Brazil’s Private Gun Ownership is Increasing While Its Murder Rate is Declining

Former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro broke the mold when he reformed some of Brazil’s draconian gun control laws.  According to a report by AmmoLand, Brazil’s homicide rates started dropping as early as 2020 when it plummeted to under 20 per 100,000 population. 

Per the Wilson Center, the total number of legal privately-owned firearms increased from roughly 1.3 million in 2018 to just under 3 million in 2022. Similarly, from 2019 to 2022 — Bolsonaro’s term in office — gun registrations grew by roughly 80%.

Overall, lawful private ownership of firearms grew substantially during Bolsonaro’s time in office while homicide rates fell. The homicide rate went down from roughly 31 per 100,000 in 2017 to 19 in 2022. In effect, murder rates in Brazil have fallen to the lowest level since 1994. The first stringent firearms regulatory policies went into effect in 1997. Unsurprisingly, crime has exploded in the intervening years until Bolsonaro entered the picture. 

However, with Lula da Silva now in the mix, Brazil will likely revert to the gun control status quo of yore. As a result, crime will likely explode across the country. When it’s all said and done, the best deterrent against crime — whether it’s in East St. Louis or in a favela in Rio de Janeiro — is an armed law-abiding individual. This will stop more crime than any form of anti-gun legislation. 

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