His far-right predecessor, Jair Bolsonaro, had largely facilitated their acquisition. Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva signed a decree on Friday, July 21 to, on the contrary, restrict access to firearms to Brazilian civilians. Covering the “responsible arms control”the text aims to reduce in particular from four to two the number of weapons authorized for personal defense, while anyone wishing to acquire them will now have to demonstrate that they need them.
“We will continue to fight so that there are fewer weapons in our country. Only the police and the army must be well armed”said Lula during his presentation in Brasilia as well as a series of measures aimed at decreasing violence in Brazil.
No shooting range within one kilometer of schools
Among the regulations introduced, hunters, sports shooters and collectors, grouped under a category entitled “CACs”can now only possess six firearms, against thirty previously after a decree issued during the presidency of Jair Bolsonaro (2019-2022).
Authorizations to purchase ammunition were also significantly restricted by the new decree. It also limits the operating hours of shooting ranges and prohibits them from being located less than one kilometer from schools.
Shooting ranges have experienced a boom in recent years, with the practice of sport shooting making it possible to acquire a large number of weapons legally.
Another major change provided for in the decree: the weapons register of the CACs will gradually come under the control of the federal police, and no longer of the army.
A number of weapons that has tripled under the Bolsonaro presidency
According to the non-governmental organization (NGO) Instituto Sou da Paz, more than a million weapons were registered in the CAC register in July 2022, almost triple the approximately 350,000 registered in December 2018, a month before the start of the mandate of Jair Bolsonaro (2019-2023).
The decree signed by Lula “represents a step forward to return to standards of accountability and legal certainty in arms control in Brazil”therefore welcomed this NGO in a press release.
The Lula government also presented a bill on Friday that provides for tougher penalties in cases of violence in schools. The country was bereaved by several attacks in schools during the first semester.
According to a report released Thursday by the Brazilian Forum for Public Security, 47,508 homicides have been committed in Brazil this year, more than five per hour on average.
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But that figure has fallen steadily in recent years, since a record 64,078 homicides were recorded in 2017.