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Last Updated: Saturday, 24 July, 2004, 01:01 GMT 02:01 UK
Brazil gun amnesty nets huge haul
Brazil has the world's fourth-highest murder rate
A Brazilian woman in Sao Paulo has handed almost 1,300 firearms to the authorities, claiming $65,000 under a government disarmament scheme.

The woman, whose cache ranged from muskets to mortar shells, told police her late father was a gun collector.

The haul was collected from her home in a heavily-armed police truck.

More than 7,000 weapons have been surrendered across Brazil since the campaign launch last week, in which the government pays citizens for weapons.

According to the United Nations, Brazil has the world's fourth-highest murder rate, with 40,000 gun-related murders last year.

Under the scheme, payments range from $33 for a pistol to $100 for an assault rifle.

Anyone can hand in a weapon before the end of the year without fear of being questioned or charged with illegal possession.

The Brazilian government said it would invest $3.3m in the scheme between now and December, with the original aim of taking 80,000 guns off the street.

But police are said to expect a higher haul after the first week's results.

Rules tightened

The amnesty is the latest step in the government's attempt to reduce violent crime.

A law passed last December, which came into force earlier this month, banned the carrying of guns in public.

It also tightened rules on gun permits and created a national firearms register, with strict penalties for owning an unregistered gun.

A referendum will be held in 2005 on whether to ban gun sales outright.

The BBC's Steven Kingstone
"The haul ranged from revolvers to rifles, pistols to muskets"

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