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Commander says Army gun control system works

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The Army commander, General Marco Antônio Freire Gomes, assured today (6th) that the Army has full control over the authorization process for hunters, sport shooters and collectors (the so-called CACs) to acquire weapons.

“The control system that the Army effectively manages, that of the CACs, is very good. It is a system that works”, said Gomes during a public hearing held by the Foreign Relations Committee of the Chamber of Deputies.

After explaining that it is up to the regulatory force to authorize and inspect the registration, possession and carrying of weapons only by duly authorized hunters, shooters and collectors, the commander recalled that other people, in addition to security companies, are managed by the system of Federal Police (PF).

“The Army is very good at controlling [do seu sistema], but the moment these weapons are diverted, stolen, control becomes the police. And I can say that our system has helped our police a lot to mitigate this issue”, added the general, stating that, since 2019, the Force has doubled the number of soldiers working in the inspection area.

“From the point of view of the Army’s responsibility, there is no lack of control in relation to the CACs”, assured the commander.

Last week, Instituto Sou da Paz released a survey pointing out that almost 3,000 weapons in the possession of hunters, shooters, collectors and also shooting clubs have been stolen since the beginning of 2018. Through the Access to Information Law, the non-governmental organization (NGO) has asked the Army for details on the nearly 900,000 firearms currently registered by CACs. The institute states that, in response, the Army reported not being able to detail aspects such as the type of weapons in the possession of the CACs.

Today, during the same public hearing, the Minister of Defense, General Paulo Sérgio Nogueira de Oliveira, defended the right of not only CACs, but of other people to acquire weapons. “My opinion is that every citizen has the right to self-defense, to defend their property, their home. It’s not just anyone who walks around the corner and buys a gun. We have strict legislation. We have tests. We have to prove the suitability, the qualification to wield a weapon. Lately, we have seen a very large decrease in firearm crime rates, even with the increase in CACs. So, it doesn’t seem very dangerous to me to arm good people”, commented the minister, classifying as “political” the criticism of the increase in the number of weapons in the hands of civilians.

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