HomeNewsBriefBrazil Allows Police to Buy High Caliber Guns
BRIEF

Brazil Allows Police to Buy High Caliber Guns

ARMS TRAFFICKING / 16 JAN 2013 BY JAMES BARGENT EN

The Brazilian military will now allow police and firefighters to buy powerful .45 caliber guns for personal use, raising fears over how the weapons will be used and where they might end up.

Prior to the ruling, only federal police were permitted to buy .45 caliber weapons, while other police agencies carried less lethal .40 or .38 weapons. The new regulations open the way for civil, military, and transport police to purchase .45 handguns. 

The military command, which regulates gun sales in Brazil, said it changed the regulations in response to petitioning from state security forces.  

The move has already sparked controversy among some sectors. "They are giving weapons to the police that they don’t know how to use. This is putting the safety of the police and the population at risk," a representative from violence prevention NGO Sou da Paz told O Globo.

InSight Crime Analysis

The decision to grant various police agencies access to more powerful weaponry is likely to prove controversial. Trust in the Brazilian police is low, amid widespread accusations of corruption, criminality and extrajudicial killings. Firefighters, who are allowed to carry weapons as part of the job, have also come under suspicion, with accusations that many form part of urban paramilitary groups while off-duty

The easing of the regulations could be linked to the ongoing conflict between criminal gang the First Capital Command (PCC) and the São Paulo police, which claimed the lives of at least 100 officers in 2012. The risk that rather than giving police another means to protect themselves, the increased availability of .45 weapons could only further fuel the conflict. 

Given past cases of Brazilian police selling weapons to criminal groups, there is a significant risk that these guns could fall into the hands of the gangs that are behind anti-police violence in much of the country. The high-power weapons could also end up being used by the vigilante militias that control many of Brazil’s favelas. Corrupt factions of the police and firefighting force are known to be members and collaborators of these militias. 

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

BRAZIL / 19 NOV 2012

The Brazilian prison gang known as the First Capital Command (Primeiro Comando da Capital - PCC) reportedly infiltrated police training courses…

BRAZIL / 14 MAR 2016

Mounting citizen protests amid widening corruption investigations are putting pressure on Brazil's economic and political leaders, although there are still…

BRAZIL / 22 FEB 2013

Rio de Janeiro initiated a campaign on February 19 to forcibly hospitalize crack users, part of a wider national effort…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime’s Greater Focus on US-Mexico Border

20 JUL 2021

InSight Crime has decided to turn many of its investigative resources towards understanding and chronicling the criminal dynamics along the US-Mexico border.

THE ORGANIZATION

Key Arrests and Police Budget Increases Due to InSight Crime Investigations

8 JUL 2021

With Memo Fantasma’s arrest, InSight Crime has proven that our investigations can and will uncover major criminal threats in the Americas.

THE ORGANIZATION

Organized Crime’s Influence on Gender-Based Violence

30 JUN 2021

InSight Crime investigator Laura N. Ávila spoke on organized crime and gender-based violence at the launch of a research project by the United Nations Development Programme.

THE ORGANIZATION

Conversation with Paraguay Judicial Operators on PCC

24 JUN 2021

InSight Crime Co-director Steven Dudley formed part of a panel attended by over 500 students, all of whom work in Paraguay's judicial system.

THE ORGANIZATION

Combating Environmental Crime in Colombia

15 JUN 2021

InSight Crime presented findings from an investigation into the main criminal activities fueling environmental destruction in Colombia.