TELL US: 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; 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, so stifle the easy use of guns? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

pablo December 12, 2012 at 01:41 PM
Anything can be used for good or bad purposes. A gun, a car, a knife, a baseball bat, fists, a pencil. Passing laws against the object instead of the action sets a very bad precedence and leads one down the path to think that it is the object that is the problem and not the action of the individual! Some objects and the use of such should be regulated for the common good and every effort should be made to ensure that these things are used only by qualified persons and for proper purposes. Officials tend to pass laws and regulations against objects rather than actions simply because objects are easier to regulate than the actions of people. Especially criminal type people! Secondarily, passing laws aimed at mainly at law abiding citizens is favored by those in power for two reasons. 1) It gets them closer to being able to prosecute anyone for anything at any time and 2) It deflects attention from their inability to effectively deal with the growing criminal element in our society. BUT, to delude oneself that laws against particular objects and the ownership thereof will protect us from actions of nefarious individuals who generally disregard laws to begin with is...well,stupid.
Avon Barksdale December 12, 2012 at 01:48 PM
I feel perfectly safe in my home with no gun. It must be because of my mental incapacity.
Indiana December 12, 2012 at 02:42 PM
Ronda this is only the beginning...in 4 years the Constitution will be re-written if they have their way
Amy December 12, 2012 at 02:42 PM
Taking away the Second amendment or creating yet more gun laws will not stop anyone from getting a gun illegally.
Mark McKay December 12, 2012 at 02:55 PM
Try explaining that to the Liberals Amy. They don't get it.
paul December 12, 2012 at 03:20 PM
Mark, I'm liberal and I get it. Do you get that liberals don't want anything explained to them, just like conservatives?
Mark McKay December 12, 2012 at 04:15 PM
Then why is it that the Liberal Left wants to take away the right to bear arms for law abiding citizens? Do you really get it?
Avon Barksdale December 12, 2012 at 04:37 PM
Ha ha, liberals, conservatives, angry, hilarious. Great stuff would laugh again A++++
Lb4Lb December 12, 2012 at 05:56 PM
If Massachusetts can license a civil right like the second amendment; how about a license for the 1st amendment? A full background check, the required education, mental health evaluation, letters of recommendation and a 7 day waiting period should be performed before you could post on blogs, give speeches, etc. It is a little scary when you think of what could happen.
Mark McKay December 12, 2012 at 06:19 PM
Many on the Right think that taking away the right to bear arms is the first step in removing all rights. I don't agree, but it's out there....
Just Me! December 12, 2012 at 06:40 PM
I'm hopein' and thinkin' that the Constitution is pretty much etched in stone and can't be changed because someone doesn't like it....Amending yes...total removal of an amendment from the original writings...NO WAY!!!
Avon Barksdale December 12, 2012 at 06:44 PM
No, it's not scary thinking about what could never happen.
Indiana December 12, 2012 at 07:39 PM
Yeah look what Obama did in Michigan 2 days ago - ignited the unions and now they are an angry mob...he will stop at nothing for his agenda...sorry nothing to do with gun control
BH December 12, 2012 at 09:33 PM
Sorry Indiana but Obama is against the right to work measure. Is that just what you assume since I'm sure you do not like Obama?
Gretchen Robinson December 12, 2012 at 11:46 PM
paranoia like this is what scares me. We've had a democratic president for 4 years and he hasn't taken your guns. Get real.
Gretchen Robinson December 12, 2012 at 11:58 PM
just got to people how to dodge bullets better and we'll be all set. Here's the take of fox gnus http://www.upworthy.com/fox-pundit-tells-silly-abused-ladies-to-stop-getting-in-way-of-bullets-and-stuff?c=upw1
Michael Kreyssig December 13, 2012 at 02:05 AM
If we lived in a more responsible society I would say that the laws should be retooled. However for the majority of the population things like personal responsibility are an afterthought in the constant pursuit of instant gratification. So I'm with Carol on creating ways to ensure that the gun owner is actually sane and responsible. I have no issue with having the applicant produce a note from their physician stating that they are of sound mind and body. However, if a person is found to be sufficiently qualified to own a weapon, than the licensing process should be uniform and it should not cost them a small fortune. If a person wants a simple weapon like a pistol or a shotgun for the purpose of defending their home, than the cost for a license should be minimal, $100 every six years is a bit much.
BH December 13, 2012 at 02:37 AM
You simply cannot have a doctor, nor would they, provide a note or recommendation for a sane individual to posess a firearm. What happens when that individual does Hirt someone with that gun? That doctors credibility is shot so to speak and I'm sure there would be lawsuits from any victims or their families.
