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Thread: All the guns people bought in Brazil under Bolsonaro now must be turned in

  1. #1

    All the guns people bought in Brazil under Bolsonaro now must be turned in

    Brazil Moves to Take Back Guns After Surge in Purchases

    New government tries to reverse a proliferation of firearms and 24-hour shooting clubs

    By Luciana Magalhaes and Samantha Pearson

    March 21, 2023 11:42 am ET

    SÃO PAULO—Since taking office three months ago, Brazil’s leftist president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, has reversed looser gun laws introduced by his conservative predecessor, Jair Bolsonaro, suspending new firearm registrations and reducing the number of guns a person can own to three from six.

    Now comes the hard part: getting people to give up their weapons.

    Of the some 3 million guns now registered by Brazilians for civilian use, more than half—1.6 million—were bought during Mr. Bolsonaro’s four-year stint in office until 2022, according to estimates based on army and police data by the Igarapé Institute, a Brazilian think tank. The increase occurred in a country that has historically imposed strict firearms controls on civilians.

    Mr. da Silva’s Workers’ Party is back in power, but many of Brazil’s gun owners say they don’t want to give up their firearms despite the clampdown.

    “It’s time to put down your weapons, weapons that should never have been wielded,” Mr. da Silva said after winning the October presidential election against Mr. Bolsonaro. “Guns kill and we choose life.”

    To determine just how many guns came into circulation under his predecessor, Mr. da Silva has given owners until March 31 to take any guns they bought under looser rules since May 2019 to the nearest police station for inspection and registration in a government database.

    In April, Mr. da Silva will pass a presidential decree forcing owners to sell firearms to the state that exceed the new three-per-person rule, or face arrest, Brazil’s justice minister, Flávio Dino, told The Wall Street Journal.

    “Any gun that is not declared will be considered an illegal weapon…they’ll be committing a crime,” said Mr. Dino. According to the disarmament law, having illegal guns can lead to 2 to 4 years in prison plus a fine.

    Only 60% of gun owners have complied with registering so far, according to government figures.

    Several politicians and citizens have referenced U.S. gun policy amid the debate. Mr. Bolsonaro, as president, passed more than 40 decrees loosening weapons restrictions to bring what he called “U.S.-style gun legislation” to Brazil.

    At a newly opened shooting gallery in São Paulo, Lizandra Pascoal swept back her long hair after firing her Stribog semiautomatic 9mm handgun. Like many gun owners here, she says civilians deserve the right to defend themselves with firearms.

    “They can in the U.S., so why can’t we?” she said.

    The Workers’ Party published a campaign video last May on U.S. school shootings. “This is the result of looser gun laws,” reads the text overlay. “Is this what you want for Brazil?”

    After Brazil registered more homicides than anywhere in the world in 2017, homicides dropped to a 15-year-low in 2022 under Mr. Bolsonaro’s government. Gun enthusiasts said that buttressed their argument that arming law-abiding citizens deters criminals.

    But antigun campaigners point out that murders were already in decline in 2018 before Mr. Bolsonaro took office, attributing the reduction partly to a truce in a bloody turf war between rival gangs, rather than to looser gun laws.

    For many younger Brazilians, Mr. Bolsonaro’s administration marked the first time that guns had been readily available in their lifetime.

    Gun laws were relatively lax in the 1980s as the country’s military dictatorship came to an end: Anyone over the age of 21 could buy a firearm in a shopping mall. Cars were designed with gun compartments. Men’s bags had gun pockets.

    But in 2003, the year that Mr. da Silva, a union activist-turned-politician, took office as president for the first time, Brazil passed some of the world’s most far-reaching policies controlling gun ownership. His government said it was a necessary response to surging crime rates.

    In a 2005 referendum, 64% of Brazilians said they didn’t agree with a ban on firearm sales in the country. But the restrictions imposed in 2003 remained in place until the Workers’ Party lost the presidency in 2016.

    Michel Temer, Mr. Bolsonaro’s predecessor, eased some restrictions on owning and carrying guns. But it was under Mr. Bolsonaro, a former army captain, that gun ownership surged.

