Sunday, July 17, 2022

Massachusetts AG gives Guidelines on Carry Permits

From  Massachusetts AG Maura Healy

In Massachusetts, the Attorney General office has issued guidance as to how agencies in the state may comply with the United States Constitution's Second Amendment as ruled in the NYSR&PA v. Bruen decision. From the Massachusetts AG Guidance:

The Supreme Court made clear in Bruen that States may, consistent with the Second Amendment, require licenses to carry firearms in public. Bruen, slip op. 4-6 & 6 n.2; id. (Kavanaugh, J., concurring) (“the Court’s decision does not prohibit States from imposing licensing requirements for carrying a handgun for self-defense”).

The AG office issues this further executive summary:

- It remains unlawful to carry a firearm in Massachusetts without a license. The Supreme Court’s decision in Bruen did not affect, but instead expressly stated that it was constitutional, for states to require a license to carry a firearm in public.

- Licensing authorities should continue to enforce the “prohibited person” and “suitability” provisions of the license-to-carry statute. These aspects of the statute are unaffected by Bruen.

- Licensing authorities should cease enforcement of the “good reason” provision of the license-to-carry statute in response to Bruen. Authorities should no longer deny, or impose restrictions on, a license to carry because the applicant lacks a sufficiently good reason to carry a firearm. An applicant who is neither a “prohibited person” or “unsuitable” must be issued an unrestricted license to carry.

- Licensing authorities may continue to inquire about the reasons why the applicant wants a license, but may only use that information to assess the prohibited person and suitability requirements of the statute. They may not use that information to deny or restrict a license for lack of a sufficiently good reason to carry a firearm.

Whether the above requirements, without the "good reason" provision, will meet the standards in Bruen, remain to be seen. From Bruen, footnote 9 p. 30:

That said, because any permitting scheme can be put toward abusive ends, we do not rule out constitutional challenges to shall-issue regimes where, for example, lengthy wait times in processing license applications or exorbitant fees deny ordinary citizens their right to public carry.

Unlike New York, which called an emergency session, and passed emergency legislation completely changing its permit law, Massachusetts is keeping its current scheme mostly intact.

The Massachusetts licensing scheme is far less burdensome than the New York law was in practice. In 2021, there were about 470,000 permits in Massachusetts. That is about 7% of the population, or a little less than 10% of adults. 

New York State has about 200,000 permits. That is about 1% of the population, or about 1.33% of adults. Hawaii is the most extreme, with 1-20 permits, depending on how they are counted. This is, at most, about .0014% of the population. 

Illinois, which is a highly regulated  "Shall Issue" state, has a lower percentage of carry permits than does Massachusetts. 

Much will depend on how the law is administered. A more pressing problem will be how travelers will be able to exercise their Second Amendment rights in Massachusettes, New York, New Jersey, Hawaii, California, and Maryland. 

Illinois allows people with carry permits from other states to travel through Illinois while armed. There is no such provision in California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey or New York.

©2022 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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ScienceABC123 said...

And that "suitability" requirement is vague enough to deny anyone a license.

Anonymous said...

As I read the ruling I thought it brought up the issue that no other constitutionally guaranteed right requires a permit. Under constitutional law, Nothing can be construed to exist that is not physically written. Show me in the 26 words of the second amendment where it provides for the need of a permit? I cant find the word permit in the entire bill of right. so what moron construed that a permit can be required?

Recent Congressional noise is they are considering limitations for semi auto weapons. Will they be disarming the police? I contacted a State U. S. Rep and discussed my concerns with one of his aides, He agreed with the points I made. Factual History, the Constitution was written for the people to control the government not the other way around. The framers gave the citizens the second amendment to enforce that fact Government has no authority to disarm the public Any
thing added to the 26 words of the ratified second amendment is by definition and unconstitutional infringement Only the 26 words in the second amendment have the force of law we are required to obey. There are no valid gun control laws, congress has never had the authority and states have never had the authority to individually amend the second amendment. No where are the words " A little Control cant hurt" written or ratified in the entire constitution. That is the phrase that allowed the congress in 1934 to pass the first national firearms act. It does not exist Our Government at any level has ever had the authority to create any gun control laws.and therefore could not have ever been ratified. Only a ratified constitutional amendment can change the 26 words of the second amendment and that has not happened yet. If we allow government to take away our rights then we never deserved them.

I'm sure my mother would have complained if I had been born with my gun belt on But as I got older she thought I was pretty good. My older brother at age eleven was on a rifle team His .22 bolt action was the first weapon I ever fired at 8 years of age. I have been an expert marksman since I was 15 years old, Rifle, Pistol or shotgun. ATF has no law making authority laws are the responsibility of Congress Federal agencies have the authority to make rules and regulations for it's employees to follow No government agency has any law making authority that we must obey. It s past time for Americans to start reading their constitution and understand the limits that constitution places on Government It is the citizens duty to keep government authority in check..