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Should Massachusetts Gun Control Laws be Loosened?

A Massachusetts gun owners group is lobbying for passage of a bill that would confer lifetime gun licenses—no renewals necessary.

Way too much red tape.

That's the complaint of the Gun Owners’ Action League of Massachusetts, a group that is urging passage of a law that would abolish the requirement of having to renew a gun permit every six years, according to the Boston Herald.

For comparison, Massachusetts vehicle drivers' licenses need to be renewed every five years.

But the league says local police cannot keep up with timely gun permit renewals, and legitimate gunowners go license-less until the cops get time to do the paperwork. 

The law now allows 40 days for turning around license applications.

In Boston, almost 1,000 people have applied for gun permits so far this year, with waits running about 10 weeks, the Herald quotes police spokeswoman Cheryl Fiandaca as saying.

The gun owners group is lobbying for a return to lifetime licenses and that a license gets pulled only if laws are broken, according to the Herald story. 

The six-year gun permitting is part of a law passed in 1998 that resulted in Massachusetts having among the strictest gun control laws in the U.S.

According to a gun control lobbying group, the Violence Policy Center, Massachusetts also has the lowest gun death rate in the nation.

But still, the law requires a 40-day turnaround. So what do you think is the right course of action: return to the days of life-long gun licenses and make life easier for both harried cops and law-abiding gunowners? Lengthen the license turnaround time and not hold the gunowner accountable if s/he uses the gun during that turnaround time? Keep the pressure on and keep things as they are, to stifle the easy use of guns? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

