Summary of Puerto Rico Gun Laws
Puerto Rico is a shall-issue unincorporated U.S. territory with concealed weapons permits issued by the Office of Weapons licenses.
A valid weapons or gunsmith license is required to acquire, buy, transport, sell, donate, transfer, have, possess, guard, carry, use and drive with weapons, firearms, ammunition and any regulated firearm accessories.
Open carry is not legal in Puerto Rico.
Concealed carry is legal for residents with a Puerto Rico Weapons License (WL) issued under the Puerto Rico Arms Act of 2020 (PRAA) and any license issued previously under Law 404-2000. Puerto Rico requires the completion of a firearms use and management course prior to issuance of a WL. Only residents that are at least 21 years old may obtain a WL. Only one concealed firearm may be carried at a time, although more than one firearm can be carried while on the premises of an authorized shooting club or places where hunting is practiced. Law enforcement officers may use government-assigned weapons without a license. In addition, members of the United States Armed Forces and the Puerto Rico National Guard may use those weapons assigned to them while they are on official duty without a WL. Active duty military veterans that meet the qualifications can obtain or renew their pistol permits free of charge.
Traveling with Handguns to Puerto Rico Not Quite Yet!
In terms of reciprocity, although the PRAA indicates that there is reciprocity with any valid U.S. state permit, there is a caveat that states that reciprocity will be allowed for each state, “once the NPPR Commissioner establishes a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the state.” Puerto Rico authorities have indicated that as of January 29, 2021, no MOUs have been established, but they believe they will be in 2021.
Per Article 2.18 of the Regulations to Administer the PRAA (Reg. Admin.), once the NPPR Commissioner establishes a MOU with the state, any person who meets the established requirements and intends to introduce one or more weapons and/or ammunition to Puerto Rico must inform the Division of Weapons Registry and License Issuance by completing Form PPR-1062 (Notification of Intention to Introduce Weapons and/or Ammunition) within five business days before the introduction of weapons and/or ammunition to Puerto Rico. When feasible, the notification will be made through the following link: http://www.policia.pr.gov. In these cases, firearms will be registered in the REAL Plus System.There is also confusion as to whether anyone intending to travel to Puerto Rico with their handgun must provide notice five business days prior [Reg. Admin. Art. 2.18] or whether the airline can simply submit the form prior to the flight [Reg. Admin. Art. 11.01].
Per Reg. Admin. Art. 11.01, any commercial airline that flies to Puerto Rico and that has received firearms and/or ammunition from a passenger to transport them to any airport within the limits territorial of Puerto Rico as part of the person’s luggage, must notify the Puerto Rico Police Bureau at the time that said firearm and/or ammunition is to be delivered to the passenger. The airline will require the passenger to complete Form PPR-1053. The form must be sent by email to [email protected] or sent through the following link: www.policia.pr.gov.
In terms of self-defense, any person who defends his/her person, dwelling, property or rights is justified in using reasonable and proportionate force when he or she believes there is peril of imminent danger and to avoid or repel the danger. That is provided they have not provoked the attack and no more damage is inflicted than is necessary to avert or avoid the injury.
When alleging self-defense to justify deadly force, it is necessary to have reasonable grounds to believe that the person was in imminent or immediate danger of death or serious bodily harm. To justify the defense of dwelling, the circumstances shall indicate trespassing or for the purpose of committing a crime. To justify defense of property or rights, the circumstances shall indicate an attack that constitutes a crime or that poses serious danger of damage or imminent loss.
Any person who, in order to protect his or her own or another’s right from an imminent danger not provoked by him or her and otherwise inevitable, infringes a duty or causes damage to another’s legally protected interest, shall not be liable, provided that the damage caused is less than the damage being prevented and does not cause the death or the serious and permanent injury to a person.