Massachusetts Gives In, Will Process Some Gun Permits Under Court Order

Charlie Baker Governor Gun Control court order

Image: Angela Rowlings/Boston Herald

It’s come to this: it’s now news when the state of Massachusetts decides to comply with court orders requiring them to reinstate firearms licenses for some applicants. They may be relenting, but they’re still not making it easy.

“It’s a waste of time; it’s a waste of resources,” said Jason A. Guida, a former attorney for a state firearms board who has represented more than a dozen people who successfully appealed to win back their license, including a former state trooper. “Both individual license holders and local police departments are still being forced to go to court at their expense and litigate these issues, knowing full well that not a single judge has ruled in support of this administration’s decision.”

What brought all of this about?

The legal clash began in May, when state officials told local chiefs that the state’s Firearm Licensing Review Board, created in 2004 to consider whether people with misdemeanor criminal convictions could have a firearms license, had been clearing applicants who the administration said should be otherwise disqualified under federal rules. The state’s new interpretation was prompted by arguments from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

State officials then urged chiefs — by law, the firearm licensing authority — to pull licenses from roughly 340 people.

Because why not? This is, after all, the state where Attorney General Maura Healey decided to become a law unto herself, unilaterally re-interpreted the state’s gun laws and outlawed the sale of scary-looking black rifles.

A number of those whose tickets were pulled sued, arguing that nothing in the law prevents them from obtaining a government permission slip to exercise their Second Amendment rights.

…(I)n at least 14 cases, district court judges have ruled in the petitioner’s favor, saying either the state had overstepped its legal authority or, in one recent case, relied on an “erroneous legal interpretation,” according to a judge who ruled in favor of Phil Jones, a West Roxbury man who the state had originally cleared to own a gun in 2005.

The state defied the rulings, though…until now. Word has apparently come down from Governor Charlie Baker’s administration to local chiefs of police that the state will no longer oppose reinstatement of the permits in the face of court orders.

But in Massachusetts, extremism in defense of civilian disarmament isn’t a vice. The state will only approve permits they are ordered to issue by a court. Which means that all of those who have lost their gun rights will have to sue to get them back. The state is banking that most of the affected individuals won’t want to go to the trouble or expense.

(Phil) Jones, who had his gun license revoked following a 1998 drunk-driving conviction, had successfully petitioned for reinstatement before the state’s review board in 2005, only to have Boston police strip it again in the wake of the state’s May directive.

He said he has since spent at least $2,500 in legal costs and transfer fees for the firearms he had turn over. “It shouldn’t have happened in the first place,” he said.

So Bay Staters who have been wrongly stripped of their gun permits by the state are going to have to buck up to get them back.




  1. avatar Rick the Bear says:

    Wow. Hell is cooling off ever so slightly. I suppose that some improvement is better than none.

    Now, about Healey’s overreach………

    1. avatar frank speak says:

      ….It’s a start….

  2. avatar NORDNEG says:

    Massachusetts has spawned some of the worst liberals in the country, even got their liberal spy in the G O P , that would be ROMNEY the RINO,,,

    1. avatar Yarbles says:

      And exported him to his Moron kind in Utah…

    2. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

      Mittens the Mouse,the RINO that roared,a most worthless POS.

    3. avatar George T says:

      Romney is a huge disappointment. Sick of these Republicans who claim to have the moral high ground. MA is a sh*thole when it comes to gun rights. The Black gun narrative is getting real tiresome. How about spending time going after criminals and illegal aliens?

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        ” How about spending time going after criminals and illegal aliens?”

        In a Dimwitocrat controlled state, you want the authorities to go after their voter base?

  3. avatar Arandom Dude says:

    Commies will be commies.

    1. avatar LazrBeam says:

      Commies are gonna com.

  4. avatar Sam I Am says:

    The ride is the punishment. Again, no penalty for defying court orders, so why not defy?

    As onerous as it is to pay to have a judge overturn a law, and then pay again to have your specific case rendered in accordance with a court ruling, this is actually no different than going to small claims court.