    Brazil’s to and fro on gun control in recent decades has turned the country into a type of laboratory experiment on firearms legislation, said Fabricio Rebelo, a legal expert and head of the Center for Research on Law and Public Security. But the existence of multiple official databases for crimes and gun ownership makes it difficult to draw conclusions, he said.

    During Mr. Bolsonaro’s administration, a new shooting club opened every day on average, according to official figures, with an increasing number of women among their numbers. Many began to operate 24 hours a day. Under April’s decree, Mr. da Silva will ban shooting clubs from operating around the clock.

    Under Mr. Bolsonaro’s government, gun owners were allowed to carry loaded firearms as long as they were on their way to a shooting club. Mr. Dino, the justice minister, said the government suspected that many clubs stayed open just to give their members a legitimate excuse to carry loaded weapons any time of day or night.

    “There is no need for clubs to be open all the time, as if they were offering an essential service—they’re not,” he said.

    Fábio Pereira, a 47-year-old businessman, said he would often turn up at his shooting club at 2 a.m. when he couldn’t sleep.

    “I even stopped doing therapy, because this relaxes me,” he said, taking a break in the lounge of a shooting club in an upmarket São Paulo neighborhood.

    Gun owners are being used as scapegoats by Mr. da Silva’s government, he said, adding that controlling firearms “was being treated as if it were a panacea for all ills, as if this were the biggest problem in Brazil.”

    Antigun campaigners say increasing the stock of legally held weapons in Brazil invariably leads to the theft and resale of weapons to criminals. Mr. Dino said he is suspicious of so many gun sales under hunting licenses since it is only legal in Brazil to hunt wild boar.

    While there is no national data on gun theft, in São Paulo some nine guns were stolen a day between 2011 and 2022, said Carolina Ricardo, head of Sou da Paz, a research group that based their findings on government and police data.

    At São Paulo’s gun clubs, members say the risk of getting robbed is exactly why they need to protect themselves.

    Gustavo Pazzini opened his first gun club in 2019 and now owns three—with 10,000 members, he says. He said he needs to stay open 24 hours a day to keep watch over his arsenal. He recalled how criminals had recently ransacked another club in the city when it was closed, stealing some 70 weapons.

    “I thought to myself: if they steal our guns too, we’ll be bankrupt…so I started sleeping in the club.”

    His members say that Mr. da Silva’s ban on carrying loaded weapons has made them a target, since criminals know that the weapons of people entering and exiting gun clubs will be empty.

    “Nowadays, assailants wait at the doors,” said Ramenon de Oliveira Freitas, a retired federal police officer. “They know that members won’t be able to defend themselves.”
    Quote Originally Posted by TheCount View Post
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  3. #2
    Hope more people in Brazil buy more guns as a result of Lula cracking down on them.
    Last edited by Anti Globalist; 03-21-2023 at 09:57 PM.
    "Perhaps one of the most important accomplishments of my administration is minding my own business."

    Calvin Coolidge

  4. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Anti Globalist View Post
    Hope more people in Brazil buy more guns as a result of Bolsonaro cracking down on them.
    The Bastiat Collection · FREE PDF · FREE EPUB · PAPER
    Frédéric Bastiat (1801-1850)

    • "When law and morality are in contradiction to each other, the citizen finds himself in the cruel alternative of either losing his moral sense, or of losing his respect for the law."
      -- The Law (p. 54)
    • "Government is that great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else."
      -- Government (p. 99)
    • "[W]ar is always begun in the interest of the few, and at the expense of the many."
      -- Economic Sophisms - Second Series (p. 312)
    • "There are two principles that can never be reconciled - Liberty and Constraint."
      -- Harmonies of Political Economy - Book One (p. 447)

    · tu ne cede malis sed contra audentior ito ·

  5. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Anti Globalist View Post
    Hope more people in Brazil buy more guns as a result of Bolsonaro cracking down on them.
    It ain't Bolsonaro.
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankind…it’s people I can’t stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment

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