Essay Writing As A Requirement For Concealed Carry

BY Herschel Smith
10 months, 2 weeks ago

News from Massachusetts:

Critics are blasting a Massachusetts city’s new law that they claim requires residents applying for a license to carry handguns to write “an essay” and pay upwards of $1,100 for training.

The new laws take effect this week in Lowell, a city of 110,000 that lies 35 miles north of Boston. Pushed by Police Superintendent William Taylor and passed by the City Council, they require applicants for unrestricted handgun licenses to state in writing why they should receive such a license. Taylor, who was unavailable for comment on Monday, has sole discretion for approving or denying the applications.

“It is absurd that people should have to write an essay to the town to explain why they should be able to exercise their constitutional rights,” said Jim Wallace, executive director of Gun Owners Action League of Massachusetts. “We already have a very strict set of gun laws in the state, but this is way over the top.”

State law sets guidelines and requirements, but gives local chiefs of police broad discretion in implementation. While other cities and towns in Massachusetts have tough licensing regulations, Lowell’s new requirements, which also include taking a gun safety course over and above one already required by the state, prompted complaints at a public hearing last week.

“I will never write an essay to get my rights as an American citizen,” resident Dan Gannon told the City Council.

The new policy was prompted in part by a year-old federal lawsuit brought by Commonwealth Second Amendment, a Bay State gun-rights group. Attorney David Jensen said the suit stems from Lowell’s history of denying qualified applicants permits to carry handguns without what the plaintiffs consider a legitimate rationale.

Lowell Police spokesman Capt. Timothy Crowley said characterizing the written requirement as an “essay” is not accurate.

“If you want a license to carry a firearm unrestricted wherever you want and whenever you want, the superintendent is just looking for some documentation as to why,” Crowley said. “That is not unreasonable to most people.”

Local attorney Richard Chambers, who often represents applicants who have been turned down, said calling the new requirement an “essay” is right on target.

“An essay when you’re in school is when you write something, you turn it in and they grade it,” Chambers said. “This is an essay. And it’s also just another layer of bureaucracy they’ve tacked on to block people from exercising their rights.”

Despite the criticism, the new rules were adopted unanimously and are set to take effect this week.

“We’re no longer taking a cookie-cutter approach to issuing firearms licenses …”

Here’s the top cop in Lowell who is in charge of reviewing your essay.

Lowell_Top_Cop

A cookie cutter approach, huh?  That’s what they call exercising a right.  A cookie cutter approach to allowing people to do something that we take to be axiomatic and righteous, i.e., the right to self defense.

I have a better idea.  Rather than applicants writing an essay to get their rights recognized, I want the top cop in Lowell to read the essay I’ve already written, and then write me an essay that explains why anyone has a right to force applicants to write an essay in order to engage in the free exercise of their rights.

If this seems to difficult for the top cop, we can start at a remedial level.  Write me an essay on the meaning of this phrase: ” … shall not be infringed.”



  • ft

    I called the Gun Owners Action League on this because I couldn’t believe it was real,—-but it is.
    Apparently Ma. law allows to pass law MORE restrictive than Federal Laws but not less restrictive.
    I live in Ma.but not in Lowell, thank God.
    GOAL said they were working on this and I can’t understand how this could even happen. I would like to see people sue the people directly responsible for this and seek PUNITIVE damages for all expenses incurred in the suit as well as challenge it as unconstitutional in court. It IS an INFRINGEMENT on the 2nd Amendment rights as well as discrimates against people who may be US Naturalized Citizens but don’t have writing skills in English. I know some people who have had concealed permits for decades but can’t write for crap. Is the Chief going to give grades for their essays? Don’t forget it also calls for references that are written and signed by 3 people as well as a very expensive gun course for 8 hours. Everyone has to successfully complete a gun safety course but its not expensive.
    Gun owners from all over Ma. should call or write Lowell officials and voice their opinions of this attack on gun owners rights.
    Oh yea, how does this law effect criminals?
    Simple,—it doesn’t.

  • Damocles

    Every time I read this sort of nonsense, I’m glad I live in a Constitutional carry state. When I moved to Wyoming from Illinois, one of my first tasks was to take my FOID card and put it into the shredder.

  • Ned Weatherby

    Wow. Just when I thought things couldn’t get weirder.

    Here’s an essay people can copy and paste:

    “I need to carry my firearm for the same exact reason that police carry theirs, and for the added reason that police have no compelled legal duty to protect me or my family under any circumstance. Add to that the fact that I cannot call for backup like LEO’s.”

    But seriously – this is what we have come to expect from our Cop-sucker uber-potentates.. Too bad that in places like Massachusetts the sheeple will likely not vote out the counsel members who believe a right is a privilege. But then, there’s a game on TV, and fantasy football to be played – and that obviously consumes most voter’s attention.

  • http://notonemoregunlaw.blogspot.com Archer

    On top of the “how does this affect criminals?” question: How does this affect other peaceable MA citizens from (somewhat) freer cities whose city councils and top cops did not make them write an essay or take an additional class to get their unrestricted firearm permits?

    Same simple answer: It doesn’t. This is just the Lowell council and police chief making life difficult for their citizens. This is why state-level preemption of local gun laws is important.

    There’s another lesson to be learned here: Tyrants gonna tyrant, and local tyrants gonna tyrant locally. Beware and actively oppose any member of the Lowell city council who seeks higher office (read: greater reach).

  • UNCLEELMO

    I could be wrong, but I believe that Lowell is the city in MA that all the Dreamers and ‘unaccompanied’ Dreamer children are being dumped.
    I wonder if they have to write an essay in order to receive public assistance.

  • UNCLEELMO

    Dear Chief Douchebag,
    I want to carry a firearm in Lowell because you and your liberal douchebag friends have made such a mess of our once civil society that I fear for my safety while walking your streets.
    Sincerely, Uncle Elmo

  • Pingback: The Captain's Journal » Lowell Police Confiscate BB Guns And Pellet Rifle()


You are currently reading "Essay Writing As A Requirement For Concealed Carry", entry #14683 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Gun Control,Second Amendment and was published January 25th, 2016 by Herschel Smith.

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