Never one to shy away from controversy, Security Minister Patricia Bullrich said Thursday that Argentine residents should feel free to "carry a weapon".
"It's an issue for individuals. If you want to carry a weapon, carry one. Those who don't want to carry a weapon, then don't carry a weapon. Argentina is a free country. We (in the government) prefer that people don't carry weapons", Bullrich told reporters outside a restaurant in Río Cuarto, Córdoba province.
Bullrich took the opportunity to reiterate her support for police officer Luis Chocobar.
In December, Chocobar shot Juan Pablo Kukoc, an 18-year-old who stabbed US tourist Joe Wolek in the La Boca neighbourhood of Buenos Aires. The scene was captured by surveillance cameras and the video of the incident has circulated widely.
"He acted to defend the people", the Security Minister said. "Reason and logic will determine that police officer Chocobar acted in defence of the people. It was that simple".
Chocobar is facing charges of manslaughter.
"He acted like a police officer: properly. What are we going to do? Give a life sentence to a man who was defending another person?", she pondered.
Bullrich and President Mauricio Macri received Chocobar in the Government House in February, prompting controversy.
The Security Minister said afterwards that the meeting ratifies the government’s position that security forces are not always the guilty ones.
“We’re changing this doctrine that said police were always to blame,” she declared.