    As small claims, you must actually get a trial date, attend trial, win a judgement, then petition for an enforcement order, then wait for whichever jurisdiction to carry out the enforcement order, than sue again if that enforcement order is disobeyed.

    And that doesn’t include the fun to be had if your opponent appeals to have the small claims issue bucked up to district court.

    Personal claims through the courts is becoming a game of “make me” for the governmental agencies.

    1. avatar joefoam says:

      I’m sure you’ve heard the old saw ‘you can’t fight city hall. It applies here. They have nothing but time and unlimited resources to harass you. I’ve been advised by a city attorney that unless I have the same they will wait me out.

      1. avatar arc says:

        Maybe its time the citizens of Massachusetts stop asking for permission in the beast’s courts while playing by the beast’s rules. Neither justice nor respect for rights, will be found in a court room.

        1. No permit…A MA resident CAN’T purchase/posess/carry/handle/own, any firearms or ammo….A local police and state issued Privilege…ALL according to DemoCommies, and some Globalist GOP-RINOs…Including (R= RINO) CHARLIE “THE BARKER” BAKER….FRIEND OF MA DEMOCOMMIES….

        2. avatar arc says:

          Again, asking the beast for permission.

    2. avatar David in MA says:

      “The ride is the punishment. Again, no penalty for defying court orders, so why not defy?”

      Sounds like contempt of court to me.

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        “Sounds like contempt of court to me.”

        The courts have no enforcement means. Who does a local judge turn to in order to arrest cities guilty of contempt of court? Who does a state judge turn to? Who does a federal judge turn to when the guilty party is government itself? All enforcement vehicles belong to the executive branch, which cannot be “forced” (actual force) to arrest government officials who pay LE salaries.

        Appealing to voters to turn out those politicians in violation of court orders is pointless; the politicians were elected by the same voters that would be responsible for turning out the politicians.

    3. avatar possum says:

      The ones who make the laws break the law and it’s all fine and dandy. That pisses me off

  5. avatar Michael says:

    Another state lost to the progressives without resistance. Glad I live in a free state. Hope we can keep it. -30-

    1. avatar Banana republic, if you can keep it says:

      Massachussetts, a cradle of tyranny.

    2. avatar frank speak says:

      maybe they should put an orange tip on the rifle of that minuteman statue up there?

  6. avatar Roger J says:

    Throw the Massachusetts democrats into Boston Harbor.

  7. avatar Daniel Silverman says:

    The next step is to sue them for their legal fees, time off work etc. If they get nailed for the the state might decide it isn’t worth their expense to deny rights of others.

    1. avatar TomC says:

      Suing the state for legal fees etc only makes lawyers (on both sides) richer — but it has ZERO impact on the state because the state has unlimited resources both for the legal fight and to pay off any judgements.

      Being a state is almost as good as being a utility company — people can sue you, but if they win, you just charge them more to raise the money to pay them off.

      1. avatar Bob Jones says:

        That’s why the price of gasoline sometimes goes up without an increase in the price of crude oil. The companies get a bit short because of fines or lawsuits so they recoup their losses at the pump. A billion dollar judgement against a gasoline supplier can be paid off in a month of higher prices. Probably the same for pharma companies.

    2. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      Rather than attempt to sue those state officials for the expenses that the victims incurred to sue them, the victims should petition their local federal prosecutor to prosecute those state officials for deprivation of rights under color of law, 18 U.S. Code § 242.

      18 U.S. Code § 242 provides for significant fines and prison time in such situations. THAT will provide the necessary incentive for Massachusetts state employees to stop violating their laws and court orders.

  8. avatar Ralph says:

    The Irish Mafia that runs the Commiewealth of Massivetwoshits won’t quit — ever. And far too many of the citizens of this state are sheepish dolts who don’t know that they are being used by the Harvard-trained socialists who claim to know everything.

