The Truth About Concealed Carry Licensing Laws

Lowell Massachusetts Police Superintendent William Taylor (courtesy lowellsun.com)

“A security guard wants to protect himself and improve his job prospects by being able to apply for positions as an armed security guard,” lowellsun.com reports. “A store owner wants to feel safe from the threat of robbery. They’re among four city residents — three male, one female — who have applied to the Lowell [Massachusetts] Police Department — and received — an unrestricted license to carry a firearm in public. The approvals are the first since the department earlier this year updated its gun policy, adding two controversial requirements: applicants must take a safety course and submit a ‘written supplement’ — or essay — explaining the reason(s) for seeking the license.” You ready for this? Here are The Sun’s summaries of the four concealed carry applicants’ essays . . .

A security guard who is a father of two young children wrote, “We do not live in the safest part of the city.” After citing crime statistics for Lowell and his Second Amendment right to bear arms, he added, “I strongly believe that being a responsible gun owner is a responsibility and a priority; firearms safety is not only a precaution but a way of life.”

A small business owner, citing news reports about robberies at stores like his, wrote he fears being robbed, adding that carrying a firearm will enable him to worry less and focus more on expanding his business. “My first defense is always to try and safely remove myself then reach for another form of defense like pepper spray before my firearm, but the option needs to be my decision to make in society,” he wrote.

A woman who moved to Lowell from Chelmsford, where she had a longtime unrestricted license, wrote, “I have had a permit for 10 years without any violations. I am a mandated reporter and extremely experienced in de-escalation techniques and have also taken self-defense classes.”

A person who was the victim of violent crime and works with city youths wrote he’s never been arrested and doesn’t drink alcohol, use drugs, or smoke cigarettes. He stressed safety and personal protection.

In the first example, a security guard assumes that Lowell Police Superintendent William Taylor [above] considers the guard’s right to keep and bear arms dependent on the applicant’s local crime rate. Consider the obverse of his argument: if a concealed carry applicant lives in a  “good” neighborhood, he or she sacrifice their right to armed self-defense.

In the second example, a small business owner stresses his deference to his Massachusetts’ “duty to retreat” law (the ridiculous requirement that citizens must seek to retreat and/or run from a life-threatening attack before he or she can use deadly force). A gun will give him peace of mind, which will help him expand his business and generate more tax revenue (presumably).

In the third example, the female applicant insists she’s been a good girl — with an unrestricted license! — for ten years. You know; before she moved towns and lost her right to bear arms. More than that, she’s got mad skillz for stopping bad guys without resorting to perp perforation.

In the fourth example, the applicant feels obliged to tell Lowell’s concealed carry gatekeeper that he doesn’t smoke cigarettes. I know the Bay State is as PC as they come, but has it got to the point where citizens feel that smokers have fewer Constitutional rights than non-smokers?

When I lived in Rhode Island, I faced an even more “comprehensive” process to obtain the state’s permission to carry a firearm. In addition to training, fingerprinting, a criminal background check, an application fee and notarized recommendations from three people who knew me, the municipal permitting authority required an essay on my reasons for applying for a concealed carry license.

Before I wrote my essay, I accompanied a friend on his rent collection rounds — to establish the “fact” that I regularly carried large amounts of cash in bad neighborhoods. I joined a local pistol club (in a bad part of town) and travelled hither and yon with a friend who bought and sold firearms — to establish the “fact” that I was the target of a potential gun grab. All that to bolster other arguments that I was “special” (e.g., documented threats against my life).

The officer in charge of Providence’s concealed carry license applicants interviewed my referees. One day, seven months beyond the legally required processing time, he showed up at my door for a face-to-face interrogation. The first words out of his mouth: “I don’t want to hear anything about the Second Amendment.”

Texas is far from perfect when it comes to firearms freedom. The Lone Star State imposes a licensing system for residents seeking to exercise their natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to bear arms.

But at least I didn’t have to prove my “need” to carry. At least my application wasn’t subject to the whims of a single individual — holding my rights in their hand like a mother holding candy, demanding her child make the bed (properly!), do the dishes (all of them!), finish their homework (show it to me!) and tell her how much they love her (say it like you mean it!) before grudgingly handing over the reward.

