GOAL Files Lifetime License Bill
The easiest solution to all the firearm license problems in the Commonwealth would be for the state to actually recognized our civil rights and become a Constitutional carry state. Since that is not likely to happen any time soon, especially in the current political climate, we believe that we have offered a solution that would be a vast improvement.
With the help of our good friend, State Representative Don Berthiaume, Gun Owners’ Action League (GOAL) has filed a bill to end the renewal requirement for Firearms Identification Cards (FID) and License to Carry (LTC) in Massachusetts: HD.3605 – An Act Relative to Firearms Licensing. (https://malegislature.gov/Bills/192/HD3605)
Prior to the 1998 Gun Control Act, an FID Card was issued for life unless the person possessing the license became a prohibited person through the commission of a crime or another disqualifying action. The LTC at that time on the other hand, was renewable every four years and the application fee for either permit was $25. Under the 1998 Gun Control Act, both licenses became renewable every four years. With this new process came a vast number of permits which caused the state to pass emergency regulations to stagger the renewals.
Then, during the Romney administration, the legislature increased both permit costs to $100. Additionally during this period, the application process became so backlogged that it was not unusual to have to wait over a year to process and application. In 2004, seemingly in response to this backlog, the legislature passed a bill that, among other things, extended the license period to six years.
Fast forward to 2020 and beyond, we are witnessing what amounts to a collapse of the firearm licensing system the likes of which we have not seen before. It is bad enough that citizens have to pay to exercise a civil right, but during the COVID crisis, the system simply did not and could not properly function. COVID and the state’s response has also shown a light on some other inequities in the system where some lower income families have to choose between exercising their civil rights or buying groceries.
With today’s technology there is no need for a license renewal system that wastes law enforcement time and citizens’ hard-earned money. The courts and law enforcement now have the capability to track and easily notify Firearms Record Bureau of a disqualifying action by a permit holder. The permit can then be immediately suspended. There is simply no longer any need to bog down a system with meaningless renewals.
Please thank Rep. Berthiaume for his continued work on behalf of the Second Amendment community when you have a chance.
Rep. Don Berthiaume: https://malegislature.gov/Bills/192/HD3605