Eduardo Bolsonaro scores win on gun ads bill

eduardo bolsonaro gun
Congressman Eduardo Bolsonaro in a shooting range. Photo: Still from YouTube

The House’s Public Security Committee on Tuesday rejected, by a 16-6 majority, a report that would have killed Congressman Eduardo Bolsonaro’s bill to allow gun advertising in any medium. The bill will now advance on its congressional path — and must still go through two other committees before moving to the Senate.

Since 2003, when Brazil passed its Disarmament Statute, gun ads can only run in specialized publications. Eduardo Bolsonaro, the president’s third-eldest son, wants to strike down regulations, as we explained in today’s edition of the Brazil Daily newsletter.

Nixing Brazil’s gun control framework has been at the forefront of President Jair Bolsonaro’s agenda since taking office in January 2019. In the first two years of his administration, he oversaw 31 changes to the country’s gun access policies, per Sou da Paz, a gun policy watchdog.

Congressman Eli Corrêa Filho, the bill’s rapporteur, recommended that his peers reject the bill. But thanks to recent changes in the committee’s composition — with many seats being taken by pro-gun advocates —, Eduardo Bolsonaro was able to muster enough support to topple the report.

Even among pro-gun lawmakers, the bill has been controversial. Congressman Luis Miranda, who supports easier access to gun ownership and owns guns himself, opposed the idea of allowing gunmakers to advertise in any outlet of their choice. In Miranda’s understanding, people interested in purchasing guns in Brazil already have the means to know which models are available and how much they cost. 

One other piece of pro-gun legislation, approved in the House in late 2019, has been stuck in the Senate. The bill makes it easier for people to purchase and own larger numbers of guns. 

Senator Marcos do Val initially wanted to put to a vote the same text which passed in the House, as a way of speeding up proceedings. Facing resistance from senators, however, he decided to amend the text in a bid for compromise. This means that the text will have to go back to the House after approval in the Senate.