By Xiu Ying, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – On Tuesday, 14th, the Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office (FPO) of the Federal District requested the immediate and full suspension of the decree, issued by President Jair Bolsonaro last week, which relaxed laws regarding the carrying of firearms.
The prosecutors claim that the measure violates the Disarmament Statute and “jeopardizes the public safety of all Brazilians.” The lawsuit was filed at the 17th District Federal Court.
The FPO calls for an urgent ruling, claiming that the increase in the purchase of weapons caused by the decree will have an impact for decades, as firearms are durable merchandise.
Prosecutors point out that many weapons purchased before the 2003 Disarmament Statute have been used in crimes up until the present day.
One of the points questioned is the broadening of the firearm carry laws twenty categories, which no longer need to demonstrate the effective need to have the right to carry guns.
The lawsuit alleges that “the President of the Republic could not, through a general and permanent decree, dispense with the analysis of the requirement.”
Another section that has been criticized is one which authorizes the practice of sports shooting by children and adolescents, without a judicial ruling.
For the FPO, this is a “flagrant setback to the protection generally conferred by the Constitution of the Republic and by the Statute of Children and Adolescents.”
Also questioned is the increase in the quantity of ammunition that can be purchased to 5,000 rounds per year for each licensed firearm.
The FPO points out that, though “this will obviously increase the amount of ammunition available to unauthorized persons – including criminals – as a result of theft and robbery of said munitions.”
The prosecutors say that “since his campaign for election Presidency of the Republic, the intention of the Chief Executive has been public and notorious regarding changes to the national firearms policy.”
However, they point out that “the method chosen to do so is improper and in complete disagreement with democratic order,” and therefore “cannot be tolerated nor accepted by the institutions responsible for maintaining the legal order of the country.”
In the text, the prosecutors cite a technical note drawn up by the Federal Prosecutor’s Office for the Rights of the Citizen, an agency linked to the FPO, which classified the decree as unconstitutional.
The decree has already been challenged in the Federal Supreme Court (FSC), by the Network of Sustainability.
Last week, Rosa Weber, the case’s rapporteur, gave Bolsonaro five days to explain the measure.