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Brazil — Gun Facts, Figures and the Law

StockpilesGun Numbers

Civilian Guns

Number of Privately Owned Firearms

The estimated total number of guns (both licit and illicit) held by civilians in Brazil is 14,800,0001 to 17,600,0002

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population

The estimated rate of private gun ownership (both licit and illicit) in Brazil is 8.01 firearms per 100 people

Number of Privately Owned Firearms - World Ranking

In a comparison of the number of privately owned guns in 178 countries, Brazil ranked at No. 83

Rate of Privately Owned Firearms per 100 Population - World Ranking

In a comparison of the rate of private gun ownership in 178 countries, Brazil ranked at No. 751

Number of Licensed Firearm Owners

The number of licensed gun owners in Brazil is reported to be 1,300,0004

Rate of Licensed Firearm Owners per 100 Population

The rate of licensed firearm owners per 100 people in Brazil is 0.755

Number of Registered Firearms

The number of registered guns in Brazil is reported to be 5,200,0003 6 to 5,370,5007

Rate of Registered Firearms per 100 Population

The rate of registered guns per 100 people in Brazil is 3.095

Estimated Number of Illicit Firearms

Unlawfully held guns cannot be counted, but in Brazil there are estimated to be 3,800,0008 6 to 9,499,8479

Estimated Rate of Illicit Firearms per 100 Population

Unlawfully held guns cannot be counted, but in Brazil there are estimated to be 4.725 illicit firearms per 100 people

Government Guns

Number of Military Firearms

The defence forces of Brazil are reported to have 1,300,00010 6 11 12 firearms

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in Brazil are reported to have 803,20013 14 15 firearms

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn Brazil, annual homicides by any means total

2011: 42,78516
2010: 43,684
2009: 43,90916 17
2008: 57,271
2007: 55,611
2006: 58,643
2005: 54,308
2004: 57,185
2003: 60,121
2002: 57,910
2001: 55,539
2000: 51,804
1999: 52,26916
1998: 49,976
1997: 47,891
1996: 44,372
1995: 41,595

Rate of Homicide per 100,000 People (any method)

ChartIn Brazil, the annual rate of homicide by any means per 100,000 population is

2011: 21.816
2010: 22.4
2009: 22.716 17
2008: 29.9
2007: 29.3
2006: 31.2
2005: 29.2
2004: 31.1
2003: 33.1
2002: 32.3
2001: 31.4
2000: 29.7
1999: 30.416
1998: 29.5
1997: 28.7
1996: 27.0
1995: 25.7
1993: 19.0418

Gun Homicides

ChartIn Brazil, annual firearm homicides total

2008: 34,67816
2007: 34,147
2006: 34,921
2005: 33,419
2004: 34,187
2002: 34,08519
2000: 30,85520

Rate of Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn Brazil, the annual rate of firearm homicide per 100,000 population is

2008: 18.116 17
2007: 18.0
2006: 18.6
2005: 18.016
2004: 18.6
2002: 21.7019
1993: 10.5821

Suicides (any method)

ChartIn Brazil, annual suicides by any means total

2006: 49,64122
2005: 48,107
2004: 48,884
2003: 51,510
2002: 49,763
2001: 47,980
2000: 45,401
1998: 6,98523

Rate of Suicide per 100,000 People (any method)

ChartIn Brazil, the annual rate of suicide by any means per 100,000 population is

2006: 4.6022
2005: 4.60
2004: 4.40
2003: 4.40
2002: 4.40
2001: 4.50
2000: 4.00
1998: 3.9123
1993: 3.4624

Gun Suicides

In Brazil, annual firearm suicides total 2000: 1,32823

Rate of Gun Suicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn Brazil, the annual rate of firearm suicide per 100,000 population is

2000: 0.7423
1993: 0.7325

Unintentional Gun Deaths

In Brazil, annual unintentional shooting deaths total 2000: 32923

Rate of Unintentional Gun Death per 100,000 People

ChartIn Brazil, the annual rate of unintentional shooting death per 100,000 population is

2000: 0.1823
1993: 0.2826

Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

In Brazil, annual shooting deaths in which the cause remains undecided total 2000: 1123

Rate of Gun Death from Undetermined Cause per 100,000 People

ChartIn Brazil, the annual rate of unknown-cause shooting deaths per 100,000 population is

2000: 0.0123
1993: 2.5627

ProductionGun Industry

Regulation of Firearm Makers

In Brazil, the manufacture of small arms, ammunition and/or their components is permitted only if the maker holds a valid licence28

Small Arms Manufacture - World Ranking

In a classification of the world's small, medium and major firearm manufacturers, Brazil is ranked 'medium'29 30

