Gun laws in Brazil

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In Brazil, all firearms are required to be registered with the minimum age for gun ownership being 25.[1] It is generally illegal to carry a gun outside a residence, and a special permit granting the right to do so is granted to certain groups, such as law enforcement officers.[2] To legally own a gun, an owner must hold a gun license, which costs BRL R$1000,[2] and pay a fee every three years to register the gun, currently at BRL R$85.[3] Registration can be done online or in person with the Federal Police.[4] Until 2008, unregistered guns could be legalized for free.[5]

It is estimated that there are around 17 million firearms in Brazil,[6] 9 million of which are unregistered.[1] Some 39,000 people died in 2003 from gun-related injuries nationwide.[6] In 2004, the number was 36,000.[1] Brazil has the second largest arms industry in the Western Hemisphere.[7] Approximately 80% of the weapons manufactured in Brazil are exported, mostly to neighboring countries; many of these weapons are then smuggled back into Brazil.[7] Some firearms in Brazil come from police and military arsenals, having either been "stolen or sold by corrupt soldiers and officers."[7]

In 2005, a majority of Brazil's population voted against banning the sale of guns and ammunition to civilians in a referendum. However, the Brazilian Department of Justice (Ministério da Justiça), which performs each individual's mandatory background check (which is made prior every gun acquisition, and every three years after it is acquired, which allows gun confiscation at the discretion of authorities), have been forbidding almost every citizen from buying guns,[8][9] based on the Executive Order # 5.123, of 07/01/2004 (Decreto n.º 5.123, de 1º de julho de 2004),[10] which allows the Federal Police to analyze the given reasons for owning a gun, under which "self defense" is not considered a valid reason because there are allegedly sufficient public police officers to maintain nationwide security.[11]

Thus, disarmament is effectively happening in Brazil,[12] as are massive gun confiscations,[13] notwithstanding its massive refusal by Brazilian people (at the referendum of 2005), and even though it is considered one of the real causes of the 20% rise of gun usage in homicides in the country. In 2003, 36,115 of the total 60,121 homicides involved a firearm, about 60%, while in 2012, 40,077 homicides of the total 50,108 involved a firearm, about 80%.[14]

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