Videos emerging from Venezuela Tuesday show anti-Nicolás Maduro protesters being reportedly shot at and run over by military members while civilians are unable to use conventional weapons to defend themselves following a private gun ownership ban in 2012.
Videos circulating on social media show an unidentified helicopter reportedly shooting at protesters and armored military vehicles running over groups of citizens protesting the continuing reign of Maduro, who refuses to yield control of the country to Juan Guaidó, who multiple countries, including the United States, recognize as the legitimate president of the country.
“Guns would have served as a vital pillar to remaining a free people, or at least able to put up a fight,” exiled English teacher Javier Vanegas told Fox News. “The government security forces, at the beginning of this debacle, knew they had no real opposition to their force. Once things were this bad, it was a clear declaration of war against an unarmed population.”
Citizens in Venezuela have been unable to own private firearms since the country enacted a ban in 2012 under previous leader Hugo Chávez. The law only allows the military, police, and specific groups, i.e. security groups, are allowed to purchase firearms from state-controlled manufacturers. Those in violation could face up to 10 years in prison if in possession of a “weapon of war.” – READ MORE