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Regulation of Firearm Exports

In Brazil, firearm and ammunition exports are limited by transfer control law31 32 33

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition exports from Brazil is reported by Customs to be US$284,590,75434 (2011)35 36

Small Arms Exports - World Ranking

In a comparison of the world's major/mid-level/minor/unknown small arms exporters, Brazil is categorized as 'major'37 36

Regulation of Firearm Imports

In Brazil, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law32 33

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to Brazil is reported by Customs to be US$14,291,31834 (2011)

Smuggling Guns and Ammunition

Reports suggest that the level of firearm and ammunition smuggling in Brazil is high38 39

Regulation of Arms Brokers

In Brazil, the activities of arms brokers and transfer intermediaries are not specifically regulated by law40 41

End User Certificates

Customs regulations in Brazil include31 certification of the intended end user of any small arms or ammunition transfer, and/or a written declaration of its intended end use

Transparency of Small Arms Transfers

In the most recent survey of state transparency in declaring firearm and ammunition exports among major small arms exporting nations, Brazil was ranked at No. 4242

MeasuresGun Regulation

Firearm Regulation - Guiding Policy

The regulation of guns in Brazil is categorised as restrictive43

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in Brazil includes the Statute of Disarmament44 32

Firearm Regulation Authority

Guns in Brazil are regulated by the National Arms Registry45

Right to Possess Firearms

In Brazil, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law46

Restricted Firearms and Ammunition

In Brazil, civilians are not allowed to possess automatic firearms and imitation firearms47

Regulation of Automatic Weapons

In Brazil, private possession of fully automatic weapons is prohibited48 49

Regulation of Semiautomatic Assault Weapons

In Brazil, private possession of semi-automatic assault weapons is permitted under licence46 48

Regulation of Handguns

In Brazil, private possession of handguns (pistols and revolvers) is permitted under licence49

Gun Ownership and Possession

In Brazil, only licensed gun owners50 may lawfully acquire, possess or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Genuine Reason Required for Firearm Possession

Applicants for a gun owner’s licence in Brazil are required to prove genuine reason to possess a firearm, for example, hunting, target shooting, personal protection, security51 52 53

Minimum Age for Firearm Possession

The minimum age for gun ownership in Brazil is 25 years, with a few exceptions54 55

Gun Licence Background Checks

An applicant for a firearm licence in Brazil must pass a background check which considers criminal, mental and employment56 records

Reference Required for Firearm Licence

In Brazil, third party character references for each gun licence applicant are not required46

Domestic Violence and Firearms

Where a past history, or apprehended likelihood of family violence exists, the law in Brazil does not stipulate46 that a gun licence should be denied or revoked

Firearm Safety Training

In Brazil, an understanding of firearm safety and the law, tested in a theoretical and/or practical training course is required56 for a firearm licence

Gun Owner Licensing Period

In Brazil gun owners must re-apply and re-qualify for their firearm licence every three years50

Licensing Records

In Brazil, authorities maintain a record48 57 of individual civilians licensed to acquire, possess, sell or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Limit on Number of Guns

Licensed firearm owners in Brazil are permitted to possess any number of firearms46

Limit on Quantity, Type of Ammunition

Licensed firearm owners in Brazil are permitted to possess any quantity of ammunition46

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In Brazil, the law requires58 59 48 57 that a record of the acquisition, possession and transfer of each privately held firearm be retained in an official register

Gun Dealer Record Keeping

In Brazil, licensed firearm dealers are required28 57 to keep a record of each firearm or ammunition purchase, sale or transfer on behalf of a regulating authority

Gun Manufacturer Record Keeping

In Brazil, licensed gun makers are required57 to keep a record of each firearm produced, for inspection by a regulating authority

State-Owned Firearm Records

In Brazil, State agencies are required58 59 to maintain records of the storage and movement of all firearms and ammunition under their control

Gun Sales and Transfers

Background Checks for Private Gun Sales

The buyer of a firearm in a private sale in Brazil is not obliged46 to pass official background checks before taking possession

Background Checks on Dealer Gun Sales

The buyer of a firearm from a licensed gun dealer in Brazil is not obliged46 to pass official background checks before taking possession

Regulation of Private Gun Sales

In Brazil, the private sale and transfer of firearms is permitted46

Regulation of Dealer Gun Sales

In Brazil, dealing in firearms by way of business without a valid gun dealer’s licence is unlawful60 59

Limit on Gun Dealer Sales

In Brazil, the number and type of firearms which can be sold by a licensed gun dealer to a single gun owner is limited to 3 firearms (1 handgun, 1 rifle, 1 shotgun) every two years, for retired military officials and non-commissioned officers61

