Should Massachusetts Loosen Gun Control Laws?

A Massachusetts gun owners group is lobbying for passage of a bill that would confer lifetime gun licenses.

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; 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.

enough December 12, 2012 at 02:33 AM
he was not apoor black kid with a hoodie, he was a hood.
SM_bos December 27, 2012 at 12:23 PM
GOAL's issues in this situation aren't that the rules, it's that government can't or wont' even follow the rules. It's like the bad old days at the RMV when there were hours-long lines; you need to renew your lic, but you have no idea how long it will take to do so. Only in this case, it's as if you arrive at the registry at 6am, wait all day and are sent home at 5pm because they don't get to you. But then they never seem to get to you. At some point, just driving to the registry to wait in line each day (not to mention driving other places) will become illegal when your lic expires!
MoonBeamWatcher December 27, 2012 at 06:15 PM
Derryl, think OUTSIDE the box! Guns are not JUST for hunting and self protection . . . the AK 47 is necessary to protect us from THEM! And the Obamma kids school has about 11 armed guards in addition to the Secret Service! Until "WE" have available Mental Health care instead of drugs, it would be smart to install trained, armed guards at all our schools! (what do we get from a kid who from 5 to 17 plays most violent and meyhem filled Video games?) = a socially repressed individual who has been prescribed mood alterating drugs.
Cme December 29, 2012 at 11:41 AM
I tried to put my renewal in 60 days before it expired, but was told that I had to make an appointment to submit my application. My appointment date is set for 2 months and 2 days after my license expires. What happened to my 40 days? Also do not forget that when you submit your application it takes 8 to 12 weeks from the date you submitted it to get processed. We have no rights at all.
George January 18, 2013 at 11:22 PM
Poor kid ??? He was a punk. We now know that via the news media. Back page and small print at that. What I find disturbing is people who have sympathy for criminals who get hurt while breaking the law.


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