Date: Sat, 12 Jun 1999 00:03:49 -0500 (CDT)
From: SEJUP <>
Subject: News from Brazil, No. 354
Article: 67278
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
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The new proposal for gun control

SEJUP (Serviço Brasileiro de Justiça e Paz, News from Brazil, No. 354, 11 June 1999

The following are a series of articles about the controversial legislation now being proposed by the Cardoso government to ban the sale and possession of arms in Brazil. Sejup also thought readers might be interested in what those who are opposed to the legislation are saying.

What the law proposes

The Government want to control the possession of fire arms with the objective to counteract urban violence. What is the government saying?

1. The sale of arms and ammunition in the country will be prohibited.

2. The owners of arms, after the approval and sanctioning of the project, have 360 days to hand over their arms to the Armed forces, Federal police or Civil police.

3. Owners of unregistered arms who hand over their weapons will not be prosecuted.

4. The carrying of arms is permitted to members of the Armed forces, federal, state and municipal security personnel.

5. Businesses who have private security personnel will be allowed have arms if they are controlled by the Armed Forces and have a special registration.

6. The minister of Justice will present to congress an annual report on the effects of the new law.


Airlines, bus, train, and shipping companies who transport arms without authorization will be fined R$50,000-200,000. Business or factories that advertise the sale of arms will be fined R$50,000—200,000. Persons, who make, sell, loan, use, rent or carry a firearm will be placed under arrested for two years and fined.

Interview with Chief of Police

The chief of the Military Police in São Paulo, Corneal Rui Cesar Melo supports the government's initiative in prohibiting the sale of weapons. He goes a step further and adds that security guards and security people particularly in banks and business should not have guns. According to the Minister of Justice it is lawful to sell arms and ammunition privately to business people. Corneal Melo states that the law can only be approved with the collaboration of the Armed forces, Federal police and state police in controlling the counter-band selling of weapons. [The following is an interview with Melol and the Folha de São Paulo:]

Folha—Are you against the sale of firearms in Brazil? Corneal—As a policeman I understand that whatever effort to restrict the uses of arms is positive. The project against the sale of firearms is good. It is another step to help reduce the dreadful violence in our society.

Folha—Is the law on arms too broad?

Corneal—The law itself should not promote the sale of firearms to private guards. A bank guard for example does not need a gun. Security guards in banks are instructed not to fire. It would be far better if the y were armed with a cellular phone so that he could alert the police.

Folha—How do you think the law could prevent the counter band selling of arms?

Corneal—If you prohibit the sale of firearms you are going to put out of business all the internal selling of arms. Then you have contraband, which has to be dealt with constantly. In fact the largest number of arms encountered have been stolen and are not contraband.

Folha—How would you deal with this?

Corneal—There should be a larger number of security people at the borders of our country, at the airports and ports. This should include the Armed forces and the Federal police. The Armed forces are there to give assistance to the Federal Police. The Forces need to be co-ordinated so that all work together systematically.

Folha—What of the Military Police who own guns and do security jobs outside of their working hours?

Corneal—The law cannot eliminate this practice. It will be curtailed greatly the moment that police receive a better salary, a salary that will sustain them and their families. However, I want it to be know that this sort of moonlighting continues to be a prohibited activity.

Opposing Views

Source: Folha de São Paulo, 6 June 1999

Factories defend the present legislation on gun control

The Brazilian producers of arms are using the traditional method of 'lobbing' to destroy the project which proposes to prohibit the sale of arms in the country. They have started a campaign to get four million signatures and present it to the government. The document presents the idea that the sale of arms legally is not responsible for violence. The big problem they site is the disrespect for the present law number 9.437 which was approved on February 20th 1997. It created a National System of Arms with norms regarding the compulsory registration of arms and regulations regarding the carrying of arms. The arms producers are requesting more control over who has arms and that the police and the justice system crack down on abusers of the existing legislation.

The Arms Industry in Brazil

CBC (a Brazilian gun factory) has two factories, one in Sao Paulo and the other in Rio Grande do Sul. They control 70% of Arbi and 30% of Imbel which are weapon-producing industries. Their principal products are handguns, rifles and ammunition. CBC generates about R$80 million per year. They employ about 740 people. CBC exported half of there production in 1998. Forjas Taurus has two factories one in Rio Grande do Sul and one in Miami. Their principal products are revolvers, pistols, arms, helmets and security equipment. Forjas Taurus generated R$90.5 million in 1997. They employ 1,424 people. Forjas Taurus supplies the American market with 30% of its products. Rossi has a factory in Rio Grande do Sul. They produce carbine and rifles. They export their arms to over 70 countries. The weapon producing industry in Brazil employees about 5,000 people. The exporting of arms generates US$70 million according to the National Association of Arms and Ammunition. Brazil is fourth in the world with the exportation of arms. The USA is number one with Austria and Germany in second and third places.

The law is stupid

Game shooters are wondering how they can continue to practice their shooting for sporting events. They believe the law to be stupid; and if it is implemented there will be no more game shooting. For the gun sporting people, the practice of hunting is not related to the nation's violence because the guns they use are different than the guns people use to defend themselves. The president of the Brazilian shooting team Athos Pisoni is very worried. If the law is passed, it will be the end of the shooting sport. However he adds that if the law is passed he will support it.

The government is forgetting the rural areas

The president of the Agricultural Federation for Mato Grosso do Sul united 59 rural unions in the state and said that the Government is making an urban law and forgetting the rural area of the country. Jose Amado, president of the federation, said the law is absurd because the countryside is vulnerable to attacks by animals. He affirmed the good intentions of the government to combat violence, but he believes that the rural area should have a special law that applies to them.