mplo January 18, 2013 at 07:28 PM
The problem is, Wind Dummy 25, is that guns really ARE way too accessible here in the United States. That's why too many people who really shouldn't have guns get hold of them and we have the shootings like Sandy Hook, Aurora, Virginia Tech, not to mention many other mass shootings like the above-mentioned ones, and the assassinations.
Norton resident January 19, 2013 at 09:10 PM
People who bring up the issue of "automatic weapons" really show that they are uneducated on the gun control issue. Since 1934 there have been exactly TWO murders with a legal automatic weapon, one of the shooters was a police officer. It seems most people are not aware of this fact and think automatic weapons are commonly used in crimes, this is completely false. Evidence below.... "In 1995 there were over 240,000 machine guns registered with the ATF. (Zawitz, Marianne,Bureau of Justice Statistics, Guns Used in Crime [PDF].) About half are owned by civilians and the other half by police departments and other governmental agencies (Gary Kleck, Targeting Guns: Firearms and Their Control, Walter de Gruyter, Inc., New York, 1997.) Since 1934, there appear to have been at least two homicides committed with legally owned automatic weapons. One was a murder committed by a law enforcement officer (as opposed to a civilian). On September 15th, 1988, a 13-year veteran of the Dayton, Ohio police department, Patrolman Roger Waller, then 32, used his fully automatic MAC-11 .380 caliber submachine gun to kill a police informant, 52-year-old Lawrence Hileman. Patrolman Waller pleaded guilty in 1990, and he and an accomplice were sentenced to 18 years in prison. The 1986 'ban' on sales of new machine guns does not apply to purchases by law enforcement or government agencies" www.guncite.com%2Fgun_control_gcfullau.html&h=5AQH4Y8L4
Wind Dummy 25 January 19, 2013 at 10:09 PM
I would also add this NR to help clear up some other miss information out there... AR does NOT stand for Assault Rifle, as is commonly believed. AR stands for the original company that manufactured it, ArmaLite. ArmaLite sold their rights to the AR-10 and AR-15 designs in 1959 to Colt. Gas operated magazine fed. It is a different design from bolt action rifles. Both can be scoped out. The bolt actions generally use higher caliber rounds because they are studier built. Civilian AR's models are not designed to use military 5.56 NATO rounds and not available to civilians, it would tear up the barrels...Only the 223 is generally used. But I wouldn't want to be hit by either. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.223_Remington
mplo January 20, 2013 at 03:23 PM
Ever heard the saying "The minority rules."? That applies here. Often enough, as here, the "shrikes" are in the minority, and they're the most vocal, so they get the most publicity. Also, the Right, generally, is much more vocal, manipulative and better organized than the Left, which is a huge part of the problem.
Bob January 20, 2013 at 04:01 PM
Diana, You are right and wrong. They did get it right. It is freedom OF religion not FROM religion. They were fully ok with the Judeo-Christian bent of vast majority of the colonies. They just wanted to make sure we would never have a Church of America. Too bad they couldn't see others coming along 200 years later and misinterpreting that amendment to what you believe it to say now.
Splice January 20, 2013 at 05:42 PM
At the "Gun Rights" rally in Boston yesterday, a survivor of the Tienamin Square massacre spoke. Just watch and listen. He knows first hand about gun control. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=miEmIfhfxuc#!
david mokal January 20, 2013 at 06:57 PM
There used to be 2 gun shops in Malden tghat I known about one was Walt's Gun Shop and it was right around where Massimo's is. Also Day's in Maplewood Square. I belonged to the Mystic Valley,Middleton and Cape Anne in Glousester and found that many Licenced Gun Dealers were operating from their homes.Every gun store here would ask to see your licence even before you handled the gun. Never any probs here In Malden. They were voluntarily strict who they sold to and allways made sure you were properly licenced.
Wind Dummy 25 January 20, 2013 at 07:19 PM
That link was was so timely and appropriate thanks Splice...Andi It was true in 1775 and now more then ever. We should embrace the Constitution, not pick at it. There should be no convolution. It's not about hunting or sport...It's about resistance... Do you want government to fear the people or do you want to fear government? . Gold, guns and the written word.
david mokal January 20, 2013 at 08:25 PM
http://www.boston.com/news/nation/2013/01/20/officials-teen-gunman-kills-inside-home/QeQ1907HP1LmQWFkcbxVrM/story.html Here some more crazy gun violence.
Amber January 21, 2013 at 03:14 AM
So, to follow Jon's logic, if you get your credit cards stolen you are an irresponsible credit card owner and any and all charges the thief who stole it racks up should be borne by you, the irresponsible owner, and NOT the actual criminal. Riiiight.
mplo January 21, 2013 at 04:51 AM
I've got to tell you, Dave S., that I am all for gun control here in America. The recent mass-shootings (i. e. Sandy Hook, CT, Aurora, CO, Virginia Tech, Columbine H. S., to mention afew) underscore the necessity for that. So does the extremely high incidence of suicide here in America by guns, also. Too many people have access to firearms who really shouldn't, for whatever reasons (i. e. mental illness, anger-mgt issues, emotional instability, drug/alcohol abuse histories), all of which, combined with firearms, make for an extremely dangerous combination.
John January 21, 2013 at 01:01 PM
stolen guns are a small problem. the vast majority of illegal gun come from "law abiding" gun owners selling them to criminals via straw sales ans gun show loopholes. if your gun was properly secured, it could not be stolen, so if it was, yes you are irresponsible. and by the way, people don't kill with a credit card.
J.R. January 21, 2013 at 02:23 PM
I know NOTHING about guns. I don't want to know. I don't need to know. I'm not going to own one. I don't care if you're buying a BB gun, six-shooter, hunting rifle, musket or semi-automatic whatever -- you should have to undergo a background check, wait a week or two, and register and insure it, and you should have to attend classes on gun use and gun safety. Private sales of guns should be handled the way private sales of cars are. There should be NO loopholes. Background checks for everyone. I have to undergo a background check to be a chaperone on a field trip with my kid's class for goodness sake. Life is littered with minor inconveniences. Ever apply for a passport? What was the process like when you went to get your learner's permit to drive? Have you ever bought a book or a sweater online? You have to wait for those things. It's fine. We all survive it quite nicely. Not everyone should be armed. Not everyone wants to be armed. People who are going to be armed should be held accountable. You are taking on the responsibility of owning something whose sole purpose is destruction. Own that.
