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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.

MoonBeamWatcher December 10, 2012 at 06:33 PM
Know all the sayings. Most are true, like my favorite, "If guns killed people then the spoon would be the cause of Rosie being fat!" To dissarm the citizens is to create a work-safe environment for crooks and robbers. Trust me, guns, like locks keep honest people honest!
JMHH December 10, 2012 at 06:38 PM
Our Founding Fathers understood the right of the people to protect themselves, their loved ones and their property from predatory criminals who don't follow any laws. I've got news for the Massachusetts AG, Martha Coakley and the Massachusetts Legislators, their unfair Second Amendment restrictions against....wait for it...law-abiding citizens never has and never will deter the criminal. All it does is punish the law abiding citizen and deny their Constitution right! This is where it all began. In 9 days we will celebrate Samuel Adams and the Sons of Liberty dumping tea into Boston Harbor. If John Adams, Samuel Adams, John Hancock and all of our Founding Fathers were alive today, there is no doubt that by now, they would have tarred and feathered the AG and the entire Massachusetts Legislative body for undermining our Constitution and our Freedom!
Joseph December 10, 2012 at 06:55 PM
Absolutely yes! Criminal can get a gun within hours. It takes a law abiding citizen several months and several hundred dollars to get their license. What's wrong with this picture?
MR MOTTO December 10, 2012 at 06:56 PM
You don't have to beg, Look at this state, everybody here is a victim.
Dan December 10, 2012 at 07:39 PM
I think it makes great sense. The state and cities and towns would be able to save tons of man hours processing renewal licences and use those man hours to put cops on the street catching bad guys.
Southender December 10, 2012 at 08:57 PM
Definitely not! We have enough gun problems. Look at what happened with the vigilante in Florida killing that poor kid just because he was black and wore a hoodie. No. Guns should not be readily available.
MoonBeamWatcher December 10, 2012 at 09:14 PM
Southender, the NOTION that one MIGHT encounter me and my 357 magnum keeps you safe in the yuppified, 'rebirthed' Boston Bowery, know as the South End. (PS it wasn't because he was black, it was because he was male in a 'gated community' guarded by a 'self help' neighborhood security patrol that had been B&E'd and mugged to parade rest! I REPEAT: "To dissarm the citizens is to create a work-safe environment for crooks and robbers. Trust me, guns, like locks keep honest people honest!"
Joseph December 10, 2012 at 09:42 PM
@Southender - You're either naïve or not a smart person to think gun laws stop criminal activity. The only thing gun laws do is to prevent honest people, like you and me, from obtaining a firearm. Criminals will always have access to firearms. Wake up dummy.
Sherman Homan December 10, 2012 at 11:23 PM
Those of us who have legit gun permits tend not to be the problem, southender!
Derryl December 11, 2012 at 02:43 AM
I can understand why people want a hand gun to protect their homes. But, I do not understand why someone needs an AK 47 to protect themselves.
Rene Rusche December 11, 2012 at 12:08 PM
Derryl, Please, do understand the AK 47 you can buy in a gun store is not an assault rifle!! It is a semi automatic riffle that looks like an AK 47 assault rifle.
yogasong December 11, 2012 at 12:09 PM
Question - so it sounds like there is a 40 day turn-around period for renewal of the license. Are licensees in good standing not allowed to apply for renewal earlier than 40 days prior to their license expiration date? I don't see what the problem is. Beyond that, I am absolutely against lifetime licenses. Its ridiculous to think that it could be easier to have a gun license than a car license. And by the way, accidents with guns are potentially more damaging than accidents with spoons.
sp60 December 11, 2012 at 08:46 PM
actually... he shot 'that poor kid' because that 'poor kid' was smashing his head against the pavement.
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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