BRASILIA, Brazil -(Ammoland.com)- The President of Associação Nacional da Indústria de Armas e Munições (ANIAM), which is a joint venture between Taurus and Companhia Brasileira de Cartuchos (CBC), Salesio Nuhs, issued a letter pushing gun control in Brazil. The letter was sent and signed by Nuhs as the President of ANIAM. Nuhs also holds the title of President of Taurus Brazil. Taurus in Brazil is separate from the U.S. entity of Taurus Holdings Inc., but the Brazilian branch produces most Taurus firearms.
Brazil is going through a period of turmoil that saw right-leaning President Jair Bolsonaro replaced by far-leftist Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Much like the latest US Presidential elections, many Brazilians felt the election was stolen from Bolsonaro. These protestors took to the street to protest the election results. They ended up occupying some government buildings leading many to call it an attempted coup and some left-leaning politicians in America to compare it to the January 6 protest.
During President Bolsonaro’s administration, he relaxed gun regulations, letting the average Brazilian own firearms instead of just the country’s elite. President Lula da Silva pushed an anti-gun narrative and blamed some of the election unrest on the Brazilian gun community. Brazilian gun owners call this claim false.
“A lot of fake news is being produced accusing shooters of riots and violence,” one Brazilian competitive shooter told AmmoLand News. “It is not true that we are mobilizing through entities like Pro Armas, CEARME, to try to reverse this process, but within the democratic process and the laws that govern us.”
President Lula da Silva has introduced measures to limit firearms ownership in the South American country. He seems to have found an unlikely ally in his war against guns. A letter (embedded below) was sent to President Lula da Silva’s office from the Associação Nacional da Indústria de Armas e Munições (ANIAM), which is a joint venture between Taurus and Companhia Brasileira de Cartuchos (CBC), asked the new government to enact gun control laws while giving Taurus a near monopoly on domestic firearm sales. The letter was signed by ANIAM President Salesio Nuhs.
Mr. Nuhs stated that the previous administration made it too easy for the average Brazilian to get guns through Collectors, Shooters, and Hunters (CAC) registration.
CAC registration opened firearms ownership for specific purposes, such as subsistence hunting. Self-defense isn’t an acceptable reason for the Brazilian government. The Taurus president asked the new government to crack down on people they saw as exploiting the law.
“However, what we saw was a flood of ordinary citizens claiming CAC registration to gain access to weapons, including those for restricted use, and be able to carry them under the argument of carrying transit for displacements,” the letter read.
ANIAM also asked the government to crack down on firearms and ammunition imports. The crackdown would cut down on the competition that Taurus faces in Brazil. Some Brazilians think that Taurus is trying to carve out Brazilian markets all to themselves.
“There was also a widespread release of imported weapons and ammunition, without due control and with tax incentives. Ammunition is being imported without proper markings, and weapons and ammunition are imported without being released through computerized control systems, such as SICOVEM and SICOFA,” Nuhs writes.
The president of Taurus Brazil gave the government his recommendations for firearms laws. The most shocking proposal is that Brazil forms its own version of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).
This agency, in Nuhs eyes, will have the ability to establish controls for firearms and have the power of inspection to ensure compliance with firearms laws. The agency will also have the power to seize guns from the people.
“Among the agency’s attributions will be the stratification of the categories of gun purchasers, putting an end to the trivialization carried out with the CAC category. It will also be responsible for establishing the quantities of weapons and ammunition authorized for each category, creating computerized and online controls, carrying out the integration between SIGMA and SINARM, establishing the means of inspection, penalties, defining the procedure and the allocation of weapons seized or in non-compliance with the legislation, in addition to establishing the deadlines for the entry into force of the new regulations,” the letter reads.
The Nuhs letter also proposed limiting the calibers of ammunition civilians could acquire and use. The only calibers that average citizens under Nuhs proposal could own would be .38, .357, .380, and 9mm. All rifle calibers are only allowed for restricted use, such as subsistence hunting.
The proposal would see almost all imports cease. Imports would only be allowed in “exceptional” cases. If there Is a domestic alternative, then that firearm would be strictly prohibited from being imported, ending all competition. This rule was previously in effect before President Bolsonaro opened up the market, making firearms cheaper for Brazilians.
“Return to the previous rule, importation only in exceptional cases and as long as there is no national similar. Revocation of tax incentives. Ensuring equality between the national and imported product, which today enjoys tax and regulatory benefits and facilities, to the detriment of the national industry, which, in addition to being unconstitutional, violates the END, approved by the Government under President Lula. Re-establish inspection of imported products, making marking mandatory on products and their packaging and carrying out control through electronic systems (SICOVEM, SICOFA, SIREM, SIP…),” the letter reads.
