Puerto Rico Governor joins effort for gun safety
In response to The Parkland Shooting, the governors of Puerto Rico, New York, Delaware, and Massachusetts created the States for Gun Safety Coalition to counter gun violence. The purpose of the coalition is to encourage the member states to share data in order to monitor people who have a gun-ban placed on them. Details are still emerging as to how states will utilize the data to prevent gun violence.
Following the announcement, Governor Ricardo Rosselló tweeted “that there is an indisputable relationship between lack of regulation for gun control” and the mass shootings that have taken place throughout the years. The Parkland Shooting is one of the top ten deadliest mass shootings. The Pulse Nightclub shooting, the Las Vegas shooting, and the Sutherland Springs Shooting are all in the top five. Legal and easy access to firearms have been identified as factors that lead to the Parkland shooting.
Puerto Rico has strict gun control laws, yet gun violence is still prevalent. Illegal firearms are accessible for purchase. As detailed by El Vocero’s report, guns can be easily bought on the black market, as if from a catalogue. The guns are obtained from the United States (Florida being a main exporter) and delivered to Puerto Rico through private postal services in three days time. Firearms and ammo are also stolen from police precincts.
Since Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico has seen a rise in crime, especially gun violence. In February, with 124 reported crimes, 2018 surpassed the previous year by 22. Before the Parkland Shooting, senators were debating loosening gun control with Bill 439. The bill’s sponsor, Senator Nelson Cruz Santiago, argued the bill’s necessity due the increase of citizens seeking to acquire guns for protection as a result of the increase in crime.