Trials and Tribulations of a Massachusetts Handgun Owner

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Easy answer - some of us can't afford to move so stop asking. Some of us have family that need us here so why should we abandon them? I was born here so why let liberals run me out of my own state without a knock down, drag down fight? As the saying goes, "What do you really know about yourself if you've never been in a fight?"
Seems to me we should stick together rather than accuse or criticize, don't you think?

Massachusetts has the 3rd highest per capita income in the country. So if you are wondering why people stay, thats a big part of it. I have an unrestricted CCW permit in Boston, which many people seem to think is not possible - and in about a dozen other states, it isn't. I belong to Braintree Rifle & Pistol and that club has over 2,000 members.

If you're one of the ones saying, "It can't happen here," if you have a high profile political assassination, and/or mass school shooting, or mass murder, you're going to find out. MA had two Kennedys murdered live on national TV, and more recently, Mucko McDonald bring an AK to work and shoot 7 co-workers. This does not tend to help the cause.

As you might imagine, Senator Kennedy has pretty strong emotions about this issue. But he is 70 and times will change when he decides to spend more time chasing his wife and less time being a Professional Liberal.

Scott Harshbarger, who is responsible for much of the most annoying legislation, got his butt kicked when he ran for Governor and has moved to Washington, DC. Some Democrats got the message that if Al Gore supported gun owners, he would have been president.

Attorney General Reilly is going to run for Governor in the next election. I'm already supporting his competitors - several of them. I'm writing their campaign managers and pointing out that their candidates can readily gain gun owners votes against Mr. Reilly. Most MA residents are registered as Independent and can thus vote in the Democratic Primary. I hope others wil ljoin me in teaching Mr. Reilly that treating lawful citizens as criminals does not go unnoticed.

Ironically, while MA has more restrictive laws than the Northern New England states, there are more firearms competitions in MA than all the other New England states combined. And between S&W and Kahr, we also produce a huge number of handguns. Go figure.
Why not move to someplace decent?

Because it's not in my nature to turn tail and run. I'd rather stay and fight for what I know is right. Thanks for asking though.

Would you run or fight Issac?

Easy answer - some of us can't afford to move so stop asking. Some of us have family that need us here so why should we abandon them? I was born here so why let liberals run me out of my own state without a knock down, drag down fight? As the saying goes, "What do you really know about yourself if you've never been in a fight?"

Amen Mastro, Amen.
When Arizona's present Governor (a liberal Democrat by the way) was Attorney General she led the fight against our CCW law. Even headed up an organization called, "For The Children." But now, as Governor she's looked at the election demographics and generally supports pro-gun legislation.
Hmmm.....sounds like a carbon copy of our esteemed governess. Everything, that is, but supporting pro-gun legislation. She led the fight against our shall-issue law as AG, but then when she became governor she adopted a "wait-and-see" attitude. Sometimes when the people scream loud enough, the politicians listen. Problem with Mass. is that Teddy seems too well rooted to be voted out. The people seem "comfortable" with him. Why, I'll never know, but then I'll never know why the "good" people of Michigan voted in these 2 bozos either. :rolleyes:
Leaving, depriving them of the $10,000 or more per year that you give them, IS fighting, a helluva lot more effectively than anything you are anyone else is going to achieve in Taxachusetts, that's certain.

Not it's not. It's RUNNING. And for the record, I wish I gave the state $10K in taxes. If I gave the state $10K, it would mean that I was making $200K. I don't. I'm not sure where you live but if your tax rate is that high, maybe the whole "Taxachusetts" thing is misplaced.

Hey, you are entitled to your opinion. If it happened where you live, apparently you'd back down or run. Me? I'm staying and fighting the good fight. Good luck to you.
One of the most annoying things is the whole license issue.

Getting a permit is a PITA as it is, but your local police chief makes the decision on what 'restrictions' he can put on your license. I can own guns and hunt, but can't carry legally (for all practical purposes - there are times when I can but I'm talking day to day). A renewal of the permit usually takes from 4 - 8 weeks for me. I go early to avoid any problem and I thought this was good for a bureaucracy.
Then I applied for my out of state NH permit. Sent in the check on Thursday and the next Wednesday I had the permit - all lawful purposes! So now I can carry legally in most states, except my own
I really feel for you guys in Mass. (& California, Illinois, D.C...) I hope you can turn things around politically. Keep up the good fight!

As you might imagine, Senator Kennedy has pretty strong emotions about this issue. But he is 70 and times will change when he decides to spend more time chasing his wife and less time being a Professional Liberal.
I think he chases other people's wives (and anyone that can supply him with Chivas Regal)!
Guys, if the majority of people in these places did not want it to happen, it couldn't..think about that!!!

