Massachusetts Gun Essay: Writing Component Added To Concealed Carry Permit Approval In Lowell

A new Massachusetts gun permit essay rule has Second Amendment supporters seeing red. Gun owners in the state must now write an essay which will be “graded” for approval by the police chief before a carry permit can be issued. A hefty firearms training price tag up to $1,100 will also be levied against those attempting to exercise their right to bear arms in the city of Lowell.

Lowell, Massachusetts, is located about 35 miles north of Boston and is home to some 110,000 people. The gun essay law was the brainchild of Police Chief William Taylor and approved by the city council. Applicants for an “unrestricted” handgun permit have to detail in writing why they should be granted the Second Amendment credentials. Chief Bill Taylor has sole authority when it comes to deciding which gun permit essays make the grade.

While state law established gun control and gun rights dictates in Massachusetts, local government still holds a significant amount of power over firearms sales and regulations via the municipality’s police department. A heated debated at a public hearing in Lowell ensued last week after the stringent gun essay and concealed carry permit rule was announced.

Lowell resident Dan Gannon addressed the members of city council who passed the gun restriction unanimously. The gun control law is slated to take effect later this week.

“I will never write an essay to get my rights as an American citizen,” Gannon said.

The gun essay rule, as well as the enhanced and expensive firearms safety training requirement, was sparked in part by a Second Amendment federal lawsuit against the state that was filed about a year ago. The Commonwealth Second Amendment gun rights group filed the lawsuit due to what was deemed a history of denying concealed carry permits in the Massachusetts city. The right to bear arms activists maintained in the lawsuit that Lowell officials denied the gun carry permits without a “legitimate rationale,” Fox News reports.

“It is absurd that people should have to write an essay to the town to explain why they should be able to exercise their constitutional rights,” Gun Owners Action League of Massachusetts, Jim Wallace told the media. “We already have a very strict set of gun laws in the state, but this is way over the top. It’s like having a college professor say, ‘I’m going to read your essay and if I don’t like it, I’m going to give it back to you.'”

Lowell Police Captain Timothy Crowley does not feel it is fair to call the written gun concealed carry permit requirement an essay.

“If you want a license to carry a firearm unrestricted wherever you want and whenever you want, the superintendent is just looking for some documentation as to why,” Captain Crowley said. “That is not unreasonable to most people.”

Some Second Amendment advocates wonder if the Lowell gun essay requirement to garner a concealed carry permit will one day be enhanced to mandate a written explanation to purchase a handgun, a shotgun, or popular semi-automatic rifles like the AR-15, which gun control advocates commonly refer to as an “assault rifle.”

Does spelling count on the gun essay? No one really seems to know exactly what criteria the Lowell police chief will be using when he reviews the written reports by gun owners. The gun essay will give Chief Bill Taylor “more time” to look at each concealed carry permit applicant more closely, city manager Kevin Murphy said during an interview with the Lowell Sun.

“We’re no longer taking a cookie-cutter approach to issuing firearms licenses,” Murphy added.

There are approximately 6,000 gun owners with a concealed carry permit in Lowell. After a Massachusetts gun control law was passed in 1998, an 80 percent decrease in the issuance of gun licenses began to develop in the state.

What do you think about the Lowell gun essay and $1,000, five-day course that will be required to get a concealed carry permit in the city? Is the gun carry essay an infringement upon the Second Amendment?

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