Gun laws in Brazil are relatively severe. Per Wikipedia (yeah, I know – but I don’t really have the desire to research Brazilian law in-depth myself), gun ownership in Brazil is legal, but heavily restricted.
One must be 25 years of age to own a firearm in Brazil. By law firearms must be registered with the government. A registration tax of R$85 (R$ is the symbol for the Brazilian real) must be paid every three years. Carrying a firearm outside one’s home requires a special permit. However, changes in Brazilian federal policy instituted in 2002 made it effectively impossible to get such a permit today.
Between 1980 and 2011, approximately 1,100,000 Brazilians were murdered. The homicide rate increased by over 130% – from 11.5 per 100,000 population in 1980 to 27 per 100,000 in 2011. Between 2008 and 2011 – a time when Brazil’s economy, like the rest of the world’s economy, cooled – 206,000 Brazilians were murdered (an average of roughly 51,500 per year). And like in the US, murders in Brazil are far more common among males and the young.
For comparison, the US murder rate is now 5.3 per 100,000 population.
Murders in Brazil are now not only a Rio/Sao Paulo problem, either. As commerce and commercial centers have spread across Brazil, so have the murders – murder “followed the money”, so to speak.
That makes sense, actually. Criminals certainly do.
It’s estimated that there are around 17 million firearms in Brazil today. Less than half (only about 8 million) are legally-owned. I’m guessing it’s a safe bet that those used in the vast majority of crimes aren’t of the legally-owned variety.
Yeah, that gun control thing is really working out great for the people of Brazil. Maybe we ought to study their experience. We could certainly learn a thing or two from it.