GOAL Seeks Administrative Fixes to Licensing System
Once again the Massachusetts firearms licensing system is broken, leaving the Commonwealth unable to follow their own laws regarding issuing LTC’s and FID’s in a timely fashion, as prescribed by law.
For this reason, GOAL has filed an amendment to the MA House budget to address these issues. Thank you to State Representative Todd Smola for working with us.
Take action: Please call your MA State Representative immediately and urge them to support Budget Amendment number 185.
Once again, it seems the firearm licensing system is bogged down. Ever since the 1998 Gun Control Act was passed, the state has never been able to keep up with its mandated timelines. About every five to six years, the problems rise to the point where the legislature has to take action. Of course, the correct action would be to become a state that recognizes the Constitution, but that is unlikely to happen anytime soon.
It an attempt to address the problems yet again, State Rep. Todd Smola has filed an amendment to the House budget on behalf of GOAL. The purpose is to establish a task force (working group) of all the agencies involved along with GOAL.
One of the main problems is the disconnect between the state part of the process and the local licensing official. Since the state is not even aware that a person has filed an application until it is forwarded by the locals, it is virtually impossible for them to initially track an application’s progress. GOAL is constantly receiving complaints from gun owners who have to wait many months, even up to a year, just to obtain an appointment.
One of our goals is to find a way to expedite the process. This could potentially be done by beginning the process online at the state level. That way the system can be better monitored. By starting at the state level it should save the local licensing folks, and applicants time. For instance, if the application began online, the state might be able to conduct initial background checks to determine if the person is statutorily prohibited. If this were the case, the local authority would not have to schedule time to process anything. It would also allow the applicant to act faster on a potential appeal if needed.
In any case, shy of getting rid of the licensing in general, it is the responsibility of the state to make the system work. Please contact your local House Representative and ask them to support Amendment #185 to the House Budget.
Amendment XX – Firearm Licensing Administration
There is hereby established a Firearms Licensing Administrative Task Force to consist of: the commissioner of Department of Criminal Justice Informational Services or a designee; 1 person selected by the Gun Owners’ Action League, Inc.; 1 person selected by the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association; the Colonel of the Department of the State Police or a designee; the commissioner of the Department of Mental Health or a designee. The task force shall study and report on modernizing and streamlining the firearms licensing process within the Commonwealth.
The task force shall be provided with quarters in the state house or elsewhere and may: (i) expend for expenses and for expert, legal, clerical and other assistance such sums as may be appropriated therefor; (ii) travel within the commonwealth; and (iii) hold hearings. Private or executive meetings of the task force shall be open to the public unless a majority of the members of the task force shall vote otherwise. A notice of each such meeting shall be filed with the clerk of either branch, and the notice or a copy thereof shall be publicly posted in the office of such clerk at least 24 hours prior to such meeting, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays.
The task force shall report the results of its study, together with drafts of legislation, if any, necessary to carry its recommendations into effect, by filing the report with the clerks of the house of representatives and senate and the office of the governor on or before December 1, 2019. The clerks of the house of representatives and senate shall forward the report to the chairs of the joint committee on public safety.