Sales of Brazilian-made firearms to the U.S. increased 187.5% while former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was in office, compared to the same eight-year period that his predecessor, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, was in power.
The U.S. purchased nearly 7.9 million, or 80%, of the 9.9 million exported Brazilian firearms in the past forty years, Folha de S.Paulo newspaper reports.
The total of 7,873,321 firearms sold to the U.S. between 1971 and 2011 dwarfs sales to the next biggest importers of Brazilian guns: Argentina (215,216), Paraguay (154,711), Yemen (112,272) and Germany (109,273).
Of the 9.9 million firearms sold, 42.2% were revolvers, 23.8% were shotguns (espingardas), 17.8% were pistols, with the rest a mixture of different types of rifles, including semi-automatic weapons.
Figures from the Brazilian Army Command, released after a request by the São Paulo newspaper under the Freedom of Information Act, showed that 59% of this total, 4.6 million units, was exported between 2003 and 2010, enough to arm every person in the state of Louisiana today.
In 2011, the final year included in the Army report, Brazil exported more firearms to the U.S. than Austria and Germany combined, the second and third biggest firearms exporters to the US, after Brazil.
Brazilian arms manufacturer Taurus, headquartered in Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, has been responsible for over half of Brazilian arms exports to the U.S. since 1971, and around half of the products this company makes are sold to American buyers.
The company, founded in 1941 and arriving in the U.S. in 1968, is now one of the world’s biggest manufacturers of small firearms and the fourth biggest in the States. Taurus USA was created in 1984 and, along with its factory in Miami, the company reportedly arms police forces in over 70 countries.
In Brazil, according to Taurus, the company’s revenues were R$701 million last year, a 13.4% increase.
Read the full article on The Rio Times website