courtesy Vox

“Discretion, (Daniel Webster) argued, allows police to wade into that middle ground even when the law might not explicitly ban a person from owning a gun. One example: Perhaps a person’s wife recently told a police officer that someone has suicidal or homicidal thoughts. If that person then comes in and tries to get a license, the police chief could use that discretion to deny the application, even if expressing violent thoughts is not explicitly disqualifying under the law.

“To this point, there are multiple issues within gun violence. An assault weapons ban likely won’t have an effect on suicides, gang shootings, or domestic violence, for example, but it may have a significant effect on mass shooting deaths. Other policies may have different effects in different categories.

“Wherever researchers ultimately land on the effect of individual laws versus the whole picture, there’s little debate that Massachusetts has a fairly robust, effective set of gun laws. That includes not just the licensing system, but also a safe storage law, the registration portal, legal requirements for reporting lost or stolen guns, restrictions on private sellers, bans on assault weapons and large-capacity ammunition magazines, a list of prohibited gun buyers that extends far beyond federal law, oversight on gun dealers that goes above the federal standard, and much more.” –  German Lopez in Vox, I Looked for a State That’s Taking Gun Violence Seriously. I Found Massachusetts.

71 COMMENTS

  1. So what if someone’s wife doesn’t come in and tell police that her husband is suicidal and they deny him his rights anyway?

    • Mandatory reporter law. If anyone ever says or does anything that might possibly indicate that they were thinking about contemplating suicide or are in any way visibly depressed, sad, or not just up-beat and pleasant people, and you DON’T report them immediately to the police, then you’re criminally liable for violating that law, whether or not they actually suicide.

      And you better act real happy about it.

      Or else.

      • It’s because MA hasn’t figured out the right combination of laws that completely eliminate gun violence — those nasty violent guns — and completely eliminate violent behavior, depression, anger, suicidal thoughts, unhappiness, anxiety. Once ways can be found to eliminate all of those things — i.e., change human nature — all will be well. Until those ways are found, more laws are necessary.

      • Ya, the 300,000 dairy white dairy farmers spread out over an entire State usually don’t have much beef with each other. You’d think by now people would realize what causes violent crime, too many people of too many economic and ethnic backgrounds living in proximity to each other.

    • Come on OVER to M-Assachusetts! We got a license for EVERYTHING! The problem is anyone going to give you one! People who think THEY have Constitutional Rights need NOT apply! Oh, and Welcome to Massachusetts! The 14th Amendment has left the building!

      • Not only the 14th, but the 4th as well. And let’s infringe upon the 2nd, by using hyperbole, and violating people’s 1st Amendment rights to speak their mind. Totally FUBAR all the way around.

        • They have the 26th highest violent crime rate of all the states and DC. And the states with lower violent crime rates include such bastions of “sensible gun laws” as GA, WI, WV, PA, NE, WA, OH, IA, MS, ND, UT, WY, ID, KY, NH, VT, and ME. It’s almost as if there’s no direct correlation between “gun safety” and actual safety.

          Also Boston is the 35th most violent city in America.

        • No statistically significant correlation if you plot “Brady score,” or gun control advocates score of how strict gun laws are by state, and murder rate. There’s a correlation of about 0.10, in the direction of stricter laws are associated with a higher murder rate. Which is about the same strength (and direction) if one plots rate of private ownership of firearms vs. murder rate internationally (using UN data).

    • I remember during the Bush/Cheney years they had setup “free speech zones” for people who wanted to protest. They made sure the zones were far away from the thing they wanted to protest. You had to go to this special area if you didn’t want to get arrested for protesting.

  2. Can we have red flag for reporters that have gotten stories wrong? Can we say we believe they are lying or are using flawed studies to stop them from publishing? That would make sense to me. It’s just common sense legislation I’m talking about. If you lie to the public en masse you are endangering them and you should be punished, no trial or anything, you should not be able to publish again. Just common sense, for public safety for the children and the uneductaed…

  3. Forget the Bill Of Rights! Unless deemed worthy by the police that most of the left call discriminatory, violent, trigger happy. Just pull people’s rights when ever you feel like it as a police official. Great plan, except oi t is the opposite of what makes America the beacon of the world!

  4. So, basically give the police absolute power to act not as enforcers of the law, but extrajudicial entities capable of pointing a finger at anyone they don’t like and demanding they give up any guns they own on a whim? Yeah, where is the fourth amendment there exactly?

    • That’s the whole point of “red flag” laws. They give the government the power to confiscate your guns when they feel like it is necessary. People completing ignore how the law was written. They focus on the ex-wife scenario probably because they don’t stand up to government thus don’t have to worry about being targeted by them.

  5. Yes, in MA, if while she was in high school your wife turned down the cop who is now in charge of gun permits, then you don’t get a permit. That is ‘police discretion’.

    • IIRC, after February 2015 (?), the licensing authority has to state in writing the reason for denial. That went along with eliminating Class B LTCs and making FID cards discretionary.

      And that’s why I left The People’s Republic.

      • ….And Let’s not forget that thanks to re-elected, Anti-2nd Amendment, GOP-RINO Gov./Charlie “The Barker” Baker, we’ve added “RED FLAG/ERPOs Laws “. Also, remember they previously added a system so the Local Police Departments could petition the Courts to Deny an FID card/ LTC….

  6. First, we’d need to know, and establish a oattern of the state of mind of the person exercising said discretion. Then add the circumstances surrounding the need for such discretion.

