Brazil readies decree to nearly double tax on firearms and ammunition

By Bernardo CaramBRASILIA, Oct 26 (Reuters) - Brazil's Finance Ministry is preparing a decree that nearly doubles the tax on the sale of firearms and ammunition, arguing that the measure is necessary to boost revenue and reduce crime, according to a draft document seen by Reuters.Prepared by the revenue service at the request of Finance Minister Fernando Haddad, the decree raises the industrial tax on revolvers, pistols, shotguns, carbines, pepper spray, and other equipment from 29.25% to 55%, in addition to also increasing the tax on ammunition.The proposal was sent by the revenue service to the ministry's executive secretary, Dario Durigan, on Wednesday night. The revenue service declined to comment.Should the decree be signed by President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva this month, its financial effects would start in March 2024, resulting in an increase in revenue of 342.5 million reais ($68.5 million) next year, 377.7 million reais in 2025, and 415.0 million reais in 2026, according to the draft.The move aligns with other actions by leftist Lula, who has consistently opposed policies that encourage the sale and use of firearms. Upon assuming office in January, Lula has been changing the federal gun control policy, which had been relaxed under his predecessor, Jair Bolsonaro.($1 = 4.9969 reais) (Reporting by Bernardo Caram Editing by Bill Berkrot)