Brazilian President, Jair Bolsonaro, said that “everyone should buy a rifle” in order not to be enslaved.
“Everybody has to buy a rifle, wow! Armed people will never be enslaved. I know it costs a lot. An idiot will say: ‘Ah, what you have to buy is beans.’ If you don’t want to, don’t buy the rifle, but do not piss off whoever wants to buy it,” said Bolsonaro as he left the Palácio da Alvorada in Brazilian capital Brasília.
The former Army captain recalled that registered hunters, shooters and collectors “may buy a rifle,” but landowners cannot. “If you don’t want to buy rifles, please don’t piss off whoever wants to buy them,” he insisted.
Since the 2018 presidential campaign and after he came to power, the far-right leader defended free access to firearms, citing the high rates of urban and rural crime.
Former Defense Minister Raul Jungmann (2016-2018) under then-President Michel Temer criticized Bolsonaro: “More rifles are more tragedy, it is more suffering, it is more conflict and it is not up to the President of the Republic to encourage the consumption of weapons and, above all, heavy weapons, due to the pain that this represents for Brazilians,” he said.
Bolsonaro had in July eliminated the 150% tax on Brazilian firearm exports to countries in Central and South America, while the Supreme Federal Court (STF) has annulled other measures towards the suppression of taxes on imported revolvers and pistols in mid-April this year, along with other decrees aimed at making the purchase and use of weapons easier in Brazil.
Making the carrying and possession of weapons more flexible is one of the campaign promises of the president, whose weapons model is that of the United States.
The number of new firearms registered in Brazil nearly doubled in 2020, from 94,416 in 2019 to 186,071 last year, according to the Brazilian Public Security Forum. This means an increase of 97.1%.
In total, last year there were more than 2 million active private firearms in Brazil, including hunters, collectors, sport shooters, private security, law enforcement and armed forces.
Regarding comments against him over the past few days, Bolsonaro explained that “some say I want a coup, they are idiots because I am already president.” He added that “our loyalty is with the people.”
Opposition leaders have criticized the President for the demonstrations called for September 7 against the Supreme Federal Court saying he wanted to encourage a climate of political and institutional instability. On that day Bolsonaro is to preside over the Independence Day celebrations in Brasília in the morning and São Paulo in the afternoon.
Far-right activists reportedly favor an invasion of Congress to then shut down the Supreme Court and create a Constitutional Military Court. They also want to invade the Chinese embassy in order to stop the spread of communism in the country. China is Brazil’s number one business partner.
But “our people do not go to the streets to prey on public assets or throw stones at the police, or invade anything,” Bolsonaro insisted, adding that the protests would be peaceful.