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Brazil Update: Congress to Consider Bill Loosening Gun Control

Americas Society / Council of the Americas (AS/COA)

24 November 2015

Relevant contents

A measure that would loosen gun control in Brazil—home to one of the largest absolute number of homicides globally—is wending its way through Congress. Supported by the so-called "bullets, beef, and bible" caucus, the legislation could dismantle the country's landmark 2003 disarmament legislation.

Where does the bill stand?

On November 3, a congressional committee approved the bill, which now heads to the Chamber of Deputies floor. Called the Gun Control Statute, it would replace the 2003 Disarmament Statute. "What we want to do is give back the good citizens their right to defend their lives, their families, and their property, since the state isn't enough," said Congressman Laudivio Carvalho, one of the bill's proponents and a member of the right-leaning Brazilian Democratic Movement Party…

How would the legislation change the current law?

Under the existing law, civilians must provide an explanation for why they need a gun when they apply for a permit. The new bill allows citizens to own guns for the purposes of self-defense and defending property. The legislation would also bring down the minimum age to buy a gun from 25 to 21, and would permit those under criminal investigation to buy and carry guns. Each citizen would be allowed up to nine guns and 600 rounds of ammunition per year. (Previously, it was six guns and 50 bullets a year.) It would also allow certain professions—including lawmakers—to legally carry guns.

Another one of the major changes the new statute would introduce is allowing civil and military police to register civilian weapons. Currently, this process can only be done with the federal police, which uses a national registry. Also, the current law requires gun owners to register their weapons every three years. The new legislation would allow for a one-time registration…

ID: N450

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