Brazil to end restrictions on gun ownership

Published October 31, 2015
Sao Paulo (Brazil): A woman handles a pistol at a gun shop in Sao Caetano do Sul on Friday. Brazil has one of the highest murder toll on the planet.—AFP
Sao Paulo (Brazil): A woman handles a pistol at a gun shop in Sao Caetano do Sul on Friday. Brazil has one of the highest murder toll on the planet.—AFP

RIO DE JANEIRO: Brazil, which has one of the highest murder tolls on the planet, could soon end most restrictions on gun ownership, risking what one critic called a “Wild West” scenario.

A draft law stripping away current limits has already been approved in committee and is due to go to the lower house of Congress in November.

Under the law, anyone over 21, including people accused of crimes or convicted of less than serious crimes, would be allowed to purchase up to nine firearms a year and 50 rounds of ammunition a month.

State employees and public figures, ranging from government inspectors to politicians, would be authorised to carry arms, as would private citizens often in the public eye such as taxi drivers.

At present, weapons can only be bought legally by people obtaining a license on a case-by-case basis.

Supporters say freeing up gun sales will allow people to protect themselves in a country plagued by violent robbery and intense confrontations between drug gangs and police, with some 40,000 gun-related deaths a year.

“Our proposal is to guarantee the good citizen’s right to self-defence”, said the law’s author Laudivio Carvalho, from the powerful centrist PMDB party.

But opponents fear that Brazil’s orgy of gun violence would simply spin further out of control.

“It’s a return to the Wild West,” said Ivan Valente, a deputy from the leftist PSOL party.

Published in Dawn, October 31st, 2015

On a mobile phone? Get the Dawn Mobile App: Apple Store | Google Play

Opinion

Editorial

Under pressure
Updated 25 Jan, 2022

Under pressure

It is fairly obvious that PM is cognisant of the trouble that his government is in from a political and economic perspective.
25 Jan, 2022

Ukraine tensions

TENSIONS between Nato and Russia over Ukraine have reached a critical pass, and there are genuine fears of a fresh...
25 Jan, 2022

Defeating polio

WITH Pakistan in the decisive stage of the battle against polio, every vaccination campaign is of significance as it...
24 Jan, 2022

Anti-extremism policy

HAD there been more far-sighted policymaking on the part of the state and an understanding of how religious ...
Government’s silence
Updated 24 Jan, 2022

Government’s silence

A MAJOR trial is underway in London during which Pakistan has repeatedly been mentioned as the place where payment...
24 Jan, 2022

Cutting mangroves

FOR Karachi, the mangrove cover along its coastline is a thin line of defence against potential oceanic and climatic...