Friday, July 25, 2014

Open letter to the Mass Legislature on Guns

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 : 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.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

MA Permit issuing problems. . .

One of the interesting sticking points on getting an otherwise rather good bill passed into law here in MA is a small number of police chiefs (who are anti-2A) want to change the FID (our lowest form of license, rifles only no high capacity) from shall issue to Chiefs Option. . . by small I mean something like 12 of the states 300+ Chiefs. . . . .

Here in MA they think it is fair now for the Chief to have a say in your getting a pistol permit and this would expand it to any permit.  Most Chiefs do not abuse this but a small number do . . .

Today you apply for your permit and if you have passed the class and have a clean record you can get an FID no questions or ask for a pistol permit.  If the Chief wants he can limit or deny your pistol permit – end of story.  He does not have to tell you why and can use any excuse he wants.  What this has led to is a new Chief takes over in a town and folks that have had carry permits for years with no issues suddenly are refused.  You can sue but the cost is on you to get your permit and they can deny you again when you renew. . .

Does this sound like a fair way to handle a right?  How would you like it if an official in town could suddenly tell you that you can’t vote anymore and no reason is given?  You can sue to fix it but we can deny you next election if we want and you have to sue again. . .

This is crazy.  The fix that was rejected said that Chiefs would have to list in writing the reason for refusal and it was spelled out what they could refuse for. . . and an appeals process was to be worked out. . .  That was not good enough.

To make this worse it is a small few Chiefs that make them all look bad.  Most have no problems with permits and issue them if you have a clean record.  Just another great example of how you can abuse the power of you .gov position in MA. . . .

Thank God I have one of the good Chiefs in my home town - we have a great group of police and they respect our rights. . . . but if he retires who knows. . . .

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Mass update on Senate Gun Bill

You can get the details from GOAL HERE

Overall GOAL has been working overtime on this and finally MA gun owners are waking up. . .

We started with a VERY anti-gun bill in the House a few months back but thanks to GOAL and the gun owners of MA getting involved we have a very different bill now.

The Senate just passed their version of the House bill this week and it looks good for gun owners.  A lot of things have been fixed and this is actually a step forward for gun owners in MA.

You can read more on all the stuff in this bill on the GOAL link above but lets just say "Let's get this passed before someone screws it up!"

There is a lot of good stuff in there for gun owners and for our schools.   This bill may actually help make our kids safer . . . which is good for our state.

To think back in 1998 the original bad version of this bill would have sailed through no problem and become law. . . . today is a new day in MA.  Gun owners are now active in voting and in politics and they have noticed.  If we want to protect our rights it is up to us folks.

There is still a lot about MA gun laws that we need to change to get back to our Founders dreams of "shall not be infringed" but that is for another day.  The fact that we are turning the tide at all in MA should be noted and celebrated folks!  This may be a small step forward for lawful gun owners but it is a step FORWARD!  IN MA!  One step at a time folks. . . . we are winning this.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Calfornia Gun Laws that Work! for the criminals. . .

News today is that in good old California the home of all that great gun control and assault weapons bans there was a robbery. . . . with guns. . . well assault weapons actually. . . and hostages and death. . .

You can get the CNN take on it HERE

And all that is left to do is pray for this poor womans family and children and hope they get the support they need to get througth this. . . . while the news folks spin it and distort the facts.

Basic facts:
Bad guys were gang members
Three hostages taken and one who was a mother of two was killed when used as a shield
Bad guys had AK style rifles which are illegal in CA

Anyone want to bet none of the guns were acquired legally?
Anyone want to bet all the robbers were prohibited people and did not have gun licenses?
Anyone want to guess how hard it was for them to get guns and ammo? 

Anyone want to bet how long it takes to have the same idiots dancing in the blood of this poor woman and blaming the NRA and gun owners for this event?

Folks gun control does not work.  It takes away our civil rights and the only folks it makes safer are the criminals. 

