Brazilian Supreme Court bans firearms in nation's capital for transition of power from Bolsonaro to Lula
The Court ruling is a precautionary measure, as police have begun a preventative sweep across the nation resulting in a hunt for fervent Bolsonaro supporters, suspected of being “election deniers” and and engaging in plans for a coup to prevent Lula’s election certification
December 30, 2022 6:13am
Updated: December 30, 2022 6:13am
Brazil’s Supreme Court has banned registered gun-owners from carrying firearms in the country’s capital until the transition of power from President Jair Bolsonaro to President-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s is completed on Jan. 1.
The Court ruling is a precautionary measure, as police have begun a preventative sweep across the nation resulting in a hunt for fervent Bolsonaro supporters, suspected of being “election deniers” and and engaging in plans for a coup to prevent Lula’s election certification.
The Court’s order comes amid Brazilian authorities targeting a small but staunch group of Bolsonaro supporters whom authorities say called for a military coup to prevent the transition of power.
Bolsonaro, who has yet to concede defeat, has insisted that Brazil's election system lacks integrity, and some of his supporters believe he won the election.
They believe he is being forced out due to vote rigging and fraud. Thursday’s arrests came less than a week after Brazilian police purportedly shut down a bomb plot.
That incident arose outside a law enforcement station after a Dec. 12 riot when election results were certified, and pro-Bolsonaro activists set cars and buses on fire after one of their own was arrested.
As a result of the incident, police have been on the defensive and trying to preempt potential incidents.
After the four were arrested on Thursday, more searches continued and arrest warrants were obtained, according to the police's organized crime division.
Two arrest warrants were served in the northwestern state of Rondonia, one in in Brasilia and the other in Rio de Janeiro, Mazzotti said in a press conference.
On Thursday the Court has ordered police to serve 32 more search and arrest warrants in eight states for charges relating to “qualified damage, arson, criminal association, violent abolition of the rule of law and coup d'état,” police said in a statement.
Lula largely dismissed the activity and asked Brazilians not to focus on post-election “noise.”
“Those who lost the elections should stay quiet, and the winners have the right to throw a big, popular party,” he said.
“Political reasons do not legitimize arson, attacking the federal police headquarters, depredations, bombs. Freedom of expression does not apply to terrorism,” incoming Justice Minister Flavio Dino wrote on Twitter.
Tensions have escalated as media has been labeling Bolsonaro supporters of being “election deniers,” and tying conservatives to purported terrorist conspiracies. Reuters reported a Dec. 6 arrest on Wednesday after one purported Bolsonaro supporter urged registered gun-owners to protest certification of the election.
Nearly two weeks after the riots, police had two bomb scares in the capital. One turned out to be a false alarm spurred by an empty backpack someone left behind, but another, George Washington Sousa, had an explosive device.
Mazzotti conceded that most of the people police are targeting are Bolsonaro supporters and they are taking no chances with the upcoming Jan. 1 inauguration in the capital.