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Brazil bans guns in capital until Lula is sworn in

December 28, 2022

The decision by Brazil's Supreme Court follows violent incidents in Brasilia attributed to supporters of right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro. Incoming Justice Minister Flavio Dino praised the ruling.

Soldiers of the Brazilian Army prepare for Lula's inauguration in Brasilia
Political tensions in Brazil are still high ahead of Lula's inauguration Image: EVARISTO SA/AFP

Brazil's Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that gun carrying in the capital region of Brasilia would be banned temporarily until after the swearing-in of Brazilian President-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in early January.  

In his decision, Chief Justice Alexandre de Moraes said civilians in the capital would be unable to carry guns from Wednesday evening until January 2, the day following Lula's inauguration. Violators of the ban will be taken into custody.

Members of the security forces will be exempt from the ban, along with those employed by private security companies.  

Incoming Justice Minister Flavio Dino praised the decision, saying it would bolster security during the swearing-in. Dino said Lula's team requested the gun restrictions be put in place. 

Brasilia on high alert after rioting

The decision comes after supporters of right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro rioted in the capital last month. Leftist Lula defeated Bolsonaro during critical presidential elections in October.

The rioting took place on December 13, shortly after Lula's victory against Bolsonaro was certified. Bolsonaro supporters sought to storm the federal police headquarters in Brasilia, with rioters also blocking roads and setting vehicles on fire. 

Soldiers of the Brazilian army prepare for Lula's inauguration
Brazil's military is attempting to secure the capital after a recent bomb scare and riotingImage: EVARISTO SA/AFP

Security is being ramped up in Brasilia, with police on December 24 also saying they thwarted a bomb plot in an area of the capital near where Lula was staying. Brasilia authorities say they arrested a man with ties to pro-Bolsonaro supporters camped outside the army headquarters.

Lula has blamed Bolsonaro for recent violence in the capital. Bolsonaro has authorized the presidential transition process but refused to concede the election to Lula.

Prior to the October elections, Bolsonaro expressed skepticism of Brazil's electronic voting system, and claimed without evidence that it is susceptible to fraud. 

wd/dj (Reuters, dpa)