Over 3 thousand lives were saved in Brazil as a result of the reduction in firearm use in 2004, when compared with the figures for 2003.
According to the Brazilian Minister of Health, Saraiva Felipe, firearm use in Brazil declined 8.2% in 2004.
The National Index of Firearm Deaths, released today in the Ministry of Health, shows that this was the first reduction in 13 years. There were decreases in 18 states.
In the Minister’s view, these data suggest a possible impact of the Disarmament Statute, approved by the National Congress in 2003, and the firearms collection campaign.
The disarmament campaign had gathered 443 thousand firearms between July 15, 2004, and yesterday (1), five and a half times the original goal of 80 thousand weapons.
For the Minister of Justice, Márcio Thomaz Bastos, who also participated in the ceremony, the numbers revealed by the study should have an influence on the disarmament referendum, scheduled for October 23, when the country will decide whether or not to ban firearm and munition sales.