By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter

SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – A project in the Brazilian Congress will cancel one of the most important laws aimed at curbing gun violence in the country warn public safety organizations. The project, which seeks to create norms for the acquisition, possession, and circulation of firearms in the country, will start to be discussed on Wednesday by a Special Commission at the Chamber of Deputies.

Project in Congress may revoke disarmament law, photo by Hiram Alejandro  Briceño/Wikimedia/Creative Commons.
Project in Congress may revoke disarmament law, photo by Hiram Alejandro Briceño/Wikimedia/Creative Commons.

“It is inconceivable that a law which was created due to a great mobilization by society after three years of intense debates, and has become a model of arms control laws in several countries be threatened in this manner,” stated the open letter sent by several public safety organizations to the Chamber of Deputies last week. The groups ask that the Special Commission reject the project.

Non-governmental safety organizations, however, are uneasy about the Congressional procedures and the possible outcome of the debate.

According to Ivan Marques, executive director of NGO Instituto Sou da Paz the proof that the Commission’s aim is to approve the project without a debate at the end of this legislature is the cancellations of six public hearings which would be conducted throughout the country, substituting them for just one on November 26th in Brasilia.

The executive director, who released a comment on the NGO’s website, also noted that ten of the nineteen members of the Special Commission have ties to the gun industry, including the President and Vice-President.

The disarmament law, passed in 2003 made it illegal to own unregistered firearms. It also increased the minimum age for gun ownership from 21 to 25 years, and called for potential firearms owners to undergo a psychological report and practical exam.

According to Instituto Sou da Paz, a report from the Ministry of Justice showed a reduction by 12 percent in homicides by firearms in Brazil between 2003 and 2006, after years of consecutive increases.

7 COMMENTS

  1. All this law did was to disarm law abiding citizens and to take away their right to self-defense. There is no control at all on guns owed by criminals as can be easily seen on the constant battles fought by the different drug gangs. The numbers of killings by handguns have nothing to do with the regular guy being a consequence of criminal acts that are not at all affected by this law.

  2. I found this article interesting as I did not know there was an age criteria (age 25) before persons could buy a gun, too bad we don’t have this in the USA.

  3. The clowns that work at the NGO’s are hypocrites and don’t care about the people who are the victims of youth with garbage in their head and don’t care about laws.
    Owning a firearm illegal, does it work? No it doesn’t. I personally am not against registration, but the law in the real world doesn’t work. Criminals (people with garbage in their head) don’t care about laws and Brazilians are fed up with them. The NGO’s do not represent the majority of the Brazilians who are fed up with lack of security and are defenseless. The NGO’s neither care about that. Sou da Paz is a Brazilian NGO funded with money from George Soros and they have no right to tell Brazilians what age they should be to protect their lives with a registered firearm. The registration is not the problem, the process need to be faster and that’s what Brazilians demand who are fed up with the insecurity from criminals who don’t care about laws/rules.

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