Three weeks after the opening of Puerto Rico's gun shops, daily sales of about $22,000 and weekly sales of over $110,000 are reflected, which in turn has generated more than half a million dollars in revenue to the treasury.
The information was revealed by Ariel torres, president of the Puerto Rico Corporation for the Defense of the Weapon Permit Holder (Codepola by its Spanish acronym), who assured that there are long lines of people interested in obtaining their firearm carry permits to defend themselves against criminals.
"We are sending the Department of the Treasury more than $70,000 weekly in stamp and voucher collections. The armories were opened on June 8 and we have received an avalanche of people queuing outside in beach chairs. Appointments for shooting courses are available from August and September. The polygons are making a lot of money. Many women and couples are coming interested in filling out the application and buying weapons for their defense," said the president of the organization, which has more than 10,000 members.
Firearm sales and requests have reflected a marked increase, so that both the 33 gun shops in the country, as well as the 32 industrial estates have benefited from people seeking protection and who want to take advantage of the recent favorable changes in the Puerto Rico Weapons Act (Act 168-2020), which makes the process more affordable to the pocket of the common consumer.
"We receive between 90 and 130 requests daily, because now getting a gun is much cheaper with the changes in the Weapons Act. Before, the renewal was $240 and the new license was $650, but now those costs have dropped to $145 and $245, respectively. Another positive change is that you no longer have to go to court to get the license and once you have it, you can carry the weapon without having to do any other additional management. In addition, you do not have to be a member of a shooting club as required in the past to be licensed. The process is, first fill out the application information, take the mandatory shooting course and then the background check with the police," Torres said.
In the first month of the government-decreed quarantine by executive order, Codepola received remotely over 2,000 applications for gun licenses, a consequence of the fear of many essential workers who had to transit the empty streets at night due to to the curfew.