Truth be told, gun control reflects the wider infantilization of America. By conditioning Americans to beg for their birthright, licensing laws perpetuate this dysfunctional dependency. Equally, concealed carry licensing is a fundamentally degrading process. Humiliating. You might even say perverted. Get off your knees America! That’s all I have to say about that.

comments

  1. avatar Sian says:

    It’s not a right if you have to beg for permission.

    1. avatar Stoopid1 says:

      Exactly, that is why civil war is coming.

      1. avatar Publius says:

        I fear you overestimate Americans. As long as Americans have cheap beer and televised sports, they won’t be bothered to get truly outraged about anything. Add in the fact that roughly 75% of adults in the US are overweight or worse (with roughly 33% being obese or worse) and it’s a done deal. If someone already can’t be bothered to turn off the TV and get their fat ass off the couch, do you really think that a little more infringement on their rights is going to make a difference?

        1. avatar WuzNtMe says:

          I’ve never met anyone so fat that their finger didn’t fit in the trigger guard. You don’t have to be GI Joe to make a contribution. Don’t be such an elitist prick.

        2. avatar Stoopid1 says:

          I agree with much of the idea of what you say. Americans in general are fat/lazy/content.

          I just don’t agree to the extent you suggest. I think there are enough preparing to fight to actually win.

        3. avatar bob321 says:

          History has shown that the American citizen will usually rise up to the challenge, but they tend to wait until the 11th hour. Let us hope it is not necessary, though.

        4. avatar Jim Thurman says:

          You’re absolutely correct. And this is why when the SHTF, and history proves it will, there will be a lot of casualties in the process…people who cannot, or will not stand up for themselves. Oh well, that means more resources left for the rest of us….

    2. avatar Albert Nygren says:

      I agree 100%. Having to ask for a carry permit and then having to meet someone else’s ideas of who should get a permit are all violations of the 2nd Ame4ndment which states that, The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” All of those rules about who can have a carry permit and who can’t are “infringements”! Therefore they are illegal according to the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution and should be struck down by the courts and anyone who has been convicted of anything regarding these rules she receive compensation in the form of money and strong rules that any if they are ever harassed again for carrying a firearm should receive 1 million dollars in punitive damages for each occurrence. Then, authorities might get the message that both the Constitution and it’s 2nd Amendment are real and should be obeyed!

  2. avatar pod says:

    The cop in Providence needs his department-issued Taser judiciously applied to his groin area. Repeatedly. Then smacked ten times in succession. Then tarred and feathered in the town square.

    1. avatar SD3 says:

      As long as vacuous retards like that cop *stay* in Providence it’s fine with me.

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        Providence cops are not known for their class or honesty. It’s a political job, just like everything else in Providence.

        The level of corruption in Li’l Rhody is off the charts.

        1. avatar TruthTellers says:

          And it’ll get worse before it gets better, but I doubt it will ever get better.

          Best option is head west and never look back.

        2. avatar vortex says:

          hey truth,
          going all the way west is not totally a cure. Though not as bad as the EAST, there are POWERS up and down the Pacific Coast trying to take us that direction.
          Rural California, Oregon, and Washington, need to somehow separate themselves from the stranglehold of the “METRO” areas Progressive Biases, that are infectiously contaminating the lives of hard working Everyday people.

  3. avatar Vhyrus says:

    “I don’t want to hear anything about the second amendment.”

    I have never punched another human out of emotion before, but I am not sure I could have restrained myself had I been the recipient of those words.

    1. avatar pod says:

      Generally an easygoing guy, but god I would have needed my friends to hold me back if I heard that cop mouth off like that. He should be relieved of his duty weapon and have his badge shredded.

      1. avatar FedUp says:

        When he finally ‘pushes’ hard enough to successfully relieve himself again, he can fish his duty weapon out of the toilet bowl.

        Just another sign that Robert grew up where people have very different thought processes than I have.

        When I first came to TTAG, I thought Robert rather Fuddish and possibly even “progressive”. Then I found out that he was raised in a very progressive environment. Over the years I’ve seen our ‘gut reactions’ to 2A issues becoming closer to each other.

