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Brazilian arms manufacturer profits fall 44% with Lula arrival

Profits at Taurus, the world's biggest handgun maker, fell 44.9% in the first half of the year, hurt by new gun restrictions imposed by the government of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in Brazil

The half-year profit of the Brazilian manufacturer amounted to 348.4 million reais, according to a statement sent to the stock exchange on Monday.

The main reason for the company’s poor performance was the “uncertainty” in the Brazilian market in the first half of the year, caused by the change of government on January 1, when Lula da Silva succeeded Jair Bolsonaro, who facilitated the ownership and use of weapons by civilians.

The new restrictions imposed by Lula da Silva’s government were reflected in a 74.2 percent drop in sales in Brazil, from 186,000 weapons in the first half of 2022 to 48,000 weapons in the same period this year.

The company said that uncertainties continued throughout the semester, until the Brazilian government published, at the end of July, the decree that established the new rules governing the arms market, much more restrictive than those of the Bolsonaro era.

Among other changes, ordinary citizens can now have a maximum of two firearms, half of what they had in Bolsonaro’s time, and hunters can have a limit of six weapons, when until last December they could accumulate 30.

However, the drop in sales was not restricted to Brazil, and Taurus’ net sales fell 29.1 percent worldwide to 923 million reais (about 180 million euros) in the first half.

In the United States, where 82.5 percent of Taurus’ turnover is generated, sales fell 21.0 percent in the first half to 608,000 weapons.

The company explained that this drop occurs after having recorded a “historic record” of sales in that country in recent years.

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