BRASILIA – Politicians, truckers and even journalists will be able to carry guns in Brazil under an executive order published Wednesday in the Official Daily, a decree that expands the list of people eligible to bear arms.
Far-right President Jair Bolsonaro signed the executive order on Tuesday evening.
The president said the order would limit the right to carry arms to hunters and members of shooting clubs so they could move around freely with loaded rifles and pistols.
The language of the executive order was not released by the administration prior to its signing, but the Official Daily said elected officials, truckers, journalists covering the police beat, attorneys, traffic officers and armored truck company employees would also have the right to carry firearms.
Bolsonaro’s executive order, moreover, gives “residents of rural areas” and “prison administration agents” the right to be armed.
Owners of shooting clubs and gun stores will also have the right to carry firearms.
The executive order deregulates the importation of ammunition and firearms, but transactions involving individuals with the right to carry weapons must be authorized by the army command, which will work with the Federal Police to manage the issuance of permits.
Under the executive order, citizens interested in obtaining a firearms permit must complete a statement explaining why they need to be armed, be 25, have no criminal record and meet several other requirements.
“Public safety starts in the home,” Bolsonaro said Tuesday, adding that the executive order protected “the individual right each person has” to carry arms, as long as they comply with the law.
After signing the executive order, Bolsonaro posed for photographers with some of his Cabinet ministers and lawmakers, who imitated a shooting gesture that the president became know for during last year’s campaign.
This executive order builds on another one signed in January that eased the restrictions on arms sales to civilians, fulfilling one of the far-right leader’s campaign promises.
Bolsonaro vowed that he would fight crime and give citizens the “right of self-defense” against criminals.
Easing restrictions on arms sales was one of the issues that helped Bolsonaro win last October’s elections.
As a candidate, Bolsonaro said armed citizens would serve as a “self-defense” check in the face of a wave of violence that official figures show has resulted in about 60,000 murders annually.