President Bolsonaro Signs Decree to Broaden Law Abiding Brazilians’ Access to Firearms

View inside a gun shop in Sao Paulo, Brazil on January 15, 2019. - Brazil's far-right President Jair Bolsonaro decreed the easing of national gun laws as part of his law-and-order agenda, despite fears it could aggravate already staggering violent crime. (Photo by Miguel SCHINCARIOL / AFP) (Photo credit should …

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro kept his campaign promise by signing a decree ending the good cause requirement for a self-defense firearm purchase.

NPR reports that Bolsonaro’s decree “[removes] the need to prove necessity” when purchasing a gun.

NPR’s Philip Reeves observed that the red tape associated with a gun purchase often meant that Brazilians who needed guns for self-defense had their purchases denied because of their inability to prove the need:

When he was campaigning to be president in front of crowds, Bolsonaro had a signature gesture. He’d hold his hand aloft and make his fingers into the shape of a pistol. That’s how he symbolized his campaign promise to give Brazilians far greater access to guns. Brazil leads the world in the total number of homicides. That promise did a lot to help get Bolsonaro elected.

Today, Bolsonaro took a step towards keeping it. Brazilian law already allows people over 25 to possess firearms under certain conditions. One was that they had to prove why they needed a gun. That sounds easy. In practice, the police frequently turned them down.

Alexandre Coelho is a firearms instructor in Brazil who believes Bolsonaro’s decree may cause criminals to rethink things before invading another home: “It gives me a chance to fight. I think the criminals will think twice to enter your home, to break in your home and harm you and your family.”

On January 2, 2019, Breitbart News reported Bolsonaro’s observation that “hoodlums already have guns” and it was time to level the playing field.  He tweeted: “By decree we intend to guarantee the possession of firearm for the citizen without criminal antecedents, as well as make its registration definitive.”

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at Sign up to get Down Range at



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