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News > Brazil

Brazil Restricts Civilian Access to Arms and Ammunition

  • Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Jul. 21, 2023.

    Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Jul. 21, 2023. | Photo: Twitter/@VTVcanal8

Published 21 July 2023

Lula said that "we cannot allow arsenals of weapons in the hands of the people."

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva signed on Friday a decree restricting civilian access to arms and ammunition.

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The decree reimposes limitations that former President Jair Bolsonaro (2019–2023) had removed regarding Collectors, Shooters, and Hunters. The so-called CACs will be able to buy up to 3,000 cartridges and six guns per year, compared to the 30 they could acquire previously.

Among other measures, the decree leaves in the hands of the Federal Police the competence to issue permits and control weapons, which until now was in the hands of the Army.

Weapons such as 9 mm, .40 caliber pistols (the most purchased in Brazil in recent years), and .45ACP are again restricted and may only be in the hands of the security forces.

The common citizen who wants to buy a weapon for personal defense will only be able to buy two pistols and have 50 rounds of ammunition per year and will also have to demonstrate to the Federal Police the "effective need" to possess that weapon; until now, he could buy four pistols and have 200 rounds of ammunition.

The decree also restricts the operation of shooting clubs. They will no longer be able to operate 24 hours a day; their maximum hours will be from six in the morning to ten at night, and they will have to be at least one kilometer away from educational centers. To get to the club, users will no longer be able to carry a loaded gun, and they will also have to inform the club in advance of the route they are going to take and the time they will be shooting.

The tweet reads, "Let's keep fighting for an unarmed country. It is the security forces who have to be armed, responsibly."

The creation of the Amazonia Mais Segurança (AMAS) plan was also announced, to reinforce security in the northern region of the country, where violence has increased the most in recent years. Thirty-four land and river bases will be created with federal and state police; 6,000 agents and an investment of 2 billion reais (almost US$ 420 million) are foreseen.

Among the measures announced by the President, the so-called Security Action Program (PAS), which includes measures to combat violence in schools, also stands out.

The objective is to reduce the amount of weapons and ammunition available to civilians, as well as limit the acquisition of weapons by hunters, shooters, and collectors. All this at a time when Brazil is facing an increase in attacks in the country's schools in recent years. 

The Brazilian president said in an act at the Planalto Palace that "it is one thing for a citizen to have a gun at home, for protection, for guarantee, because there are people who think that having a gun at home is security. But we cannot allow arsenals of weapons in the hands of the people."

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