SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL — Recently, TIME magazine released an article discussing how Brazilian politicians are eyeing an American style of “right to bear arms” as a way to combat increasingly violent crime in the country. In 2004, Brazil instituted a much stricter set of gun laws — making registration of firearms mandatory and the penalty for carrying an unregistered gun much heavier.
This has not abated the rampant gun violence found in this country.
As the TIME magazine article noted, Brazilian legislators are looking at a new set of laws which will enable Brazilian citizens to:
- Purchase up to nine guns and 600 rounds of ammunition a year.
- Use the firearm for self-defense and the protection of property.
- Those under criminal investigation (but not indicted) can still carry firearms for their own personal protection provided they have a permit.
So, what changed their tune from before when guns were bad?
via TIME Magazine
“Brazil is an extremely violent country and the state has failed to resolve this problem,” says Laudivio Carvalho of the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party, who guided the bill through a special committee of lawmakers, in a telephone interview. “The population needs the right to defend themselves, their family and their property as they are the ones being attacked. Ninety percent of assaults are being carried out with illegal weapons.”
Joao Pessoa is the fourth most violent city in the world with a murder rate of 79.41 per 100,000 people. To put that in comparison, Chicago has a murder rate of 18.5 per 100,000 according to FBI statistics from 2012. In fact, in a list of the top 10 most violent cities in the world, Brazilian cities consistently rank in the majority. This means current gun laws do not work, people cannot trust the police to protect them, and reforms are necessary to enable law-abiding individuals the ability to protect themselves and their families.
Seems pretty common sense, no?