The amount of ammunition and firearms a citizen could own would be reduced. The number of firearms a Brazilian could own would be reduced from six to four. If Nuhs has his way, only one gun would be allowed per residence.
“Restore the previous procedure, excluding the presumption of effective necessity, which, again, now has to be declared. Acquisition of weapons only for permitted use and with reduced quantity, going from 6 weapons to up to 4, with the possibility of having only one weapon in each residence, up to a total limit of 4 weapons. Possession of a weapon, one in each household, aims to prevent the transport and circulation of weapons in national territory,” writes Nuhs.
The Nuhs letter also would like to see an updated registry to track all firearms and ammunition. The guns would be tracked in a single database consisting of all transfers, including those made by the manufacturers, dealers, and end users. He claims this system would mean an easier time carrying out inspections at shops and residences.
The Nuhs letter also suggests that the country separate the country’s shooters into categories. These categories would determine the type of firearms a gun owner could own.
Stratify the CAC category according to need, as follows:
- Beginner Sport Shooter (ADI): only permitted weapons.
- Full sport shooter (ADP): for weapons for restricted use, proof is required that the weapon claimed is provided for in the rules of practice, national or international, of the shooting modality practiced by the acquirer.
- High-performance sports shooter (ADA): equal to the advanced, with the amount of weapons and ammunition adequate to the training needs.
- Subsistence hunter (CS): maintains the current rule that was established by the Government of the elected president.
- Hunter Control (CC): Restricted use of weapons only if suitable for slaughtering animals authorized and as long as it is registered with IBAMA.
- Collector (CO): The circulation of arms and ammunition is prohibited, except for exhibition duly authorized by the regulatory agency.
Finally, the gun owners would not be allowed to transport their firearms with ammunition, except for subsistence hunters, but they would be limited to one registered firearm.
Taurus Brasil, for their part, claims that the company was trying to head off more gun control through “compromise.” The Brazilian people do not have the protection of the Second Amendment. Taurus might be trying to keep the Brazilian market open for gun owners. The Brazilian Confederation of Shooting Sports (CBTE), which is funded by Taurus and CBC, has put out statements in support of Mr. Salesio Nuhs proposals. LRCA Defense Consulting, which reports on the Brazilian defense industry, has also released a letter from “shooters and shopkeepers” supporting the position of the Taurus CEO.
Some have compared the tactic that Taurus is using to how the NRA has agreed to back certain gun control actions to prevent more extreme measures from being passed. There are two different states of thought. One is to give in a little to prevent more damage to gun rights, and the other is more of a GOA stance of “no compromise.” The Brazilian people will have to decide which path is best for them.
AmmoLand News reached out to Taurus USA about the actions of the President of Taurus in Brazil. Bret Vorhees, President and CEO of Taurus Holdings Inc. (USA), issued the following statement.
In light of the recent and ongoing developments in Brazil, I feel it’s important to emphasize this fact first and foremost: Taurus USA, headquartered in Bainbridge, GA in the United States, is absolutely committed to protecting and defending not only the Second Amendment, but the inherent right to self-defense held by all human beings. We have never, and will never waver from this obligation.
As President of the US operations of Taurus, I am not intimately involved in Brazilian politics, nor will I pretend to understand the intricacies of what is happening in Brazil today. What I will say is Taurus is driven by pro-gun individuals worldwide, and any claim that our company wants to strip the rights of gun owners not only goes against who we are as individuals, but also is counterintuitive to our efforts as a successful company in our industry.
Brazilian gun owners do not enjoy the constitutional protection offered to Americans by the Second Amendment. The election of President Lula would have been disastrous for legal gun owners in Brazil, and quite likely would have resulted in the end of legal gun ownership in Brazil. It’s only through the actions and intercession of our parent company and Salesio himself that this was averted. In fact, through months of work, Salesio was able to secure an expansion of firearms access for Brazilian gun allowing them to now legally access 9mm caliber firearms, which were previously restricted to military and law enforcement prior to Balsonaro becoming President.
Again, Taurus USA is fully committed to preserving gun rights and the Second Amendment. While I do not feel we need to comment on a policy issue in a foreign country, we do stand in solidarity with gun owners in Brazil.
Documents: President of Taurus Brazil Proposal of Gun Control In Home Country
About John Crump
John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, or at www.crumpy.com.