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21/09/2022

Supreme Court overturns federal decrees easing rules on bearing arms

Justices ratified on Tuesday, September 20, a preliminary injunction granted by Justice Edson Fachin that restricts the government’s rules

Foto: Tânia Rego / Agência Brasil Foto: Tânia Rego / Agência Brasil

By nine votes to two, the Supreme Court suspended on Tuesday, September 20, excerpts of federal decrees from 2019 that amended the Disarmament Act (Law 10,826/2003) to facilitate the bearing of arms.

The Court’s ruling was given as part of ADI (Direct Action of Unconstitutionality) No. 6139 and was in line with the injunction granted in early September by the rapporteur of the case, Justice Edson Fachin. The judgment was made by a virtual session of the Court, and the justices voted remotely.

Political violence

Recent episodes of political violence involving firearms were one of the main arguments used by the Court in its judgment. Only the justices André Mendonça and Nunes Marques voted against the rapporteur.

According to the Supreme Court ruling, gun ownership is only authorized for people who can definitively demonstrate effective need, for professional or personal reasons. As such, the presidential decrees are considered unconstitutional. The justices also decided to restrict gun ownership, a matter that was on the agenda in two other ADIs, nos. 6466 and 6119.

“We are facing a historic moment in which access to firearms is extremely dangerous for the maintenance of democracy and further worsens the data on violent deaths in our country,” said the lawyer Gabriel Sampaio, coordinator of the program to Combat Institutional Violence at Conectas, in an oral statement submitted to the Supreme Court during the judgment of ADI No. 6139, in which the organization participated as an amicus curiae.

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