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Small Arms Control Legislation in Brazil:

From Vargas to Lula

Carolina Iootty Dias

Introduction
This chapter describes the evolution of Brazilian arms control legislation since its inception
over 70 years ago, and seeks to show that this legislation has historically favored national
security over public security and promoted the growth and strengthening of Brazil’s arms industry
(as a means to safeguarding national security) rather than regulating that industry in function
of the individual security of Brazilians. During the years of military rule, naturally, these priorities
were only strengthened.

To study firearms control legislation in Brazil is also to study Brazil’s democratization,


via a process in which civil society has gained ground, particularly in the wake of the
explosion of criminal violence in the 1980s, in an area which the military ethos has
always considered secret and restricted.

In Brazil, firearms have always been directly or indirectly controlled by the Army. The
first document to lay down rules on the fabrication and circulation of firearms and
ammunition in Brazil was Presidential Decree n.24.602 of July 6, 1934, which was later
regulated 1 by Decrees n.s 1.246 of December 11, 1936, n.47.587 of January 4, 1960
and n.94 of October 30,1961.

Decree 24.602
Decree 24.602, signed by Getúlio Vargas, was a quite simple document that prohibited the
production of military weapons by private companies, permitted the production of firearms
and ammunition for hunting, and made no mention whatsoever of civilian-use firearms.
Authorizations for private companies to produce or sell military weapons and ammunition
could be conceded on an exceptional basis, provided that these companies gave the
government priority in purchasing their products, allowed officials of the Army (then called the
War Ministry) to inspect their premises, and agreed to submit to whatever restrictions the federal
government judged prudent to place on their domestic or foreign sales of weapons and
ammunition.

As such, most private arms companies were manufacturers either of hunting firearms and
ammunition, or of explosives, in which case they had to submit to virtually the same restrictions
as potential producers of military weapons, including the sale of products at home and abroad,
and the importation of raw materials. Interestingly, the decree states that restrictions could be
justified by the expectation of possible occurrences that would threaten “public order and
security” or when “higher reasons” of the economic order arose. What occurrences or higher
reasons these may have been, the decree did not say.

1
In Brazil, many laws and decrees are promulgated in a general terms, with specifics such as time periods, fines and duties, and legal penalties subject to a posterior ‘
regulation’ process, usually in the form of a regulatory decree.

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In order to get a production or sales license from the War Ministry, companies needed – aside
from the customary red tape — to declare all manner of minutiae, such as the covered area of
their factories, the number of workshop buildings, the volume of annual production, the 8-
hour production capacity, number of employees, the brand names of the machinery in the
workshops, the formulas of any secret products, and even “the distances between the factory
and all of its smaller buildings and warehouses.” Once received by ministry officials, these
declarations would be kept in secret.

Most interestingly, Article 5 of this decree stated that factories should abide by production
formulas approved by the War Ministry. The decree also importantly established that War
Ministry inspectors would spend no more than one year assigned to a single factory, after
which time they were to be substituted.

Article 9 of the decree mandated the immediate registration with the War Ministry of all arms
firms in existence or yet to be established, including non-manufacturing firms involved in the
importation, manipulation, or sale of hunting firearms and ammunition. The War Ministry
periodically promulgated inspection guidelines for both inspectors and firms. These guidelines
are the equivalent of today’s Defense Ministry ordinances.

Decree 24.602 was revoked on January 28, 1965, by Decree 55.649, which was called the
Inspection and Control 2 Service Regulation for Importation, Storage, and Shipment of
Controlled Products by the War Ministry – R105 (Regulamento para o Serviço de Fiscalização
da Importação, Depósito e Tráfego de Produtos Controlados pelo Ministério da Guerra,
SFIDT – R105). As it also covered manufacture and sales, the regulation’s name was later
changed to the Inspection and Control Regulation for Controlled Products (this change was
made in Decree n.88.113 of February 1983). It is commonly known as R105.

The publication dates of R105 (first version, 1934; second version, 1965) clearly coincide
with authoritacion periods in Brazilian history. This is no coincidence. Inspection and control
of so-called controlled products – firearms, ammunition, explosives and chemical agents –
had always been carried out unilaterally by the Army, with no parallel control on the part of
civil institutions. As such, it makes perfect sense that the legal documents establishing this
control were promulgated during dictatorial periods.

Decree 55.649
Decree 55.649 of January 1965, describes itself as a simple updating of the original Vargas-
era regulation, making constant mention of and reference to the earlier decree. In fact, Decree
55.649 was much more than this. The earlier decree was quite simple, with few details. The
1965 decree was a virtual encyclopedia of controlled product inspection and regulation. In
this decree, and not the Vargas decree of 1934, lies the true embryo of what are today the
rules for arms and ammunition control by the Army.
2
The activities of control, inspection, and monitoring are all covered by the Portuguese word fiscalização, which is herein translated using whatever combination of
these words is most appropriate to a given context. (Translator’s note)

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Here at the outset of the military authoritarian regime, the government sought to toughen
regulation of production, commerce, and circulation of firearms and ammunition. The
military dictatorship concentrated control over circulation of firearms and ammunition within
the sphere of the military (to an even greater extent than it already was), but also allowed
this control to remain undivided amongst the levels of the military hierarchy or that of the
political police (which, as we will see, had its own logistical function in arms control).

Article 5 of the decree is perhaps the most curious: it determined that inspection and
monitoring of controlled products be carried out “so as to give the greatest incentive to the
program of national economic development, without damaging the objectives of National
Security”. If read together with Article 6, this reveals one of true objectives of the authors of
Decree 55.649, that of openly stimulating the Brazilian arms industry. Article 6 reads: “So
that there be produced in this country firearms, ammunition, gun powder, explosives, and
their component parts and accessories, all for civilian use, of the highest standard and
quality, with the expectation that these products may eventually be exported, the War Ministry
[...] will arrange for the production of Technical Norms and Standards that will serve as
guidelines for quality control practices.”

And what was meant by “inspection and monitoring of controlled products”? Article 10 explains
that this term includes control of the functioning of factories that produce controlled products for
military and civilian ends; control of commerce and transportation of these products for civilian
use; and finally, the registering of companies involved in importation, exportation, and expediting
of customs procedures of controlled products.