Amber January 22, 2013 at 12:59 AM
Jon said "or stole it from an unresponsible [ed: the word is irresponsible] owner". I was simply responding to your initial comment, which you now downplay as "a small problem". Your comment insinuates a somewhat asinine viewpoint that the person who committed the crime should be less liable than the person who was the victim of the crime. To clarify, someone who has their gun stolen from them is the victim of a crime. Someone who illegally sells a gun they own is a criminal, and as such SHOULD be liable for criminal activity. Let's not mix up the criminal gun owners with the law-abiding gun owners, please. Massachusetts has mandatory training, background checks, waiting periods, licensure, fingerprinting, and IDs. They have gun sale tracking and mandatory loss/theft reporting. In short, just about every control short of taking away the guns from the law-abiding citizen is in place here.
John January 22, 2013 at 01:49 AM
if you don't secure your gun properly, you are a criminal. and the guns that killed in newtown were "legal". that really prevented the crime didn't it. people that own and carry a gun "legally" are the ones that supply them to the criminal element. They are criminals too. and should be held responsible for it.
Frugal Fannie February 21, 2013 at 02:35 PM
The FBI estimates that 2.5 Million times per year privately owned firearms are used to DEFEND a potential victim from a violent attack.
John Intorcio February 21, 2013 at 04:11 PM
FF - I think you'd have a hard time backing up that number. A more defensible number is closer to 1 million/year. Some more reputable facts: http://www.justfacts.com/guncontrol.asp#crime
Lisa February 21, 2013 at 06:09 PM
Perhaps this will clear things up: Right vs Privilege - Definition: "Right" (as in Right to Bear Arms): Sometimes, rights. that which is due to anyone by just claim, legal guarantees, moral principles,etc.: right to bear arms; women's rights; Freedom of speech is a right of all Americans. "Privilege: A privilege is a special advantage. For example, driving a car is a privilege not a right.
Erik Jon Warila February 21, 2013 at 06:26 PM
@ Diana: I happen to be a Libertarian who believes in the ENTIRE Bill of Rights for all American citizens regardless of race, national origin, gender, religion, or sexual orientation. I'm also for the legalization of recreational drugs, against government regulation of marriage, and opposed to the NDAA and any other law or regulation that denies due process or habeas corpus. So please be careful of how you generalize and stereotype those of us who are in favor of our collective 2nd Amendment rights.
Ron Powell February 21, 2013 at 07:06 PM
With all due respect, if you know nothing about guns, how do you know that they can be regulated and insured in a way similar to cars? "I know nothing about what I'm talking about; however, you should do it my way!" won't persuade a lot of people to run to your side.
Tyler Jozefowicz February 21, 2013 at 10:16 PM
Nashoba: I full well know the distinction between automatic and semi-automatic weapons , what is legal in this state and what is not. Hate it when the pro-gun people play the " I know more about guns than you" malarky. To the question. Gun owners need to renew their licenses every two years , just like I have to register my motor vehicle every two years and get it inspected every year. It's a safeguard. If there is an administrative issue , improve on that. Maybe we should not inspect cars if the gas stations can't keep up. Faulty logic. Address the administrative problem, not eliminate the safeguard.
Andrew25 February 21, 2013 at 10:50 PM
Tyler-did you have to go to the local PD and pay for a license to post this comment. What other rights would you like to pay for?
Emily M February 22, 2013 at 02:35 PM
hahaha, this was pretty funny. although with the forced transvaginal ultrasounds and "counseling" they are trying to legislate below the Mason Dixon these days, your story will sadly not be too far from the truth in those states.
Nashoba Liberty February 22, 2013 at 03:51 PM
Tyler, nice use of the term "malarkey". Must be one of Uncle Joe Biden's talking points on gun control to work it in there. As for taking umbrage with the implication that you don't know the distinction between true "assault" weapons (full-auto machine guns) and semi-automatic firearms, your own language proves it: "We are talking military type assault weapons that fire 100 rounds automatically. Surly you can tell the difference." Again, "assault" weapons are not available for sale to the general public and are already controlled under the National Firearms Act. Rifles that gun-grabbers like to loosely characterize as "assault" weapons are nothing of the sort. 1) They do not "spray" fire or fire automatically. 2) The features everyone focuses on are purely cosmetic rather than functional. 3) These firearms are widely used and perfectly suitable for hunting, competitive marksmanship and home defense.
Sarah Nelson February 22, 2013 at 09:21 PM
This is the most ridiculous and ableist comment yet. People with mental illness are statistically more likely to be the VICTIMS of violent crime than to be the perpetrators. Do some research before spouting off ill-informed prejudice. http://www.cmha.ca/mental_health/violence-and-mental-illness/#.USfhK6U4t8E
Who Me? February 22, 2013 at 09:24 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSpMSG-F2Cw
Gene Pinkham February 22, 2013 at 10:29 PM
@Tom, you sound like the "Surrender Lobby" during the 1980's.
mplo March 26, 2013 at 06:20 PM
I disagree with you, jerry. The constitution's 2nd Amendment only applies to organized militia, security and law enforcement people, and NOT ordinary, average, everyday civilians. To say that Gun Control Laws are illegal and unconstitutional is a lot of bunk.
mplo March 26, 2013 at 06:27 PM
Wildfires are generally not set by insane weirdos, but have resulted from the combination of extremely hot, dry weather, along with a draught, which can be (and sometimes is), combined with some stupid idiot who tosses a lighted cigarette into a wooded area and starts a fire that way. It's agreed that guns have to be safely stored...and unloaded, to boot. I also might add that "demented" is the wrong word for crazy, unstable people. Deranged is more like it, imho.
Joe Addario April 30, 2013 at 02:18 AM
I'm trying get my class a unrestricted in Salem and they have a policy in Salem that's restricted target-hunting and sport only license.

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