I wanted to contact you again to try to explain a bit further the problem gun owners have now with the current ability of the chiefs to limit permits.
If you want more info on this a quick google of “Mass gun permits per town” brings up many article including ones from the Boston Globe about how mixed up our permitting process is. Here is a link to a map showing how where you live makes a huge difference as to your ability to get a gun permit : http://www.hubflyer.com/wp-content/uploads/macitytowngun.png This is hardly treating everyone the same under the law. Also please note most of the state is green on the map which are towns that respect our rights and issue permits. It is those few red towns that are the problem and are rejecting or restricting permits to people that have passed the background checks and have a clean record . . .
I know the claim is that the chiefs want to restrict folks who may cause harm – we all want that. If that is what they did I would still expect to see a fairly even distribution of permits issued all over the state as most people are not a problem.
That is not what we have. There was a recent WBUR post on this where the Chief of Police in Boston outright state people of Boston don’t need rifles or shotguns. He says nothing about harm or injury or anything else other than he does not think they need that right so won’t issue permits.
I am an NRA and State Police certified instructor in MA. I have had a number of reports from people in my gun club and at class that the town I grew up in – Scituate MA – has gone from issuing permits to carry to not issuing. People that have had carry permits for years now get restricted to target and hunting just because a new chief of police has been hired in the town.
Please tell me how that makes sense? Your right to carry has been taken when you have done nothing wrong and have had that carry permit for years.
The other point of this is by putting restrictions of “Target and Hunting only” on a pistol permit which is what normally happens in these cases only means you can’t carry concealed. You can still buy the same guns and ammo that you could with an unrestricted license. If you are dangerous (as the proponents of this rule say) to the point they want to restrict your license why are they issuing it at all? If I have criminal intent I can still get what I want on the restricted permit. . . .
This is why gun owners are so against letting the FID be up to the Chief. I have seen no data that the current ability of the Chiefs to restrict pistol permits has made us any safer, but it is being abused. For a select few towns and cities lawful citizens with clean records are being refused permits to carry because the Chief can while if they lived in the next town over there would be no issues. Why should they be allowed to do this with the FID too?
What gun owners want is a fair law. Every city and town should have to issue you any permit you ask for unless you are a prohibited person. I agree we don’t want the guy down the street that the cops get called on every weekend for domestic disputes to get a permit. But don’t leave that up to the Chief, put it in writing – make it the law. We need a hard list that we can all reference that says “this is what a Prohibited Person is”. And the Chiefs need to be told that if an applicant for any permit is not on that Prohibited Person list they must issue the license. This is the only fair way to address this.
Thank you for your time.