Wellesley Police Chief Cunningham shows reporters rifles (courtesy bostonglobe.com)

“Top police officials and activists from Boston and area communities blasted the state Senate Tuesday for watering down gun control legislation by stripping a provision aimed at keeping rifles and shotguns out of the hands of dangerous people,” bostonglobe.com reports. Yes, well, that’s not exactly how I’d put it. Skipping ahead, let’s see what firearms-related “public safety” provision the police seek. “The unusual public criticism by police chiefs comes after the Senate last week voted to remove a House provision giving chiefs discretion to deny firearms identification cards, required to buy shotguns and rifles, to people they deem unsuitable. They now have that discretion over licenses to carry handguns.” So, what we’ve got here . . .

is a classic failure to communicate. Someone forgot to tell the chiefs about the part of the United States Constitution – to which they’ve sworn an oath to uphold and defend – that says the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. Making police chiefs the gatekeepers for Americans’ gun rights, whether we’re talking about handguns, shotguns, rifles or yes machine guns, transforms it from a right to a privilege.

And people wonder why I’m skeptical about police. Just sayin’. Anyway, I’m happy to play hail to the chief here, so that we can see what passes for “logic” amongst the statists making a living from the public purse in The Bay State.

“Are people really going to be any less dead if they’re killed with a rifle or a shotgun than a handgun?” Police Chief Terry Cunningham of Wellesley [above center] said at the morning press conference . . .

Police chiefs say they and their officers know their communities and are well positioned to screen out potentially dangerous people from gaining access to shotguns and rifles.

In other words, Chief Cunningham knows the 27k residents of his town well enough to decide whether or not they should be able to exercise their gun rights – for hunting, sport, recreation, self-defense or defense against government tyranny (ironically enough) – depending on criteria that he creates.

I wonder if Boston Police Chief Thomas F. Sullivan has the same level of intimate not-to-say-psychic insight into his town’s 180k residents. Or maybe that’s not the point.

Anyway, a “compromise” is being hammered-out; which the Globe somehow failed to secure. But one thing’s for certain: Massachusetts’ residents’ gun rights will never be secure as long as their politicians and police consider themselves the last word on public safety.

Cunningham, the Wellesley police chief who is also a former president of the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association, said it was very rare to have police chiefs protest at the State House on such short notice. But, he added in a telephone interview, the rally came about because the disputed measure “is really important to us. It’s important to keep people safe.”

Which is why Wellesley residents seeking a license to carry a gun must pay the Chief’s peeps $100, complete a firearms safety course, write a letter “detailing” their needs for a license to carry firearms and two letters of recommendation from non-relatives. As well as fingerprints, of course. How safe is that?

69 Responses to MA Police Chiefs Pissed at Lack of Power Over Rifle, Shotgun Licenses

  1. nothing gets me more excited than having another carbon based life form responsible for my Constitutional rights.

    • Agreed. I do believe however, we’d be much better off with silicone based life forms in charge.

      • but silicon life forms are so easily taken down by selenium!

        (i assume you are making an Evolution reference and not an x-files reference).

    • There is where you are wrong. They are not our rights, they are privileges granted to us by our glorious government. That almost made me sick to write.

  2. hmmm….is there a tax to vote ? Oh, wait….

    Or, free voter ID cards ?…umm, er…nevermind, too burdensome and racist

    But, $100 requirement to carry….sounds legit.

    • Have the police chief detail in a 2 page letter where his magical insight on 27k people he does not know goes beyond a regular NICS check, along with 2 non-related or employed by him character witnesses with a letter of similar credentials. F*** these statists.

  3. Don’t you all just love watching a bunch of “highly trained” gubmint types whine and cry that someone took away their oversight on something they shouldn’t have had oversight of in the first place? Was there any violin music playing in the background during their press conference? Was there any cheese served with that whine? And if this is so gosh almighty important, is there no other crime occurring that needed their attention? I’m guessing that all these chiefs have so little on their plates, that they felt fully justified gathering together to waste half a day on this. So Massachusetts must be the safest state in the country, with no rapes, no drive by shootings, no muggings, no robberies, no arson, no stabbings, no crime of any kind to occupy their time. And if that is true, then they don’t need gun control laws.

