Friday, October 26, 2018

Brazil on Cusp of Reforming Restrictive Gun Laws

In a few days, on 28 October, 2018, Brazilians will vote to elect a president. Brazil has a complicated election system. An election was held on 7 October, and this is the runoff election.

The frontrunner, former Army Captain Jair Bolsonaro is heavily favored to win the runoff. He received over 46% of the vote in the October 7th election. Bolsonaro is a strong proponent of reform of the extremely restrictive Brazilian gun laws. From
(Bloomberg) -- With former Army Captain Jair Bolsonaro on the cusp of winning Brazil’s presidency, his allies in Congress plan to deliver on his campaign promise to ease the country’s restrictive gun laws as early as this year.

Gun ownership is one of the flagship campaign pledges of the former paratrooper, who regularly greets his fans by cocking his hands in a gun-shaped salute. Way ahead of his rival Fernando Haddad in opinion polls, Bolsonaro is on course to be elected Brazil’s next president on Oct. 28.
The gun laws in Brazil have been made more and more restrictive since the 1980's.  The latest, most restrictive laws were put into effect in 2003.  In 2005, Brazil held a referendum on the legal ownership of guns and ammunition. While the referendum was pushed hard by the media and elites, it was defeated with 67% of the vote.

Rebecca Peters, the protege of George Soros, who organized much of the effort to put the Australian gun ban in place in 1996, pushed hard for the gun ban in Brazil.

Brazil has one of the highest murder rates in the world. The murder rate has more than tripled as the gun laws have become more and more restrictive.

In the United States, the opposite has happened. The murder rate has dropped in half as the gun laws have become less restrictive, at least as far as carrying guns in public.

In 1980, Brazil had a homicide rate of about 12 per 100,000 people, only a little higher than the United States with a homicide rate of of 10.2 in the same year.  In 2017, 37 years later, the United States homicide rate dropped in half to 5.2, while Brazil's rate more than tripled to over 39. ( Correction: should be 30.8, not 39 Almost tripled to 30.8, not  more than tripled to 39)

Between 1980 and 2017, the United States incrementally restored Second Amendment rights while the number of guns owned per capita increased from .75 to 1.25, or 67%. Brazil took the opposite approach, placing numerous restrictions on gun ownership.

Presidential frontrunner Jair Bolsonaro is ready to try a different tack. Emulate the United States, to some extent, and recognize Brazilian's right to armed defense of self and property.

There is strong support for this approach in the Brazilian legislature. Reforms could be passed as early as this year.  Brazilians are fed up with high crime and murder rates. Many wish to be able to defend themselves against armed criminals.

Some of the basic reforms are:
  • Remove the ability of the police to arbitrarily deny a permit to own a gun. 
  • Reduce the minimum age for gun ownership from 25 to 21. (Brazilians can vote at age 16, and are required to vote at 18).
  • Allow Brazilian gun owners the right to carry guns for self defense (some restrictions will be included)
  • Allow ordinary gun owners to own up to six guns. 
  • Allow gun owners to obtain a hundred rounds of ammunition per year per gun. 
Brazil appears ready to return to an era where it trusted its law abiding citizens with arms. 

In a few years, we will know if the murder rate will start dropping to the level of that era.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch


Anonymous said...

"United States incrementally restored Second Amendment rights"
The United States incrementally repealed Second Amendment infringements. At least at the State level. Nothing at the Federal Level.

Dean Weingarten said...

Your parsing is more accurate.