HomeBRAZILNEW TYPE OF CRIME IS GROWING: THE ROBBERY OF LEGALLY ACQUIRED WEAPONS

NEW TYPE OF CRIME IS GROWING: THE ROBBERY OF LEGALLY ACQUIRED WEAPONS

In the wake of the gun policy of President Jair Bolsonaro (PL) a new type of crime is growing: the robbery of legally acquired weapons mostly from CACs (collectors, shooters and hunters), a type of citizen authorized to buy and carry weapons in large quantities and whose number has increased in recent years, reaching more than 670,000 registered weapons. It was a direct consequence of decrees issued by the federal government in 2021 that allowed those with a record as a shooter to buy up to sixty weapons, thirty of which are for restricted use, such as rifles.

The side effect of the significant growth of this arsenal in the hands of the CACs was to make this group the preferred target of criminals. A study by the Instituto Sou da Paz, focused on São Paulo, shows that the vast majority of victims of diverted weapons are men (80%) and that almost half (47%) of the cases occurred at homes. For the study we have the idea that the person will buy a weapon to defend themselves and ward off criminals. In fact, it’s the opposite. Criminals go after places with more weapons. Specialists believe that organized crime has changed its dynamics as a result of this uncontrolled flexibility: it stopped seeking weapons exclusively through international trafficking.

In addition to profiting, even if indirectly, from robberies and thefts of war material, there are indications that factions such as the PCC have used CACs to buy pistols, rifles, and revolvers. An AR-15 rifle, one of the most coveted, costs R$70,000 on the illegal market, but is sold in the store for R$12,000 to a collector or shooter.

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