Brazil: increasingly closer to the legal bearing of weapons

Listen this article

The law of bearing weapons in Brazil would allow people of 20 professions to access weapons as a method of self-defense

Brazil: increasingly closer to the legal bearing of weapons

On May 7, the decree that makes the carrying of weapons more accessible was issued in Brazil, one of the main proposals of president Jair Bolsonaro, which he has been pursuing since 2014 when he presented the bill while he was a deputy.

Leer en español: Brasil: cada vez más cerca al libre porte de armas

Decree 9.875 basically allows anyone over 25 years of age, without a criminal record and with a certificate of psychological aptitude, to have access to weapons. This law, according to the president's statements, is a way to combat insecurity and to generate a sense of security in people, because they can defend themselves. Thus, it seeks to combat crime in the country.

In what was issued by Bolsonaro, it is emphasized that some professions may have access to weapons, because they need them as security during their work. Among them it includes politicians, journalists, traffic agents, agents of the education system and even truck drivers. Another point that supports the decree is that those who live in rural areas can access them to protect their land, so that no one can trespass private property.

According to the Soy Paz Institute, this decree would allow 19 million Brazilians to have access to weapons.

The law also includes the carrying of weapons for collection, hunting and for those who practice shooting as a sport. According to El País, this type of regulation also allows access to minors, as long as they have parental permission. Also, although in theory this is only for sports and does not have a direct impact on the carrying of weapons, "in practice these categories also won in size, since they can move to their training places with loaded weapons (before it was necessary to keep the ammunition separate from the weapon)".

Read also: Brazil: why Bolsonaro has declared war on diversity?

The controversial declaration

Days after the decree was issued, Bolsonaro made a statement through a radio station that turned out to be even more controversial than the decree itself.

"What I want to give is the exclusion of illegality, not only to the police, but also to you," said the president for Tupi radio in Rio de Janeiro. With this declaration, through the legal concept "exclusion of illegality", those who kill a thief would be freed from guilt. In that order of ideas, the president endorses any type of action against those who may face a risk to the country's security, regardless of whether it cost some lives. In this way, who commits a crime, in this case homicide, against a thief, cannot be penalized and will be granted a pardon.

Will Bolsonaro's decree survive?

The opposition did not wait any longer and members of the Senate requested a revision of the decree before the Supreme Court, because they consider that measure unconstitutional.

The document issued by Senator Randolfe Rodrigues (Draft Legislative Decree No. 233 of 2019), says that "such a measure clearly makes a mockery of the constitutional principle of legal reserve and separation of powers." In addition, it affirms that the form in which it was issued is not usual and that it must be approved in the first place by the National Congress.

The opposition, moreover, differs with the Government's argument when it says that the flexibilization of the carrying of arms will improve security in the country. On the contrary, the document states that "it endangers the security of the whole society and the lives of people, without scientific support for the measure".

Also read: Like two peas in a pod: The meeting between Trump and Bolsonaro

Similarly, some experts have also been against the measure. According to El País, Melina Risso of the Igarapé Institute said that it is a disaster." Bolsonaro summarized well when he spoke that the decree 'is not Public Safety'. On the contrary, it will provoke the shedding of blood. All the quality of scientific evidence shows that fewer weapons equals fewer deaths."

Other organizations have also criticized the measure as unconstitutional and as a violation of the separation of powers.

For now, according to the AFP news agency, the Supreme Court of Brazil has given President Jair Bolsonaro five days to explain his decree. This as a result of the questioning on the constitutionality that the opposition made.

LatinAmerican Post | Juliana Suárez

Translated from "Brasil: cada vez más cerca al libre porte de armas"