        1. avatar Publius says:

          @FedUp

          I agree, over the last few years, Rob has grown a lot in regard to his stance on the Second Amendment. When I first started reading TTAG in it’s early days, he and I disagreed quite a bit. Now we only disagree when he goes on his once or twice a year “no dissent allowed!” rants.

        2. avatar kenneth says:

          I’ve only been here for a few years, but if the stuff about RFs early attitudes is true, he has certainly been ‘Texasified’ now!
          Completely agreed. Its a free country and each makes their own choices, but I. for one, would rather die on my feet than live on my knees. Here in Montana, us cowboys call it; “going out with our boots on”. Don’t imagine that Texicans feel too much differently.
          “If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”
          ― Samuel Adams

        3. avatar radar says:

          You Know… for Texas being “TEXAS” they ( as a State) are Not always “Texasified” in some cases Texas has “LEFT the STATE” Capitol! How could open carry or
          (PRINTing? not sure) but for sure OPEN CARRY have been ILLEGAL? Must be them folk from Maine, Mass., NY, Conn, or Kommiefornia infiltrating the gene pool of “TEXANS” ………

      2. avatar Publius says:

        Screw that, as a government employee who took an oath to uphold the Constitution, he should be spending a decade in general population prison for outright saying that he doesn’t want to hear about the Constitution.

    2. avatar Ralph says:

      “I don’t want to hear anything about the second amendment.”

      Nor did he need to. Because if it wasn’t for 2A, he simply would have told RF to go f himself, and that would have been that.

    3. avatar Leo Edwards says:

      Exactly! Imagine them raiding your house without a warrant saying “I don’t want to hear anything about the 4th amendment!”

  4. avatar Southerner says:

    It is not a right if you have to pay a tax on it!

  5. avatar William says:

    A good post. Thanks for posting it.

  6. avatar Geoff PR says:

    I predict a new market for professionally-written firearm essays.

    Isn’t TTAG’s Rad Man a Mass. resident, along with Ralph?

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      I just renewed my MA LTC. No essays, the reason why I wanted a license was “all lawful purposes,” three references that are never checked and that was that.

      In this state, your town or city is your country. Fortunately, I live in the America part of Massachusetts.

      I feel bad for Bostonians, who live in a different country. But I do have a good laugh at their expense when I carry there knowing that they can’t.

      1. avatar Warlocc says:

        Same for me. The local police are even pro-open carry here. You’d never guess I was less than an hour south of Boston.

      2. avatar Geoff PR says:

        “I feel bad for Bostonians, who live in a different country. But I do have a good laugh at their expense when I carry there knowing that they can’t.”

        …And it’s a whole helluva lot cheaper than NYC, where it takes the “good word” from someone in the Orthodox community (and 18 grand!) to carry…

  7. avatar Mk10108 says:

    “By conditioning Americans to beg for their birthright, licensing laws perpetuate this dysfunctional dependency.”

    Nailed it.

    As for the CCW being humiliating. Not so much. More like time consuming, annoying, and paying tax to agree to lawfully protect yourself.

  8. avatar ThomasR. says:

    Yep. That’s the reason I decided to OC here in NM. I can do so without needing to beg permission from what are by definition, my masters. Whether it’s a may issue, or shall issue CCL; it still comes down to needing permission from the state, to practice a privilege, not a right.

    Since then, eight years later, even if we went to constitutional carry, I would still OC. Why should I allow the irrational fears of those that have decided to be powerless, helpless and defenseless; that have abdicated their responsibility as an American citizen to be the first line of defense in protection of themselves and their community; keep me from proudly bearing openly the single most restricted and controlled tool on the planet? and that has been the single most recognizable symbol of those that are free versus being a peasant, peon or slave for all of recorded history?

  9. avatar CarlosT says:

    These practices would be completely unacceptable if applied to any other right, or in almost any other context, really.

    While I do prefer Constitutional carry, Washington’s system is pretty much as lightweight as it gets. You apply at a local law enforcement office (police or sheriff), and get fingerprinted at that time. They have a statutory maximum of thirty days to issue the license. All their checking has to be completed in those thirty days in order to issue the license on time.

    Renewing is even easier. Just go in and fill out the application, check the “Renewal” box, and pay the fee. No new fingerprints, no waiting, just a new license valid for another five years, right then and there.

