A surprising victory for gun rights in Puerto Rico has eliminated the firearms registry and licensing requirements to purchase and carry in the Commonwealth, the Second Amendment Foundation has confirmed.
As of now, according to Sandra Barreras with Ladies of the Second Amendment (LSA), the group that brought the lawsuit, “there is no regulation to purchase or carry (and) all purchases will be handled in accordance with federal firearms regulations.” LSA is affiliated with SAF through the International Association for the Protection of Civilian Arms Rights (IAPCAR).
The class-action lawsuit challenged various articles in Puerto Rico’s gun law, which the court declared unconstitutional. Because of the ruling, Barreras said, Puerto Ricans may now carry openly or concealed without a permit, and they do not need to obtain a permit before purchasing a firearm.
This was a class action lawsuit involving more than 850 individual plaintiffs, she reported to SAF offices. The news was greeted with delight, especially because in reaching its decision, the court cited the Heller and McDonald Supreme Court cases, and the recent ruling in Palmer v. District of Columbia. Both the McDonald and Palmer cases were won by SAF.
“Cumbersome firearms regulations have never prevented criminals from getting their hands on guns,” noted SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “They have only inconvenienced law-abiding citizens, or deprived them outright from exercising their rights under the Second Amendment.”
Gottlieb said the lawsuit was brought in a Puerto Rican Commonwealth court, rather than a federal court. Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory and thus is subject to federal court jurisdiction.
“This case turned out better than anyone had really anticipated,” he commented. “We’re very pleased to have played an advisory role in this case, and if there is a government appeal, we’ll definitely be there with whatever support we can provide to our good friends in Puerto Rico.”