The main principles behind this control regime were:

a) The supreme interests of national military defense;


b) The internal security of the country;
c) Public security and placidity;
d) The development of a national industry for these products, aiming to improve the technology,
productivity, and competency of these companies, for reasons of national security, “via
competition that leads to increasing improvements in national production and the supplying of
the national market, as well as simultaneously relieving pressure from foreign debt”.
e) The probability of exporting controlled products of high quality; and
f ) Technological and economic assistance to the controlled products industry, with an eye toward
the possibility of use of this technology in case of a national or international emergency.

The control regime was structured in this way: the War Ministry was responsible for authorizing
production and for inspection in general. Within the ministry, the highest organ within the control
regime was the Department of Production and Works (Departamento de Produção e Obras,
DPO), which published so-called General Action Ordinances (Normas Gerais de Ação, NGA),
rules linked to administrative decisions on controlled products. The DPO supervised the organ
that in fact carried out administrative tasks, the SFIDT mentioned above. Parallel to the DPO
was the Directorate of Military Equipment (Diretoria de Material Bélico – DMB), which was
responsible for coordinating and orientating control activities.

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Subordinate to the DMB was the Directorate of Controlled Products Inspection (Diretoria de
Fiscalização de Produtos Controlados, DFPC), responsible for “direct inspection”. The DFPC,
in turn, controlled the Controlled Product Inspection Services (Serviços de Fiscalização de
Produtos Controlados, SFPCs) which had spread throughout the military organs of the country.

In addition, controlled products were monitored indirectly by the following organs:

a) Sectors of the civil or military police, when specifically charged with the control of firearms,
ammunition and explosives;
b) Organs of the civil or military police or the federal highway police, charged with the
inspection and control of merchandise; 
c) Tax inspectors;
d) Federal, state, territorial, or municipal authorities with assignments related to controlled
products firms;
e) Head technicians and administrators from those firms registered with the War Ministry;
f) Chief administrators of clubs or associations registered with the War Ministry;
g) Brazilian diplomatic and consular officials, responsible for verifying, authenticating and
conceding visas in import or export documents for controlled products.

Naturally, it was the War Ministry that decided what products were controlled or not. Likewise,
the War Ministry decided what types, models, and calibers of firearms and ammunitions were
considered permitted or prohibited. The Ministry also decided what types and calibers of
firearms and ammunition could be imported and set quotas. This point should not be
overlooked: it was the mechanism by which that national arms industry was protected from
foreign competition. In addition, the Ministry made decisions about exportation of controlled
products and the destination of firearms seized by police and military authorities.

The war Ministry also decided the maximum quantities of permitted-use firearms and
ammunition that civilians and military personnel could acquire for “personal and immediate
use, independent of registration” In other words, persons not registered with the ministry but
who felt they needed a firearm and ammunition for immediate use could receive authorization.

Continuing with this brief analysis of the historical character of this document, we should note
that it called for repressive measures against firms that carried out “any excessive or suspect
activity” with controlled products. The pertinent organ here would be the SFIDT (Article 27, “f”).

According to the decree, the principal duties of the Civil Police were to monitor commerce
and traffic of controlled products within each state, territory, and in the Federal District (Brasília);
collaborate with the Army in the expediting of customs formalities for arms imported by
registered firms; and authorize the transport within the country of firearms registered to civilians.
In addition, the Civil Police authorized transfers or donations of firearms and ammunition
between persons, and registered arms collectors. Licenses to own and carry firearms would
also conceded by the Civil Police, who nonetheless were given no pre-established criteria to
follow. The decree speaks only of authorizing licenses for “responsible citizens” (“civis
idôneos”).

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The decree also stated that “in the registering of firms with the War Ministry”, the certificates of
good standing would be the responsibility of the Civil Police, through its social and political
police organs. Finally, authorization of civilian-use ammunition by registered firearm owners
was also a responsibility of the Civil Police.

For a company to obtain a license, it had to complete a series of requirements. Besides


obtaining a certificate of good standing from the political or social police and agree to any
restrictions which the War Ministry might deem prudent to place on production, sales (domestic
or foreign) and the importation of raw materials (maintained in the 1965 decree from the
original Vargas era legislation), the firm had to, before producing a single product, provide
the production formula to the War Ministry and, in the case of firearms and ammunition,
furnish detailed designs of its products containing ballistic characteristics of each type and
caliber. In addition, owners would have to fill out a questionnaire, which requested the following
pieces of information, among others: total number of workers, workers per line of production,
8-hour production capacity for each product, information on the possibility of increasing
production, and a five-year plan for increasing production.

Once it had received all this information, the War Ministry would consider whether the installation of
a factory would be in the interest of the country, if the quality of the product to be produced was
deemed in keeping with “the good name of Brazilian industry”, if the owners were truly in good
standing “in moral, technical, financial, and politico-social terms”, and, in the case of firearms and
ammunition factories, if they would be able to dedicate certain percentages (to be proposed by the
DPO) of their output to the production of war material.

The extent of power that the decree gave to the War Ministry can be seen in Article 46, which mandated
that the interests of national security be taken into account when considering requests for gun licenses,
and that “under these conditions” the Ministry would not be required to declare its reasons for any
future rejection or dismissal.

When a foreign firm sought to install a factory in Brazil, the “interests of national security” took on
even more importance. Article 48 ordered the War Ministry to study carefully the advantages and
disadvantages that a foreign-owned factory could bring for the economic development of the country
and the improvement of its national industrial output. The ministry would elaborate a study discussing
the following points:

a) Impact of the firm’s production on industries already present in Brazil


b) Whether there existed a timeframe for nationalizing production – and if there were none, when
one could be established.

Article “f” exempted gun shops operating in the countryside from registration granted that they were
“significantly far from population centers, at the discretion of the inspection and monitoring organs
of the War Ministry” and that they sold only Brazilian-made hunting shotguns (single- or double-
barrel), .22 caliber bullets, and hunting cartridges (empty or partially loaded with lead shot).

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Permission to import controlled products, in turn, would be automatically denied or restricted
if similar products were produced domestically within Brazil. With this rule, laid down in
Article 112 of the decree, began the protectionist policy toward the Brazilian arms industry
that continues to this day. Below, the text of the article:

Art. 112 – The War Ministry, cognizant of the control function it carries out,
will provide all protection to Brazilian industry necessary to increase
its production and improve its technical standards.

As such, all controlled products being manufactured or that come to be produced in the
Country, provided that they meet a level of production judged sufficient by the War Ministry,
will be placed in Control Category nº1 or 1-A, and their importation will be denied or restricted,
either via annual quotas or minimum required market share for the national industry, or any
other criteria of restriction.

