Sections of Bolsonaro’s gun-control decrees in Brazil have been halted by a Brazilian court.

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On Monday, a judge on Brazil’s Supreme Federal Court suspended portions of four decrees signed by President Jair Bolsonaro to relax the country’s gun safety rules.

The decrees were issued by Bolsonaro on February 12 and were set to take effect on Tuesday. The court’s plenary will begin deliberating on Justice Rosa Weber’s ruling on the decrees on Friday, along with other appeals brought by various parties opposing the right-wing president’s gun policies.

Weber, among other things, removed a section that expanded the amount of weapons that Brazilian citizens could possess from four to six. The section would also have required police and other security personnel to own six to eight firearms.

She also repealed a provision that permitted individuals to carry up to two weapons in public, rather than only one, and another that expanded the amount of ammo that hunters and sport shooters could buy, as well as a section that allowed shooting organisations and schools to buy unlimited bullets.

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The justice wrote that there is a “unequivocal correlation between the facilitation of the population’s access to firearms and the diversion of these products to criminal organisations, militias and criminals in general, through robberies or clandestine trade, increasing even more the general indexes of patrimonial crimes, violent crimes and homicides,”

Bolsonaro, a retired army lieutenant, is an ardent supporter of gun rights who frequently shares photographs of himself at the shooting range on social media.

He campaigned on a pledge to arm “good people” to fight violence in Brazil, and he often makes his trademark finger gun motion to demonstrate.

 

Gun-control activists have been outspoken in their criticism.

Bolsonaro “has now published more than 30 decrees leading to a record increase in guns in circulation last year,” according to the Sou da Paz Institute, after Bolsonaro delivered the four most recent decrees in February.

Ilona Szabo, president of the Igarape Institute, which specialises in defence and growth matters, hailed Weber’s decision as a “great victory for Brazilian society”

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According to the institute, there are 1.2 million civilian-owned handguns in Brazil, which has a population of 212 million inhabitants, which is a 65 percent increase from the end of 2018.

 

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