June 12, 2019 / 9:24 PM / 8 days ago

Brazilian Senate committee shuns Bolsonaro's decree easing guns law

FILE PHOTO: Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro looks on during a ceremony of the 154th anniversary of the Riachuelo Naval Battle at the Marine Corps Headquarters in Brasilia, Brazil June 11, 2019. REUTERS/Adriano Machado/File Photo

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - A Senate committee on Wednesday rejected Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s decree that significantly loosened laws banning the ability of citizens to carry guns.

The full Senate still needs to vote on the matter. Regardless of whether senators reject or approve the measure, it still must go to the lower house for a vote.

Bolsonaro issued the decree despite Brazil’s record murder rate, nearly half involving firearms.

For the decree to be killed, both the Senate and the lower house must reject it. If either of the bodies approves the decree, it will stand.

Making it easier for private citizens to carry arms here was a top campaign promise for Bolsonaro, who took office on Jan. 1.

In May, Bolsonaro signed a decree to ease restrictions on gun imports and increase the amount of ammunitihere a person can buy.

Shortly afterwards, federal prosecutors sued here the government, seeking an injunction against the bill, arguing it "endangered the public safety of all Brazilians."

Reporting by Eduardo Simões and Gabriela Mello; editing by Grant McCool

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