Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro speaks during a ceremony where he signed a decree loosening restrictions on owning a firearm at Planalto presidential palace in Brasilia, Brazil, Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019.
Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro speaks during a ceremony where he signed a decree loosening restrictions on owning a firearm at Planalto presidential palace in Brasilia, Brazil, Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019.

RIO DE JANEIRO - Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro has signed a decree making it easier for many Brazilians to own a gun - a measure he says will help people defend themselves.

The decree establishes wide categories of people who qualify for gun ownership. Those include people living in rural areas, in urban areas with high levels of homicide, business owners, gun collectors and hunters.
 
Before the decree, the law stipulated that civilians who wanted to own a gun had to justify their interest.

Security experts argue more guns will lead to increased violence.
 
Latin America's largest nation is the annual world leader in homicides. Last year, nearly 64,000 were killed, a majority from firearms.