Lays Blame on Local Licensing Authorities
In a letter from Governor Patrick’s Administration dated October 29, 2007, legal counsel Gregory Massing attempted to give explanations as to what was taking place with the license application processing. As GOAL members are aware, we have been sending license renewal complaints from our members directly to the Governor in an attempt to get some action on the matter.
In the letter Mr. Gregory stated that license application numbers in 2007 have increased over 80% since last year. He further stated that the average processing time at the state level was 5 days.
In a more disturbing example Mr. Gregory stated that of the applications being processed in a four day period “…only 48 (2.5%) were outside the 40-day statutory timeframe…” While that may be a fairly small number it works out to be well over 4,000 applications per year that are not being processed according to state law. This leaves a very large number of lawful gun owners vulnerable to the very unforgiving laws they are required to adhere to.
The letter from the administration ends by laying the blame at the feet of local licensing authorities. “CHSB is handling its piece of the transaction in a timely manner.” “We understand the frustration of GOAL members dealing with their local police departments in instances in which licensees have been unsuccessful in the attempts to timely renew their licenses.” These statements clearly are an attempt to shed the blame for a broken system.
“We appreciate the Patrick administration acknowledging that there is a problem. However we are now more concerned than ever. If the state is processing applications in five days, why are our members being told by local officials that the process can take up to six months?” said Jim Wallace, Executive Director of GOAL. “With over 4,000 applications per year not being properly processed and the blame being placed on the local licensing authorities, this is another clear example of a government that does not have control over the licensing agents it is using to dole out our civil rights.”
GOAL will continue to work to resolve this issue in every way possible. One start for certain would be to pass into law S.1361, the Fair Licensing Act. This bill would begin the process of streamlining the “Worst in the Nation Gun Laws” here in Massachusetts.
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