By Richard Mann, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – President Jair Bolsonaro signed a decree on Tuesday, 7th, changing the rules on the use of weapons and ammunition. The decree was signed in a ceremony at the Planalto Presidential Palace.
Up to the final update of this report, the text of the decree had not yet been released by the government.
According to Bolsonaro, the main measures of the decree include:
- Permission for the rural gun-owner with legal possession of a firearm to use the weapon within the perimeter of their own property;
- Breaking of the monopoly on arms imports in Brazil;
- Permission for collectors, sport shooters and hunters (CSCs) to be able to travel between home and shooting site with the firearm and its ammunition;
- Armed Forces Veterans with ten years or more of experience will be entitled to bear firearms;
- The right to purchase up to 50 cartridges per year will go up to one thousand cartridges per year.
According to the President of the Republic, the government was acting “within the limits of the law” while editing this Tuesday’s decree.
Presidential Chief of Staff Onyx Lorenzoni says the decree signed by Bolsonaro on Tuesday guarantees hunters and sport shooters the right to “carry freely” within the country.
The decree deals with “residential concepts” in order to cover “the entire extent of the property area” in which the registered gun-owner resides.
This includes rural property. In this area, the citizen will be “free to defend his/her property and his/her family against unjust, present and imminent aggression”.
The decree also stipulates that five thousand cartridges may be acquired annually per firearm of permitted use, and one thousand for each firearm of restricted use.
According to the Chief of Staff, the right to carry a weapon will be linked to the person, not to the weapon. As such, the government says that the person does not need to get a permit for each firearm.
They may simply present the valid carry permit in conjunction with the valid Firearm Registration Certificate.
The decree seeks to simplify the transfer of firearm ownership, which will be authorized “whenever the buyer meets the requirements to carry or possess a firearm, as the case may be, without any additional requirement.”
The Chief of Staff also indicates that the decree will present “express permission” for the sale of firearms, ammunition, and accessories in establishments accredited by the Army Command.
The period of validity for the Registration Certificate is extended to and, consequently, the documents related to possession and carrying will have the same period of validity.
The decree aims to facilitate the use of seized ammunition by interested police officers, with preference going to the force that made the apprehension.
Import of arms and ammunition
During an interview after the ceremony, Bolsonaro said that the decree regulates the importation of arms and ammunition to Brazil. He did not give details on how the opening of the market will be carried out.
“We also broke the monopoly. This goes into effect in 30 days because we must discuss, as I have already done with Paulo Guedes, the question of taxation so as not to harm Brazilian companies here within the country,” said the President.
“[The decree] regulates the import of arms, which has been banned up to this point. […] As there were similar products in Brazil, one could not import. We’ve put an end to that. Even if there are similar products here, you can import firearms and ammunition,” he added.
As there is a company in Brazil, Taurus, that manufactures weapons, importation was denied or restricted.
According to article 190 of R-105, the regulations for Monitoring of Controlled Products, “importation will be denied or restricted” for controlled products which are manufactured within the country by an industry that is considered of strategic value by the Army, with the possibility of special authorization being granted.
Decree regarding gun ownership
In January, in the initial phase of the new administration, the President also signed a decree that relaxed restrictions of the possession of firearms in the country.
The right to possession is authorization to keep a firearm at home, or in the workplace (provided the owner of the firearm is the legal guardian of the establishment).
In order to carry a firearm in the street, one must have a permit to carry, the rules of which are stricter and not addressed in the January decree.
During the 28 years that he was a member of the House of Representatives, Bolsonaro was in favor of facilitating citizens’ access to firearms.