21 July 2023 at 23:49
Brazilian President Lula da Silva issued a decree on Friday making access to firearms more difficult. As a result, hunters, sport shooters and collectors with a permit can only have six weapons instead of thirty. Lula thus fulfills an election promise.
Inácio Lula da Silva also made sure that hunters are allowed to own fewer bullets. In addition, his decree closed a loophole that allowed gun owners to go outside with loaded guns if they claimed they were on their way to a gun club.
In addition, Lula da Silva made the federal police responsible for gun control, rather than the military. The army was criticized for being poorly supervised.
“We will continue to fight for a disarmed country,” Lula said at an event where he presented the measures. Those who need to be well armed are the Brazilian police and the Brazilian armed forces, the president added.
“It is one thing for a citizen to have a gun at home for protection and security…but we cannot allow people to have an arsenal of guns in their hands.”
His far-right predecessor Jair Bolsonaro expanded the license precisely by relaxing restrictions on hunters, sport shooters and collectors. Gun owners could more easily register for permits and thus build up a larger stock of guns.
Under Bolsonaro, the number of weapons rose sharply
During Bolsonaro’s reign, the number of gun owners increased sharply: from over 117,000 to almost 800,000. He regularly told his supporters that they could choose to arm themselves or risk being “enslaved”.
Bolsonaro also claimed that guns make Brazil safer. To prove his point, he pointed to the lower murder rate allegedly committed during his tenure. According to figures from the NGO Brazilian Forum on Public Safety, Bolsonaro’s claim is correct.
In 2022, 47,500 murders have been reported. That number is 2.4 percent lower than in 2021. The corona pandemic may have had an effect on this, because fewer murders were reported in 2021. The figures in 2022 correspond to those from 2019.
Murder rates in 2022 lowest in ten years, but more women killed
But that doesn’t change the fact that last year’s homicide rate reached its lowest level in more than a decade. Only in 2011 were there fewer reported murders. Then 47,215 people died a violent death.
Some experts are surprised by the numbers, having expected more deaths from Bolsonaro’s policies. Current President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva blamed the gun liberalization for the wave of political violence surrounding last year’s elections.
Incidentally, more women will have been murdered in 2022. Despite the fact that the total number of murders decreased. With 1,437 femicides, the number was 6.1 percent higher than in 2021.
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