In 50 days, campaign wants to stop setbacks in gun control

Just before Carnival, the government published four decrees to relax gun and ammunition control

Supported by organizations such as the Igarapé Institute, the Sou da Paz Institute and Conectas, the We Are Not Targets Campaign will launch on Monday (February 22) a mobilization to stop the presidential decrees that loosen the control of guns and ammunition in Brazil.

Over the next 50 days – the time frame for the decrees published on Friday, February 12, to come into effect – the campaign will inform about the changes made by the government and mobilize the population to pressure the speaker of the Lower House of Congress and the presidents of the Senate and the Supreme Court to take steps to prevent the setbacks.

The pressure can be exerted on the campaign’s website: www.naosomosalvo.com.br. After the publication of the four decrees, just before the Carnival holiday, the initiative had already gathered nearly 10,000 signatures.

Since 2019, the federal government has issued more than 30 measures, including decrees, orders and a legislative bill, that have resulted in an increase in the number of guns and ammunition available to the population and in access to high-caliber weapons that were previously restricted to the security forces. Two years after the first presidential decree, the country now has 1,151 million legal guns in the hands of citizens – 65% more than the number in December 2018, of 697,000, according to data from the Army and the Federal Police.

The measures adopted by the federal government ignore the data that illustrate the impact of the increase in guns and ammunition in circulation on homicide, femicide and suicide. They are also in conflict with the Disarmament Act (Law 10,826/2003) and with the wishes of the majority of the population: 72% disagree with the statement that it is necessary to arm citizens (Datafolha, 2020).

To date, 22 PDLs (Legislative Decree Bills) have been submitted to the National Congress to suspend the measures. These are in addition to the Direct Action of Unconstitutionality (ADI) No. 6675, which questions their constitutionality in the Supreme Court. The federal government insists on legislating on the matter by decree. In doing so, it mischaracterizes the existing law on the matter, by reducing the control over guns and ammunition and contributing to them falling into the black market.

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