The elected president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, said today that he intends to guarantee, by decree, the possession of firearms to people without a criminal record.
Three days before taking office as President of Brazil, Bolsonaro made the announcement through social networks, as is his custom.
“By decree we intend to guarantee the possession of firearms for citizens without criminal records, as well as make registration definitive,” he said on Twitter.
The right to own firearms allows citizens to have them at home, but not to take them to other places, for which, according to the legislation, a special authorization is needed.
Bolsonaro, captain of the Army reserve and who has always praised the military regime that governed Brazil between 1964 and 1985, considers that a weapon is “a guarantee of freedom” because it supports the right to self-defense, and that is why he promised to make the disarmament statute more flexible if he came to the presidency.
The current disarmament statute in Brazil allows the purchase of weapons for people over 25 years of age who don’t have a criminal record, as long as they have passed a psychological test and justify the reason.
According to the NGO Sou de Paz, records of ownerships of new weapons by civilians have multiplied tenfold since 2004 and in 2017 they reached 33,031.
Therefore, the relaxation of the disarmament statute is a matter of concern to the NGO since it can become a “catastrophe for public safety” of a country in which only last year killed more than 60,000 people victims of violence.
Such concern is bogus at best, since most gun violence is perpetrated by drug cartels and criminals, who do not respect existing law, not by law abiding citizens.
In fact, if there is anything that Bolsonaro’s decree will do is level the playing field in favor of people who live in fear everyday. Crime is at the highest levels in Brazil, where most of its population is disarmed.
Bolsonaro’s thinking relies on a very simple premise: Given the fact that one of the most basic jobs of a government is to protect its people, and should such a government not be able to do so, it is the right of the people to protect themselves.
Today, crime runs rampant in Brazil. Armed robberies take place at any time of the say or evening, car thefts and home break ins are common, and people have no way to defend themselves.