Puerto Rico - Florida - Gun control Weapons seized at the end of February by police officers from the “ShotSpotter” Shooting Detection Division of Puerto Rico.
Image via Coronel Antonio López Figueroa, Commissioner of the Puerto Rico Police Bureau.

A report by Giffords Law Center found that the island has dramatically high rates of gun violence—four times higher than the national average in 2018.

Florida’s weak gun laws have repercussions on the violence that plays out on the streets of Puerto Rico, according to new research by Giffords Law Center.

The report found that Puerto Rico has excessively high gun violence rates. In 2018, it was quadruple that of the national average, and the island’s firearm death rate was 1.7 times higher than that of all 50 states that same year, which is the last year for which data is available.

Even though Puerto Rico requires a license for firearm possession, there are high rates of gun trafficking from the US.

The states that source the most firearms trafficked into the island are Florida, Georgia, and Texas, all of which have weak gun laws, according to information provided by local authorities.

Florida is also suffering from a gun violence crisis. Eight Floridians die every day because of firearm violence, according to data from Giffords Law Center

The Sunshine State has also witnessed some of the most terrifying massacres in schools and crowded places, such as the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, where 49 people were killed in 2016. Nonetheless, some Republican lawmakers, including Rep. Anthony Sabatini (District 32), have sponsored measures to further ease gun restrictions, including removing the requirement to have a permit to carry a concealed firearm.