No Fixed Standards for MA Gun Licenses
Those of us who have been around firearms licensing in MA for a few years now have encountered the patchwork of very different standards and requirements in different towns. And then there's the matter of restrictions that some police chiefs put on the back of Class A licenses - those restrictions might be the topic of a later AWARE blog.
But now the Boston Globe's reporter, Brian MacQuarrie, has investigated the licensing situation and has done a darn good job of presenting the issues, together with some very interesting statistics on licenses.
Did you know that it can take 6 years to get a Class A (concealed carry) license in Newton? Did you know that, statewide, over 80% of licenses are Class A?
Check out the Globes whole story, and reader’s comments here: Want a gun license in Massachusetts? Much depends on where you live.
Other people are learning what we have known all along, there are no fixed standards for issuing gun permits in Mass. Each individual chief in each town has complete control over who is considered a suitable person and thus gets a license there, and who doesn’t.
How can you find out how the police chief in your town issues licenses? Ask others at your gun club, gun stores, or GOAL before you apply. It could make the difference between getting that license or not.
AWARE is a big proponent of training. We applaud the chiefs who require a basic safety class for any license applicant. We also believe that, if you are going to receive a Class A license, you should have fired a real gun, at a real range, as part of that class. Alas, the Massachusetts State Police has certified some courses, and some instructors, to qualify people for Class A licenses without any shooting.
What do you think about the patchwork of requirements, and about people who have concealed carry licenses, but have never fired a shot?