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Thread: Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands

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    i'm thinking about taking a job down there soon. anybody open carry or ccw down that way?

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    Neither is a good environment for legal carry, but VI is much better than PR. PR requires a lot of time, a ton of money, and a lot of political ass-kissing just to own a handgun, and legal carry (for anyone not connected) is almost impossible.

    For PR, just think "NYC, The Caribbean Edition".



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    ickthus wrote:
    i'm thinking about taking a job down there soon. anybody open carry or ccw down that way?
    As for Puerto Rico (The Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico are separate jurisdictions), open carry is currently not legal under state law. Firearms ownership in your property is via shall issue license. Statewide CCH is via a permit/endorsement on your firearm's license. PM me for more info.

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    KBCraig wrote:
    Neither is a good environment for legal carry, but VI is much better than PR. PR requires a lot of time, a ton of money, and a lot of political ass-kissing just to own a handgun, and legal carry (for anyone not connected) is almost impossible.

    For PR, just think "NYC, The Caribbean Edition".

    The Puerto Rico firearms laws changed back in 2000, now we have shall issue firearms ownership (not carry) and a may issue CCH permit endorsement on your firearms license via courts. You can read more about it here:

    http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum65/9936-2.html

    I'm actually interested in the firearms ownership/carry laws in VI. Could you give us the 411?


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    Friends of mine honeymooned in the Virgin Islands last year; and I encouraged them to protect themselves while they were there and accept responsibility for their own safety. Nevertheless, they did not take my advice and managed to come back unscathed. I had come across this on the Virginia State Police Web Site:

    Virgin Islands Temporary Permit
    Persons with a valid Virginia concealed carry permit may apply individually to the United States Virgin Islands Police Department for temporary reciprocal recognition of a CCDW license while in the Virgin Islands. This temporary recognition is normally for ninety (90) days from the date of issue.
    An application for temporary privileges may be requested from:
    Office of the Commissioner
    Criminal Justice Complex
    Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, VI 00802

    Now, I'm not sure whether that is still current information, or if the law or something else has recently changed. The VSP and AG normally do a pretty good job of keeping that type of information up-to-date on their web sites.


    VI code is here. Title 14, Chapter 113 contains criminal weapons laws. Title 23, Chapter 5 contains firearms and ammunition "control" laws, such as who may carry, who may be licensed, registration of firearms, etc...

    There is a "good reason" clause for residents and business owners (Sec. 454) to obtain a permit to carry. They do appear to recognize (Sec. 460) all carry permits issued within the United States, to non-residents or transient residents of the VI, provided that your reputation is established through fingerprints.

    § 454. Persons who may be licensed to carry firearms
    A firearm may be lawfully had, possessed, borne, transported or carried in the Virgin Islands by the following persons, provided a license for such purpose has been issued by the Commissioner in accordance with the provisions of this chapter:
    (1) An officer or employee of the Government of the Virgin Islands in cases where such license, in the judgment of the Commissioner, should be issued to such officer or employee by reason of the duties of his position;
    (2) An agent, messenger or other employee of a common carrier, bank or business firm, whose duties require him to protect money, valuables or other property in the discharge of his duties; And provided, That the employer of such person shall have justified to the satisfaction of the Commissioner the need for the issuance of the license;

    (3) A person having a bona fide residence or place of business within the Virgin Islands, who established to the satisfaction of the Commissioner that he has good reason to fear death or great injury to his person or property, or who establishes any other proper reason for carrying a firearm, and the circumstances of the case, established by affidavit of the applicant and of at least two credible persons, demonstrate the need for such license;

    (4) A person licensed to and actively engaged in the business of manufacturing, repairing or dealing in firearms in the Virgin Islands, or the agents or representatives of any such person, having necessity to handle or use firearms in the usual or ordinary course of business;

    (5) With respect to a rifle or a shotgun a person possessing a valid and current Virgin Islands hunting license.



    § 460. Reciprocal recognition of out-of-state licenses
    Unless otherwise prohibited by any state or federal law, a license to possess or to carry firearms, issued by any competent authority of any state or territory of the United States and in accordance with the same or similar requirements as set forth in the preceding sections pertaining to the applicant's eligibility, and the establishment of his reputation through fingerprints, shall be recognized as valid within the Virgin Islands and shall allow the holder thereof to exercise all of the privileges in connection therewith, while said licensee is a visitor or transient resident herein.

    Any marshal, sheriff, constable, police or other peace officer, of any state or territory of the United States, whose duty it is to serve process and make arrests, may, while travelling through or in the Virgin Islands on official business, carry such weapons or equipment as has been authorized by his appointing authority.







    The wording of some of these laws is eerily familiar... for example, Sec. 488 is almost word-for-word the same as Maryland's Criminal Law Article Sec. 4-206. They also have some very harsh, I would say cruel and unusual, punishments for violations of any firearms laws. Things that are not even illegal here, or would be misdemeanors (<1 yr. in jail), can land you a minimum 25 year sentence or at the very least a felony charge and subsequent deprivation of virtually all of your right to keep and bear arms.




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    23 VIC Sec 460 seems to be the way to go. Heres the POC down at the VIPD:

    http://www.vipd.gov.vi/departments/firearmsBureau.aspx


    By the way, I found a VI Appeals Court decision regarding the matter:

    http://www.vid.uscourts.gov/dcopinio..._toussaint.pdf



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    cagueits wrote:
    KBCraig wrote:
    Neither is a good environment for legal carry, but VI is much better than PR. PR requires a lot of time, a ton of money, and a lot of political ass-kissing just to own a handgun, and legal carry (for anyone not connected) is almost impossible.

    For PR, just think "NYC, The Caribbean Edition".
    The Puerto Rico firearms laws changed back in 2000, now we have shall issue firearms ownership (not carry) and a may issue CCH permit endorsement on your firearms license via courts.
    Yeah, I didn't mean to imply that ownership was "may issue", but it still requires "a lot of time, a ton of money, and a lot of political ass-kissing" even under the "shall-issue" system.

    I have several friends and colleagues from PR. Their experience is that the firearms license gets "lost" without connections and/or schmoozing and/or greasing palms.

    That's second-hand info, but they've all been through the process.

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    KBCraig wrote:
    cagueits wrote:
    KBCraig wrote:
    Neither is a good environment for legal carry, but VI is much better than PR. PR requires a lot of time, a ton of money, and a lot of political ass-kissing just to own a handgun, and legal carry (for anyone not connected) is almost impossible.

    For PR, just think "NYC, The Caribbean Edition".
    The Puerto Rico firearms laws changed back in 2000, now we have shall issue firearms ownership (not carry) and a may issue CCH permit endorsement on your firearms license via courts.
    Yeah, I didn't mean to imply that ownership was "may issue", but it still requires "a lot of time, a ton of money, and a lot of political ass-kissing" even under the "shall-issue" system.

    I have several friends and colleagues from PR. Their experience is that the firearms license gets "lost" without connections and/or schmoozing and/or greasing palms.

    That's second-hand info, but they've all been through the process.
    All firearms licenses that I know of, at least since 2003, are pretty straight forward - you pay the fee and comply with the law, you get a license. Theres a max 120 day wait, if I remember right, that tends to be pushed to the limit if one does not inquire about the firearms license. As far as I know, if you file an Ombudsman complaint, the firearms license gets mailed to you within 10 days of you filing your complaint. Renewal is way simpler as you are "in the system" (I personally rather there was no system at all, but we have to deal with what we have for right now). Link to the PR Ombudsman:

    http://www.ombudsmanpr.com/

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