Handgun Training In Puerto Rico

Jason Discovers A Motivated
Shooting Culture!

By Jason Perry

“I wish we had someone in Puerto Rico who did training like this.”

“I think I know a guy,” was the answer.

That’s how my training company’s relationship with the amazing people of Puerto Rico started. The woman with the wish was a native of Puerto Rico, her husband’s family has a farm in Kansas they visit often. The person who “knew the guy” was my brother, at the time Operations Manager at a large indoor range in Wichita. A lunch meeting, a trip to SHOT in Las Vegas to meet with the owner of an indoor range in San Juan and a couple of months later, our first handgun class on the beautiful island of Puerto Rico happened. Five trips later and we are still going strong, bigger and better each time.

You might be surprised, as I was, to learn about the active, pro Second Amendment segment existing among the population of Puerto Rico. These folks are very serious about gun ownership and the responsibility and right of self defense. They have an ever growing number of sport shooters and hunters on the island as well. Yes, they are all US citizens, as Puerto Rico is a US Territory and may very well be the 51st state if some on the island get their way.

Lead

Puerto Rico is a lovely island and welcomes a gun-owning population —
along with a host of rules and regulations!

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Class photo Defensive Handgun Course 2014.

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Class Photo Defensive Handgun 2015.

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Happy first time shooter with target from Defensive Handgun course.

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Scott Perry and Olympic wrestler Manuel Garcia.
One-on-one training.

They Own Guns?

Gun ownership for most people on the island is possible but it’s a bit of a hassle as compared to what we have come to expect on the mainland. A series of licenses must be procured to own, shoot and carry concealed. All require a background check, formal training and a fee. Concealed carry is getting increasingly easier to do as just recently “personal protection” became a legitimate reason for getting a permit. However you still must appear before a judge, go through a fairly extensive check of your personal life and pay a pretty hefty fee for the priveledge.

All permits expire and must be renewed at regular intervals. All gun purchases are tracked by the police/government and must be completed by an FFL holder. Ammuntion is also regulated and must be purchased at a dealer. It seems most of the gun ranges offer all of the above services “in-house” making it much easier on the first time buyer/shooter. It’s interesting to note despite all the regulation and requirements the crime rate is still very high. Just like everywhere else, criminals don’t seem to be deterred by strict gun control laws.

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Luis Bermudez’s daughter Paola in prop car made for us.

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The gun Counter B&B Target Center.

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Class picture of Advanced Handgun.

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Class pic Defensive Carbine at the local outdoor range.

Average People

Back to our students and the wonderful people who make up the beautiful island. Most of our participants are proffessional type folks but certainly not all. We get students from all walks of life in our courses. About 25 percent of our students are women. They’ve realized — just like anywhere else — no one is immune from crime no matter what neighborhood you live in or how “safe” your town is. Many of our students have been victims of crime themselves or have family or friends who have.

They’re very serious about their reasons for wanting to learn to shoot firearms safely and efficiently.They see what happens when you can’t fight back and have vowed to not let that happen to them or their family. A couple of trips back one of our students, Hector, told us a story of how just months after attending our class he was forced to defend himself and his wife against a masked “carjacker” with a gun.

“It happended just like we talked about in class. I did just what we practiced during the course. That class saved our lives. I’m grateful and so glad you guys decided to come to Puerto Rico.” Hector is an employee of the range where we hold class and he graciously shares his encounter with the other students each year. “This course saved my life, it can save yours” he tells them. Hector had a lot to do with saving himself and his wife, but we are happy we could play a part and are very glad things turned out well for him and his family. This is why we do what we do.

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Student with Kriss Vector. SBR’s are ok to buy and
own without additional permits.

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Scott Perry demo, non standard shooting positions

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Jason Perry explaining the next carbine drill.

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Scott Perry and Hector practicing turns and pivots.

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Oscar Perez Rivera checking his six during a carbine drill.
Scott Perry in the background

The Place

The island. Have I mentioned it’s beautiful? The landscape, the ocean, the weather, the history, the people, it’s all beautiful and friendly. The temperature is mid 80’s year round, the sun shines daily and wind is almost non-existant compared to my native Kansas. I can’t think of a better place to have a shooting range or train.

Almost everyone speaks English well enough to get by without interpreters. There was only a couple of times what we were saying didn’t translate well enough to get the point across. A quick repeat in Spanish from one of the employees at the range and we were good to go. San Juan is like any other big city, traffic, crowds, no parking, etc. There is one big difference though — no one gets mad, nobody’s in a hurry and everyone seems to get along.

One thing I had to get used to was “Puerto Rico Time.” just because the flyer says class starts at 5:00 pm it isn’t necessarily so. Somewhere between 5:30 to 6:00 pm most everyone will be at the range and ready to go and to expect more is futile. The first couple of times this drove me crazy, but after a while you get used to it and realize it doesn’t bother anyone and it’s just the way it is. Maybe we all could take a lesson from these folks. Slow down and relax, there’s plenty of time. What’s the hurry?

This is one of my favorite training venues anywhere and I hope the good folks will keep inviting me back for many years to come. We offer a couple of different handgun classes, ladies only courses, one-on-one training and a carbine course. All are well attended by great students in a beautiful place, and what more could you ask for?

A special thanks goes out to Luis “Tuto” Bermudez and his staff at B&B Target Center for all their hard work putting these courses together and making things happen.

E-mail: jasontperry@nullyahoo.com if you’d like info about training at Jason’s facility in Kansas.

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Rare break during a carbine class

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Table of SBR’s. It’s okay to own one without any extra permit.

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Big Jorge trying to fit under his “available cover” during a
drill in Defensive Carbine. Other students getting a chuckle
watching him get into position.

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Student Beilla Nogueras posing on the range with our prop car.
She has been a student every year since we started going.

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“Tuto” Bermudez, Jason Perry, Beilla Nogueras, Scott Perry
left to right. Graduation day.

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Discussion during ladies only class.

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