Since the beginning of his presidential campaign, Jair Bolsonaro has used his “finger guns” gesture as somewhat of a motif. It revealed a promise that was at the core of his program—his desire to scrap gun restrictions in Brazil. “Guns are our guarantee of freedom,” he said during a campaign event. On Tuesday, he made the first step towards it, signing a decree that mildly loosened gun ownership rules. But following a decree that could—at least in theory—boost gun sales, Taurus, Brazil’s biggest gun manufacturer, lost 22 percent in market value.
Taurus’ market value has been on an upward curve over the past 12 months, a period in which Taurus was the Brazilian company that gained most value—about 250 percent. The company’s share price in 2018 mirrored presidential polls that progressively showed far-right Jair Bolsonaro consolidating his lead in the presidential race. On August 30, Taurus shares were at BRL 2.38 each. On October 26, the last trading day before the presidential runoff (which Mr. Bolsonaro would win with 55 percent of votes), its value had jumped to BRL 11. And on the following day, it plunged again at the same speed.