Applying for a license to carry a concealed handgun in Boston was something of an ordeal, says a gun owner interviewed by the Boston Globe. There was his birth certificate, driver’s license, and the utility bill he handed over to prove who he was and where he lived. Also, a letter verifying his membership in a gun club, and the copy of his safety certificate, and a passing grade on his marksmanship test. Not to mention being photographed, and fingerprinted for the background check.
Though he eventually got a license and a .40-caliber pistol – albeit with strict limitations on its use – the man moved to New Hampshire, where he said the application to carry a concealed gun is a veritable breeze. Many Massachusetts gun owners are upset over what they see as licensing measures that are chokingly tight and widely inconsistent – not only from state to state but from city to town. The Gun Owners’ Action League of Massachusetts contends that local police chiefs are straying so far from the state rules of gun licensure with their add-ons that they themselves are breaking the law. The league asked Attorney General Martha Coakley to ensure that “the state take responsibility of an out-of-control system and curb the illegal activities being conducted by its licensing agents.” A league official said that many departments subjectively exclude those merely charged with crimes, but not convicted.