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This Is What Happens When You Register Guns

This is What Happens When You Register Your Guns
By Dan Zimmerman on April 9, 2014


A very close friend of mine is an attorney living in Puerto Rico. He loves to shoot and has a multitude of expensive rifles, shotguns and pistols. A little local background first. In Puerto Rico, every single firearm and every ammunition transaction must be registered. Firearms and ammunition can only be purchased by holders of a target shooting license, with or without a concealed carry permit. Hunting licenses are a separate matter. You still must have a target license in order to have a concealed carry permit. The target license is where all the firearms are registered. The target license also lists the guns you decide to carry separately . . .

You can only buy ammunition in a caliber or gauge fitting one of your registered guns. Applications for target shooting licenses take anywhere from six months to a year. Concealed carry permits can only be issued by a judge. You have to hire an attorney who specializes in the law so that a document can be presented to the court showing that the applicant is indeed in strong need of a concealed permit. Needless to say there aren't many of those around.

The whole process can run from seven hundred to a couple of thousand dollars plus attorney's fees. The administration of licenses and permits is handled by the Puerto Rico state police. My friend has both a target license and a carry permit.

This morning he went to his LGS to buy some 12 gauge sporting clays rounds. When the owner of the LGS entered his license on the computer he looked up at him and told him, "I'm sorry, I can't sell you any shells, both your license and carry permit have been cancelled." He couldn't believe it. He asked why and the LGS owner said he didn't know. He recommended my friend go to the State Police HQ to figure it out.

So he did, and this is what they told him. The attorney he hired to get his concealed carry permit many, many years in the past had been arrested the week before for supposedly presenting falsified documents to the court in one of the concealed carry cases he brought in front of the judge. The judge not only had him arrested, he nullified all of the carry permits that were issued with the intervention of this particular attorney.

The judge then ordered the State Police to follow through with the order. The State Police immediately cancelled five thousand or so concealed carry permits. Part of the order called for the transfer the concealed carry permits guns to the holders' target licenses as target guns. This turned into an insurmountable task, dealing with over five thousand very angry people. Here is where the whole thing really went south.

The Chief of the State Police took the whole thing into his own hands and ordered that all concealed carry permits and all target licenses owned by these five thousand people be immediately cancelled. He also ordered deputies to go to the licensees homes and collect all of the firearms and all ammunition.

My friend called today to tell me the story. He'll taking all of his guns into his FFL tomorrow morning and the the firearms are being shipped to my FFL here in the U.S. for safekeeping until he can figure the whole thing out. Or until he can move back to States.

How do like them registration apples?