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Brazil prosecutors seek injunction to prevent Bolsonaro gun decree

Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro attends the event “Nacao Caixa” of Caixa Economica Federal Bank in Brasilia, Brazil May 10. REUTERS/Adriano Machado

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazilian federal prosecutors are suing the government, seeking an injunction to block President Jair Bolsonaro’s gun decree that liberalized weapons regulation, according to a statement on Wednesday from the federal prosecutor’s office.

In their lawsuit, prosecutors argued Bolsonaro’s executive order represented legislative overreach by the executive, broke with provisions of the current Disarmament Statute and “endangered the public safety of all Brazilians.”

Federal prosecutors sought an injunction to permanently suspend the effects of the decree, adding that the sale of weapons will increase as a result of the executive order and will, for decades, impact the number of weapons in circulation in the country.

Last week, Bolsonaro signed a decree to ease restrictions on gun imports and increase the amount of ammunition a person can buy. An earlier executive order signed by Bolsonaro had eased restrictions for collectors, marksmen and hunters, for example allowing them to carry loaded guns to shooting clubs.

Bolsonaro’s latest decree was expanded to lift a ban on imported arms if there was a similar domestic-made product. It also raised a limit on ammunition purchases to 5,000 cartridges per year for normal guns.

The decree also allows for up to 1,000 cartridges to be bought annually for use in restricted weapons, including large-caliber and semiautomatic weapons that are limited to military and police.

Reporting by Ricardo Brito; Editing by James Dalgleish

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