Citation(s) from the GunPolicy.org literature library

Puerto Rico. 2000 ‘Weapons License.’ Puerto Rico Arms Act of 2000; Title 25, Subtitle 1, Part V, Chapter 51A (Sub-chapter 2, Section 456a). San Juan: Puerto Rico. 11 September

Relevant contents

25 L.P.R.A. § 456a (2013)

Section 456a. Weapons License

(a) The Superintendent1 shall issue a weapons license1 to any petitioner who meets the following requirements:

(1) Has reached the age of twenty-one (21) years.

(2) Has a negative criminal record certificate issued not later than thirty (30) days prior to the date of the application and has not been accused of, nor is pending or in the process of trial for any of the crimes listed in § 456j of this title2 or its equivalent, in Puerto Rico, the United States or abroad.

(3) Is not habitually inebriated or addicted to controlled substances.

(4) Has not been declared mentally incompetent by a court.

(5) Has not incurred or belonged to organizations involved in acts of violence, or directed to the overthrow of the constituted government.

(6) Has not been dishonorably discharged from the Armed Forces, or removed from any of the law enforcement agencies of the Government of Puerto Rico or its municipalities.

(7) Is not under a court order which prohibits harassing, stalking, threatening, or proximity to an intimate partner, the children of the latter or to any person, and who does not have a record of violence.

(8) Is a citizen of the United States, or a legal resident of Puerto Rico…

(12) Has submitted, together with the application, one (1) sworn statement from three (3) persons that are not related by consanguinity or affinity to the petitioner and that under penalty of perjury, attest to the fact that the petitioner enjoys a good reputation in the community, that he/she does not have a tendency to commit acts of violence, and that therefore they have no objection to the petitioner owning firearms. This statement shall be made in the form provided by the Superintendent along with the application for a weapons license.

(13) Has submitted the completed application, under oath, before a notary, accompanied by an impression of his/her fingerprints, taken by a technician of the Puerto Rico Police or a competent federal or state government agency…

(b) Every duly completed application, in duplicate, and together with the documents and voucher indicated above, shall be filed with the General Police1 Headquarters or the law enforcement agency of the area in which the applicant resides. The applicant shall retain a sealed copy for his/her records. Within the term of five (5) working days, the Superintendent shall issue a certification stating that the application and all the required documents have been submitted, or shall require compliance with the requirements for the application in order to issue the certification. After said certificate is issued, the Superintendent shall determine and certify in writing, within a term that shall not exceed one hundred and twenty (120) calendar days, that the applicant meets the requirements established in this chapter for granting a weapons license. This may be achieved through an investigation in the files of any government agency in Puerto Rico, the United States, or abroad, to which he/she may have access (including the archives of the National Crime Information Center and the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, among others). Should the Superintendent's investigation result in a finding indicating that the person fails to meet all the requirements established in this chapter, the weapons license shall not be granted, but without it constituting an impairment, the applicant shall not be prevented from requesting said license again in the future. Should the Superintendent fail to issue a determination within the above mentioned term of one hundred and twenty (120) days, he/she shall be bound to issue a special provisional permit in favor of the applicant, within a term of ten (10) calendar days. Said special provisional permit shall grant all the rights, privileges and prerogatives of a regular license to carry weapons, for a term of sixty (60) calendar days, during which period the Superintendent [should reach] a decision. If upon the conclusion of the effectiveness of said provisional permit, the Superintendent has not yet reached a decision as to the suitability of the applicant, said provisional permit shall automatically become a regular weapons license…

(d) The weapons license established in this section empowers the licensee to be the owner of a maximum of two (2) firearms, except as provided below, regarding acquisitions through inheritance, or when the licensee holds a target shooting or hunting permit, in which case there shall be no established limit. Provided, That any licensee who owns fifteen (15) weapons or more shall be bound to maintain eighty percent (80%) of these locked in a safe place fixed to the real property in such a manner that the weapons cannot be easily removed. Any licensee under the obligation to fulfill the safety requirement shall submit to the Superintendent a sworn statement attesting to the fact that he/she is in compliance with the safety requirement. The Superintendent shall impose an administrative fine of one thousand dollars ($1,000) for each weapon property of the licensee that is removed due to noncompliance with the safety measures established herein. These safety requirements and the corresponding fine shall apply to any person who has more than fifteen (15) weapons in his/her possession: all licensees shall display in a conspicuous area visible to the clientele a clearly legible announcement notifying of this requirement. The license also empowers the licensee to acquire, buy, sell, donate, transfer, assign, hold, possess, have custody of and transport, bear and carry firearms, ammunition and any pertinent accessory anywhere under the jurisdiction of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico; Provided, That:

(1) The firearms may be borne, carried, and transported in a hidden or unobtrusive manner, and the Superintendent shall provide by regulations, the procedure for any law enforcement officer as described herein, to issue a courtesy ticket which shall be prepared to such effect, which shall be remitted to the Puerto Rico Police Weapons License Office, to be filed with the record of the licensee. The Superintendent may impose a fine of up to two hundred dollars ($200) for recidivism in carrying or transporting arms in an ostentatious or conspicuous manner, as well as the procedure for the revision of the same, at the request of the interested party upon whom the fine is imposed. The Superintendent shall hold an administrative hearing within a term of not more than forty-five (45) days to uphold, review, modify or eliminate the imposed fine.

(2) Unless the licensee also holds a permit to carry weapons, the weapon may not be carried by the licensee on his/her person; and that to be able to transport said weapon without a permit to carry, the weapon must be unloaded and transported inside a closed case whose contents are not visible and which may not be in plain sight. Provided, That in the case of private security guards who hold a permit to carry, are uniformed and in the exercise of their duties, they may carry the weapon in plain sight.

(3) That the firearms or ammunition may only be donated, sold, transferred, assigned, left in the custody, or otherwise conveyed by the transfer of the control or command of the same to persons who own a weapons or gunsmith license or to any of the persons mentioned in § 456c of this title.

(4) The licensee may only transport one firearm at a time, except those licensees who also hold target shooting or hunting permits, who shall not be limited as to the number of firearms to be carried on their person while on the premises of an authorized gun club or in those places in which the hunting sport is practiced, pursuant to the applicable laws.

(5) The licensee shall only purchase ammunition of the caliber used by the weapons that he/she owns registered to his/her name.

(6) This license does not authorize the licensee to engage in the business of purchasing and selling firearms, limiting the purchase and sale thereof to his/her personal weapons…

(e) Within the term of forty-five (45) days from the date the weapons license is received, which may be extended for thirty (30) additional days if requested within the original term, any licensee shall file a certification issued by an authorized official of a gun club authorized in Puerto Rico, if he/she has not filed it before with the Puerto Rico Police General Headquarters, personally or by certified mail with acknowledgement of receipt, to the effect that the petitioner has approved a course in the correct and safe use and handling of firearms pursuant to this chapter. If the applicant fails to do so, he/she shall incur an administrative fault of one hundred dollars ($100) for each month in arrears, for up to a maximum of six (6) months, at the end of which the license shall be revoked and seized, as well as any weapon and ammunition the petitioner has acquired. For these purposes, the Superintendent shall authorize the purchase of up to a maximum of five hundred (500) rounds of ammunition in addition to those allowed by this chapter. Said ammunition shall have to be used completely by the petitioner during the training for certification. The provisions of this subsection shall not impair the provisions of subsection (d)(7) of this section…

Every weapons license shall have the date on which it must be updated, which shall be five (5) years after its issue, and no person may make any transaction of a firearm or ammunition, nor shoot in a gun club, nor hunt, bear, carry, or transport weapons, if he/she has not applied for the updating thereof as indicated in this chapter, under penalty that the weapons license be revoked and an administrative fine of five hundred dollars ($500) be imposed for shooting in a gun club or hunting, bearing, carrying or transporting weapons. After six (6) months have elapsed from the due date, he/she may only sell his/her firearms to a person with a dealer license.

Every five (5) years, on the fifth anniversary of the date of issue of the weapons license, the petitioner shall be bound to renew his/her license, by executing a sworn statement addressed to the Superintendent of Police…

ID: Q11228

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