Business

Gun market soars in Brazil under Jair Bolsonaro

On the campaign trail, Jair Bolsonaro was a firm advocate for more guns in the hands of "upstanding" citizens. His first-year moves have already seen gun licenses shoot up around Brazil

Gun market soars in Brazil under Jair Bolsonaro
Jair Bolsonaro signs decree to loosen gun control laws. Photo: Marcos Corrêa/PR

The indelible image of Jair Bolsonaro’s presidential campaign in 2018 consisted of the ex-Army captain on a stage in front of cheering supporters, smiling open-mouthed and making finger gun gestures. While Mr. Bolsonaro spoke to many of the fears and concerns of the Brazilian people, one of his most characteristical promises was to loosen the country’s gun laws, to allow the so-called “upstanding citizens” to defend themselves against the “bandits.”

The soon-to-be president judged this to be a popular stance, based on the results of a 2005 plebiscite, in which two-thirds of the electorate voted against the...

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