    • All these uppity citizens clamoring about wanting to own guns without MY permission.

      Well, there’s only one solution for that.

      We need to NIP IT!

  4. Glad I live in a shall-issue state.

    I wouldn’t know my County Sheriff if I bumped into him in the store. I’m sure He has the same knowledge of me…..

  5. Maybe because the rural part of the Commonwealth requested them to put it where the sun doesn’t shine and now they’re all constipated and cranky?

    And is that a picture of a doorman’s convention in Boston?

    • Exactly that, as a resident, I made the requisite phone calls and sent the emails, but as it turns out, my local reps are all fairly pro-2A anyway (Dems included). GOAL has been pretty good about informing the Commonwealth’s gun owners, and while it’s not a win, it could have been much worse. I hate that that’s a good thing, it would be nice to start swinging the pendulum the other way.

      Just like the article says, this has been pushed by Boston and surrounding burbs, it’s a different world as you get further west, minus some of the more prog college towns.

      • while it’s not a win, it could have been much worse.

        And it will be. Rest assured, it will be. Much. Much. Worse.

        Or do you think that this gungrabbing insanity is going to stop?

        • I have no doubt, I am heartened by the growing number of gun owners in the state though. I’ve had a handful of people just in the last week asking what they have to do to get licensed. I provide the direction they need, and a standing invitation to the range.

          They will certainly keep trying, I hope that it engenders growing resistance, that would suit me just fine.

  6. I know i’ve posted this before, but before i moved out of the PRNJ, i went into the Cranford pd to get the form for a firearm ID card and the first words out of the desk officer’s mouth when i asked for it were “what do YOU need a gun for?”. Some of these local smokies really think they should be sole deciders of who can possess a firearm.

    i love arizona.

  7. As police chief, after careful consideration, I don’t think you should have a gun permit since you:

    * have a beard
    * don’t have a beard
    * are Catholic
    * are an atheist
    * wear baggy pants
    * wear expensive clothing
    * have dreadlocks
    * have a shaved head
    * are Hispanic
    * are black
    * live in public housing
    * live in a mansion
    * are shacking up with your boyfriend
    * are a single mother
    * seem nervous
    * seem too cool
    * can’t speak English
    * speak English better than I do
    * don’t know any of my friends
    * know too many of my friends
    * have children at home
    * don’t have children at home
    * have too many speeding tickets
    * have never had a ticket in your entire life
    * drive a pickup
    * drive a BMW
    * filled out the permit form too sloppily
    * filled out the permit form too neatly

    Whatever…I just don’t like you.

    No permit for YOU!

    • I love how the chiefs keep parading their knowledge of the people they govern as why they should be the ones to choose who gets firearms, and yet there is no way they know even 1% of the people they govern enough to choose to take their rights away…

      • No, no, no. The whole idea is that only those 1% will ever be CONSIDERED, the remainder rejected out of hand. For the children.

        And did they bother to report how this plan was going to help anyone? Like, maybe, when the guy comes in to get his application signed, stating his need is “for mass murder”, maybe the chief, in his infinite wisdom, can reason with him.

  8. What a joke! I am from here and this state blows! Like a criminal is going to take the time to go through the licensing process for a rifle or shotgun, go to the store 6 weeks later and buy it, leave a giant paper trail and then go on a criminal rampage with his new rifle! Wake up lawmakers!!!!! Criminals aren’t interested in this process, hence the name criminals..

    • That’s the whole point though! Criminals won’t buy guns in Mass anymore! It’s just too burdensome for them to bother purchasing a firearm. It’s so logical even regular people like you and I can understand it.

      But then again, it’s also so burdensome nobody in the state so famous for standing up to tyranny will be able to jump through all of the loopholes either. Unless that person is known by the local Police Chief to be safe from any sort of anti-tyranny thoughts.

      Time to start chunkin donuts into that river, y’all!

      (and yes, I know criminals will still be able to easily get firearms just the same as before. Nothing will likely ever change that so long as people are greedy and criminals have money to buy guns.)

