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Brazil's president-elect plans decree allowing wider gun ownership

Brazil's president-elect plans decree allowing wider gun ownership
Brazil's President-elect Jair Bolsonaro reacts as he speaks to media at the Army Headquarters in Brasilia, Brazil December 5, 2018. REUTERS/Adriano Machado -
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ADRIANO MACHADO(Reuters)
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SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazil's far-right President-elect Jair Bolsonaro said on Saturday he plans to issue a decree allowing all Brazilians without criminal records to own firearms, welcome news to many core supporters who want him to loosen Brazil's strict gun laws.

Throughout his campaign, Bolsonaro had pledged to dismantle Brazil's current gun legislation, which presents various bureaucratic and legal obstacles for people seeking to purchase firearms. That message appealed to many Brazilians who want to use guns for self-defense amid sky-high levels of violent crime.

"By decree, we plan to guarantee the ownership of firearms by citizens without criminal records," Bolsonaro, who takes office on Jan. 1, wrote on Twitter on Saturday.

He did not provide additional details and it was not immediately clear what mechanisms Bolsonaro would have at his disposal to carry out such a decree, or what specific measures the decree would contain. Brazil's Congress is already discussing measures to loosen gun control laws.

Gun manufacturers are among those that stand to benefit from such moves. Shares in Brazilian gun maker Taurus Armas SA have climbed some 88 percent year-to-date amid expectations that Bolsonaro would win the election and follow through on promises to liberalize gun laws.

(Reporting by Gram Slattery; Editing by Frances Kerry)

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