Sole Paragraph3 : Quotas and percentages will be fixed via War Ministry Announcement, which
will take into consideration the needs of the domestic market, national production, and the
maintenance of a minimum stockpile.

Article 117 further establishes that importation of firearms, ammunition and accessories for
industrial uses (such as whale hunting, the cement industry, and others) can be allowed provided
that no similar national product exists and the necessity of these products can be verified.

Importation of dismantled firearms and assemblies, parts, accessories, and replacement pieces
thereof was also not permitted, although foreign-owned factories could import parts that could
not be immediately manufactured in Brazil “within the timeframe for nationalization of
production.”

This strict regulation of firms did not apply to individuals. People wishing to import or personally
bring back from abroad permitted-use firearms and ammunition for personal use could do
so, provided that they were “good citizens” and that their personal arsenal did not surpass
three firearms of differing calibers and 300 cartridges. Thus, it seems that if a “good citizen”
took five trips abroad per year, bringing back the legal limit each time, at the end of the year
he would have 15 firearms and 1500 cartridges.

Naturally (given the times), the liberty of War Ministry officials was total. Applications for
export would be decided quickly, and would require a separate shipping warrant “only when
judged necessary”. Import licenses were valid for one year.

 
3
Parágrafo único, a heading used in Brazilian laws to indicate a paragraph with no sub-headings.

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The decree said little on the subject of exports. The main principle was that exporters
should obey the legal and statutory norms in force in the importing countries. It is true
that Article 133, paragraph 3, gives the War Ministry the option of hearing the National
Security Council in the case of exportation of products considered to be war materiel.
Nevertheless, the fact is that the decree gave birth to a culture that persists today in the
arms control scenario in Brazil: protectionism for the domestic arms industry through
excessive import restrictions on the one hand, and little no concern with what is sold to
other countries on the other.

Firms wishing to export had to present, as proof of sale and authorization for import by
the purchasing countries, one of the following documents:

a) A copy of the foreign import license or equivalent, according to the legislation of that
country, whether in the form of an operating license or permission to sell during a limited
period;
b) A document issued by the relevant agency of the importing country stating the
specifications of the items to be imported;
c) A letter of bank credit, issued in the importing country, relating to the sale for which
authorization had been requested.

In the case of countries with free importation of controlled products, a simple declaration
from a Brazilian diplomatic body in the importing country or from that country’s diplomatic
representative in Brazil would suffice.

Finally, it is worth examining the text of Article 134:

Art. 134 – It is the duty of the War Ministry to stimulate the exportation of products under its control.

Sole Paragraph: The exportation of controlled products, however, should be carried out in
such a way as not to jeopardize supply of the domestic market.

As such, the War Ministry may reach agreements with national organs related to the export
sector, to verify whether exportation of certain items is opportune and advantageous to
the country, from the economic point of view.

Now let us consider which firearms, ammunition and accessories were considered
permitted-use and which were prohibited. Article 161 defined prohibited-use items as:

a) Firearms, ammunition, accessories and equipment equivalent or similar to (in technical,


tactical and strategic terms) war materiel used by Brazilian or foreign armed forces;
b) Firearms, ammunition, accessories and equipment that, though not part of the war
material used by Brazilian or foreign armed forces, nor similar to such materiel, possess
characteristics that make them apt only for military or police use; 

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c) Carbines (rifled shotguns), rifles and all similar rifled-bore firearms, with calibers greater than
.44 (11.17 mm); 
d) Revolvers with calibers greater than .38 (9.65 mm); 
e) Semiautomatic pistols with calibers greater than 7.65 mm or with barrel length greater than 15
cm; 
f) Parabellum-type semiautomatic pistols; 
g) Automatic pistols of any caliber; 
h) Single-shot pistols with calliber greater than .380 (9.65 mm); 
i) Compressed air guns; excluded from this class are spring-fired guns (that fire arrows, small lead
pellets, or small plastic bullets) up to 6mm; 
j) Gas weapons of any type, provided that they can be used to deploy agressive chemical agents;
excluded from this category are starting pistols or other weapons that fire cartridges containing
only gunpowder;
l) Cartridges for use in prohibited-use firearms; 
m) Cartridges charged with aggressive chemical agents, whatever their physiological or tactical
effects, provided that they be harmful to humans or animals, including cartridges capable of
provoking anesthesia; 
n) Fireworks or other devices capable of provoking fires or explosions;
o) Hidden or disguised firearms, understood as those with the appearance of inoffensive objects,
but that hide a weapon, such as cane-pistols, pen-revolvers and so on;
p) Devices or accessories that modify the conditions of use of firearms, such as silencers, so as to
muffle the sound of fired shots; 
q) Sights and accessories for prohibited-use firearms. 

Article 162 defined permitted-use firearms, ammunition, accessories and equipment as: 

a) Shotguns and all similar smoothbore firearms, of any model, type, caliber, or firing mechanism; 
b) Long-barrel rifled-bore firearms for pre-established civilian uses, such as carbines, rifles and
similar weapons up of caliber equal to or less than .44; excluded from the permitted-use category
are all firearms – even those with caliber lesser than .44 (11.77mm) – whose caliber is already
established as a standard military armament, such as 7mm or 7.62mm (.30); 
c) Revolvers of caliber equal to or less than .38 (9.65 mm); 
d) Semiautomatic pistols of caliber equal to or less than 7.65 mm, with barrels less than 15 cm
long, and excluding all Parabellum-type pistols;
e) Single-shot pistols of caliber equal to or less than .380 (9.65 mm); 
f) Spring powered shotguns or pistols (that fire arrows, small lead pellets, or small plastic bullets) of
caliber equal to or less than 6mm; 
g) Starting pistols or other weapons that fire cartridges containing only gunpowder;
 h) Empty, partially loaded or loaded shotgun cartridges, known as “hunting cartridges”, of any
caliber and with lead shot of any diameter;
i) Bullet cartridges for permitted-use rifled-bore firearms, except those which, though of permitted
caliber, expand or splinter upon firing (such as dumdum bullets), possess explosive or incendiary
action upon impact, or otherwise possess characteristics that make them apt only for police or
military use; 

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j) Lead shot for hunting, including birdshot; 
l) Sights and other permitted accessories for permitted-use firearms.

Article 187 prohibits production for civilian use of carbines (rifled shotguns) and all similar
firearms of caliber greater than.38.