    1. avatar radar says:

      If you are talking Washington State, they still have a sucky gun buying- basically registered at the Sheriffs Departments with every purchase.

  10. avatar Frank Masotti says:

    No matter what is said, they are unconstitutional. “The right to keep and bare arms shall not be infringed”. Even the 10th can not trump that. That’s why in states like Alaska, Arizona and others it’s called constitutional carry.

    P.S. Please excuse my spelling if I misspelled something. I just woke up.

    1. avatar tdiinva says:

      The reason that the 10th doesn’t trump the 2nd or any of the Bill of Rights is the 14th Amendment. As originally written the Bill of Rights only applied to the Central government. The States were free to infringe to their heart’s content.

      1. avatar Frank Masotti says:

        I might agree that the states could infringe all they want, but, Brown verses the Board of education put a stop to that thought. It forced scholl intigration throughout the country, thus the states can not infringe all they want.

        1. avatar tdiinva says:

          The 14th Amendmend precedes Brown v Board of Education by about 90 years.

      2. avatar CDB says:

        “The States were free to infringe to their heart’s content.”

        Not so. That is what the Supremacy Clause in Article VI is for:

        “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.”

        All States, by the very act of joining the United States of America, become subject to the supreme law, the United States Constitution.

        The legal definition of infringement is “the encroachment, breach, or violation of a right, law, regulation, or contract.” To encroach is to “enter by stealth,” “enter the domain of another,” “impose,” “pry,” etc.

        Almost all State and Federal gun-control laws run contrary to the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution because they impose upon us, they pry into our lives, and they enter the domain of our Rights, either overtly or stealthily, with the purpose of depriving us of them. That is simply a fact, not an opinion.

        Now…what are you going to do about it?

    2. avatar Mark N. says:

      Remember that until McDonald v. City of Chicago, the Second Amendment was merely an injunction against Federal interference that did not apply to the states. (In fact, until the 14th Amendment, no rights under the federal constitution were held to be applicable to the states.) Hence, states (and municipalities where there was no state law pre-emption) were legally allowed to set whatever restrictions they wanted on the ownership and carriage of firearms, which included complete bans. Ever since, various groups have been fighting–with variable success–a multitude of state and locally imposed rules.

      1. avatar Frank Masotti says:

        We always had the right, McDonald v. City of Chicago just forced the issue. IMHO. I am no layer.

      2. avatar larryinTX says:

        Sit around a day or 2 contemplating why 2A is not just a part of 1A, and you’ll discover that is wrong. “Congress shall make no law” clearly restricts congress, and only congress. “Shall not be infringed” is not followed with “by Congress”. It is not followed by any qualifier at all, which reads to any thinking person as “by anybody, period”. If it meant by the federal government only, it would have been incorporated into 1A like the other rights intended to be protected from the federal government only. And you don’t need to be a laiar to understand that.

    3. avatar Baldwin says:

      Bearing arms with bare arms is ok.

  11. avatar anonymoose says:

    Smoking is an age-old boogeyman for the libbies. Unless it’s weed, it just has to be stamped out everywhere, just like civilian gun ownership.

  12. avatar Rusty Chains says:

    This is exactly the sort of behavior I generally expect in enemy territory. It does sadden me to see what has happened to both the spirit of freedom and the refusal of people to accept responsibility to destroy this kind of tyranny. In 241 years Massachusetts has gone from the kind of place that would tar and feather the fools responsible for this, to a bunch of wimps who will write a letter begging their political masters to allow them to exercise the single most important item in the Bill of Rights!

    If you only have the rights that your political masters allow you to exercise, you have no rights at all!

  13. avatar Jay in Florida says:

    What a bunch of crap.
    Although I had to go through worse in New York.
    I have had permits from 4 states. Once I got my NYS unrestricted permit. None of the others even questioned me. Just took my application and a check and I was good to go. 2 were handed to me by the Sheriff on the spot.

  14. avatar Evan says:

    “I dont want to hear anything about the Second Amendment”

    Hmmmmm. Then we have nothing further to discuss, do we…..I am glad i live in a Free State

    1. avatar Ebby123 says:

      He’d fit right in at the Nuremberg trials.

  15. avatar Andrew Lias says:

    Illinois while far from a “free state” is certainly better than that. What a complete load of crap. Did these people ever remember the oath they took or were their fingers crossed behind their backs when they took it?

