In Portugal there are about 1.5 million legal weapons, the majority of which are rifles and shotguns intended for hunting, reveal data sent to the Lusa agency by the Public Security Police.
The PSP estimates that more than 80% of the weapons legalized in Portugal are of classes C and D, namely carbines and shotguns that are in the hands of hunters, who can only use them when they are carrying out this activity.
According to PSP, which has the competence to control and inspect the manufacture, storage, marketing, use and transport of firearms, the number of legal weapons in Portugal has remained stable in recent years.
“Given the number of new weapons that were purchased and entered the market through imports, transfers from European space and national manufacture, but taking into account the weapons that were destroyed by the PSP, either due to voluntary surrender or due to court decisions and administrative loss of weapons in favor of the State, there has been a stable number of weapons, around 1,500,000 ”, needs this security force.
The PSP also estimates that there are more than 210,000 licenses for the use and possession of weapons valid in Portugal in the country, which include collector’s licenses, defense or sport shooting.
In the response sent to Lusa, the PSP stresses that the number of weapons licenses has been decreasing in Portugal since 2006, since the majority are hunting weapons and the number of hunters has been decreasing.
The PSP justifies the existence of fewer hunters in the country with the problems inherent in hunting, namely greater restrictions, diseases in animals and an aging population dedicated to this activity.
In 2020, the majority of licenses issued by the Public Security Police were for weapons of classes C and D (used by hunters), in a total of 11,617, and for sport shooting (1,327).
Regarding the weapons that are in the possession of collectors, the Police clarify that they can only circulate on the street when they move to hold collector events, where shooting is practiced, requiring authorization from the PSP.
Regarding the weapons law that came into force in September 2019, the PSP takes a “very positive” assessment due to the restrictions it came to impose, namely the limitation of the number of weapons for hunters and the need for a safe to store weapons at home, in addition to clarifying some aspects in insurance terms.
In February, a law was published in Diário da República that extends the deadline for firearms owners until July 31 to acquire a safe to store them.
After purchasing the safe or non-portable locker, gun owners must submit the respective proof on the electronic platform provided by PSP, namely invoice-receipt or equivalent document.
According to the law, owners of firearms who do not deliver proof of purchase of the safe by July 31 are punished with a fine of 50 euros and warned of the obligation to purchase it for another 30 days, under penalty of being applied one more fine.
An extraordinary period for the voluntary surrender of weapons not manifested or registered in any police facility of the PSP or GNR is currently taking place, until June 23, with no criminal consequences.
Owners of firearms who do not intend to hand them over to the State can proceed with their legalization.