“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.