Brazil to issue decree relaxing gun laws

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Brazilian President, Jair Bolsonaro, is eager to issue the decree as it is one of his key campaign promises. Xinhua

BRASILIA (NNN-Prensa Latina) – Brazilian President, Jair Bolsonaro, will issue a decree next week, to make it easier for citizens to own a gun, Onyx Lorenzoni, the president’s chief of staff, said.

Mr Bolsonaro, who took office on Jan 1, is eager to issue the decree because, it was one of his key campaign promises, said Mr Lorenzoni.

“A promise made is a promise kept,” he said, following a meeting with the Brazilian president and his cabinet.

Critics of the proposed decree – which will allow any Brazilian of legal age, with no criminal record, to purchase a gun – say, such changes in legislation should be debated in Congress, rather than made by presidential decree.

Some 61 percent of Brazilians oppose making it easier to own a gun, according to a poll released last week, by pollster Datafolha.

Brazil currently has strict gun ownership laws, requiring any prospective owners to undergo psychological tests.

But Mr Bolsonaro has said more guns would allow “good people” in Brazil help combat violent crime.

In 2003, the Senate passed the Disarmament Statute. In the first year after the statue was introduced, the murder rate in Brazil dropped by 8%. In the same time, about 500,000 guns were seized by police under a buy-back scheme.

During his cabinet meeting, Mr Bolsonaro also spoke of the need to “materialise” other campaign promises, including deregulating industry in environmental matters.

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