Society

74% of Brazilian Police Wants Regulated Access to Firearms

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If only 10% of the Brazilian police force wants a broad access to firearms for civilians, they seem more favorable to the ownership of weapons than the population.

Police officers in Brazil during Covid-19
Police officers in Brazil during Covid-19 | Alexandre Fukugava

During his presidential campaign, Jair Bolsonaro promoted the liberalization of possession of weapons among the population.

In an unprecedented survey conducted by the Brazilian Public Security Forum, a public security non-profit organization, a large majority of the police force wants an access of firearms with different levels of restrictions to civilians. Yet, the general population seems more favorable to the ban of weapon possession. However, more police officers and public security officials are disposed to a total prohibition than a widespread access of firearms.

The questionnaire, part of the 15th edition of the public safety yearbook, was answered by 6,600 police officers and various public security professionals in May 2021. On the matter of public safety in regards to access to firearms, it showed that 74% of them were in favor of a civil use with “different levels of restrictions“.

On the opposite sides, 10% of the police force wants a widespread access of firearms while 16% wants a total prohibition of them. The corporation the most favorable to the widespread access of firearms is the firefighters, with 17% of respondents who agree on that option. However, 29% of the Federal police is more inclined to a total prohibition civil access of firearms.

Those who defend the large liberalization of firearm access are also more favorable to the federal government“, explained Renato Sérgio de Lima, the president of the Brazilian Forum on Public Security and responsible for the study.

The number of firearms officially registered in Brazil doubled in 3 years

The police authorities seem to be more in favor of arm possession among civilians than the general population.

In 2019, a poll conducted after the presidential election showed that two thirds of the population thought that gun ownership should be prohibited and 70% of them thought people should not be allowed to carry arms.

During his presidential campaign, Jair Bolsonaro promised to facilitate access to firearms for Brazilians. Since he took office in January 2019, he signed about 30 regulations relaxing restrictions for the possession of weapons.

When 637,972 firearms were officially registered in Brazil in 2017, more than 1 million were in circulation among civil Brazilians in 2019. In 2020, 1,279,491 firearms were officially owned by civilians, the highest quantity ever recorded by the Federal police. In two years, more firearms were registered than between 2012 and 2018, the Brazilian Senate reports.

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