  9. Already bought and paid for, the MA police chiefs are doing nothing more than living up to the expectations of the local politicians they serve. It’s laughable that they actually might want us to think this is simply a spontaneous expression of concern for our safety.

  10. Sounds like those Massholes need a big bowl of “cry baby soup” and a little “cheese with that whine”

  11. Tbh, had they given discretion, that would have been great! Here’s why:

    All that needed to happen was a Police chief/department deny someone a shotgun or handgun for the home. Someone who has no criminal history or anything. That would have been a direct violation of the heller decision. Brought before the supremes or federal courts, that would have brought down licensing as whole. Too bad they didn’t go full retard!

    • The article says they are working on a compromise to “fix” the issue, so maybe you’ll still get your wish. If so, here’s hoping it goes down as you outlined. That would make it SO much sweeter (if the “fix” ended up killing the law altogether).

  12. These sorry excuses for humans ignore two hugely important points:
    (1) Government must prosecute someone and get a guilty verdict from a jury of the accused person’s peers before they can deny the accused person’s liberties.
    (2) If a community thinks that a person is too dangerous to own firearms, why is the “dangerous” person out on the streets?

    If a “dangerous” person has a violent criminal record and is still dangerous, then our criminal justice system failed and that person should still be in prison.

  13. “Police chiefs say they and their officers know their communities and are well positioned to screen out potentially dangerous people from gaining access to shotguns and rifles.”

    If they are that dangerous, shouldn’t they be locked up? I mean, they know who they are, right?

  14. “some men you just can’t reach” Nice use of quote.

    At least here in New York STATE, our sheriffs wen’t on the record protesting AGAINST the SAFE act. Gives me a glimmer of hope that the anti gun tide can be reversed at some point.

  15. Our Police here in PA (other than Philly of course!) by and large, support our RKBA.

    At least mine do. They’re the people I grew up with. People from our community.

    Looks like things are little different in commie land though. Most of this nanny crap is coming from the Cities (and Feds of course), not rural areas or suburbs.

    What those Cops up there don’t realize is, the further they separate themselves from the citizens they protect is the less people respect the law and the more crime that is committed.

  16. “Police chiefs say they and their officers know their communities”

    No, they do not and they have no interest in doing so. Over the years, they have deliberately alienated themselves from their communities. Even how they speak (e.g. “civilian”) mirrors it. LEO forget they are civilians, too – they are not covered under UCMJ.

    Additionally, how many of those police officers actually live in the communities they work in?

    • Exactly. A close family friend of mine married a guy that became a cop over here. One day we were having a chat at a BBQ and he said “civilians” referring to the public (mind you that I’m active duty army). So I asked him, “what do you mean? you are a civilian!” So he says, “no I’m not”. I reied “what laws are you covered under?” And of course it was “the same law as everyone else”. Then I said “so are you covered under UCMJ?” He didn’t know what it was. Then I started naming off all the shit I could be arrested for, fined for, fired for and he had no idea it was that in depth. Then I told him don’t refer to the public as civilians. F**king clueless t**t.

  17. “MA Police Chiefs Pissed at Lack of Power Over Rifle, Shotgun Licenses”

    Should read:
    MA Police Chiefs Pissed at Lack of ‘supplemental income’ (referring to the “$100 ‘fee’ comment above)
    or
    MA Police Chiefs Pissed at Lack of Total Control

  18. Seriously? Massachusetts Chiefs of Police think they have their fingers on the pulse of the community? More like they have their thumbs up their butts. The proof? Far from possessing superhuman perception into the stability, quality, character and intentions of some 5+ million Massachusetts adults, these self-styled assessors and civil rights gate keepers don’t even rate halfway decent detectors of the unfit among their own ranks! Examples? I’m so glad you asked!

    July 2014: Plymouth, MA police officer Shawn Coughlin has been sentenced to a year and a day in prison; having been convicted in federal court of using excessive force on a man who was handcuffed and then covering it up by falsifying police reports on the incident. Coughlin was reportedly a police sergeant with an otherwise unblemished career.

    July 2014: Waltham, MA police officer Paul Manganelli Jr. plead guilty and has been sentenced to five years in federal prison on child pornography charges. He originally claimed he was running an online sexual predator sting operation; but the investigation revealed he was not assigned or authorized to conduct any such sting and that he never reported any criminal conduct from it.

