Licensing has slowed or completely halted in some areas of Massachusetts with local police citing the rise in COVID-19 cases. Consequently, gun rights groups are fighting to have licensing requirements eased. They also sued some local jurisdictions for rejecting applications contrary to state and federal law.
In areas where processing is still ongoing, there are huge backlogs of applications. This situation forces many applicants to wait past the state’s legal waiting period of 40 days. Gun Owners Action League of Massachusetts executive director Jim Wallace says that authorities must come up with ways to navigate the challenges.
"Some towns have gone out of their way to allow processing of firearms licenses, such as setting up an outdoor kiosk," Wallace said. "But other towns are saying, 'Nope, we don’t want anyone in the police station' and shutting the licensing process down."
He also refers to the double standards applied towards firearms licensing, where residents are allowed to engage in other business activities but any gun-related undertakings are strictly prohibited.
"We can go out and get a cheeseburger or pizza or whatever, but we’re being prohibited from exercising our civil rights," he said. "That’s just unacceptable."
A new bipartisan bill supported by six Republicans and a Democrat demands the lifting of fingerprinting requirements if the police or the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security has the applicants' fingerprints on file to ease the licensing process.
Additionally, Gun Owners Action League and the Massachusetts 2A sued Cambridge, Stoughton, and Weymouth for rejecting firearm license applications. They noted that state and federal law did not allow authorities to turn away applications.
Wallace is right to point out the hypocrisy of anti-gun authorities that are quick to shut down any gun-related activity at the slightest excuse while allowing other riskier activities.
This is the reason why constitutional carry is important so that anti-authorities do not impose disguised gun control by undermining the licensing process.
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