On December 11, 2019, Governor Wanda Vázquez Garced signed Act No. 168. into law. The new law totally re-writes Puerto Rico firearms law. It is the most sweeping change in firearms law in the history of Puerto Rico.www.lexjuris.com: Spanish Language Copy of Act No. 168
Translation - Given the decisions of the Supreme Federal Court, it is necessary to take action to safeguard and protect the rights of American citizens residing in Puerto Rico, through a new Weapons Law that is consistent with the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution, with decisions of the Supreme Court, and make it clear that, in Puerto Rico, carrying and possessing firearms is a fundamental and individual right, as in the rest of the Nation.
The most sweeping change in Act No. 168 is to eliminate the restrictive and burdensome requirements of the old law in obtaining a permit to purchase, own, or carry firearms. The new law enacts a shall-issue system that requires a permit to be issued if the applicant meets the legal requirements. The legal requirements are essentially the same as in the United States for firearms ownership; except for a uniform minimum age of 21. This was likely influenced by recent legislation in California, Washington, and Florida.
The old May Issue system is gone. No kore spending $1,500, with no guarantee of obtaining a permit to own a gun at the end of the long process.
The new Shall Issue system is $200, with a guarantee of a permit as long as the applicant meets the requirements, which has been greatly reduced. It is like other Shall Issue systems. The permit is valid for five years. The renewal fee is $100.
Under the new law,the ownership permit and CCW permit were merged into one thing. So now the public can conceal carry without a problem.
Obtaining a permit to carry under the old system, was impossible and costly. It was like trying to get a CCW in NJ, Massachusetts, or Maryland.
The government now has a limit of 45 days in which to investigate and issue a permit. After the first year the new system is in place, the limit is reduced to 30 days.
Puerto Rico will recognize all other firearm permits issued in the United States or territories of the United States. This warning, in Spanish and English, is to be posted at all ports and airports:
Every person, not authorized to have firearms under Puerto Rico laws, and who does not hold a valid weapons permit issued in any State, enclave, possession or territory of the United States of America, who brings a firearm with him/her or in his/her luggage, must give immediate notice to the Ports Authority Security Office and an officer of the Police Bureau of Puerto Rico upon arrival. Noncompliance with this notice may carry prison penalties. The Ports Authority Security Office and/or an Authorized Agent will inform you on how to proceed with your weapon."
Under the new law, if a firearms owner purchases more than 20,000 rounds of ammunition in a year; or more than 10 firearms in a year; the police chief may investigate to ensure the ammunition and firearms were purchased for lawful reasons.
The collection of firearms is specifically protected under the new law. There are no limits to the number of firearms which may be collected.
Under the new law, "assault weapons are banned", except for those people with a firearms permit. So if you have a Shall Issue Permit or if you legally possess it in your State of Residence. Basically, it is like how Florida treats MGs, SBRs, etc... they're illegal in the State, unless you have a NFA stamp. So All the guns thst fit an "assault weapons" definition are legal. This part of the nee law is to be used as an additional criminal charge for criminals using guns in crimes.
Under the new law, target shooting is to be encouraged by the government of Puerto Rico. The establishment of clubs, shooting organizations, and competitions are to be promoted by the government.
There is an expedited CCW process now for DV Victims too. This was written into the law because of the woman killed in NJ waiting for a gun permit while she had a DV Injunction filed against her estranged husband.
Shall Issue Qualifications
1. Be 21 years or older.
2. No criminal record showing felony arrests, DV history, declared mentally incompetent, dishonorable discharge, be a US Citizen or Legal Alien, and not be barred by the 1968 GCA.
Appears to be NFA friendly.
Artículo 2.16.- Armas de Asalto Automáticas o Semiautomáticas y Ametralladoras, Silenciador, Fabricación, Importación, Distribución, Venta, Posesión y Transferencia.
(a) No se podrá fabricar o hacer fabricar, ofrecer, vender, alquilar, prestar, poseer, usar, traspasar o importar un Arma de Asalto Semiautomática. No obstante, esta prohibición no será de aplicación a:
(1) la posesión, uso, transferencia, en Puerto Rico, o importación desde alguna jurisdicción de Estados Unidos, por personas con licencia de armas vigente, licencia de armero vigente, de aquellas armas de asalto legalmente existentes en cualquier jurisdicción de Estados Unidos, conforme a las leyes federales aplicables; o
(2) la fabricación, importación, venta o entrega, por personas con licencia de armero, para uso de estas armas en el cumplimiento del deber por los agentes del orden público, del Gobierno de Puerto Rico o de Estados Unidos, o para el uso de las Fuerzas Armadas del Gobierno de Estados Unidos o de Puerto Rico.
Article 2.16.- Assault Weapons automatic or semiautomatic and machine guns, Muffler, manufacture, import, distribution, sale, possession and transfer.
(A) can not be make or have made, offer, sell, rent, lease, possess, use, transfer or import a
Semiautomatic Assault Weapon. However, this prohibition shall not apply to:
(1) the possession, use, transfer, Puerto Rico, or imported from any US jurisdiction, by licensed existing arms, gunsmith license in force, those existing legally assault weapons in any US jurisdiction, in accordance with applicable federal laws;
(2) the manufacture, import, sale or delivery by licensed gunsmith for use of these weapons in the performance of duty by agents of the public order, the Government of Puerto Rico or the United States, or for the use of the Armed Forces of the Government of the United States or Puerto Rico.
People without firearms permits will be allowed to shoot at licensed ranges. Under the old system, if you didn't have a permit you couldn't touch a gun period.
While the requirement to apply and pay for a firearms permit may seem burdensome to gun owners in many states, Act No. 168 is an enormous step toward respecting Second Amendment rights in Puerto Rico.
Consider this....the permit must be issued. The permit includes the right to carry for self-defense. There is complete recognition of all permits issued in the United States. There are, effectively, no limits on the number of firearms or amount of ammunition which may be purchased and used.
Moreover, the law specifically states its purpose is to bring Puerto Rico under the protections of the Second Amendment of the United States.
If the Supreme Court further clarifies and restores those protections, as expected, the law will be subject to revision to bring the benefits of the Second Amendment to Puerto Rico.
The law goes into effect on 1 January 2020.