Brazilian President further limits gun ownership

Brazil’s president Luis Ignacio da Silva, also known as ‘Lula’, this week promised to further reverse the relaxation of gun control laws that his predecessor – Jair Bolsonaro – had instilled.

Brazilian President further limits gun ownership
Brazilian President further limits gun ownership

On his first day in office, Lula, who was voted president of Brazil for a third non-consecutive term, signed a decree reducing the types and number of guns private users can own or buy. This week, in response to an increase in shootings in public places and gang violence in Brazil, Lula vowed to further curb civilians’ rights to bear arms.

A key pillar of Lula’s agenda, tightening gun controls began upon re-entering office. A surge in shootings at public institutions such as schools is pressing the president to further regulate gun laws. What form the additional curbs will take is not yet clear.

As the United States grapples with their own increase in school shootings, with ever louder popular requests to control guns in their backyard, Brazil’s president Lula is not waiting for any further increases in gun violence in his country.

In 2019, the two countries with the highest total gun deaths were Brazil with 49,436, followed by the US with 37,038. In spite of this, Bolsonaro made easing firearms laws a top priority during his campaign trail as well as upon becoming President, lengthening the validity of gun licences from five to 10 years within his first few weeks in office.

On January 2nd, Lula undid Bolsonaro’s doing, passing a decree that suspended new licenses for gun clubs, reduced the number of firearms allowed per person from six to three and banned owners from transporting loaded guns. According to the Wall Street Journal, Lula reversed “looser rules imposed by his predecessor, Jair Bolsonaro, that prompted a million new gun registrations since 2019.”

Lula is likely to have to fight resistance from gun lobbyists and the hundreds of thousands of Brazilians who carry guns as a matter of sport, and others protection. Insecurity has ravaged Brazil with some of its cities being deemed the most dangerous in the world, and now hosts an estimated 2 million guns by mid 2022, according to NPR, over double the total amount in 2017.

President Lula hit the news earlier this week on a different topic, equally controversial yet popular in today’s Americas and beyond. The Brazilian president formally recognised 1,200 square kilometres of indigenous land and announced resuming the creation of indigenous reservations.

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