Brazil Considers Easing Extreme Gun Law, Allowing Self Defense

Submachine guns are some of the easiest repeating firearms to make in small shops.
Submachine guns are some of the easiest repeating firearms to make in small shops.

Arizona -(Ammoland.com)- Brazil has extremely strict gun control laws and relatively few firearms. It is estimated there are about 17 million firearms in Brazil. Only 5.4 million are legally owned by private parties. 2.2 million are owned by the military and police, and 9.5 million are illegally possessed.  It would take centuries of rigorous enforcement of gun confiscation to reach that level in the United States, if it ever were possible. There are over 400 million firearms in private hands in the United States.  A number comparable to Brazil's 17 million guns and 200 million people would be 28 million guns for the United States 330 million people.

Brazil has a very high murder rate. Brazil's level of murder is currently about 39 per 100,000 people. Brazil is in the top 20 nations for homicide in the world.

From bloomberg.com:

One of the candidates leading the field for October’s 2018 presidential election — hardline conservative Jair Bolsonaro — has promised to allow law-abiding citizens to arm themselves, a popular pledge in the nation with by far the most homicides of the entire world. Even before then, Congress may debate legislation to overturn the “disarmament statute,” a law that effectively bans civilian gun ownership, except in rare circumstances. The proposal would allow Brazilians with clean criminal records who pass psychological and firearm exams to buy up to six weapons.

“Everyday, everywhere you look, the criminal is armed with a high-powered weapon as the citizen tries to hide,” Rogerio Peninha Mendonca, the lawmaker behind the proposal, said in an interview. “What we want is for the citizen to be more capable of defending himself.”

In 1980, Brazil had a homicide rate of about 12 per 100,000 people, only a little higher than the United States with a homicide rate of 10.2 in the same year.  In 2017, 37 years later, the United States homicide rate dropped in half to 5.2, while Brazil's rate more than tripled to over 39.

Between 1980 and 2017, the United States incrementally restored Second Amendment rights while the number of guns owned per capita increased from .75 to 1.25, or 67%. Brazil took the opposite approach, placing numerous restrictions on gun ownership.

It is virtually impossible for a private Brazilian to obtain a permit to carry a gun outside of their home, or to legally use it for defense inside their home.

In the United States, self-defense inside the home is a treasured right, Constitutionally protected in American law. The carry of firearms outside the home has become common. There are over 16 million permits to carry guns in the United States. 12 states do not require a permit to carry a gun concealed, and 30 states do not require a permit to carry a gun openly.

Private firearms In the United States will reach 430 million by the end of 2018. To reduce to only 28 million guns, 400 million would need to be confiscated.  The United States, with about 1.25 guns per person, had a homicide rate of 5.2 per 100,000 in 2017. Brazil, with .085 guns per person, less than 7% that of the United States, has a homicide rate more than seven times as great as the United States.

Most Western countries saw a remarkable drop in homicides from the early 1990s to the middle 2010s. Both Australia and the United States saw their homicide rates drop in half, in spite of their opposite approach to gun ownership and self-defense.

Brazil's homicide rate nearly doubled. Brazil attempted Australia's approach of extreme restrictions on gun ownership in 2003. It did not work. Homicides leveled off for a few years, then climbed dramatically to the current levels near 40 per 100,000.

Looking to the United States, some Brazilian politicians believe allowing law-abiding citizens to defend themselves could reduce the high homicide rate in Brazil. At a minimum, it would allow the law abiding a fighting chance against armed criminals.

Brazil's experience shows that few illegal firearms are necessary for very high homicide rates. Moreover, many of Brazil's illegal firearms are made in homes and small shops in the black market. A favorite firearm of Brazilian criminal is the small shop black-market submachine gun.

Submachine guns are some of the easiest repeating firearms to make in small shops.

Brazil's experience shows it is unlikely that restrictions on gun ownership will have any effect on homicide levels.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

Link to Gun Watch


About Dean Weingarten:Dean Weingarten

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

  • 12 thoughts on “Brazil Considers Easing Extreme Gun Law, Allowing Self Defense

    1. I’m glad to see some of the changes. I’ve been living in Brazil most of the time since 2013. I have a CCW in the USA and would love to have one here especially since I live in São Paulo. I was recently able to bring a SIRT in to practice with and airsoft copies are plentiful. We’ll see in October.

      1. I live in Sao Paulo and Florianopolis. We hope that the laws here in Brazil are relaxed, and possibly regulated a little less every year while the generally public becomes a bit more familiar with the usage of firearms. The army training here is just as worthless as the equipment!

        What is a SIRT?

        1. http://www.nextleveltraining.com

          Basically a Glock self-contained laser trainer. The trigger is highly adjustable to match your carry, the magazines are weighted and you can practice changes easily. There’s a lot of indoor training things you can do completely safely. It would be impossible to change it over to a real firearm.

