Brazilian President, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, is taking steps to tackle the rising trend of gun ownership in the country. In an effort to reverse the relaxed regulations implemented by his predecessor Jair Bolsonaro, President Lula has introduced stricter rules on gun ownership.
Under the new measures, civilians will now be limited to owning a maximum of two firearms, down from the previous limit of four. Additionally, individuals will be required to provide documentation justifying their need to possess a weapon. President Lula emphasized that while he supports the right of citizens to have guns for personal protection, he strongly opposes the presence of widespread gun arsenals in the hands of the general population.
Gun ownership surged during Bolsonaro’s presidency, with looser restrictions and encouragement to purchase firearms. As a result, gun manufacturers gained significant influence. However, contrary to expectations, this increase in gun ownership did not lead to a rise in violent crime rates. In fact, a recent report from the Brazilian Forum on Public Safety revealed that homicides reached a ten-year low in 2022.
Despite the decrease in homicides, Brazil still has a higher percentage of firearm-related homicides compared to other countries, with 77% of all homicides involving firearms in 2022. Experts attribute the decline in homicides to a combination of factors, including effective public security policies, social programs, and a fragile truce among criminal gangs. Increased gun ownership does not appear to play a significant role in reducing violence.
President Lula’s new regulations have been widely praised, particularly by the Igarape Institute. The measures include shorter validity of gun permits and closing a loophole that allowed loaded weapons in public spaces. Lula has reiterated his commitment to creating an unarmed country and believes that security forces should be armed responsibly.
As Brazil moves forward with tighter regulations on gun ownership under President Lula’s leadership, the country continues to grapple with the challenge of reducing firearm-related violence. Experts emphasize the importance of comprehensive social programs and targeted public security policies in addressing the root causes of violence, suggesting that merely restricting gun ownership may not be enough to effectively combat crime.
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