Citation(s) from the literature library

European Commission. 2014 ‘Portugal.’ Study to Support an Impact Assessment on Options for Combatting Illicit Firearms Trafficking in the European Union, pp. 170-172. Luxembourg: Centre for Strategy & Evaluation Services. 1 July

Relevant contents

Provision on the criminalisation of illicit firearms trafficking: Portugal

National Definition of Illicit Firearms trafficking:

Article 86.1 Lei das Armas nº5/2006 de 23 de Fevereiro, as amended by Lei nº 17/2009 de 6 de Maio (Law 17/2009, 6 of May) (the "Weapons Law"):

"Whoever, without being authorized, outside legal or against the requirements of the competent authority, possess, transport, import, keep, buy or acquire any title, or by any means, obtain for manufacturing, processing, import, transfer or export, use or carry:
a) Equipment, military means and war material, biological weapon, chemical weapon, radioactive or susceptible of nuclear explosion weapon, automatic firearm, civil explosive, explosive or incendiary device improvised is punishable with imprisonment from 2 to 8 years;
b) Products or substances which are intended or may be used in whole or in part, for the development, production, handling, operation, maintenance, storage or dissemination of biological weapons, chemical weapons or radioactive or nuclear weapons capable of delivering such weapons, is punished with imprisonment from 2 to 5 years;
c) Class B, B1, C and D weapons, shotgun or carbine with parts easily detachable and of small dimension to its concealment, unmodified smooth-bore weapon of less than 46cm, simulated firearm in the form of another object, or transformed or modified firearm, is punished with imprisonment for 1 to 5 years or a fine of up to 600 days;
d) Class E weapon, concealed weapon in the form of another object, automatic opening knife, dagger, butterfly knife, throwing knife, throwing star, boxers, and other knives or instruments or devices without a defined application that can be used as a weapon of assault, or its carrier does not justify his possession, defence sprays not listed in letter a) nº7 of Article 3º, any device or instruments built exclusively for the purpose of being used as a weapon of aggression, silencer, essential parts of the firearm, ammunition, either as ammunition with expansive penetrating, explosives or incendiary projectiles, is punished with imprisonment up to 4 years or a fine of up to 480 days."

Article 87:
"Nº 1 - Who, without being authorized, out of legal conditions or in contradiction to the prescriptions of competent authority, sell, borrow under any circumstance or by any means, intermediate a transaction, or with the intention of transmitting its detention, possession or property, adopt any of the procedures previewed on the previous article (Art.86º), evolving any equipment, military means and warfare material, weapons, devices, instruments, mechanisms, ammunitions, substances, or products there referred, is punished with imprisonment from two to ten years"
Nº 2 – The imprisonment on Nº1, is from four to twelve years, if:
a) the agent, is a functionary who is responsible in prevention or repression of any of the Illicit activities previewed by this Law
b) That thing or things are destined, with the knowledge of the agent, to groups, organizations or criminal associations; Or
c) The agent makes from these conducts his way of living
Nº 3 – The Penalty can be specially attenuated, or not give place to punishment, if the agent voluntarily abandons its activity, put away or makes diminish considerably the danger produced by it. To stop that the result which the Law pretends to avoid, does take place or effectively assists on the gathering of evidence decisive for the identification or capture of other responsible."

Under the Portuguese legislation, the Illicit firearms trafficking, is a criminal offence, and consequently appreciated by Judicial Authorities, as such. Complementary, there has been a constant "upgrading" of this Law, in order to define, make restrictions and criminalize certain uses or possessions of Firearms, namely due to the technological developments of these items, and also, to incorporate International Legislation or Regulations into our national Legal System. As regards the national Jurisprudence produced accordingly to the application of this national legislation, there are basically two Judgment Sentence of Superior Courts, regarding this matter, both produced in 2009, which in general terms are focused on the qualification of the penal matter and the measure of the sentence, and also, on the censorship of the error on the wrongfulness of the criminal fact. These references, regard and are specially focused on the concept of criminalizing Firearms trafficking, but this very Law in its fullness – and complemented by other different regulations – does in a very accurate and extensive manner, preview, regulate and defines unlawful behaviours which are punished either as criminal offences, as also as administrative offences.


Article 2.1. (V). 'Modified firearm', the firearms that by an unauthorized intervention of any type is altered from their essential parts, marks and the original numbers, or one whose cylinder head has been substantially reduced in size to a handle or replaced by another telescopic or folding;

ID: Q12325

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