Now let us discuss a privilege that military officials and sub-officials have always enjoyed:
the simplified and unregulated purchase of firearms and ammunition. Military personnel
did not need to register their firearms with the police, and Article 222 stated that the
purchase of permitted-use firearms and ammunition for personal use, from registered
civilian factories, depended only on the authorization of their commanding officer or
director. Paid reservists as well as retirees could purchase permitted-use firearms and
ammunition through the military payment offices to which they were linked, “either via the
Regional Military Commands or the Units closest to the places of residence of such military
personnel”.

Of course, there were some limits. Each soldier could acquire one handgun, one hunting
firearm, and one target-shooting firearm every two years, as well as the following quantities
of ammunition: 300 live handgun rounds, 500 live carbine rounds, 500 shotgun shells, 5
kilos of gunpowder and lead shot for hunting.

Officers and non-commissioned officers (NCOs) of the Auxiliary Forces could also buy
permitted-use firearms quite easily. They needed only the authorization of the director of
the DPO (in the case of the now-defunct state of Guanabara) or the commander of the
Military Region in which they worked.

So far, we have been discussing sales of firearms and ammunition produced by private
companies. In the case of the Army’s own factories, authorization for the purchase of
permitted-use firearms and ammunition required the presentation of one’s military ID
and the authorization of one’s commanding officer. In the case of reservists and retirees,
authorization was given by the head of the military organ where the person served, or by
the commanders of the military unit closest to his or her residence.

Civilians wishing to buy firearms and ammunition, on the other hand, needed a declaration
of “good citizenship” from the police before they could purchase and register firearms.
Decree 55.640 dealt neither exhaustively nor directly with the question of regulating civilian
arms sales, nor was it concerned with systematizing controls on firearms or their owners.
On the contrary, this decree was more interested in guaranteeing the expansion and
development of the national arms industry than regulating the domestic market with an
eye toward guaranteeing the security of Brazilians. Registration of civilian firearms was
addressed weakly and ambiguously in the single, short Article 228: “In the case of
individuals (civilians), sales via the Commercial Sections [of military factories] will be
made upon the presentation of authorization from the local police and registration in the
relevant police office.”

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Ministerial Ordinance Nº 1261 of October 17, 1980
It was only in 1980 that the first Brazilian regulation dealing specifically with civilian
acquisition and registration of firearms was promulgated. Although this ordinance did
establish objective, obligatory requirements for the registering of firearms, it did not
create a centralized registry nor a system for information sharing between the local
police (who register the weapons) and the federal authorities. In effect, it created a
registry mechanism that was compartmentalized and fragmented by design. Then again,
it was merely an ordinance handed down by the War Ministry and not a law or decree.

The ordinance established that each citizen could own at most six permitted-use firearms
(two handguns, two rifled-bore hunting firearms, and two smoothbore hunting firearms).
A maximum of three firearms could be bought in a single year, until the maximum
permitted number of guns was reached.

The sale of firearms (by civilians and military or police officials) could only be carried
out upon satisfying the following formalities:

1) The vending firm had to fill out a registration form at the time of purchase, upon
presentation by the purchaser of his or her personal identification.
2) These registration forms, properly filled out, had to be delivered by the storeowner to
the Civil Police on a weekly basis.
3)Having received the forms, the competent organ of the Public Security Secretariat of
that state would issue a Firearm Registration and Certificate of Ownership.
4)When the vendor received the Certificate, he could then pass it and the firearm to the
purchaser.

Firearms sales were only authorized for legally employed civilians over 21 years of
age, who satisfied the requirements mentioned above and presented a valid ID or proof
of employment. In addition, the Civil Police had to confirm a clean police record (no
arrests or cases of poor “political social conduct”) before emitting the Firearm
Registration:

The ordinance also established the following monthly limits on civilian purchases of
ammunition, accessories, and gunpowder:

1) Up to 50 cartridges for handguns owned by the purchaser;


2) Up to 50 cartridges for rifled-bore hunting firearms;
3) Up to 200 shotgun cartridges;
4) Up to 1000 primers for shotgun cartridges;
5) Unlimited amounts of lead shot and up to 1 kilo of gunpowder for hunting.

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To purchase ammunition, the following items had to be presented to storeowners at the time
of purchase:

1) Civilians: ID or proof of employment and Firearm(s) Registration(s);


2) Military personnel: ID and authorization from commanding officer or Firearm(s)
Registration(s);
3) Civilian Police: ID or Police ID, Firearm(s) Registration(s) or a License from the relevant
police organ.

Naturally, the law established special procedures for sales of firearms to military personnel
and police, as well as professional shooters and hunters, who could purchase up to 14 firearms.

Law n.9.437 (SINARM Law)


Law n.9.437 of February 20, 1997, well into the period of re-democratization, was a great
advance for arms control in Brazil. In the first place, this was the first actual law to treat the
subject of civilian firearms, and secondly because it centralized control mechanisms and the
registry they created at the Ministry of Justice, rather than disseminated among local police
throughout the country. Previously, ownership of and licenses to carry firearms for civilians
were reserved for those few considered “good citizens” by police authorities. The military-era
Decree 55.649 had continued in force even after the end of military rule, with Firearms
Registrations and licenses to carry still conceded by state police. Law n.9.437 was important,
then, in standardizing the authorization process for registration and licenses to carry for civilians
and the implementation of minimum requirements for all citizens in the country. Control over
import, export, trade and manufacture of firearms and ammunition, as well as the definition
of permitted-use and prohibited-use items, was still defined by R105, the Controlled Products
Regulation, which continued to be based on the 1965 decree through revisions in 1999 and
2000.

Law n.9.437 created the National Firearms System (Sistema Nacional de Armas, SINARM), a
sector of the Federal Police charged with centralizing all information on civilian firearms.
Applications for authorization to purchase a firearm would be made with state police, who
would consult SINARM and then make a decision.

Once authorization was granted, the applicant could then purchase a permitted-use firearm
of the model and caliber specified. On the registration of the firearm, the following information
would be included:
a) Full name and parents’ name4;
d) ID numbers and issue dates;
e) Names of manufacturer and seller of the firearm;
f) Number and date of the receipt;

4
In Brazil, most official documents include filiação, i.e. the full names of one’s parents.

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b) Work and home addresses;
c) Profession;
g) Type, make, model, and serial number of the weapon;
h) Caliber and capacity (number of rounds);
i) Firing mode;
j) Number and length of barrels;
k) Type of bore (smooth or rifled);
l) Number and direction of grooves (if rifled).