Either you stay and try to convert, if it matters that much to you, or you go somewhere were most people share your point of view...its not turning tail and running, sometimes you just got to pick your battles..
I'm not sure if I made it clear in my original post but this handgun "Approved Roster" nonsense did not happen as a result of a law directed at handguns. It's a loophole in the comsumer protection laws that allows the state AG to regulate as he sees fit. Furthermore, the restrictions on ammo and components are the result of the AG's new interpretation of the laws.

The AG (Tom Reilly) will be running for governor soon. I'm not even convinced that he actually believes in what he's doing. I get the feeling that he's a typical politician doing whatever he thinks will get him more face time on TV or votes in the next election (This guy stepped in to contest the sale of the Red Sox, and tried to block the Gillette merger because they were big stories).

Next election, I will be working for his opponent. With Reilly making a run at governor, we stand a chance of getting a new, more gun-friendly AG.

The battle is not lost; this is no time to run, "tactically retreat", or "strengthen more gun-freindly states". The Gun Owner's Action League (GOAL) was instrumental in getting passed Chapter 150 of the Acts of 2004; a bill that brought some long awaited reforms.

GOAL is now sponsoring a Precison Sports Reform Bill that will loosen regulations on handguns and ammuntion components.
MA is bad, but not as bad as many think. I too tave class A LTC with np restrictions. I hold professorship in one of Boston's colleges, and I can cary in school. The state law does not prohibit this, and all I needed was a written permission from the college police department. I can carry in hospitals, stadions, police stations and courts (although most courts have metal detwctors and ask you to check your gun at the door). The gun stores are full of AR and AK type rifles, and high caps are freely available. They are all supposedly pre-94, but I can hardly belive it, given the fact that some guns they are vailable for were not made in 94.
The situation with AG consumer regulations sucks, but this is better then Californian bull???? with assult rifles and 50 BMG. There is a bill to outlaw 500 BMG though... Will see where this is going though. In the mean time I have two Barret M82As coming :) For investment purpouses.
Okay...I've got to ask. How did a professor get the right to carry on school grounds from the campus police? How did you approach them with this request and how was the request worded? I never thought such a thing was possible in Boston...
I'm sure this is another example of, "it's not what you know, but who you know." Before the system was changed to "shall-issue" in Michigan, licenses most often went to people with the right connections - expecially in the urban counties. Ordinary folks didn't have a chance except in some very rural counties.

That's one reason I moved out ...
Whether or not you get a LTC has everything to do with your local chief. Mine is a good guy, I got my Class A for "all lawful purposes" in less than a week. I'd never met the chief before the application process but he likes to meet with the applicants for a chat (he's not required to). I think the rule is that they have to make a decision within 90 days. A buddy of mine one town over applied and got his LTC after 89 days.

There are some chiefs that flatly refuse to issue any LTC under any circumstances. A law passed in 2004 finally gives refused applicants a means to appeal. We'll see how that goes.

The "Holy Grail" of Massachusetts gun licenses is a Class A LTC for the reason "All Lawful Purposes". This license allows for CCW and the purchase of "high capacity" firearms. On second thought, you can also get a Class E that allows you to own full-auto weapons, so maybe that's an even Holier Grail.

Anyway, as an earlier poster (tuna) implied, the chief also has the right to restrict any license any way he sees fit. "All lawful purposes" means just that. You can carry a handgun for any legal purpose - target shooting, self defense, hunting, etc. Some chiefs issue LTC's with "Target Practice" or "Home defense only" as the reason. One of my friends has a license with Target Practice as the reason. Basically, he can take his handguns to and from the range and that's it. If he's caught with a CCW and isn't on his way to or from the range, he can lose his license.

I think a lot of the chiefs' attitudes have to do with the local government. Our chief is elected. In other cities/towns, they are appointed. If you have to directly face the voters every few years, it probably pays not to tick too many people off by refusing them licenses for no good reason.
>> Whether or not you get a LTC has everything to do with your local chief. Mine is a good guy, ... <<

In Arizona it doesn't matter what the Police Chief or Sheriff thinks. If I meet all of the training and marksmanship requirements, and pass the background check I get a license. That's what "shall-issue" means, and it's the way it works in free states rather then Socialist-leaning ones. :scrutiny:
I'm another Massachusetts resident. I got my class A LTC for all lawful purposes with no problems at all about a month ago. Local police deputy chief makes the decisions, he's an avid hunter and doesn't turn anyone down without cause.

As for leaving, Massacusetts has too many non-firearm related positives for that. It's a beautiful state, with Cape Cod, mountains, forests, terrific communities to raise kids and all the benefits of Boston nearby. I'd rather forgo the right to buy an HK or a Kahr than live someplace else. I've lived in California and the midwest and wouldn't go back to either place. Everybody needs to decide that for themselves. Massachusetts taxes are no longer among the highest in the nation by the way, about middle of the pack. I'll stay and try to fight the good fight.