    October 2013: Lawrence, MA police officer Pedro Lopez, a 15-year veteran, was convicted in federal court of bribery and obstruction of justice for soliciting a bribe from a towing company in exchange for sending business the company’s way.

    As much fun as this is, and by fun I mean infuriating and sickening, I could go on, but how about you check out the 2013 Massachusetts police misconduct report?. Quite a rogues gallery of civil servants (extortionists, drug abusers, civil rights abusers, domestic abusers, pretty much all your big abusers) sworn to serve and protect. Many of whom shouldn’t even be walking the streets, let alone cruising them armed with a gun and a badge. And these are just the ones who’ve been so egregious as to get caught despite cover up assistance from their cop buddies.

    http://masscopblock.org/police-misconduct-database/police-misconduct-reports-for-2013/

    So how about these Masshole police chiefs first demonstrate they have control over the criminals under their command? Then maybe we can talk about these Masstards and the value of their judgment in doling out purchase and carry permits among the public. Fair enough? Have a nice day.

    • In fact, since they are possessed with such amazing abilities, why don’t we hold them responsible for the crimes of the men under their command, like, the fellow going to prison for 5 years takes his chief with him, since he was obviously aware of the criminal nature and actions and did not stop them and remove the man’s badge and gun.

  19. I have come to the conclusion that ANY of these public servants that are for gun control are mentally incapable of holding office simply because if you are unable to read and understand one simple paragraph you have NO business in a position of authority.
    “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed”
    When you read this statement, you notice there are two commas. A well regulated militia (comma) being necessary to the security of a free state (not union) state. This calls for a state militia (comma)
    The right of the people (not the state or the government the PEOPLE) to keep and bear arms ( notice there is NO clause allowing regulation) shall not be infringed. Websters dictionary defines infringe as

    : to do something that does not obey or follow (a rule, law, etc.) ( chiefly US )

    : to wrongly limit or restrict (something, such as another person’s rights)

    There is NO gun regulation or law that can HONESTLY stand against the second amendment.
    There is NO constitutional authority for ANY government or agent of ANY government to limit, regulate, stifle or deny ANY rights affirmed in our founding documents. In reality the constitution and bill of rights were worded and designed to prevent ANY interference with these rights. The limitations in the constitution were specifically directed to the government NOT the people. These public servants are acting OUTSIDE of the law. Making their actions a criminal act. Stop allowing your employees to act as criminals.

  20. Police Chiefs are creatures of the politics in their town.

    Dont blame the Chief for sucking up to them. Blame the voters who put them in charge of the rest of us.

  21. David,

    The Supreme Court’s decision interpreting the Constitution to permit anyone to own and carry a gun is one of the worst decisions ever issued by the court and will almost certainly be overturned by a subsequent Supreme Court decision. The Second Amendment was an 18th century concept to allow a “malitia” to be readily organized since there was no appreciable regular army. Today, the National Guard performs that function. No one should be allowed to buy or own a firearm without having a legitimate reason to do so. Yes, some “bad guys” have guns, but if it were extremely difficult or impossible to obtain a gun, and violations would be severely punished, that number would gradually but undoubtedly decline, eventually to virtually zero. The law should be that anyone found in possession of a firearm should be automatically arrested and held indefinitely until and unless they could prove that they had a legitimate reason to possess that weapon. Violations should be severely punished. And claiming that one is a hunter and owns a long gun for that purpose should not be a justifiable excuse unless they could prove that they are actual hunters who only use their rifle in designated hunting areas.

    • The Supreme Court’s decision interpreting the Constitution to permit anyone to own and carry a gun is one of the worst decisions ever issued by the court and will almost certainly be overturned by a subsequent Supreme Court decision. The Second Amendment was an 18th century concept to allow a “malitia” to be readily organized since there was no appreciable regular army.

