Gun ownership went up. Killings went down. Brazil debates why.

Washington Post

Take away the açaí smoothies and the skewers of barbecued Brazilian meat and the four-day Texas ExpoTiro here could be a gun show anywhere in the United States. Firearms dealers from all over the world have rented booths to market Glock pistols and AR-15s, and gun rights advocates are offering lectures on how to confront violent urban crime. “This is a triumph of liberty!” said retired military police chief Marcelo Venera, the executive director of the two-year-old expo, the largest gun show in the country and the first open to civilians. “We are here to show that we are good people and there is nothing wrong with loving guns!” The gun owners of Brazil are proclaiming victory these days. Private gun ownership, once tightly restricted in Latin America’s largest country, has grown at least sixfold in the four years since President Jair Bolsonaro began relaxing the rules. What’s more, gun enthusiasts say, it’s working: The homicide rate in Brazil — one of the world’s most violent countries — has fallen more than 27 percent since 2017. “Everyone said there would be more homicides when Bolsonaro loosened the restrictions,” said Paulo da Silva, 25, attending the gun show with friends. “But it turned out to be the opposite!”

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