The registration would be valid anywhere in Brazil, but did not authorize the owner to
leave home with his weapon. For that, he or she would need a license to carry, which, with
the passing of Law 9.437, would be granted only by the Federal Police.

That these two measures became duties of the Ministry of Justice, a civil institution, via the
Federal Police, makes perfect sense if we consider that it was exactly in the 1990s that
Brazil’s mid-sized and large cities experienced an explosion of armed violence. It was no
longer reasonable to allow citizens to arm themselves with no effective civilian control.
Law 9.437 was a first attempt, albeit timid, at responding to escalating crime.

At the same time, Law 9.437 was promulgating during the presidency of Fernando
Henrique Cardoso, which severely restricted the powers of the Armed Forces in order to
solidify democracy in Brazil. Military personnel and police continued to enjoy the privileges
of purchasing firearms through their organizations and not having to submit to requirements
and red tape. Judges and magistrates enjoyed the same privileges. What is shocking is
that even with the advances brought by Law 9.437, collectors, hunters and professional
shooters continued to be treated as a separate class, that is, a group of civilians who, due
to their hobbies, deserved almost the same treatment as military personnel and police.
Arms registration for this group continued to be carried out by Army Command.

Control over licenses to carry permitted-use weapons for civilians became more strict
under Law 9.437, but still was inadequate for a country the size of Brazil. The Federal
Police became responsible for emitting licenses to carry for those already possessing a
registered firearm in their name, and who had requested permission to leave their
residences with their firearms.

The Federal Police could grant licenses to carry valid for limited periods of time and
territory, provided that the applicant meet the following requirements:

a) Proof of good standing by presenting certification of a clean police record furnished by


a federal, state, military, or electoral law enforcement agency; the applicant must also
show that he is not currently being investigated for violent crimes;

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b) Documentation of productive social behavior (e.g. proof of employment);
c) Proof of an effective need for a firearm in function of one’s professional activity, whose
nature exposes the practitioner to risk, whether in the transportation of goods, valuables, and
documents or for any other reasons;
d) Proof of technical capacity to handle firearms, testified to by a shooting instructor certified
by the Civil or Federal Police;
e) Proof of psychological aptitude for handling firearms, testified to in an official report by a
psychologist certified by the Civil or Federal Police;
f) Proof of payment of the stipulated fee for a license to carry.

As mentioned above, the principal arms and ammunition control functinos remained with the
Army, but Law 9.437 did take a timid step in ordering SINARM to keep a record of the following
items:

a) Firearms produced, imported, and sold in the country;


b) Sales between individuals, loss, theft, and other factors that could alter the data of registered
firearms;
c) Modifications that alter the characteristics or functioning of firearms; as;
d) Already existing police records;
e) Seized firearms, including those involved in police investigations and trials.

Decree n.3.665
The Controlled Products Inspection Regulation, R150, was revised in 1999 (Decree n.2.998)
and again on November 20, 2000 (Decreto n.3665). Since there are few differences between
these two texts, we will analyze the 2000 decree, as it is still in effect today.

Unlike the original R105, the 2000 version defines permitted-use and restricted-use weapons
at the outset of its legal text. Permitted-use weapons are defined thus:

I. Repeating or semi-automatic handguns whose ammunition commonly has a force of up to


300 foot-pounds or 407 Joules upon leaving the barrel, and corresponding ammunition,
such as: calibers .22 LR, .25 Auto, .32 Auto, .32 S&W, .38 SPL and.380 Auto;
II. Repeating or semi-automatic rifled-bore long arms, whose ammunition commonly has a
force of up to 1,000 pounds or 1,355 Joules upon leaving the barrel, and corresponding
ammunition, such as: calibers .22 LR, .32-30, .38-40 and .44-40;
III. Repeating or semi-automatic smoothbore firearms, caliber 12 or lower5 with barrel length
equal or greater to 24 inches or 610mm, as well as smoothbore arms of smaller caliber, with
any barrel length, and corresponding permitted-use ammunition;
IV. Weapons activated by compressed air or by spring-action, with caliber equal to or smaller
than 6mm and corresponding permitted-use ammunition;

5
Shotgun caliber (or gauge) is an arcane measurement, indicating the number of lead spheres with a diameter equal to that of the barrel that can be made with a
pound of lead. As such, the higher the caliber number the smaller the width of the barrel. Here, a lower caliber means a larger barrel.

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V. Firearms that are to be used for sporting competitions, which utilize cartridges containing
only gunpowder;
VI. Industrial-use firearms or those that utilize anesthetic projectiles for veterinary use.

Restricted-use firearms are defined thus:

I. Firearms, ammunition, accessories and equipment equivalent or possessing similar


characteristics, in technical, tactical and strategic terms, to war materiel used by the Brazilian
Armed Forces;
II. Firearms, ammunition, accessories and equipment that, though not equivalent or similar to
war material used by the Brazilian Armed Forces, possess characteristics that make them apt
only for military or police use;
III. Handguns, whose ammunition normally has a force of greater than 300 foot-pounds or
407 Joules upon leaving the barrel, and corresponding ammunition, such as: calibers .357
Magnum, 9 Luger, .38 Super Auto, .40 S&W, .44 SPL, .44 Magnum, .45 Colt and .45 Auto;
IV. Rifled-bore long arms, whose ammunition normally has a force of greater than 1,000 foot-
pounds or 1,355 Joules upon leaving the barrel, such as: calibers .22-250, .223 Remington,
.243 Winchester, .270 Winchester, 7 Mauser, .30-60, .308 Winchester, 7,62x39, .357 Magnum,
.375 Winchester and .44 Magnum;
V. Automatic firearms of any caliber;
VI. Smoothbore firearms of caliber 12 or lower with barrel lengths of less than 24 inches or
610mm;
VII. Smoothbore firearms of caliber greater than 12 and corresponding ammunition;
VIII. Firearms activated by compressed air or spring-action, of a caliber higher than 6mm,
which fire projectiles of any sort;
IX. Hidden or disguised firearms, understood as those with the appearance of inoffensive
objects, but that hide a weapon, such as cane-pistols, pen-revolvers and so on;
X. Compressed air-activated simulacra of Fz 7.62mm, M964, FAL.

