Gun permits backlogged, so gun owners are required to give their firearms away (MA)


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WonderNine
July 11, 2003, 07:08 AM
More adventures from the socialist hellhole known as Massachussetts:

Taunton police chief directed to process gun permits

http://www.goal.org/taunton2.htm

By Terence J. Downing, Enterprise staff writer

TAUNTON — The right to bear arms won a victory over budget cuts Tuesday with defense attorney and state Rep. James H. Fagan, D-Taunton, leading the charge.

The City Council, reacting to a barrage of complaints, directed Police Chief Raymond L. O'Berg to resume issuing gun permits immediately.

O'Berg said last week he was imposing a moratorium on new gun licenses because of budget cuts and lack of office staff.

The department is now four months behind in processing permit applications, he said, and the clerks in the office will not accept new applications until the backlog is cleared.

The moratorium went into effect July 1. People whose gun licenses are about to expire will have to transfer their guns to someone who has a current license, he said, so they will not be in violation of the law.

O'Berg posted a sign in the police station lobby, and dozens of people have been complaining about the new policy.

O'Berg said he lost a clerk due to budget cuts and the office is left with just two full-time clerks and one-part time clerk.

"I have been contacted by several constituents concerning the suspension of issuing gun permits instituted by the police chief of our city," Fagan said. "Their concern, and mine, centers around their constitutional right to bear arms and the jeopardy they will be placed in if their permit expires and they still have weapons in their possession.

"It places our citizens in the position of violating the law and no immediate remedy," he said. "The police have told me that the fees generated by the permitting process would more than pay for the salaries of the clerks necessary to carry out the task.

"I urge you to reconsider this policy before a Taunton citizen is placed in criminal jeopardy with no recourse," he said.

"I don't own a gun, but I believe in people's right to bear arms," said Councilor Thomas C. Hoye Jr.

The council voted to have O'Berg appear at next week's meeting to explain his actions.

"The law says the licenses shall be issued," said Councilor Charles Crowley.

"It's state law," said Councilor Barry J. Amaral.

Crowley said the problem is not a lack of funding, but a union dispute over who should do the work.

Councilor Peter H. Corr said there are enough police officers on desk jobs in the station to help with the work.

The council also directed O'Berg to make sure street lights stay lit in all off-street parking lots.

O'Berg told the council earlier he had planned to turn off the lights in the parking lots as of Aug. 1 due to a lack of funds to pay the bill. He said he needed $19,944.

But Crowley disputed the chief's figures and said there is sufficient funding to keep the lights on.

O'Berg said his budget is facing other serious funding problems as well.

"I do not have enough money to meet expenses," said O'Berg. "I have started cuts to reduce the projected deficit in other expenses. I am projecting a deficit of $80,000 even with the cuts."

The records office at the police station is now closed to the public on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

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Kharn
July 11, 2003, 08:32 AM
Identical article with thread already in progress: http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?s=&threadid=30661

Kharn

WonderNine
July 11, 2003, 08:43 AM
Hmm, I looked quick before I posted, but didn't see anything. Unfortunately, I'm unable to delete my thread. Sorry.

If you enjoyed reading about "Gun permits backlogged, so gun owners are required to give their firearms away (MA)" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!