BH December 13, 2012 at 02:38 AM
paul December 13, 2012 at 12:36 PM
Conservatives that say Obama or the 'Left' are going to take away your guns, make me laugh. I can't believe some people are so paranoid. If you really think that's true, drive to South Providence and load up on whatever kind of automatic weapons you think you may need to survive the nuclear winter.
Steve Hopkins December 13, 2012 at 12:55 PM
That's probably very true, Carol. I agree.
Bob Thomas December 13, 2012 at 06:05 PM
I agree. They might have gotten that photo from the anti-gun-nut, Michael Bloomberg.
Bob Thomas December 13, 2012 at 06:12 PM
Oh that's right. Let increase the cost of government and the pensions and benefits that go along with those additional jobs. Why didn't DeVoid think of that first? How are you going to feel when DeVoid puts a microchip in your inspection sticker, ostensibly to check your mileage for taxation purposes? It's not like they don't record your mileage each time the vehicle is inspected so is the real purpose for surveillance via aircraft so they can fly a ticket to your mailbox or track your driving habits? Yeah, more government jobs... that is the perfect solution.
Peter Hoogerzeil December 15, 2012 at 04:11 AM
Unfortunately, we will need armed personnel at our schools. That monster would not have killed so many children if a legally armed and trained staff member (retired cop or security professional) was in the school. Law abiding citizens must be able to arm and protect themselves and the vulnerable.
Carol Bragg December 15, 2012 at 01:48 PM
Unfortunately, legally armed and trained staff members (retired cop or security professional) sometimes suffer from mental illness. This simply makes the case for far more involvement by the medical community in issues like who is mentally competent to have a gun or to drive an automobile. And for any out there who may regard themselves as Christians, do remember Christ's directive to put up the sword and please entertain the possibility that if we were to come together across ideological lines we might find other ways of addressing what has clearly become a national crisis. Most nations in the world don't experience the level of violence we do here in the U.S. We need to take a good look at ourselves and ask why this is happening.
Carol Bragg December 15, 2012 at 02:04 PM
Frankly, if I still had a school-age child, I'd prefer not to have trained staff members shooting lethal weapons in my child's school. There are other weapons, including some creative ones now being tested, that can render an assailant incapable of shooting a gun or rifle and would pose less of a danger to innocent bystanders.
Michael Kreyssig December 15, 2012 at 02:17 PM
The problem is simple. Society has eliminated personal responsibility for everybody. It really is that simple. We have a society full of grown-up children who think they are entitled to everything everybody else has. When they don't get it....they throw temper tantrums, and it doesn't matter who they hurt because it's all about them!
Carol Bragg December 15, 2012 at 02:51 PM
Michael: There's a gender dimension that we're not addressing. These shootings almost always involve males. I've come to understand that there's a serious global problem that I would describe as male oppression. I don't have time to go into this right now, but from a very young age boys are told that they are not to be fully human. They can't shed tears, they can only express anger. They are at all times to be strong and never display weakness. The expectations are enormous and the potential for failing to meet these expectations equally enormous. A chronic sense of failure manifests itself through mental instability. Repressed emotions can lead to aggressive behavior. It's a hard conclusion for a feminist to reach, but I've come to believe that the oppression of women cannot be ended without ending the oppression of men. A successful approach to the problems of violence will be multi-disciplinary.
Chris December 15, 2012 at 03:16 PM
The mentally of some people. I need to have a gun to protect myself, when in reality, your allowing someone in your own family to take that gun & either kill you, himself or others in the community. What's the purpose of Mrs Lanza owning these guns in her home? To protect herself? In then end, they did her no good. I'm not against those who want guns for hunting, but I am oppose for those who want to own a gun, just so they can protect themselves & their family. There is no need. We also need to look at the bigger picture here, is TV, Video games, Family time to blame? Does this play a major role in our children's lives. Parents divorced, kids home alone to fend for themselves, no punishment if a child doesn't get what he/she wants. No family time, no sit down home cook meals, the list is endless. We can't change the past, but we can certainly change our futures. As far as Massachusetts gun laws, Yes they should keep it to where you need to renew your licences, but impose to take refresher classes on gun safety, storage & such. Shame on you if you wait until the last minute to renew you gun license, just like a drivers license, you need to check & get it done way before it expires. As far as having security at the schools, yes, there should be a police officer/security guard at every school.
Gretchen Robinson December 16, 2012 at 12:08 AM
that is insane


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