The requirements for selling and manufacturing firearms and ammunition are relatively simple.
To receive authorization to sell, the applying firm need only present a declaration of good
standing, a copy of its license to operate at a fixed address (usually furnished by municipal
governments) and proof that it is registered with the National Registry of Legal Entities (Cadastro
Nacional de Pessoas Jurídicas, CNPJ). Once authorization has been granted, the firm receives
a Certificate of Registration (CR), emitted by the commander of the appropriate Military Region,
which lists the following items:

a) Nomenclature of the products to be sold;


b) Authorized activities listed “in a clear, precise and concise manner”;
c) Other information that the relevant military authority judges necessary.
In the case of arms manufacturers, the procedure is a slightly more involved, but still similar to
that fixed by the 1965 decree. A legal entity seeking to produce arms must, aside from the
typical bureaucratic requirements (certify one’s registration with the tax authorities, etc.), agree
to the following:
a) To obey R105, as well as submit to inspection and monitoring by the Army;

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b) To not sell or transfer ownership of its “dangerous area”6, unless with the previous
authorization of the Army;
c) To not manufacture any new product without the authorization of the Army;
d) To not modify a product whose formula or design have already been authorized;
e) To not carry out any alteration in the construction of the dangerous area without the
authorization of the Army; and,
f) To communicate to the DFPC, via the local Military Region Command, any alteration in the
construction of the dangerous area.

Law n.10.826 – The Disarmament Statute


During the 1990s, Brazilian congress saw any number of arms control bills, but the most
significant was that defended by Senator Renan Calheiros (Projeto de Lei – PL 292), initially
presented in 1997, which evolved into the new arms control law, approved at the end of 2003
and known as the Disarmament Statute.

The Statute (Law n.10.826) was definitively approved on December 9, 2003, after months of
an intense and uncommon public debate on the importance of creating a more rigorous and
centralized arms control system. The strongest argument against the bill, defended by nearly
every association or group of hunters, target shooters, collectors, and gun lovers, was that
stricter controls on legally purchased arms would not reduce the tragically high indices of
armed violence that shook the country.

Nevertheless, in numerous public opinion polls, the Brazilian populace indicated that it was in
favor of more rigorous control over firearm ownership and right to carry, as well as over sales.
In Rio de Janeiro state, one of the most violent states in Brazil, a poll by the popular TV news
program RJTV found that 82% of the population ws in favor of “disarmament”. An Instituto
Sensus poll found that 76% of the Brazilian population was in favor of stricter controls on right
to carry.

After six months of debate and votes in both houses of congress, the Statute was approved on
December 9 and signed into law by President Lula on December 22, going partially into
force the next day. We say “partially” because of the Statute’s 37 articles, only nine could be
applied immediately, while the others had to await regulation via decree. These nine articles
dealt with crimes and penalties.

The Statute has been criticized by some Brazilian scholars of criminal law, who argue that it
has made punishment for gun law infractions too severe. Indeed, the Statute not only mandated
harsher penalties for infractions, it also defined a whole spectrum of gun-related crimes. In
the previous legislation, Law 9.437, lumped all gun-related infractions into a single category.
Article 10 of that law was the only one to deal with crimes, defined these infractions thus:

6
Área perigosa, i.e. the physical space where production of controlled products takes place.

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Art. 10: To possess, hold, carry, manufacture, acquire, sell, rent, put up for sale or
furnish, receive, store, transport, give, even if free of charge, lend,
remit, use, guard or hide apermitted-use firearm, without authorization
and in contravention of laws or ordinances.
Penalty – one to two years imprisonment and fine.
§ 1° The same penalties apply to those who:
I – Fail to take the necessary precautions to prevent an individual under the
age of eighteen (18) years old, or a mentally incapacitated individual, from
gaining possession of a firearm that is in one’s possession or belongs to him
or her, except for the practice of sport when the minor is accompanied by
a parent or legal guardian or an instructor;
II – Utilize a toy gun or other simulacrum of a firearm to intimidate
another person, in order to commit crimes;
III – Fire a gun or set off ammunition in or near an inhabited place, in a public
street or in its direction, when the act does not constitute a more serious crime.
§ 2° The penalty for these crimes, if the firearm involved is prohibited- or
restricted-use, is two to four years confinement and a fine, with no reduction
in potential penalties for the crimes of smuggling or misappropriation.
§ 3° The same penalties of the paragraph above apply to those who:
I – Erase or alter the make, serial number, or any
other identification on the firearm or artifact;
II – Modify the characteristics of a firearm in such a way as to make
it equivalent to a prohibited- or restricted-use firearm;
III – Possess, hold, manufacture, or use an explosive and/or
incendiary device without authorization;
IV – Have been previously convicted of a violent crime, a
property crime, or a drug-related offense.
§ 4° The penalty is increased by half if the crime is committed by a public servant.

The innovation of the Statute was to separate out the list of crimes described in the caput to
Article 10 above, creating a series of new criminal categories from the existing offenses:

Illegal possession of a permitted-use firearm

Art. 12. To possess or hold a permitted-use firearm, ammunition or


accessory, in contravention of legal or regulatory norms, inside one’s
residence or its attached areas, or at one’s place of work, provided that he
or she is the owner or legal representative of the establishment or company:
        Penalty – imprisonment, from one (1) to three (3) years, plus a fine.

Careless Handling or Storage of a Firearm

Art. 13. Failure to take the necessary precautions to prevent


an individual under the age of eighteen (18) years old, or
a mentally incapacitated individual, from getting hold

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of a firearm in one’s possession or belonging to him or her:
Penalty – imprisonment, from one (1) to two (2) years, plus a fine.
Sole Paragraph. The owners or persons responsible for security c
ompanies or companies engaged in the transportation of valuables who
fail to make a police record and inform the Federal Police about the loss,
theft, robbery or other forms of losing track of a firearm, ammunition or
accessory under his care, within the first twenty-four (24) hours following
the occurrence, shall be subject to the same penalty.

Illegally carrying of firearms of permitted usage

Art. 14. Carrying, holding, acquiring, furnishing, receiving, storing,


transporting, furnishing – even if free of charge, lending, remitting,
employing, keeping in custody or concealing firearms, a
ccessories or ammunition of permitted usage without
authorization and in violation of legal or regulatory norms:
Penalty – confinement from two (2) to four (4) years, plus a fine.
Sole paragraph. The crime described in this article is not subject to bail,
unless the firearm is registered in the name of the perpetrator.

