More Puerto Ricans Want to Purchase a Weapon

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By Mivette Vega

March 14, 2023

San Juan is the region with the highest number of requests, with between 150 and 180 petitions a day from the area.

The request to carry weapons in Puerto Rico has increased over the past three years, according to the local Police Bureau.

The rise coincides with the entry into effect of the New Weapons Law of 2020, which consolidated in a single license the authorization to own and carry firearms, including the target shooting license; lowered the costs to obtain the permit, and eliminated the requirement of having to go to court to obtain the permit to carry.

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With the previous law, the permit to carry weapons exceeded $2,000, while currently a person can obtain it for up to $245.

Since the law went into effect, 158,000 requests to carry weapons have been received, 96,000 of which are new petitions, according to what Lieutenant Johnny Acevedo Román, director of the Police Weapons Registry, told El Nuevo Día.

Under the previous law, the maximum that was requested annually was 98,000 permits.

San Juan is the region with the highest number of requests. Acevedo said that they receive between 150 and 180 daily petitions from that area.

Women’s permits have also increased. Of the 158,000 requests, 30,000 were made by women. During the previous law, only 12,000 women had a gun license.

RELATED: This Is How Florida Is Contributing to Gun Violence in Puerto Rico

But the rise in weapons is not associated with the high crime rate on the island, according to a New Giffords Law Center report.

The report found that gun violence in Puerto Rico and the USVI is fueled primarily by firearms trafficked in from states with weak gun laws.  The majority of firearms recovered by law enforcement came from Georgia, Florida, and Texas.


  • Mivette Vega

    Mivette Vega is a seasoned journalist and multimedia reporter whose stories center the Latino community. She is passionate about justice, equality, environmental matters, and animals. She is a Salvadorrican—Salvadorian that grew up in Puerto Rico—that has lived in San Juan, Venice, Italy, and Miami.



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