Waiting Period for Gun Possession

In Brazil, the minimum wait for a lawful firearm purchase to be completed is 30 business days56

Regulation of Gun Shows

In Brazil, gun shows and temporary firearm dealing events are not regulated46 in law

Storage and Transport of Guns and Ammunition

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Private

Firearm regulations in Brazil include62 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of private firearms and ammunition by licensed gun owners

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Dealer

Firearm regulations in Brazil do not include46 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by licensed arms dealers

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Government

Government regulations in Brazil do not include46 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by state entities

Firearm and Ammunition Transport Regulations

Regulations in Brazil include4 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition while in transit

Marking and Tracing Guns and Ammunition

Firearm Marking

In Brazil, a unique identifying mark on each firearm is required by law63 33 64 65

Firearm Tracing

In Brazil, state authorities carry out66 recognised arms tracing and tracking procedures

Ballistic Marking of Firearms and Ammunition

In Brazil, state authorities do not employ46 ballistic fingerprinting technology to trace guns and ammunition

Carrying Guns

Carrying Guns Openly in Public

In Brazil, carrying a firearm in plain view in a public place is allowed, subject to a valid permit53 67

Carrying Hidden Handguns in Public

In Brazil, carrying a concealed firearm in a public place is allowed, subject to a valid permit53 67

Gun Free Zones

In Brazil, private guns are prohibited in sports arenas, churches, government buildings and schools68

Penalty for Illicit Firearm Possession

In Brazil, the maximum penalty for illicit firearm possession is 1 to 3 years prison and a fine69

Collection, Amnesty and Destruction Programmes

Authorities in Brazil are known to have70 71 72 implemented voluntary firearm surrender schemes, and/or weapon seizure programmes in order to reduce the number of illicit firearms in circulation

Surrendered in Gun Amnesty

In Brazil, the number of firearms and/or rounds of ammunition voluntarily surrendered for destruction in recent arms amnesty and collection programmes is reported to be 187,80370 (2004/05)

Small Arms Destroyed

In Brazil, the total number of firearms destroyed following recent amnesty, collection and seizure programmes is reported to be 187,80370 (2004/05)

Destruction and Disposal Policy

In Brazil, it is state policy70 to destroy surplus, collected and seized firearms rather than return them to the secondary arms market

MeasuresInternational Controls

Regional Agreements

Organization of American States

On 14 November 1997, as a member of the Organisation of American States (OAS), Brazil adopted the Inter-American Convention against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Explosives, Ammunition and Other Related Materials (CIFTA), a legally binding multilateral treaty of which the OAS is depository. The CIFTA Convention has since been signed and ratified73 74 by Brazil

United Nations Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice

At the resumption of the most recent session of the UN Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (UNCCPCJ), a subsidiary body of the Economic and Social Council mandated to promote action to prevent national and transnational crime, Brazil was listed as an elected member for a three-year term of office75

Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development

The Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development, a diplomatic initiative aimed at addressing the interrelations between armed violence and development, was signed in 200676 by Brazil.

United Nations Arms Trade Treaty

The United Nations Arms Trade Treaty has been signed, but not yet ratified77 by Brazil

United Nations Firearms Protocol

The United Nations Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Their Parts and Components and Ammunition has been signed and ratified78 by Brazil

United Nations Small Arms Programme of Action UNPoA

UNPoA Commitment

On 21 July 2001, Brazil committed to a consensus decision of the United Nations to adopt, support and implement the UN Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects79

UNPoA National Reporting

Under the terms of its 2001 commitment to the United Nations small arms Programme of Action, Brazil has submitted one or more national reports80 41 on its implementation of the UNPoA

UNPoA National Point of Contact

In Brazil, a National Point of Contact to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated81 41

UNPoA National Coordinating Body

In Brazil, a National Coordinating Body to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated81 41

UNPoA Civil Society Involvement and Support

In National Reports of Brazil submitted to the UN, a history of substantive cooperation with civil society in support of UNPoA activities is apparent81

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have been donated41 by Brazil to other UN Member States

UNPoA International Assistance – Recipient

Funds for UNPoA implementation have been provided41 to Brazil by other UN Member States

United Nations Small Arms Register

According to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, Brazil has not declared82 its small arms exports in one or more annual National Reports on Arms Exports.

United Nations Membership

In the UN List of Member States, Brazil has been a Member State of the United Nations since 194583

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies does not list84 Brazil as a Participating State

BackgroundCountry Profile

Conflict Profile

For a profile of conflict in Brazil, select the Link icon to open an external web page from the UCDP Conflict Encyclopedia at Uppsala University

Global Peace Index

To see where Brazil ranks, select the Link icon to open an external web page at the Global Peace Index


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