The best thing about AG Reilly running for governor is that win or lose, we get a new AG. The Governor is MA is powerless anyway, the communistic legislature controls everything and can easily override any veto. The AG is actually able to do things independently of the Governor or Legislature.
I submited written request to the chief of campus police. I indicated that I carry a firearm at all times, and since locking it in the car is not legal per state law (it has changed since then), I would like to have a locker in police station. He just wrote back that he has no objections agains me carrying on campus, as long as the weapon is concealed and holstered at all times.

As to the "green card", class E licence is issued only once you have class A already. It is usually pretty easy to get. You do have to be Bona Fide collector, but 03FFL takes care of that. It took me about a month to get a machine gun permit. The problem is finding decent transferwble class III for sane money. I have M2 heavy machine gun and M16 but I have only fired M2 once at Harvard machine gun shoot. (Harvard gun club, not Harvard Univ.).
I'm shocked. My local PD (Peabody) won't issue me for all lawful purposes, just a Class A for work purposes - and now that it's not the case anymore, it's not getting changed either. I'm hoping next October 2006 I can get it upgraded to allow me to carry unrestricted, but I'm told I "may, but it depends" - whatever in the Hell that means. I wasn't aware I could keep a gun in the trunk of the car. I haven't read any changes in the law and didn't think it was legal to do on school or federal grounds either. I can tell you if I sent off a note saying I carry at all times, they'd reply "Not here you don't...."
Class E, Huh? Hmmm....

Oktagon, I have a C&R, maybe I'll try to get a Class E. Thanks for the info. Harvard is a nice club. I was going to join there but ended up joining the Shirley Rod and Gun Club instead (3 miles from my house).
Mastrogiacomo, are you in Boston proper? When I lived in South Boston, I never bothered to apply because of the hassle. I honestly believe that the arbitrary nature of the Massachusetts system is unconstitutional, but there's little chance that the NRA will challenge it until they feel comfortable with the makeup of the Supreme Court. In my town, Franklin, the prior deputy chief was fairly tough, the new one is pretty much a shall issue guy (as he should be).
Western Mass (anything west of Framingham) is mostly "shell issue" with some exceptions, such as Shrewsberry. Worchester is pretty much "shell issue" although there was some recent talk about new chief who is a potential ***hole. I live in Newton, and while Newton has very bad reputation for LTCs, it is not nearly as bad as people say. When I first applied for the licence (as soon as I got US citezenship, I am not originally from here as many might have guessed by my grammer ans spellinG) they tried to talk me into FID (there was no class A or class B then), but I refused ans told them that I am applying for LTC, and that they can deny me, and I take them to court (had my lawyer standing next to me, noding his had). They took my application and I had a permit within three weeks. It was stamped "protection". When new permits came to effect in 1998, and my old one came close to expiration date, I went in expecting them to try to push class B down my throat, and retained a lawyer again. I did not even have to say a word. The first time I went in, I was fingerprinted, they took my licence fee ($20) and called me about month later to come and pick up the permit. The machine gun was even easier. I have renewed once since then, and it was pretty much "shell issue". The only question I got asked from an officer behind the counter was "how are you doing Doc? Any new crazy machine guns of yours?" with typical Bostonian accent :)

In any case, Massachusetts is Alaska, when compaired to NYC and DC!
Gentlemen;as a Mass. resident with Class A LTC(unrestricted) is it legal for me to purchase replacement magazines( original capacity,not the neutered ten rounders) for my Glock in NH??And if it is illegal,would any here care to give me a heads up if and when theyhave G17 mags they care to part with for reasonable compensation??I have scored a decent deal recently,and it came with two factory 17 rounders;I just prefer to have back-ups.
I did.

Hey Gripper. For what it's worth, I was able to buy 13-round magazines for my Browning BDA at The Kittery Trading Post in Kittery, ME. I had to show my Class A LTC. Also, I was in the Blue Northern Trading Company in Ayer (MA) today and I believe is saw some of the mags you were looking for (I could be wrong - I'm not a Glock owner so I didn't pay real close attention).

Here's a link to their site

Give them a call. They're good guys.

It's only legal if they are pre-ban, since Massachusetts still has its own version of the AWB in effect. So if you drive up to NH and buy a nice new 17 round magazine you become a felon as soon as you cross back into Mass.

Just because a dealer sells it doesn't mean it's legal. Unlike the approved roster list, if you possess a banned magazine you're the one on the hook, not the dealer.
You can buy Glock mags anywhere you want, as long as they are "theoretically pre-94". Basically you want undated magazine. Several stores around Mass have tons of Glock or any other standard capacity mags which are marked "pre-ban" but look brand new. The only mags I would not buy, are the old LEO marked. New unmarked once are fine. It is impossible to prosecute.
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