    Don’t look for any changes in the way the state does business. The politicians have become very proficient at manipulating the people through clever propaganda and buying the people’s loyalty with their own money.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:


      I recently stated that the entity who is most ruthless and unbounded (e.g. willing to do evil) will usually be in power. Sounds like Massachusetts state employees are proving that to be true.

  9. avatar former water walker says:

    Ralph I thought ILLinois sucked. They were court ordered to do shall issue. Mass sucks worse…congrats on yer football team. LA is pathetic😄

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      Thanks, FWW — but while I like the Pats, I’m actually a Giants fan. And that’s not an easy thing to be.

      Illinois was ordered to shape up by the 7th Circuit which, while not pro-gun, is at least principled. Massivetwoshits is part of the 1st Circuit, a bunch of left wing stumblebums who never met an infringement they didn’t like.

  10. avatar m. says:

    in Lra (lawyer-run America), goober-ment “gets to comply” but no punishment, no recall, no removal.

    1. avatar Kyle says:

      Recall that doesn’t happen with torches and pitchforks rarely makes any meaningful impression.

  11. avatar TommyJay says:

    Some group should organize a class action suit for these folks. It would be long process, but they could throw in a $50M punitive damages claim.

    1. avatar ColoradoKid says:

      My thoughts as well.

  12. avatar GunnyGene says:

    Mass sure has changed (for the worst) since 1632, when my many times removed great grandad arrived in Boston, and was one of the founders of Ipswich.

  13. avatar VicRattlehead says:

    There’s a certain irony in the fact that seemingly all the states involved in the birth of liberty are now the worst offenders at trying to destroy it.

    1. avatar John in Ohio says:

      It’s because tyranny wins in the long run; absent any major action by the People. This inch-by-inch game to restore the exercise of an unalienable individual right is a loser. It buys time for the system and allows those who won’t do the heavy lifting to claim that they are engaged in the solution.

      The real solution is mass civil disobedience. Refuse to back down. If that doesn’t work, then actions that formed this nation are all that remains. This is the only way. Anything less only kicks the tyranny can further down the road. Eventually, liberty runs out of road and tyranny wins.

  14. avatar m. says:

    they don’t hate liberty, they just don’t want you to have any of it

  15. avatar EzGoingKev says:

    The problem is the people making the laws have no skin in the game. They are all above the law.

  16. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

    Perhaps Commiechusetts sees the witting of the 2 nd. amendment on the parchment with regards to the New Yorkistan case to be heard by the SCOTUS,naw they are to block headed for that to be the case.

  17. avatar Aleric says:

    SUE THE Helll out of them in class action lawsuits until they relent.

  18. avatar Bill Wright says:

    John Adams wrote the firsr constitution for MA. He included the right of the people to keep and bear arms. Although now ignored.

  19. avatar HuntingtonGuy says:

    And yet these ahole anti constitutionalists will continue to be elected. They will continue to abuse the very people who they’ve swear an oath to protect but also the same people who hired them…
    FWIW, I live on Long Island, NY. Massholes have it sweetclmpared to downstate NY.

    1. avatar SAFEupstateFML says:

      I thought LI had the same laws as upstate…… not that it’s too much better but at least no license for SAFE longarms. Would be interested in learning more on your county’s permit process (what actually happens not what is on the books)

  20. avatar M1Lou says:

    Glad I don’t have to live there anymore.

  21. avatar Ed Schrade says:

    These license board people broke state law and should be removed from their jobs, be forced to pay damages to license holders and spend some time in jail and be barred from ever holding office in the state.

    1. avatar G says:

      won’t make a difference unless it comes from their personal funds. Mandated by the Courts that the fine must be paid from their personal funds.

  22. avatar GS650G says:

    The more gun control and restrictions a state puts on the more likely they are to screw the residents in the end.

    1. avatar frank speak says:

      the more restrictive they become the more they are ripe for legal action…..

  23. avatar JJ says:

    Sounds like a good time for a ” Class Action suit”

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