  7. Law allowing for the discretion of police sounds less like a path to corruption, and more like a high-speed railway to it.

  8. So, now, “righteous anger”, which is Biblical, can keep you from your God given rights. I guess that makes me “righteous indignant”.

  9. Discretionary rights become rights denied, as we see with may issue concealed carry or when CLEO signoff was required for individual form 1 and 4 approval. Why should the a police chief or sheriff take the “risk?” They don’t want to vouch for anyone except their buddies. And it makes sense, if politicians are going to blame them for approving someone who turned out to be a threat, some will protect themselves and deny everyone. Just like corporate America turns to their lawyers and rather than say “protecting our employees rights to defend themselves is paramount,” it is easier or perceived as less risky to just have a blanket no weapons policy.

  10. How about we let the government control our right to free speech. Look at the tizzy CNN is in with Trump v. Acosta. More peoe have been killed by the stroke of a pen than by a bullet.

  11. I would joking say go for it, as long as it works the other way too. The sheriff and many of the deputies come to my house to shoot. Their “discretion” would be I could buy newly manufactured full autos and suppressors would be common place without an extra $200 penalty. But something tells me when vox say “discretion” they mean from a more restrictive angle, not the freedom loving side.

  12. Sure, except being from massachusetts you VERY QUICKLY learn that your 2A rights are now based on a local police chiefs personal politics. Boston and Newton (suburb of Boston) are well known to virtually never approve carry permits. Other towns do, but yes that is just where it starts…

  13. This is what happens when a bunch of urban millennials form their own media company.

    “Discretion” means no hard and fast, black and white rules. As such, discretion is prone to abuse. The in-laws and relatives of the chief of police find themselves with permits, others find themselves without permits. Of course, such abuse of power has been recognized and resolved throughout much of the United States. But don’t expect some 18 year old know-it-all over at Vox to understand what has been tried and what has failed. Their ignorance is a blessing, you see, not a curse. They, like little David Hogg, are able to see things more experienced people cannot.

  14. Did I just pass into an alternative universe here? Does Vox really not understand that “discretion” has been the soul of police abuses of power from Driving While Black to Ferguson’s ticket racket? Back when Michigan started requiring a license to buy a handgun, it was at the discretion of the issuing authority – guess who got denied? What, exactly, makes them think they’ll be any better at it now?

  15. Hell of an idea!

    Any other constitutional rights vox thinks we should restrict at the discretion of the state?

    …….

    hmmm, i believe its crickets i’m hearing on that one.

  16. “…One example: Perhaps a person’s husband recently told a doctor or hospital that someone has suicidal or homicidal thoughts. If that person then comes in and tries to get an abortion, the Hospital or doctor could use that discretion to deny the procedure, even if expressing violent thoughts is not explicitly disqualifying under the law.”

    Hmmm… suddenly discretion doesn’t sound so appealing, does it?

  17. The white homosexuals who work at and run Vox are really quite impressive it using racist gun control. When police officers use to stop black people for almost anything and then deny their rights for almost any reason they could come up with.

  18. Mass and Vox. 2 of the many States and Media outlets that I couldn’t care less about. What I do care about is if I will be able to fulfill my deer limit this season. It’s looking promising. 🙂

  19. “Discretion, (Daniel Webster) argued, allows police to wade into that middle ground even when the law might not explicitly ban a person from owning a gun.”

    OR, they might ban Blacks, or Jews, or Muslims or gays from owning firearms.

    Sorry, change “might” to “WILL”.

  20. The police should also be able to use their discretion on whether someone should be able to speak. Or practice their religion of choice. Right?

    This is proof that Clarence Thomas was correct when he said the 2nd amendment is in danger of being a disfavored right.

  21. Vox: Cops are violent racists who run around murdering black people for no reason, and we should abolish the police.

    Also Vox: Cops are professionals who are smarter and better than the rest of us, therefore we should give them sole authority to revoke our constitutional rights for any reason or no reason.

  22. Please check out US Court of Appeals, First Circuit, No 17-2202. Michael Gould et al, v. Mark Morgan, acting Chief of Police, Brookline Police Dept; William G. Gross, Commissioner of Boston Police Dept. It was just decided on 11-2-2018. A convoluted decision at best. It isn’t pretty. Two of the three judges are from RI.

  23. That big wtf moment when Vox starts ‘entrusting’ the police 😀 LMAO!!!

    Would you entrust your rights, with ‘discretion’ with a organization known for morally reprehensible, corrupt, and racist behavior? I sure as shit wouldn’t

  24. Well, it worked out pretty well during the Jim Crow era, for the KKK maybe.
    Can’t risk having an uppity negro shooting night riders you know.

  25. Hitler and Stalin had a plan like this, worked out pretty well for a while, for them…later on, lots of bureaucrats we’re just, sorta, left hangin’ around. So sad. So if the Koolaid is ready, let’s all have a big swallow, (straws are now prohibited). I know life is supposed to be made safer by this, but I can’t figure out why. Remember, anything not prohibited is mandatory, it’s for the children…and if it saves just one life…It’s still a slimy, stinkin’ dictatorship…No compromise, no retreat, no surrender!. -30-

  26. I got my first MA pistol permit when I turned 21, which was quite a while ago. About 40 years later, I was living in a town north of Boston, and I went in to renew to renew my permit for the umpteenth time. The police chief, who was also the town drunk (it was a very small town) asked me “Why do you want to renew your permit?” I replied “Because I’d prefer to carry legally.” He signed the permit. I moved to AZ shortly thereafter.

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