Friday, February 7, 2014

Open Letter on the Mass Gun Committee Report

Dear Representative

Now that the long awaited report on guns in Massachusetts is out I have to say like many I am disappointed at the end result of months of work.  GOAL does a great job on answering this report and you can read that at:

Personally I have a few issues I would like to point out(sorry for the long email):

1 – Suitability – they don’t want to define it.  This is the problem with our current system as there is no standard and who is considered suitable differs from town to town.  Not a just way to deal with a RIGHT.  This needs to be taken away from the whim of the town Police Chief and spelled out so all citizens are treated fairly.  If you are not a criminal or otherwise prohibited person you should have no problem getting a permit of any type as it is your right to have one.

2 – They are staying with the 10 round limit on magazines.  This should be removed.  In NY state they lost the court case on their 7 round limit as the judge found it to be an arbitrary number with no facts backing it’s choice.  The same can be said for a 10 round mag limit.  This limit is not followed  by criminals and only puts a burden on the law abiding citizen.  Police don't have this limit and when they need it back up is a radio call away.  Citizens don't have that support why do we have the limit?

3- Removal of the 90 day grace period to renew licenses.  This shows how disconnected this committee was from the real issues in our state.  The state has been unable to meet it’s own law for a 40 day process to issue a license or renewal.  We got rid of this grace period once before and many people had issues as they applied for a renewal but the state did not process it before their existing permit ran out.  Even with the 90 day grace period folks are facing this problem.  We need this grace period until the state can live up to the law and process permit applications on time.

4 – Consistency with Federal Law would be good.  We need to share who in MA is a prohibited person for mental or legal reasons.  Then the existing background check program would work much better.  As part of this we also need to get rid of the “approved Roster” lists for pistols we have in this state.  It does nothing to promote safety as the guns we restrict are sold all over this country without issues, some are even carried every day by our own police.  This approved roster only burdens law abiding gun owners and raises the cost of a gun without doing anything to stop the criminals.

5 – Gun trafficking.  We are all against this but if we would just enforce the laws we already have on the books at the state and Federal level this would not be an issue.  We do not need more laws here to burden law abiding citizens.

6 – Mental illness.  This is a very hard one.  What constituts an illness  that will strip you of your rights?  I personally feel we need to be very careful with all of our rights.  To be striped of your rights should require an impartial court ruling and must have an appeals process to prevent abuse.  We cannot let this snowball into anyone with ADD or who sees a Psychologist for any reason cannot get a permit.  Doing this will scare people away from seeking the help they may need and do nothing to prevent problems.

Thank you for taking the time to review my issues with this report.  Sadly it does not look like the committee really understands the current gun laws in our state and the issues we have enforcing them now.

 As I said when we talked last month all lawful gun owners want to prevent gun crime but we need to do it in a way that does not trample our rights.  Being free has some inherent risks and I would rather be free and deal with armed criminals than live in a police state.  Either way the criminals will always find a way to get a gun.  They have no problem getting drugs into our country they can and do get guns.

Please support our effort to clean up our gun laws and take the red tape off of the law abiding gun owner while punishing the criminal use of guns.  We don’t need new gun laws in Massachusetts, we need to fix the ones already on the books.

Thank You

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