    2. @WB Me thinks Mr. Brown doesn’t know a Mac 10 from a Big Mac. I’ve seen this same style of writing in some other post around the internet. It’s the lefts way of convincing us to see their common Sense, Which is preposterous at best. I’ve noticed they always mention SMGs, and SKSs, as if it’s badge of honor to confess to owning one. Who knows it could be the return of Clark Kent, ankle biter extraordinare……..in all sincerity Mr. Brown, your post is absolutely ridiculous. Just practicing my 1st amendment rights here.

      1. @rokflyer..yup this is confiscators new strategy, .they think we’re sheep following blindly, ..if some idiot wants more restrictions on his gun, thats his problem,,..leave me alone,

    3. The Macs got my attention as I own more then a few. Do I need them, NO, but I don’t need my SKSs or my AKs, but I want them. I had to get a little fill up on the Complainers Complaining about the Complainers before I go shooting today. Now you might guess I am a Gunner, You Win The Prize, and if you guessed I started at 12 and have been shooting for 54 years, you are The Winner. Now, if you figure I am opposed to any Gun Regulations you are wrong. Keep the AR, age will be 21, and yes I had a Draft Card #252 for Vet Nam at 18. I have lived during the no high cap mag time, and it really did not hurt other then my 10/22 and I did not own The Macs back then, but say a 10 round max would not really hurt me much. I figure if me and my daily CC run into some nut with an AR I stand a better chance if he is resisted to 10 rounds max. I might even win, a Teacher with a gun might win, but the odds get much worse with the bad guy gunning with a 30 rounds mag. Simple Sense that could help keep our kids, grandkids, and ME safer.

      1. @Dave Brown, It is not a matter of what you like, what you need or not, what you approve of. It is a matter of Civil Rights enumerated and enshrined in the Bill of Rights portion of the US Constitution.

        1. Thanks Wild Bill … that point seems to be missed by any number of “learned” individuals; including lawyers, teachers, politicians and of course the ever present, perpetually offended left.

        2. Wild Bill, with the greatest respect, you have not ENTIRELY stated the Constitutional matter. What you have said is true. We have a “right” to “arms”. If a magazine of X rounds is within the contemplation of “arms” then that is our right.

          It is not inconsistent with the matter of rights to look for – and perhaps discover – that there is a Constitutional “need” for some sort of “arm”; whatsoever that might be (e.g., perhaps a cartridge box, a ram-rod, a bayonet). So, let’s look, shall we?

          Let’s see: “A well regulated militia being necessary for the security of a free state, . . . ” “[N]ecessary” there it is. “Necessary” is a form of the base word “need”. There is a “need” for “the security of a free state”. (We need not discuss why anyone should really “need” a free state. It’s simply a historical fact that We the People, through our 13 legislatures, decided it was “necessary” to “secure” a “free state”.)

          What is a “well regulated” “militia”? It is an effective militia; one fit-for-purpose. It is properly equipped. The “arms” necessary for an effective militia are contemplated explicitly as one reason to guarantee the right to arms.

          Hypothetically, one might challenge the notion of some type of “gadget-gun” (e.g., a “lemon squeezer”) as being “any part of the ordinary military equipment, or that its use could contribute to the common defense.” Should such an arm be NOT so deemed, perhaps it would lack the highest protections accorded by the 2A.

          Conversely, if some arm – a magazine with a capacity of X rounds – WERE SO DEEMED (i.e., part of the ordinary military equipment, or that its use could contribute to the common defense) then it follows that it really is “necessary” and must be accorded the highest protections guaranteed by the 2A.

          I see no possible reasoning to escape from this analysis. The “tighter” the fit between an artifact deemed to be an “arm” and it’s contribution to the effectiveness (well-regulated-ness) of a militia – a military company – the higher the level of scrutiny must be applied in finding an “infringement”. The “looser” the fit the harder it is to find that a statue might “infringe” on “the right”. (E.g., would we regard a “mace” – a ball on a chain studded with spikes – to be “part of the ordinary military equipment”?)

        3. @WB Me thinks Mr. Brown doesn’t know a Mac 10 from a Big Mac. I’ve seen this same style of writing in some other post around the internet. It’s the lefts way of convincing us to see their common Sense, Which is preposterous at best. I’ve noticed they always mention SMGs, and SKSs, as if it’s badge of honor to confess to owning one. Who knows it could be the return of Clark Kent, ankle biter extraordinare……..in all sincerity Mr. Brown, your post is absolutely ridiculous. Just practicing my 1st amendment rights here.

      2. makes no difference if he has 10 shots or 50, all you need is one shot, and there might be an 18 year old next to you wishing he could help

    4. Oh boy… we could talk about this for hours! I been living in Brazil for a major part of each year since 2000. It has really changed for the better. I still like the U.S. much more. Last week I spoke with a group of Federal Police (I am fluent in Portuguese) about this subject. Unlike 15 years ago, they all agreed that they want trained, responsible, citizens to be armed. They are also fighting to carry something other than B-stock Taurus 9mm sidearm loaded with FMJ. All advanced ammunition is prohibited… even for police! They also told me that they confiscated a bazooka last week in one of the Favelas (squatter neighborhoods). Brazil is improving rights, we are limiting individual rights.

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