As anti-gun extremists in the United States push to restrict the Second Amendment freedom for law-abiding gun owners, Brazilians realize such measures do not work and are moving to arm themselves for protection.
Following President Jair Bolsonaro’s legislation this year to ease restrictive firearm laws, Brazilians from many walks of life now will be allowed to have concealed carry handguns without having to prove to police why they need them. These include people such as politicians, journalists, truckers and hunters.
Brazilians will be free to choose their own calibers and use up to 5,000 rounds of ammunition per year. People will be allowed to transport guns in their vehicles and use their firearms for target practice on gun ranges.
Supporters of the pro-gun measures hope that the increase in concealed-carry permits among the public will deter armed criminals and reduce the number of violent hijackings, contract killings and robberies that have plagued the country during its era of extreme gun control.
Until 2019, Brazil boasted some of the toughest gun laws in South America. These tight restrictions, passed in 2003, had banned all conceal-carry permits without police permission. In fact, to become a legal gun owner, a Brazilian citizen was required to undergo a psychological test. Citizens were only allowed to purchase firearms of .380 caliber or less. And, they were only permitted to use 50 rounds of ammunition per year. Furthermore, it was illegal to take guns out for target practice or transport them in vehicles. It was also an expensive and time-consuming process that often took eight months to obtain permission to buy a gun.
The mayhem this caused was incredible. During this period of tight gun control, violent crimes in Brazil actually increased—particularly armed robberies and hijackings. Criminals carrying illegal firearms used guns against ordinary people unable to defend themselves. In 2017 alone, Brazil recorded 63,000 homicides.
Members of the Brazilian general public have reacted favorably as the gun-control restrictions were repealed. Brazilian gun manufacturer Taurus reported receiving 2,000 orders for its T4 rifle and saw its shares jump by nearly 8 percent on the Sao Paolo stock exchange.
The number of Brazilians wishing to carry a firearm has doubled in seven years from 21 percent in 2012 to 43 percent in 2019, according to a recent study by Vanderbilt University.
The hike in poll numbers of pro-gun Brazilians and the boost in the country’s new firearms market indicate the enthusiasm of the people of Brazil as they embrace their new freedoms to carry guns.