Brazil may vote on gun ban

In the wake of last week’s horrific school shooting in Rio de Janeiro, Brazilian lawmakers are proposing a national referendum on whether to ban gun sales:  Brazil is no stranger to gun violence, with frequent shoot-outs in major cities, but the attack in Rio de Janeiro shocked the nation. The shooting sparked a debate over ...

By , a former associate editor at Foreign Policy.
555460_110413_guns2.jpg
555460_110413_guns2.jpg

In the wake of last week's horrific school shooting in Rio de Janeiro, Brazilian lawmakers are proposing a national referendum on whether to ban gun sales: 

Brazil is no stranger to gun violence, with frequent shoot-outs in major cities, but the attack in Rio de Janeiro shocked the nation.

The shooting sparked a debate over gun sales that has left lawmakers unable to ignore the issue.

In the wake of last week’s horrific school shooting in Rio de Janeiro, Brazilian lawmakers are proposing a national referendum on whether to ban gun sales: 

Brazil is no stranger to gun violence, with frequent shoot-outs in major cities, but the attack in Rio de Janeiro shocked the nation.

The shooting sparked a debate over gun sales that has left lawmakers unable to ignore the issue.

The bill would have to be approved by both the Senate and the House before going on the ballot.

The leader of Brazil’s Senate, Jose Sarney, said any referendum would be held at the beginning of October – the earliest possible date for the bill to pass and the referendum to be called.

Brazil held a similar referendum in 2005 under former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, but 64% voted against a ban.

High-profile tragedies like this one generally tend to focus media and political attention on the issue of guns in a way that daily bloodshed doesn’t. Brazil may have made some progress in curbing its homicide rate in recent years, but it’s still an extremely violent country. (About 22 intentional homicides per 100,000 population compared to 5.5 for the U.S., according to the UNODC.) Brazil is not one of the world’s more gun-saturated countries however. Small Arms Survey ranks it 75th in terms of guns-per-capita with 8 per 100 people. The United States — the undisputed world leader in this category — has almost 90.

There more data on our list of the world’s most well-armed countries

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @joshuakeating

Tag: Brazil

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