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Brazil: President Vetoes Amendment to Disarmament Statute

(Jan. 11, 2013) On January 10, 2013, Brazilian President Dilma Roussef vetoed a bill (Mensagem de Veto No. 002, de 9 de Janeiro de 2013, PLANALTO.GOV.BR) that amended the Disarmament Statute (Lei No. 10.826 of 22 de Dezembro de, 2003, PLANALTO.GOV.BR). The Disarmament Statute regulates the registration, possession, carrying, and sale of firearms and ammunition. It determines the competencies of the National Arms System (Sistema Nacional de Armas) and defines crimes that involve the unauthorized possession, carrying, trade, and international trafficking of firearms.

The bill of law would have amended article 6(§1) of the Disarmament Statute, which currently authorizes only certain categories of professionals, as listed in the article, to carry firearms when off duty. The bill would have extended such authorization to prison agents, prison guards, prison escort guards, and port guards.

According to the veto message, “expansion of the authorization to carry firearms off duty for professionals listed in section VII of article 6 of Law No. 10,826 implies a larger number of firearms in circulation, which goes against the national policy to combat violence and the Disarmament Statute.” (Dilma Veta Projeto que Permitia Porte de Arma a Agentes Prisionais Mesmo Fora de Serviço, O GLOBO (Jan. 10, 2013).)