in Panama, where to start?

If you are buying the gun in Panama, the gun shop owner will know and help you with the process to obtain your permit. There are limited stores that sell guns and ammo in Panama. Guns such as handguns, revolvers, shotguns, and rifles can be found in these stores. 

Guns are expensive in Panama, and the price can go up to double the cost compared to the United States. Brands such as Smith & Wesson, Remington, or Ruger are limited available in Panama. 

At some stores you can order guns based on your preferences, however, it can take up to 3 months to obtain the gun.

Process for buying a gun in Panama:

  • Visit a gun store and provide proof that you are a legal resident of Panama, for example with your e-cedula. Tourists are not allowed to purchase guns in Panama.
  • You will be given a sanitized cup to pee in at their bathroom. The urine will be analyzed for drugs.
  • You will be given a Panama government form to take to a government health office to have your finger pricked for a blood sample for its DNA.
  • Get a psychological evaluation. You will go to a medical psychiatrist for a short interview and return to the gun store with a short written report that you are mentally fit to own a gun.
  • Obtain two passport size photos of your face.
  • Give permission for a background check by Panama police. The gun store will send all of this paperwork to the national police along with the gun for ballistic tests. 
  • It takes about 3 – 6 months to get a gun permit.


  • You can purchase up to 10 guns and have all them listed on one gun permit.
  • You cannot own any fully automatic firearms.
  • Silencers and armor-piercing ammo are not allowed.
  • You can legally buy, sell, and receive guns in Panama.
  • The maximum is 5 years before the permit expires.
  • You are not allowed to take a gun (concealed or otherwise) into banks, bars, nightclubs, and certain other financial or government buildings.

What happens if I get caught without a permit?

To give you an idea of the consequences in case you get caught with a gun, without a permit: Panama’s former National Police chief and national security director was sentenced to 64 months in jail for owning guns without a permit.