The problem of gun-control in Latin America
Violence and security are the most significant problems in Latin American countries. According to the ranking from theCitizen’s Council for Public Security and Criminal Justice, the top 10 most violent cities in the world are located in Latin America. Moreover, Latin America has 43 of the 50 most violent urban centers located in the region. This shocking data may be explained by several factors, such as corruption,failed drug policies, and poor gun control.
The issues with gun control are acute not only in Latin America but all over the world, and even the United States is not an exception. This problem is significant for various reasons, both political and social. To deal with such a bad situation, everyone needs to become aware of its aspects and learn more about those social and political reasons for it. Luckily, a lot is said about gun control issues on TV, in numerous articles and essays, some of which you can read at https://eduzaurus.com/free-essay-samples/gun-control/ to increase your knowledge on this subject. Acquiring detailed information on gun regulation and weapons storage will help you understand how it affects your life and take possible actions to make the situation better.
Let’s have a more detailed look at Latin American policy in different countries to get a better understanding of how laws influence the current situation in the region.
In order to get a gun permit, people need to apply through theCredential of Legitimate User of Firearms(CLUSE). The application process is possible for Argentines of 21 years old and over. It also requires the prospective owner to prove they have no criminal record and provide detailed information on where the gun will be kept. Moreover, applicants need to pass physical and psychiatric tests, undergo a special firearm training, confirm their income, and get fingerprinted. Civilians are allowed to get semiautomatic weapons. A gun license is valid for one year, so when it’s over, all documents must be resubmitted. What’s more, dealers have to keep a record of all weapons sold.
The government of Argentina has an anonymous gun surrender program called PEVAF. Due to this program, more than 300,000 gunswere liquidated between 2007 and 2015. Recently, the number of permits to carry a gun has started decreasing dramatically. For example, 9,000 permits were granted in 2003, whereas only 73 were given in 2016. According to the Small Arms Survey report, there was approximately a 10 percent decrease in the number of firearms held by civilians from 3.6 million in 2012 to 3.3 million in 2017.
According to the CCSPJP’s rankings, there are 19 of the most violent cities on the planet in Brazil. The question is if this data correlates with the fact that civilian gun ownership is permitted in this country. To get a firearm in Brazil, its citizens must be at least 25 years old. The weapon also must be registered by the Federal police. According to 2019 legislation, only handguns and semi-automatics are authorized, the permit for them costs $26. It must be renewed every 10 years. If one possesses a firearm illegally, penalties will be imposed. They range from one to three years of imprisonment. Carry permits are especially difficult to get, so not everybody who owns a weapon can bring it outside their home. To obtain permission for that, a person needs to provide a written explanation of the necessity of carrying the weapon, prove the absence of a criminal background, and pass a mental health test.
Unfortunately, Colombia is known for its violent encounters with the brutal forces of the FARC and drug cartels, so it remains among the most violent countries in Latin America. Due to the 1991 laws, civilians have the right to possess and carry a gun only after getting a license. According to the regulations, people who are over 18 can buy and carry small-caliber handguns with barrels of 22 inches or less only for the purposes of self-defense. Also, the Constitution of Columbia bans having guns at political meetings and elections. The policy prohibits higher caliber handguns, semiautomatic guns as well as automatic guns. But in the case of “exceptional circumstances”, one can receive a permit for an automatic weapon for personal protection. To do this, applicants have to appeal to the Arms Committee of the Defense Ministry and have their gun registered by the military. In Colombia, the armed forces own a monopoly over the distribution of weapons and issue gun permits.
Although all Mexicans have a constitutional right to possess a gun, they face an obstacle with getting weapons because the only one gun store in the country is located in Mexico City. Mexico has the seventh position in the world in terms of the number of owned guns by citizens. Consequently, the level of violence stemming from it is extremely high. To own a gun, one needs to obtain a one-year permit from the Secretariat of National Defense. Moreover, another required condition is to be a member of a shooting club. The law allows individuals over 18 years of age to have up to 10 weapons. To get a license, one also needs to meet certain mental and physical criteria and hold no criminal convictions.
Latin America is a controversial region in terms of its social conditions and policies. There is a lot of information on the problems in Latin America, including the issues with gun control. But there is a lack of materials on how to tackle those problems. To understand that, one should read more about Latin America and research the best world practices of countries that successfully managed weapon control.
Michael Turner is an academic writer that helps students to complete assignments in Law and Sociology. His main sphere of professional interest is weapon control. Michael is currently working on research related to gun control in Latin America.