Since 2003’s Statute of Disarmament, Brazil has been a “may issue” country. To buy a firearm legally, a Brazilian must be at least 25-years old, pass psychological tests administered by the Federal Police (Brazil’s FBI) and provide “personal security reasons for wanting to own a gun.” After the country’s first school shooting, wherein a lone gunman massacred 12 students and injured 30 more, the South American nation’s pols have launched a gun control crusade. “Brazilian lawmakers say they will propose a national vote on whether to ban the sale of guns, after a deadly shooting at a school last week,” the BBC reports . . .
The Senate leader said legislators would rush through a bill to allow a referendum to be held this autumn.
A similar proposal in 2005 was rejected by voters and kept gun sales legal.
Given what’s happened in Mexico, disarming Brazilians would be a mistake of epic proportions. The move would leave the average citizen defenseless against violent criminal syndicates (of which there are many) and, it must be said, the government itself. Lest we forget, a military dictatorship ruled Brazil from March 31, 1964 to March 15, 1985.
Luckily, even the accelerated timetable for the referendum creates more than enough temporal space between this horrific crime and the public vote to allow for more calm and considered contemplation of an outright gun ban. Besides, Brazilians aren’t stupid.
Brazil held a similar referendum in 2005 under former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, but 64% voted against a ban.
Meanwhile, the real action is in the government crackdown to “disarm” civilians. At the moment, it focuses on a, wait for it, buyback program. In the future though . . .