In CA the criminals know they have nothing to fear from the sheep.  Unless they run into a cop they will be the only ones in the area with a gun and they will be running the show. . . . and as the news shows us time and time again this is a losing combination for the lawful citizens of the area.

WAKE UP!  Tell your reps at all levels that enough is enough!  No more gun control!  it is time to start dismantling the crap laws we have in place now and put the advantage back on the side of the law abiding citizens of this country and taking away the advantages the criminals have.

Please Please Please tell your rep you support lawful gun ownership.  They need to hear it over and over because as you can see from the news report they are being fed a line of bull by the anti-gun/anti-civil rights folks who live in a fantasy world.  I would love to live in their world where common sense works and there is no criminals or violence. . . but I don't I live in the real world and I have a family to protect.  I can't afford to pretend I live in their world.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

MA Gun bills

Well the House put together a good bill. . . would fix a lot of stuff, keep us safe and protected gun rights. . . .

Now the Senate is getting in on it and they have a mess.  Not as bad as the original House bill that was fixed but a mess none the less.  Once again it is very anti-gun and the folks writing it clearly don't understand or own guns.

So GOAL is still fighting to fix it and we need your help.  More info HERE

Please call or email your Senator NOW and let them know you want them to protect our gun/civil rights and vote against the bill as written.  It can be fixed.  Better yet they could just adopt the House bill and as good as it is it could use a few tweaks it would not take much to fix it.  It is much better than the Senate bill.

Time to call and write folks. 
Thanks - we can win this.  We are doing very well in protecting our rights even here in MA, keep it up!

One Daughter shoots the other wants to be an Archer. . .

I spent yesterday afternoon down at Reedy's Archery here in MA with my younger daughter.  She does not like shooting much but is quickly learning to love archery.

My gun club does an intro to archery "class" every Friday night so that folks can come down and try it out.  So we did. . . . I think she is hooked.

She had enjoyed the few classes we have gone to.  We then went to an Archery Open House at the Holbrook gun club and got taking with a few Pro's there . . . got me sold on her getting her own bow so that she will have one that fits her and is consistent. 

The club bows are good, but you never know how they are sighted, or what weight they are set at . . .  ect.  So it is hard to get good at things. .  .

On to yesterday. . .

The folks at Reedys were great.  I went in and explained that I wanted a good bow for a starter without breaking the bank. .. . They got us set up with a bow that can easily be adjusted for draw and weight as she grows. 

They then took her to the indoor range and taught her how to use it and started to sight it in.  We must have been there a good hour or so shooting so she could get a good feel for the bow.  I probably don't have to tell you they made the sale. . . . it is on lay away until tax day here in MA so I can save a few bucks.

The nice part is we can go down and use it when we want on their range until we finish paying it off. . . and they are great at teaching her how to use it too.

These guys just blew me away with the service.

If you live in MA and don't mind the drive to Middleboro I can't recommend them enough!  Great folks to buy from and know their stuff.  They had both long bows and compound for the archers, crossbows and bit of black power stuff but the real focus is on the archers with two indoor ranges you can use.  Range time as $10 an hour if you already have the equipment and just need to have a place to shoot.

Two thumbs up for Reedy's

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Behind The Lines

Now we wait to see what the Mass Senate will do with the new gun law.

It has been a long couple of months and a bit depressing for me.  This was a long fight and I think we won, don't get me wrong but for a while there it looked like the gun grabbers would win once again in MA. 

I was rather bummed out that my hobby and the teaching I enjoy so much would become a memory as they were going to put so many things in the way of gun ownership that it would be legal in name only. . . . I was starting to think about if it was time to give up. . .while at the same time sending emails, calls and faxes to every House member I could to stop this bill.  I was at the State House for the hearings and I was visiting with my rep to stop this all.

And thank God I was not alone in this. . . . after months of fighting for our rights we won. . . the new law is nothing like what we started with and that is still sinking in.  I could see gun ownership was growing in our state with every class I taught, but it was something else to see us all band together to make a difference and protect our rights.  This is a great thing to see.