  16. avatar FormerWaterWalker says:

    What a load of guano. An essay you say? So if you’re a functional illiterate you’re screwed? Pay a poll tax? Name and recite the constitution? It sure makes Illinois look better…

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      The essay is a local requirement, not a state requirement. For example, in my town, no essay was required and my reason was “all lawful purposes.”

      The state requires me to list three references (I listed three out of state lawyers), but there’s no law requiring anyone to check them and my town doesn’t.

      There’s no state requirement to demonstrate proficiency by target shooting, but Boston has such a requirement. There’s no interview required by state law but Boston requires one.

      The chief LEOs have all the power here. Fortunately, my town’s chief is a good guy who thinks highly of 2A. Some chiefs are nothing but arrogant, ignorant bums with bad attitudes.

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        I assume you are describing “may issue”, no?

  17. avatar Jim Bullock says:

    So, let’s see… *we* have the means (and one presumes the right) to impose our preferences on you with force, while *you* do not have the means (and one presumes the right) to even defend your preferences when you are imposed upon.

    Why do I keep remembering Chariman Mao’s aphorism that “All political power comes from the barrel of a gun.”

  18. avatar Sixpack70 says:

    I’m glad I don’t live in MA anymore. Two years was enough for me. I actually liked the state and where I lived in Western MA, but the gun laws were hot garbage. I did have an LTC A because my police chief was a 2A guy.

  19. avatar Anon in CT says:

    The CLEO of my town in CT is a good guy, and he and his staff have been very helpful to me on firearms stuff, but I shouldn’t have to ask. And I know that folks living 1 mile to my south and 2 miles to my north have to deal with a very different legal climate.

  20. avatar gs650g says:

    When will Lowell Mass start assigning cops to homes for protection they won’t let citizens provide for themselves?

  21. avatar Ebby123 says:

    “The first words out of his mouth: “I don’t want to hear anything about the Second Amendment.”

    That made my blood pressure go up by 14 points… seriously. Just wow.

    Why doesn’t he say what he really means? “F*CK the rule of law – it’s inconvenient to my tyranny.”
    That’s the kind of person that shoots women and children and pushes them into a mass grave with a smile on his face… Bloody. Fascist. Pig.

  22. avatar wright says:

    Is tarring and feathering still legal?

  23. avatar AnarchoCatholic says:

    I hear so much about Texas but here in NH all that is required to carry concealed is a flimsy 10 dollar piece of paper with your name and address on it that’s good for 3 years. I even picked up my wife’s without her even being present. We almost went constitutional carry recently except our govna vetoed it. In which case we would have had virtually no gun laws in this state, to buy, own, sell, carry, etc. and I live like 15 minutes over the boada from Lowell.

  24. avatar PeterC says:

    About twenty years after I got my first MA permit to carry, our local police chief (who was also the town drunk…it was a small town) asked me why I wanted to renew my permit. I replied, “Because I’d prefer to carry legally.” I got my renewal. Since then, I’ve moved to AZ. No more chickens#it.

  25. avatar Turd Ferguson says:

    Just moved to RI last year from NH. As someone in the comments mentioned, NH is a one sheet application and a $10 fee. 10 days later you pick up your PRL.

    Getting my RI CCL was actually not as difficult as I was told it would be when I moved South. I had to take the NRA pistol course, qualify, submit some paperwork & references and a short “essay.” It took some time to get all the paperwork in order but I had my CCL about 90 days later. I was expecting to have to fight for months but I was pleasantly surprised that it was issued without further hassle beyond the paperwork. Although the cop I got the application from did try to send me to the attorney general (a may issue authority…nice try ahole).

    I have been told that RI has started to relax the arbitrary refusal to issue CCLs that they used to practice. I believe it took a lawsuit against East Providence in 2015 to open up those floodgates.

  26. avatar Nanashi says:

    “The first words out of his mouth: “I don’t want to hear anything about the Second Amendment.””

    OK, let’s talk the Fourteenth.

  27. avatar Mickey Meador says:

    I can only add one thing to what has been said already:
    Electing Hillary Clinton to President will destroy our Constitutional government and remove all our rights so many have died for.

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