Writing a Letter to Your Police Chief
Sometimes, an applicant for a new or renewal license to carry a firearm is asked to write a letter to their chief regarding the “reason for issuance” requested on their license.
What should you put on each letter? Each city and town is looking for slightly different information. There is no one effective format that will always work across the state.
In other words, there are no guaranteed formula letters. But effective letters typically address the same three subject areas:
Your reasons for wanting the license. You may wish to use as an opening phrase that you have “reason to fear injury to your person or property”, and go on to explain why you personally have that reason. That’s a phrase directly out of the law (Chapter 140, section 131). It is the only reason mentioned in the law, which also implies that it is the opposite of a license issued for target practice only.
Facts testifying to your stability of character. Think of the opening paragraph of a cover letter to a resume, and you can envision the kind of character references necessary. Perhaps how long you’ve lived in the town, how long you’ve had a license without incident, or perhaps your community service would be applicable here.
Your experience in handling firearms. Typical letters also address your ability to handle firearms. Detail the training you’ve had, or even the training you intend to take. If you have been active in firearms competition, mention it.
Remember that many police chiefs who request these letters are essentially looking for reassurance that you will not be an embarrassment to them in the future. A well-written letter can send that encouraging message.
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