On Friday, July 24, 2020 Gun Owners Action League (GOAL) filed an action in federal court against the City of Lowell for failure to process firearm licenses in a timely fashion. The case, Eastman v. Richardson, claims a deprivation of rights under federal law 42 U.S.C § 1983.
Since the beginning of the COVID – 19 crisis most cities and towns were refusing to process applications for new people wishing to exercise their Second Amendment civil rights. The public health crisis also brought about public turmoil and other events caused by civil unrest and critical public safety concerns. This brought about a rush of residents who wanted to take responsibility for their own safety. The new applicants found themselves mired in an antiquated system that could not work during a health related shut down.
While understanding the public health scare, we also expect to be able to exercise our Constitutional rights without interruption. After the initial shut down, the City of Lowell had months to establish a process to deal with new firearm applicants and chose not to.
“The Commonwealth has an antiquated and cumbersome firearm licensing system that has never proven to be a public safety benefit,” said Jim Wallace Executive Director of GOAL. “If the government is going to force us to be saddled with such a system, it is their responsibility to make it work. That especially includes during a health and public safety crisis. The right to defend yourself and loved ones is at the core of the Second Amendment.”
The action requests the court a declaratory judgment that defendant’s (Lowell) refusal to accept and process firearms license applications prevents the lawful possession of firearms and thus violate the Second and Fourteenth Amendments. It also asks for a preliminary and/or permanent injunction restraining defendant from refusing to accept and process firearms applications and such other and further relief, including injunctive relief, against the defendant, and attorney’s fees and costs.