The election of Jair Bolsonaro in 2018 proved to be a decisive moment in Latin American history. In pulling the lever for Bolsonaro, Brazilians elected a genuine right-wing nationalist politician.
As a result, issues that were never really discussed before, such as the expansions of gun rights, are now on the table.
Bolsonaro originally issued an executive order in 2019 that relaxed gun ownership regulations for lawful individuals to have firearms in their homes. In doing so, Bolsonaro put the right to bear arms in the policy spotlight in the South American nation.
On February 12, 2021, Bolsonaro issued four degrees that increased the number of firearms Brazilians can possess. Originally, Brazilians could only own four firearms. Now they can own six. Brazilians who practice recreational sport shooting can own up to 60 firearms. Further, individuals can now carry up to two guns in public.
According to Inquirer.net, the orders from the Bolsonaro administration also doubled the quantity of ammunition that Brazilian gun collectors can buy for “specially regulated” weapons to 2,000 rounds annually, and lift restrictions on access to specialized sharpshooter scopes, pre-20th century firearms and ammo up to 12.7 millimeters in caliber.
One of the other executive orders relaxes licensing requirements for gun collectors, recreational shooters, and hunters. In doing so, it allows them to acquire the mandatory technical certificate from the shooting ranges and gun clubs they belong to.
Bolsonaro is a former army captain who is a strong proponent of the right to bear arms and views the concept as a tool to push back against crime. He has gained notoriety for using social media to post pictures of himself at the shooting range.
Although Brazil still lags behind the U.S. in terms of gun rights, it has made unprecedented moves for a country in a region that has zero concept of gun rights.