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NCJ Number: 229086 Find in a Library
Title: Great Sao Paulo Homicide Drop
Journal: Homicide Studies  Volume:13  Issue:4  Dated:November 2009  Pages:398-410
Author(s): Ted Goertzel; Tulio Kahn
Date Published: November 2009
Page Count: 13
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The 50-percent decline in homicide rates in the city and State of Sao Paulo, Brazil, from 2001 to 2007 is cited as an example of how effective measures can be taken to reduce lethal crime in a developing country without radical changes in underlying adverse socioeconomic conditions.
Abstract: In 2002, there were 21.7 firearms deaths for each 100,000 people in Brazil, compared to 10.7 in the United States. In October 2003, the Brazilian Federal Government enacted a new set of laws to limit the importation of firearms, making it illegal to own unregistered guns or to carry guns on the street, and the penalties for the violation of gun control laws were increased. In 2005, Brazil’s leading political parties and advocacy groups promoted a national referendum to ban commerce in arms and ammunition altogether. Despite support from all sides of the political spectrum, the referendum was defeated by a hastily organized pro-gun coalition that argued gun control would only deny guns to law-abiding citizens. Despite that failure of the referendum, Brazilian gun control legislation is strong, and some analysts attribute the recent drop in homicide deaths to the 2003 legislation. In the state of Sao Paulo, firearms confiscations by the police increased from 6,539 in the fist quarter of 1996 to 11,670 in the second quarter of 1999. This peak coincides with the beginning of the great Sao Paulo homicide decline. Firearms confiscations remained high through 2004 and then settled back to their previous level. Sao Paulo authorities believe that the decline in firearms confiscations after 2004 was due to new national legislation that increased the penalties for carrying firearms, such that fewer persons risked carrying them on the street. Results suggest that the legislation was helpful in reducing homicide, but only when actively enforced by the police forces in a State. 7 figures and 40 references
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Brazil; Firearm-crime relationships; Firearms deaths; Foreign criminal justice research; Gun Control; Gun control legislation; Homicide trends
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