Illegally possessing or carrying firearms of restricted use

Art. 16. Possessing, holding, acquiring, furnishing, receiving, storing,


transporting, furnishing – even if free of charge —, lending, remitting,
employing, keeping in custody or concealing firearms, accessories or ammunition
of restricted or prohibited use, without authorization
and in violation of the legal or regulatory norms:
Penalty – confinement form three (3) to six (6) years, and fine.
Sole paragraph. The same penalties will be imposed on anyone who:
I – removes or alters the marking, numbering
or any identification mark of a firearm or artefact;
II – modifies the characteristics of a firearm in such a way as to make it
equivalent to a firearm of prohibited or restricted usage, or for the purpose
of hampering or, by any means, inducing error
on the part of police authorities, experts, or judges;
III – possesses, holds, manufactures or uses explosive or incendiary artefacts
without authorization or in violation of the legal or regulatory norms;
IV – carries, possesses, acquires, transports or furnishes a firearm whose
numbering, make or any other identifying markings
are scratched, removed or adulterated;
V – sells, delivers or furnishes, even if free of charge, firearms,
accessories, ammunitions or explosives to children or adolescents; and
VI – produces, reloads or recycles, without legal authorization,
or adulterates, by any means, ammunition or explosives.

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Illegal Trading of Firearms

Art. 17. Acquiring, renting, receiving, transporting, carrying, concealing,


storing, disassembling, assembling, reassembling, adulterating, displaying
for sale or, by any other means, utilizing for their own benefit or for the
benefit of others, when exercising either a commercial or industrial activity,
firearms, accessories and ammunition without authorization, or
in violation of the legal or regulatory norms:
Penalty – confinement, from four (4) to eight (8) years, plus fine.
Sole paragraph. For the purposes of this article, any form of services
rendered, manufacture, or irregular or clandestine buying or selling,
including that performed at home, is considered
equivalent to commercial or industrial activity.
The Statute also defined two new crimes: inappropriate shooting
of firearms and international trafficking of firearms.

Shooting of firearms

Art. 15. Shooting firearms or setting off ammunition in inhabited


places or adjacent areas, in public streets or in their direction, provided
that the purpose of such conduct is not to perpetrate another crime:
Penalty – confinement, from two (2) to four (4) years, plus a fine.
Sole paragraph. The crime provided for in this article is not subject to bail.
This article was quite controversial, in part because of its name.
It makes it a crime to fire a gun even, and precisely, when the act is not
done in order to perpetrate a crime. Many scholars of
criminal law have criticized this article for being too strict.

International Trafficking of Firearms

Art. 18. Importing, exporting, facilitating the entrance or exit,


on any account, of firearms, accessories or ammunition without the
authorization of the competent authority:
Penalty – confinement, from four (4) to eight (8) years, plus fine.

The crime of international trafficking of firearms is probably the most important innovation in
this part of the Disarmament Statute. First because in the Mercosur countries and associate
countries (Bolívia, Chile e Peru) there has never been any legal mention of arms trafficking as
a specific crime. Smuggling arms would be considered a criminal activity in the same category
as trafficking in drugs or wild animals, for example. The legal focus was always on the formation
of a criminal organization by two or more people; the fact that such an organization trafficked
firearms was always of secondary importance. As such, the creation of this penal category
marks a significant evolution in the law.

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The other interesting aspect of this crime was the debate over it during the voting process in
congress. The Senate was particularly interested in including two types of crime in the Statute,
that of international trafficking and that of illegal brokering. Such a result would have been
ideal, not only because Brazil has agreed to the UN protocol for the prevention of illicit arms
trafficking, but because it would eliminate any chance of illegal brokering activity. Pro-
disarmament think tanks like Viva Rio and Instituto Sou da Paz argued insistently for the inclusion
of the crime of illegal brokering, but in the end, the senators felt that the crime of illegal arms
trafficking, as fixed by the Statute, already includes brokering activities.

The remaining articles of the Statute would take another six months to come into force, when
the Ministries of Justice and Defense issued the Statute’s regulatory decree, n.5.124, of which
we will speak later. The Statute brought great advances not only in terms of controls over
individuals who wish to own a firearm, but also (and principally) over the monitoring of large
volumes of firearms in circulation throughout the country.

SINARM, the National Firearms System, created Law n.9.437, had its duties expanded by the
Statute. SINARM is, in essence, a database maintained by the Federal Police. Previously, it
included data on firearms produced, imported, and sold within Brazil; firearm registrations
(in the case of civilians); modifications that could alter the functioning of a firearms or its
characteristics; firearms seized by the police or the Judiciary; and police records already in
existence. With the advent of the Statute SINARM was given the following additional
responsibilities:

a) Register all authorizations to carry firearms and renovations of same issued by the Federal
Police;
b) Register all occurrences resulting from the closure of companies that render private security
and armored car services that could alter the validity of registry data;
c) Register all firearms dealers operating in Brazil, as well as grant authorization for the
performance of this activity;
d) Register all authorized manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, exporters and importers of
firearms, accessories and ammunitions;
e) Register the identification on the barrel of the firearm, the characteristics of the bunter marks
and striations of a bullet fired from it, in accordance with the markings and testing obligatorily
carried out by the manufacturer;
f) Inform the Public Security Secretariats of the states and of the Federal District of all registrations
and authorizations to carry firearms in the corresponding territories, and keep the file updated
for consultation.

It is not necessary to emphasize the profound advance that the Statute represents for Brazilian
arms control legislation. The key point here is that the Statute attempts to centralize controls
over all aspects of civilian activities related to firearms and ammunition within the Ministry of
Justice. While it is true that Article 3 maintains the registry of restricted-use firearms under the
responsibility of Army Command, as we will see below, this control may also be carried out

44
the Federal Police (which is part of the Ministry of Justice) through the exchange of data between
SINARM and the military’s firearms database, SIGMA (Military Arms Control Management
System). Similarly, although Article 2 declares that SINARM’s functions will not include firearms
belonging to the Armed Forces and Auxiliaries “as well as those firearms in their registries”,
what could have been an unpardonable lacuna in the legislation is covered by the same
measure permitting SINARM access to the Army’s database. Thus, as long as the Armed
Forces and Auxiliaries, along with all other government forces (i.e. police) have their data
registered with Army Command, we can conclude that the information sharing between SINARM
and SIGMA will allow for ample research and investigation by the Federal Police on all the
arms circulating in the country.

