Arms-possession decree shakes up security sector

Reform increases number of people who can keep weapons at home

(ANSA) - The decree reforming the rules for possession of firearms in Brazil that was approved by President Jair Bolsonaro on January 15 could have a major impact on the security market.
    With this reform the former serviceman kept the promise he made in his election campaign to extend the right to keep arms inside private property. As of January, anyone who lives in a city with a homicide rate of over 10 cases per 100,000 inhabitants can keep a weapon at home if they meet certain requirements, such as the lack of a criminal record.
    The PM Cofres company, for example, forecasts a rise of between 30% and 35% for its business due to the effects of the decree, as it requires that the weapons be kept "locked in a safe place" inside the residence.
    "The decree will certainly have an impact," said Leandro Pimentel, the company's commercial manager. "We have already registered an increase in demand for safes by people who will buy weapons after this reform". PM's website features safe models designed specifically for this segment of the market, such as units that can fitted inside a wardrobe and contain up to four weapons, the maximum allowed by the law. "Up to now we have seen growth of 20% but we believe this number will increase in the coming months," added Pimentel.
    Amid the expectations created by this reform there was the 2019 international security fair Exposec in Sao Paulo May 21-23, which included a section devoted specially to weapons and related products, the Magnum Show. The event, organized by Cipa Fiera Milano at the Sao Paulo Expo exhibition centre, brought together many players in the sector, from weapons producers to manufacturers of safes, holsters and simulators and shooting schools.
    The latter represent another niche in the market that is feeling the effects of the Bolsonaro decree because one of the requirements to be able to have a weapon at home is a certificate of "technical capacity" to be able to use it. According to Sidnei Silva, an instructor from Sao Paulo's Durval Guimaraes Sporting Association (ADDG), there has been an increase in demand for courses, although it is not a "significant" increase yet. "The cost entailed in possessing a weapon is not very low," explained Silva, who said this is one of the reasons why the increase in demand since the start of the year is low. The increase in the number of pupils will be a slow process that goes hand in hand with "a change in society's behaviour" he added.
    Silva said that so far the demand for courses has come primarily from certain sectors - entrepreneurs, doctors, managers and the self employed - because people in the less well off segments of society "have other priorities" given than the price of a firearm in Brazil is high. In other market segments the decree has had no effect.
    "The fact is that, in principle, the reform does not change anything for our type of weapon," explained Manoel Dall'Agnol Amantino, the director and president of E.R. Amantino, which produces weapons for sport and hunting in the Rio Grande do Sul.
    The new law includes collectors, hunters and sporting shooters among the citizens who have a "real need" to keep weapons at home, but, according to Dall'Agnol, the bureaucratic procedures required to obtain the necessary certificates remain an obstacle that weighs down the market.
    "It can take up to six months and this discourages people," he said. On top of this are the high taxes which affect prices, which explains why E.R. Amantino currently exports 70% of its production, especially to the USA, Canada, New Zealand and Argentina. The company's director-president hopes that regulation leads to flexibility in the sale of arms, reducing bureaucracy.