Arms Sales in Brazil Increased 378% between 2007 and 2012

By Dialogo
May 31, 2013

Despite a stricter law approved in 2003, which increased the minimum age for purchasing and carrying a firearm from 21 to 25 years old, along with a mandatory psychological exam and practice tests, the number of records for weapons granted to Brazilian citizens has increased. This matter concerns the authorities, especially those in the public security area, since the country now ranks first in the world for firearm-related deaths.

A new survey conducted by the Federal Police, who are responsible for issuing firearms permissions and licenses, at the request of Brazilian newspaper O Globo, , shows an increase of 378% from 2007 to 2012, considering only new and legal weapons. In prior years, the permissions to carry a gun reached an average of 7,000 per year, and in 2012 the number of newly issued registrations went up to 31,500.

The reason for the increase is still unknown to specialists. There are different theories ranging from the inefficiency of the state security service regarding the safety of the population, to the short response of the media in showing the many disarmament marketing campaigns of the Ministry of Justice.

According to a study by the Institute of Applied Economic Research (IPEA), the losses determined by the high incidence of homicides cost approximately US$ 8.69 billion in public funds per year.

In 2012, the Army destroyed approximately 230,000 weapons of various types and calibers, seized during police operations, as well as those given up by the population during campaigns in prior years. It is estimated that there are 8 million legalized weapons by Brazilian citizens and almost the same number of illegal weapons were smuggled from other countries, stolen during robberies, or belong to private security companies.

*André Luís Woloszyn, Strategic Intelligence Analyst