President Jair Bolsonaro has issued a series of decrees further relaxing gun control laws in Brazil, one of the far-right leader’s signature issues.
The four decrees, issued late Friday, increase the number of firearms Brazilians can own from four to six — or up to 60, for those who practice recreational sport shooting, and authorise them to carry up to two guns in public.
They also double the amount of ammunition that gun enthusiasts can buy for specially regulated weapons to 2,000 rounds per year, and scrap controls on access to specialised sharpshooter scopes, pre-20th-century firearms and ammunition up to 12.7 millimeters in caliber.
Another decree eases licensing requirements for gun collectors, recreational marksmen and hunters, allowing them to obtain the required technical certificate from their gun clubs or shooting ranges.
Bolsonaro, a former army captain, is an outspoken gun-rights advocate who regularly posts pictures on social media of himself at the shooting range.
He ran for office on a promise to arm “good people” to fight crime in Brazil, and regularly flashes his signature gun gesture — thumbs raised, index fingers pointing — to illustrate.
Gun-control advocates were sharply critical.
Bolsonaro “has now published more than 30 decrees leading to a record increase in guns in circulation last year,” said the Sou da Paz Institute.
“This flies in the face of all experts, who say more firearms in circulation in Brazil will lead to a tragedy in loss of lives and the deterioration of our democracy,” it said.