After the federal government announced stricter rules for gun control, against the grain of Jair Bolsonaro’s management, the Federal Police has been making progress in arresting people who had legal authorization to have weapons such as Collectors, shooters and hunters (CAC) or security guards, but who, in fact, had pending matters with the Justice, which in theory would make them unfit to obtain authorization for possession of a firearm.
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Since the beginning of May, 114 people have been arrested. Among the CACs, most were from the states of Rio Grande do Norte, Mato Grosso and Pará. The data show that, among collectors and shooters, 18% were arrested for homicide, 14% for robbery and theft and 5% for drug trafficking. The remainder (63%) refer to those investigated for various crimes, from rape of a vulnerable, passive corruption to fraud and extortion through kidnapping.
Pistol Confiscation Was 30%
In addition to being arrested, the targets also had their weapons and ammunition confiscated by the police – 30% were 9 mm pistols, in addition to rifles (10%) and shotguns (3%). Although it adopted a series of restrictions — such as reducing the total number of weapons that could be purchased by CACs —, Lula’s administration maintained permission for the acquisition of pistols.
The arrests were possible thanks to the determination to re-register the weapons provided for in a decree issued on 1 January. Even wanted for some crime, the owners of the weapons tried to register to continue with the weapons. With the data, Federal Police (PF) intelligence crossed the names of these CACs or security guards with those from the National Council of Justice (CNJ) database. In it, it is possible to see if a person has pending arrest warrants in the country. The Federal Police will now investigate the 6,168 large caliber weapons that were not re-registered.
In order to have or carry weapons, the candidate for the acquisition must prove that he has no criminal record. Based on the re-registration and the recent findings of the PF. Lula’s government prepares a decree to restrict the access of firearms to the CACs. Last week, a draft of the decree was delivered by Justice Minister Flávio Dino to President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. The text is now at the Special Secretariat for Legal Affairs (SAJ) of the Civil Affairs Ministry.
The New Decree
The decree should reduce the number of weapons that each citizen can acquire. However, Flávio Dino stated that he will not confiscate any weapons. The decree will reduce quantities and regulate more clearly what is a hunter, a sport shooter, and a collector, with a view to preventing fraud. The decree will also regulate the so-called shooting clubs. The objective is to stop the irresponsible and uncritical proliferation of establishments.
Repurchase of Weapons
The Ministry of Justice is also considering including a program for the repurchase of large-caliber weapons (rifles and submachine guns) in the new decree being prepared by the government of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. The 223, 556 and 762×51 rifles, which cost between R$ 12,000 and R$ 20,000, should enter this account. For the repurchase plan to materialize, however, it would be necessary to reserve resources in the Federal Budget, which is currently not foreseen. The idea is that the proposal is transmitted as an “investment” to the police and not as an extra expense.
The arrested people were in a contradiction because they had supposedly acquired a firearm under legal circumstances, but they were not fit for having a firearm. The changes foreseen in the new decree represent a hardening in the gun control policy. It is not a complete change of scenario in comparison to the previous government, when access to weapons was widely eased, but it is a step towards a reduction of the thousands of firearms acquired by civilians in the last four years. The increase in control over the circulation of weapons was a campaign promise by President Lula (PT). The transformations proposed by this new government represents a different approach to public security. Bolsonaro’s government was quite liberal and inspired by the United States society. It defends the idea that the citizen should have firearms for many things, including self-defense. The new administration’s perspective is that more weapons represent more violence. A study carried out by the Brazilian Public Security Forum on the causal relationship between weapons and crimes reveals that for every 1% more in the dissemination of weapons there is a 1.1% increase in the homicide rate.