These measure, nonetheless, were not widely understood as innovative by the lay public. To
the average Brazilian, the main change brought by the Statute was the difficulty in registering
(i.e. obtaining permission to purchase) a firearm and the elimination of licenses to carry. The
Statute in effect obliged those who would purchase a firearm to meet the same requirements
that previously applied to applicants for licenses to carry:

a) Declaration of the effective need for a firearm;


b) Proof of good standing, by presenting certification of a clean police record furnished by a
federal, state, military, or electoral law enforcement agency, and a clearance certificate stating
that the interested party is not participating in any police investigation or criminal proceeding;
c) Proof of legal employment;;
d) Proof of fixed residence;
e) Proof of technical capacity to handle a firearm;
f) Proof of psychological aptitude to handle and use a firearm.

All these items must be renewed every three years, a requirement that did not exist in the
previous law.

Licenses to carry firearms became almost entirely prohibited in Brazil. Article 6 of the Statute
lists the groups who are permitted to carry – with the exception of target shooters (who
surprisingly won the right to carry firearms), they are all related to security. Nevertheless,
Article 10 of the statute provides an exception to the rule: those who can prove that they are at
grave risk to their physical wellbeing or practice a risky profession, and who meet all the
requirements for registering a firearm, can apply for a license to carry. This quite controversial
article is little known to lay people.

The groups who are authorized to carry firearms are:

a) The Armed Forces;


b) The Federal Police, the Federal Highway Police and the Federal Railway Police;
c) The Civil Police;
d) The Military Police and the Military Fire Brigade;

45
e) Municipal Guards in state capital and municipalities with more than 500,000 inhabitants;
f) Municipal Guards in cities with 50,000 - 500,000 inhabitants, when in service;
g) Operational agents of the Brazilian Intelligence Agency (Agência Brasileira de Inteligência,
ABI) and the agents of the Department of Security of the President’s Institutional Security
Office;
h) Members of the Senate and Chamber of Deputies guard;
i) Members of active duty staff and guards of prisons, prisoner escorts, and port guards;
j) Private security companies and companies that transport valuables;
k) Members of legally organized sport shooting clubs or associations.

Other important innovations brought by the Statue were:

a) All ammunition produced domestically must leave their factories boxes marked with bar
codes, in order to enable the identification of the manufacturer and purchaser;
b) All public security organs must purchase ammunition that has been marked with the lot
number and the identity of the purchasing organ on the butt end of each round;
c) All firearms manufactured after December 23, 2004 must contain an intrinsic safety and
identification device engraved on the body of the firearm;
d) All seized firearms must be destroyed within 48 hours after being liberated from all judicial
proceedings by the responsible judge;
e) No firearms may be sold to individuals under the age of 25;
f) The installment of a government funded voluntary buyback campaign and an amnesty for
unregistered or altered firearms.

This last item merits brief comment. The previous law called for an amnesty campaign for
those in possession of unregistered arms; for lack of publicity, however, the campaign was
not very successful. The Statute has been much more successful in this respect, probably
because it has combined the amnesty with a small reimbursement for those handing over
their weapons.

The most important political and historical innovation of the Statute, however, is the realization
of a referendum in which voters will decide whether the sale of firearms and ammunition
should or should not be definitively prohibited. The referendum, to be held in October
2005, will be the first in Brazil. Not only because of that fact, but also because it will decide
such a controversial and vital an issue for Brazil today, the 2005 referendum will certainly
mobilize voters. Its inclusion in the Statute is itself a great advance toward a more solid
democratic tradition in Brazil.

Decree n.5.124
This is the degree that regulates the Statute, and it deserves a brief commentary. First, it is
worth noting that the composition of this decree involved a battle equally if not more arduous
than that of the Statute itself. The arms industry and its defenders, collectors, target shooters,
and hunters went up against NGOs in an ideological battle over the minutiae of the Statute’s
regulation, which would ultimately determine its power and applicability.

46
The most important innovation in the decree was the call to interconnect the SINARM
and SIGMA databases within 6 months. This information sharing was already
mandated in Law n.9.437 (via its regulamentary decree, n.2.222/97), but for lack of
political will, the relevant ministries (Justice and Defense) never operationalized the
plan.

The most controversial aspect of the decree, beyond a doubt, is Article 57:

Art. 57.  The importation of firearms, accessories, and ammunition by


post or similar means is prohibited.

This article represents the continuation of the principle of absolute protection of the
Brazilian arms industry.

Mercosur and Associate Countries


As a result of the Statute, Brazil now has the most advanced arms control legislation in
the region. Argentina, which once was considered the country with the most advanced
law, now needs to copy Brazil’s norms on marking of ammunition and perhaps even
call for a similar referendum. Argentine law is extremely rigorous with those wishing
to purchase firearms; they must meet a series of requirements and deal with seemingly
endless bureaucratic red tape. The same holds for merchants, who must leap countless
bureaucratic hurdles. Nonetheless, control over illegal circulation of firearms and
ammunition is still quite lenient and Argentina would do well to mimic the new control
regime installed in Brazil.

Bolivia is, without a doubt, the country with the weakest arms control legislation. First,
there is no law whatsoever, only a ministerial resolution that has been adapted and
amended over the last 20 years. Worse, this resolution is overly strict on imports, and
too lenient on civilian ownership and right to carry. Peru, recently admitted to Mercosur
(December 2003), also has quite lenient legislation, but at least it places limits on
merchants. Still, it is remiss in reducing to a single institution the right to own a gun
and the right to carry it. That is, anyone authorized to purchase a firearm in Peru is
automatically allowed to carry it.

Paraguay, which was for years the prime example of a country with poor arms control,
promulgated in June 2002 a law that attempts to improve on the situation. Law 1.910
imposed more requirements on those wishing to purchase firearms and eliminated
the ability of tourists to buy firearms (shockingly, this was an explicit article of the
previous law). Still, the new law has not yet been regulated, and as such the advance
has yet to be consolidated.
47
Finally, as proof that the sub-continent produces not only backwardness, but also real advances
in the sense of a more strict and effective control over the firearms that circulate in the region,
Chile and Uruguay recently experienced changes or attempts at changes to their laws. Chile,
which though its legislation was almost too strict in the case of merchants, had no effective
control over civilians, recently required civilians to take a psychological test every five years
before receiving and renew a firearm registration. Uruguay, whose legislation is reasonably
strict, but which suffers from control mechanisms spread between the army and the police, is
now considering a bill openly inspired by the Brazilian Disarmament Statute. Should this bill,
sponsored by Deputy Daisy Tournée, be voted into law, the sub-region would be taking an
important and historic step forward toward the harmonization of laws for a more effective
control over illicit arms and ammunition traffic.

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Carolina Iootty Dias
Lawyer

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