Brazil’s President-elect vows loosing gun restrictions

World Today

Brazil's President-elect vows loosing gun restrictions

In Brazil a controversial proposal to end street crime.

President-elect Jair Bolsonaro’s has proposed giving police more autonomy to open fire on suspected criminals and to end most restrictions on gun ownership.

CGTN’s Lucrecia Franco reports from Rio de Janeiro.

Brazil registered a record of almost 64,000 homicides in 2017, up three percent from the year before, according to a study by the Brazilian Forum of Public security think tank.

Bolsonaro, a pro-gun former-army captain, has promised radical solutions to fight violence.

“I want civil police and military police to defend the people and shoot to kill,” Bolsonaro said.

Another pledge is to loosen restrictions on gun ownership. Many Brazilians are expecting that will happen soon.

Rildo Anjos, an owner of a gun club and a Bolsonaro supporter, said he now has 150 students, up from 100.

“It is a matter of prevention because a good citizen is not going to fight crime, that is the role of the police, but he should have the right to have guns for self-defense,” said Anjos

For that to happen, Brazil would have to scrap a 2003 disarmament law that bans almost everyone except those serving on security forces from carrying weapons. Brazil’s Congress is poised to do just that once Bolsonaro takes office.

Rubem Cesar, a long-time gun-control advocate said the present law is not working, but Bolsonaro`s proposals are even worse.

“So I am very scared, very afraid of the kind of policy which stimulates simply the use of guns and that means reacting against a history of gun-control and human rights,” Cesar said.

Bolsonaro’s new pro-gun policies could bring Brazil much closer to the United States’ “right to bear arms” model which many experts here argue is a proven failure.