Mass. Bill Would Prohibit Municipalities From Making Gun Posession Laws

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A bill has been introduced in the Massachusetts Legislature by Rep. James Miceli (D-Wilmington) that would prohibit municipalities from creating their own laws regarding who can and cannot own a firearm.

This story from lowellsun.com quotes Jim Wallace, executive director of the Gun Owners' Action League, a Second Amendment Rights group, who said communities in Massachusetts are "essentially creating a patchwork of laws across the state, and soon it will be untenable (if the state doesn't) get in control of it quickly."

Specifically, the new bill bans municipalities or counties from “passing or enforcing ordinances or regulations concerning the lawful ownership, use, possession, transfer, purchase, receipt or transportation of weapons, antique weapons, ammunition or ammunition components.”

Currently, the law allows towns, cities, and counties to add requirements to permitting. For instance, the city of Lowell has many additional requirements for gun license applicants, like a live-fire component to an approved safety course, the story says. Applicants for concealed carry licenses must submit "a written statement providing specific reasons why they want to be granted unrestricted access" and are encouraged to provide additional documentation, like letters of recommendation that show "good character and emotional stability." h

State law only requires that applicants pay a $100 fee, submit fingerprints for a background check, and provide proof of completion of a gun-safety course, the story says.

The city of Chelmsford also requires two letters of recommendation for a gun license.

"I would amend it to rein in the local licensing authorities and having the Executive (Office of Public Safety and Security) over the local authority," Wallace said in the story. "It's not exactly specified in the law, and we want to make it crystal-clear."