Brazil’s new president loosens gun laws, boasting that ‘good citizens can now ensure peace in their homes’

Tuesday, January 15, 2019
By Paul Martin

Brazil’s new far-right president relaxed controls for ‘good citizens’ to have guns
Jair Bolsonaro said move would allow citizens to ‘ensure peace in their homes’
Executive order makes it easier for adults with no criminal record to get weapons
Decree allows adults without criminal record up to four guns to keep at home

15 January 2019

Brazil’s far-right President Jair Bolsonaro decreed today the easing of national gun laws as part of his law-and-order agenda, despite fears it could aggravate already staggering violent crime.

The executive order, signed in a live television broadcast, allows ‘good citizens’ to more easily own firearms, said Bolsonaro.

‘To guarantee the legitimate right of defence, as president I am using this weapon,’ he said, indicating the pen he then used to sign the decree.

Brazil recorded nearly 64,000 homicides in 2017, making it one of the most dangerous countries in the world outside of a war zone.

According to a survey published last month by the Datafolha polling firm, 61 percent of Brazilians are opposed to generalised gun ownership.

Bolsonaro, a 63-year-old former army captain and longtime lawmaker, took office two weeks ago after being elected in October on promises to crack down on crime and corruption.

On the campaign trail he often mimicked a pistol by extending the thumb and forefinger of his hand.

One of Bolsonaro’s key pledges was to roll back gun-control laws, on the premise that armed citizens would deter criminals.

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