Explainer: Gun Laws in Latin America’s Largest Economies

Explainer: Gun Laws in Latin America's Largest Economies

A gun surrendered in Mexico. (AP) Civilian gun ownership is permitted in Brazil. To own a firearm , citizens must be at least 25 years old and register the weapon with the Federal Police. Only handguns and semiautomatics are authorized; assault weapons are illegal for civilians. Gun permits cost $26 and must be renewed every ten years, according to 2019 legislation . Penalties for illegal firearm possession range between one to three years in prison. In addition, Brazilian law outlaws the manufacture, sale, and import of toys and replicas of guns that could be confused with real weapons. While Brazilians can buy guns, carry permits—authorizing the person to bring the weapon outside his home—are difficult to obtain . Applicants must provide a written declaration explaining the necessity of carrying the weapon, prove that they have no criminal background, and pass a mental health test with a government-approved psychologist. Carry permit seekers must also show that the individual received training to use a gun. The permits are valid for five years. Carry permits are authorized for members of the armed forces, police, prison guards, security officials, and transportation companies. Civilian-owned guns are prohibited in schools, government buildings, churches, and sports complexes. Bolsonaro, who took office in January 2019, campaigned on a pro-gun message, contending that arming citizens would help reduce crime. He has passed nearly 30 decrees that weakened gun control, including increasing the number of firearms one can own from four to six, authorizing the carrying of up to […]

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