In the rebound I am now getting caught up on my gun mags and reading all the stuff that was too depressing to read a few weeks ago.  It was bugging me to read this stuff as I realized most of our country did not have to deal with the insane gun laws we do and the crazy folks wanting to pass more. . . but I think even MA is starting to wake up to the failure of gun control.  How else do you explain that even here new gun laws really are not gaining any ground?  All the gun grabber parts of the latest bill were tossed.  It is now actually a rather good bill with lots of stuff in it that the pro gun side has been asking for for a long time now. . . .

I think we have turned the corner.  We need to keep fighting for out rights and let them know we are watching their every move but we are winning and we need to remember that.  We are winning, but the fight is far from over.  The anti-rights folks are on the ropes, we need to finish this.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Mass Gun Law Updates

This has been an incredible week for me here in Ma, the home of gun control. . . .

 A few months back the commission the state had formed after Newtown came back after 18 months of study and town meetings to put forth a major anti-gun bill.  Their suggestions clearly showed they did not listen to the people and simply wanted to make guns much harder to get in MA without any regard to whether or not any of their ideas would make us safer.

I attended the Homeland Committee meeting on the bill and is was disgusting to watch.  They told us we needed more gun control because 400+ guns had been found at crime scenes that were purchased legally (suggested they were straw purchases) yet when asked if the legal owners had been questioned as to what happened to the gun, if it had been stolen or sold and to whom they knew nothing. . . they did not KNOW!  They wanted to make anyone who had been convicted of a Misdemeanor that had the potential of a one year sentence listed as prohibited from owning a gun – for the record if you went swimming in a public water supply in college you would be prohibited. . . .

Here are a few of the other changes:

-        List every gun you own ever license renewal
-        Redesign our license training – State police would set up the class – NRA classes would not pass
-        Make FID (the only shall issue license here) up to the chief if you get it
-        List Suicide numbers on you license
-        Set up studies of GUN suicides
-        Make person to person transfer illegal – must go to an FFL
-        And it goes on.

Well the gun owners of MA really stepped up on this one. . . .

 I am told the weekend before the Homeland Security committee vote we actually shut down the switchboard with the calls.  The emails, faxes and visits flooded in. . . but they passed it anyway and it went to the Ways and Means committee. . .

Things got worse for our reps as the flood of opposition continued to grow. . . .

Well a few days ago the Ways and Means folks released a new bill in place of the old one and it passed the house. . . .  The new bill had almost everything gun owners objected to stripped out of the bill.  This was a big win for us here in MA.

The new bill did the following:

-got rid of the Class B license (very few have it and we don’t need it)
-Made the FID up to the Chief of Police’s discretion BUT now if you are rejected for a license you must have the reason given to you IN WRITING.  They are also setting up a commission to set what a chief is allowed to use as a disqualifier.  The can’t just say NO anymore.  This is also a win as we are now restricting the chief as to what they can refuse you for, and making them list it in writing and be accountable for it.
-they made it so any voluntary mental health help you get cannot be held against you on a permit application
-Any mental health issues that you do get refused for you can appeal in 5 years
- We are joining the national NICS background system which is good I think
- They are setting up a web page for personal sales so you can run a background check yourself on the person you are selling your gun to.  No FLL needed
They also added in a lot of school stuff such as police officers in the schools and suicide prevention which I think are both good things.

So we have gone from a horrendously anti-gun bill to one that I think is OK, and actually rather good for us all.

To top it all off the night of the vote I was contacted by my Rep before the vote.  She wanted to talk to me in person to see if I liked the new version of the bill and should she support it. . . . She was very concerned that gun owners support the bill before she would support it. . ..

This is a huge change for MA.

Now we will see what happens in the Senate here but overall I am amazed at how far we have come in this state with our support of gun owners.  We still have a long way to go but things are obviously moving in the right direction.