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Brazil’s President-elect affirms promise to liberalize gun ownership

29 Dec , 2018  

“The citizen deserves to have the means to defend himself, respecting the referendum of 2005, when he chose, at the polls, the right to self-defense.” From President Bolsonaro’s inaugural address, Tuesday, January 1, 2019.

In a Tweet, Brazil’s president-elect made news today by affirming his promises during the campaign: “By decree we intend to ensure possession of firearm to the citizen without criminal record, as well as make his registration definitive.”

There are only about 330,000 licensed firearm owners in Brazil. With 209.3 million people and an adult population over 18 of about 152.3 million, that’s just 0.22 percent of the adult population. According to the BBC, “only strictly defined groups of people, including police and security officials are able to obtain a gun license.”

Despite these extremely strict gun control laws, Brazil had 64,357 homicides in 2017—a rate of  30.8 per 100,000 people. However, there appears to be a real problem with officially reported homicide numbers in Brazil. The UN normally just relies uncritically on data provided to them by individual countries, but their homicide number for 2012 is much higher than the official number (65,752 v 57,045, rate 32.8 v 28.5).

To legally own a gun, Brazilians must be at least 25 years of age and hold a gun license, which costs Brazilian Real $1000 (US $260), and pay a fee every three years to register the gun, which currently costs Brazilian Real $85 (US $22). In addition, they need to demonstrate technical and psychological capacity to have a gun as well as proof of residence and employment.

Brazil’s real per capita income is just 25% of the US’s when adjusted for Purchasing Power Parity in 2017. So these are real fees for most Brazilians.

 

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3 Responses

  1. Charles Jessee says:

    Brazil is moderately high on the Police Corruption Perceptions Index (Somalia 9, Mexico 29, Brazil 37, USA 75, NZ 89; with 100 Least-Corrupt). At some level of corruption, police and organized crime are together citizens’ greatest risk of harm, and armed self-defense becomes extremely difficult regardless of ability to lawfully obtain arms. Brazil will be a case study of interest.

    • Tim says:

      “At some level of corruption, police and organized crime are together citizens’ greatest risk of harm, and armed self-defense becomes extremely difficult regardless of ability to lawfully obtain arms.”

      True…at least on an individual level. A poorly trained civilian alone against and organized trained gang/rouge police/military would stand little chance. But what happens if we reached say 10-15% of Brazil citizens armed and they started organizing into protective town/village militias?

  2. James Rowe says:

    I’m positive that making guns available to citizens of Brazil will lower crime and murder. I look forward to the results after it has been in affect for a couple of years. What will the anti-gun people say then I’m sure that they will come up with some reflective jargon. Have fun and enjoy you firearm sports. JR

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