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  • Weapons are displayed during the presentation of guns which were seized in Rio de Janeiro's international airport, Brazil, June 1, 2017.

    Weapons are displayed during the presentation of guns which were seized in Rio de Janeiro's international airport, Brazil, June 1, 2017. | Photo: Reuters

Published 1 January 2020
Opinion

Figures increased 48 percent during the first 11 months of Jair Bolsonaro's presidency, the highest number since 1997 reports a local medium.

Brazil enters 2020 with the highest record of possession of firearms since 1997, local newspaper Folha de S.Paulo reported Monday, a figure that correlates directly to far-right President Jair Bolsoanro's first year in power. 

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The number of guns in circulation nearly doubled from 47,600 in 2018 to 70,800 by November 2019. Gun registrations for hunters, shooters, and collectors, granted by the Brazilian Army, also increased by eight percent, from about 60,000 in 2018 to 65,000 in the 11 months of 2019.

Bolsonaro twitted that he needs congressional help to extend the right to possession of weapons in Brazil. “What makes a weapon harmful depends 100 percent on the intentions of those who hold it. I stand for freedom, with criteria, for citizens who want to protect themselves and their families,” the far-right leader said.

The Brazilian president celebrated the 50 percent increase in firearms registrations in 2019 and said the death toll dropped by 22 percent. Using quotation marks, Bolsonaro gave the post a wry tone by saying that the increase in registrations did not mean an increase in the number of deaths.

Firearms registration grew 50 percent this year, taking into account the same period of 2018. According to "experts," the number of deaths should increase in Brazil, but in practice fell 22 percent. - I depend on Parliament to extend tenure to more citizens.

Last year, the House of Representatives approved Bill 3723/19, which regulates the activities of snipers, hunters, and collectors. The text awaits Senate vote.

Just during his first year in office, the Brazilian head of State issued eight decrees easing the possession and possession of weapons but had to retreat most of the time because the measures triggered controversy and legal challenges, with opponents arguing that the largest number of guns only aggravate violence in a country with a high homicide rate.

Back in June, Bolsonaro, announced that he was backing down from his weapons decree that sought to make firearms more readily available to the public. However, he proposed three other orders regarding gun access in Brazil, hoping they will be congressionally approved.

The latest action on this issue was the publication of Decree 10,030 in September, which regulates the use of firearms by the Army. Although many experts and human rights activists have rejected one of its key points, which is the automatic release of the acquisition of firearms - allowed or restricted use - by any member of the Armed Forces or the police, without proof of criminal record.

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