Tags: Gun Control | gun laws | mexico | south america

Gun Laws Around the World: Where Does South America Stand on Firearms?

By    |   Friday, 03 Apr 2015 04:48 PM

Gun control laws around the world run the gamut from extremely restrictive in countries like Japan to fairly permissive in the United States. South American countries tend to fall in the middle; citizens are permitted to own guns, but licensing requirements are lengthy and strict.

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Mexico
While technically part of North America, Mexico is an interesting case. Like Americans, Mexicans have a constitutional right to own firearms. However, there is only one gun store in the entire country, and that imposes some logistical limitations on gun ownership.

From a legal perspective, citizens can own up to 10 weapons with a permit. Getting a permit requires being 18 years of age, membership in a shooting club, being mentally and physically able to operate a gun, no criminal convictions, and fulfillment of military service. Carrying a gun outside of the home requires an additional permit and is limited primarily to people who need to carry a gun for their work (police, security, etc.).

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Argentina
Citizens in Argentina can own firearms with a permit, and that includes semi-automatic weapons. To qualify, applicants must be 21 or older, have no criminal record, pass a physical and mental exam, participate in firearm training, show proof of income, and provide fingerprints. While gun laws are rather permissive, the government has initiated a voluntary surrender program that encourages citizens to turn in their guns.

Brazil
While citizens of Brazil have no legal right to gun ownership, current laws do permit it. Brazilians ages 25 and older can apply for a permit to carry handguns or semi-automatic weapons; automatic weapons are banned. Also banned are toy guns made to look like real guns.

While ownership is easy, obtaining a carry permit is much more difficult. Applicants must provide a written statement as to why they need a carry permit and submit to a mental exam by a state-approved psychologist. Additional requirements include a background check and proof of training.

Chile
Chile is similar to Brazil in that, while gun ownership is not constitutionally protected, it is permitted under current laws. However, citizens must first obtain permits, and the process is a lengthy one. Requirements include registering a home address, passing a psychiatric exam, and completing firearms training. Carrying a gun outside of the registered home address requires an additional permit.

Venezuela
In Venezuela, gun ownership is permitted via licensing. The licensing requirements include a genuine reason to own a gun, a background check, and third-party references. The length of the permit depends on the reason for needing a gun. In addition, Venezuelans may only possess ammunition that’s appropriate for the gun they’re licensed to own.

For more stories about gun laws around the world, check out gunpolicy.org.

This article does not constitute legal advice. Check the current gun laws before purchasing or traveling with a firearm.

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Gun control laws around the world run the gamut from extremely restrictive in countries like Japan to fairly permissive in the United States. South American countries tend to fall in the middle; citizens are permitted to own guns, but licensing requirements are lengthy and strict.
gun laws, mexico, south america
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2015-48-03
Friday, 03 Apr 2015 04:48 PM
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