RealNews

Brazil Passes Tough Gun-Control Law

The gunfire crackles virtually every night in the shantytown where Luiz Manoel Pereira lives with his three children. When the first shots pierce the air, he says the family responds like well-drilled infantry. Without saying a word, everyone drops to the floor and rolls under their beds. No words are spoken. No lights are turned on. No one stands or peeks out a window. “The innocent die every day in this city,” said Pereira, 39, a widower who works as a short-order cook. “I’m afraid that Brazilians have more guns than common sense. Everyone here knows someone who has been shot.” Grappling with one of the world’s highest homicide rates and more gun deaths annually than the United States, President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva this week signed into law what are considered the toughest gun restrictions in Latin America. The measure, known as the disarmament act, restricts the carrying of handguns in public to the police, the military, licensed security guards and hunters. It raises the minimum age for gun ownership from 21 to 25 and requires a background check for gun buyers. The law also mandates a national referendum in 2005 in which voters will consider an even tougher measure: a ban on all handgun sales in Brazil. Full Story

OODA Analyst

OODA Analyst

OODA is comprised of a unique team of international experts capable of providing advanced intelligence and analysis, strategy and planning support, risk and threat management, training, decision support, crisis response, and security services to global corporations and governments.