What types of weapons are used to commit crimes? What characteristics do they have? What is the profile of those arrested while carrying them? The answers to all these questions can be found in “As Armas do Crime” (The Weapons Used in Crime), a study published by the Instituto Sou da Paz in order to offer a better understanding of the phenomenon of violent crime.
Based on data from Sou da Paz’s2012 survey “Caught in the Act in San Pablo”, the study analyzes the types of arms that are used in criminal activity and which pose a real danger to the population. It shows that the most commonly used weapons are locally-made revolvers and pistols (Brazilian manufacturers Taurus and Rossi accounting for 68 per cent of the guns used) and that 69 per cent of the guns used by criminals are of legally permitted calibers. The study also reveals that 40 per cent of the guns used have their serial numbers intact, a fact that should allow the police to be able to trace the weapons’ origins.
The results of the study highlight the importance of Brazil’s Disarmament Law for preventing crime and taking guns out of circulation. Almost half of the people arrested for breaches of the Disarmament Law had criminal records. Of those detained for possession, 6.4 per cent had a record for murder.