Here in the United States of America, our nation’s founders had the foresight to recognize and codify the fundamental and natural right of the citizenry to keep and bear arms with the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Unfortunately, the U.S. essentially stands alone among the rest of the nations of the world in recognizing and protecting that basic right of the people, though that may be about to change, sort of, with at least one important American trading partner.
Breitbart reported that the new president of Brazil, Jair M. Bolsonaro, who was sworn into office on Tuesday, took to Twitter on Saturday to announce via decree that non-criminal citizens had a right to possess firearms, and noted in a follow-up tweet that he would work with the National Congress to legislatively protect that right permanently.
Translated from Bolsonaro’s Portuguese language, the then-president-elect tweeted, “By decree we intend to ensure possession of firearm to the citizen without criminal record, as well as make his registration definitive.”
A follow-up tweet stated that it will be up to the country’s lawmakers to make the decree permanent.
For all intents and purposes, and by way of those tweets, Bolsonaro just declared that Brazilian citizens without any sort of criminal record have a right to purchase and possess firearms.
To be sure, his executive decree doesn’t mean much without any legislation backing it up, which is why he noted that it would take further efforts by the National Congress to come up with a bill he could sign into law that would protect that fundamental right of gun ownership from future Brazilian governments that may not look as kindly on an armed citizenry.
Luckily for Bolsonaro and Brazilians, it appears he has support among lawmakers for his plan.
Breitbart reported separately in early December on Brazilian legislators who were already hard at work putting together a law that would dramatically reform the nation’s gun laws and codify the right to gun ownership for the law-abiding citizens.
The bill not only lowers taxes on firearms but would also lower the minimum age to purchase a firearm from 25 to 21.
Furthermore, it would codify into law a recognition of Brazilian citizens’ “right to own and bear firearms for legitimate self-defense and the protection of personal property.”
Brazilians currently suffer under rather oppressive gun control laws that have all but disarmed the law-abiding population, leaving only the government and dangerous criminal gangs as the ones possessing most of the firearms in the large country. Indeed, there are strict limits on gun purchases and potential buyers must jump through a series of flaming hoops in order to make a purchase.
Even then, the would-be gun owner would be prohibited from carrying that gun for the purpose of self-defense.
Meanwhile, the criminals who pay no attention to gun control laws are easily able to obtain illicit firearms through the black market and have no qualms about carrying their illegal weapons while out in public, whether for defense from the police and other criminals or to enable their own criminal acts.
As for Bolsonaro, Bloomberg reported that his push for liberalizing Brazil’s restrictive gun laws is nothing new, as it is something the former army paratrooper and congressman has advocated for decades.
It was a key plank of his presidential campaign’s platform, which simply stated: “Weapons are tools, inert objects, that can be used to kill or to save lives. This depends on who’s holding them: good people or bad guys.”
In a mid-October Facebook Live post, according to Bloomberg, Bolsonaro explained, “Why have I always defended the ownership of firearms? It’s so that you, upstanding citizens, with a few requirements, can have a weapon inside your house or your farm. If some guy breaks down the door to your house, knocks down the gate of your farm, you have the right to react.”
To be sure, this move by Brazil’s new president and more conservative-leaning National Congress to expand the gun rights of the citizenry is not exactly the same as the cherished Second Amendment in the U.S., but it is undeniably a great first step in the right direction to recognizing and protecting the fundamental and natural right of citizens of a free country to defend themselves in the best manner available.
Hopefully, Brazil’s lawmakers waste no time in passing this pro-gun rights bill so the new president can sign it into law and the law-abiding Brazilian people can soon stand on equal armed footing with the already-armed criminals who have wreaked havoc on the country for years.
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