Brazil's president start gun control push with registration

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

One thing we can never allow to fully take hold in this country is gun registration. The reason? Registration doesn’t really do much to deter criminals, but it makes it a whole lot easier to confiscate guns from law-abiding citizens.


In Brazil, recent gun rights reforms are being rolled back, and the starting place is with a gun registry.

Brazil’s recently elected left-wing President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is pushing new gun control regulations on the country’s gun owners, requiring all of them to register each of their firearms with the police.

The massive gun registration program comes after his predecessor, former President Jair Bolsonaro, ran his campaign on a pro-gun platform and, once in office, rolled back regulations on private gun ownership. He also changed the rules for how much ammunition a person could own and eased access to restricted-caliber guns.

Bolsonaro also repeatedly claimed that “an armed populace will never be enslaved,” according to The Associated Press.

Now, Lula is working to unravel Bolsonaro’s pro-gun policies.

The government has said in-person registration could help determine precisely how many guns are in the country and potentially how many are no longer with their original owners or may have fallen into criminal hands.


Except that’s really unlikely to happen that way. Those who have had guns stolen have likely already reported them to the police, which means the government knows those guns fell into criminal hands already.

All gun registration does is allow the government to know who has what, thus making it easier to come back later and start taking guns away from people.

What’s interesting about this push, though, is that it’s not like there’s been some massive spike in violent crime that would justify rolling back Bolsonaro’s reforms.

In fact, when he took office, crime rates plummeted, and while they increased in 2020, they did so pretty much everywhere in the world. It just wasn’t as bad in Brazil as in many other places.

So why is a registry so badly needed all of a sudden?

The answer is that it’s not.

Lula, like many on the left wings of their respective nations’ politics, cannot stand the idea of ordinary people being able to defend themselves without government permission.

Because of that, it’s difficult to look at what we’re seeing here as anything but an eventual prelude to gun confiscation. First, you identify who has what, then you can go door-to-door to get those guns.


Sure, it won’t do much for the criminals, but since violent crime becomes a pretext for even more draconian restrictions, that sure sounds a lot like a feature, not a bug.

Brazil was making real progress toward becoming a much safer nation. Now, expect to see that begin to backslide all as Lula pretends he’s making things safer.

What’s more, what we’re going to see may well become a useful example for gun rights/gun control discussions here in the United States.

Nothing we see can or will justify a gun registry though. That can never be justified by anything.

Join the conversation as a VIP Member