      No, actually it was an ancient concept and it had nothing to do with any formal government militia. The “militia” is the general population. This is very clearly understood from the use of the word “militia” in the Constitution and the writing on it by Alexander Hamilton in Federalist #29. Nor was it one of the “worst decisions ever issued by the court,” it was actually one of the best, as it adhered to what the Second Amendment was written to do. There is nothing in the language of the Second Amendment that refers to any concept of a “collective” right to keep and bear arms, nor is there anything in the history of the Second Amendment or the right to keep and bear arms that refers to any such collective right concept. It is a fantastical concoction by the progressives. The reference to “A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state,” is a prefatory clause. It’s just a statement referring to the importance of the protection of the right. The operative clause, “the right of the people to keep and bear arms,” is what protects the right.

      Imagine a right worded, “A wel-educated electorate being necessary to the preservation of a free society, the right of the people to read and compose books shall not be infringed.”

      Now clearly, such an amendment would not be saying that only those who meet some government-defined standard of being “well-educated” have the right to read and write books. It’s a prefatory clause stating the importance of the protection of the right.

      Today, the National Guard performs that function.
      No it doesn’t. The National Guard is not the militia. Technically, officially, the militia is every able-bodied male aged 18-45, via the Militia Act. However, unofficially, via the Constitution, the militia is the general population.
      No one should be allowed to buy or own a firearm without having a legitimate reason to do so.

      No one is “allowed” to buy or own a firearm, it is a fundamental natural right that they have, which goes back to the ancient right of self-defense, which is the most fundamental right in all of nature, as it secures all of the other rights.
      Yes, some “bad guys” have guns, but if it were extremely difficult or impossible to obtain a gun, and violations would be severely punished, that number would gradually but undoubtedly decline, eventually to virtually zero.
      It’s like that in England, and they still have plenty of violent crime. The majority of gun violence in this country occurs in the inner-cities, due to gang violence.

      The law should be that anyone found in possession of a firearm should be automatically arrested and held indefinitely until and unless they could prove that they had a legitimate reason to possess that weapon. Violations should be severely punished. And claiming that one is a hunter and owns a long gun for that purpose should not be a justifiable excuse unless they could prove that they are actual hunters who only use their rifle in designated hunting areas.
      So you now want to violate people’s right to a fair trial as well, the concept of innocent until proven guilty?

      • On your last point, I had that discussion with a different group many years ago. What eventually stopped it was my asking, since they were adamantly in favor of draconian punishments for simply owning a firearm, why not apply that outrage to actual criminals instead? Forget the guns, just arrest and hold anyone you don’t like, without a trial, for as long as you wish?

        The gent speaks well, but apparently has not thought this through. For example, my estimate (which, by law, should be as good as anyone’s) is that there are over a billion operable firearms in the US, how does he plan to make them disappear?

    • Russ:
      a dozen decisions say the militia is the individual.

      Russ and I notice you have prior posts saying gun murder is up. It has CRASHED to levels half of 20 years ago — while gun ownership has increased by 11 million additional owners between the mid 90’s and now(Gallup 2013).

      And thee evidence is that overall murder INCREASES when you remove guns

    • Long story short, one of your arguments is that the only the government should own guns. In a document that actively puts checks on the government’s power, they would say “We, the government, only allow the government to own guns.”

      Yeah…no.

  22. “The unusual public criticism by police chiefs comes after the Senate last week voted to remove a House provision giving chiefs discretion to deny firearms identification cards, required to buy shotguns and rifles, to people they deem unsuitable.”

    And it had stayed in the bill and gotten passed, there would have been second amendment lawyers jumping all over it like crazy because it conflicts with the Heller and McDonald rulings which state that you can’t deny someone the right to own a gun unless they are prohibited by law from owning firearms.

  23. Dear (unelected, unaccountable) police chiefs: people with badges commit crimes at a rate an order of magnitude higher than people with concealed-carry permits.

    Is it any wonder that (elected, accountable) sheriffs generally have reading-comprehension skill sufficient to grasp shall not be infringed, and police chiefs generally do not?

  24. “Making police chiefs the gatekeepers for Americans’ gun rights, whether we’re talking about handguns, shotguns, rifles or yes machine guns, transforms it from a right to a privilege.”

    In my opinion, making police chiefs the gatekeepers for civil rights makes a republic into a police state.

  25. Wait till those gang members crossing over boarder start acting up and not requesting a license to carry. Libtards.

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