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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.

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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