Chief of Police Requires “Essay” to Obtain CCW

By Dave Dolbee published on in General, News

As gun owners and supporters of the Second Amendment we are used to lawmakers and public officials coming up with new ways to subvert the law and enact defacto gun control. That being said, the Chief of Police of Lowell, Massachusetts, has set the bar to a new low.

Massachusetts’ law mandates that it is an, “unrestricted right-to-carry” gun permit state. However, the police chief still has to issue the permit. In this case, the chief of the Lowell, Massachusetts Police Department has mandated that the residents of Lowell submit a written essay to the chief of police that explains just why they want that particular right. To actually receive the permit, the applicant must receive a passing grade.

Man in light blue shirt and white ball cap teaches two young ladies how to handle a gun, with a wooded area in the background

The whole “shall not be infringed argument” is self-explanatory and needs no further explanation here, but how can anyone even conceive an essay requirement as a fair judge of whether to issue an “unrestricted right-to-carry” gun permit? I have read more than one report from police officers… based on their writing skills, more than a few would not have qualified to carry a firearm. However, that is not to say they were not good coppers. There is a lot that goes in to writing a report or an essay, including time, sleep, stressors, and education to name a few, but none of those have anything to do with the restriction of a Constitutional right.

English, writing skills, grammar, they are all subjective to the interpretation of the reader. Even the SAT, the standard requirement to enter most four-year universities, requires multiple readers to grade an essay, but not in Lowell. In Lowell, the Chief merely makes up a rule and assigns a reader. In fairness, the Chief did not make the rule, he merely brought it up to the city council who approved it, but you get the idea.

Adding insult to injury, in addition to the essay requirement, the residents of Lowell are also required to pay up to $1,100 for firearms training in order to obtain their permit.

The Local Perspective

Once the story broke, The Shooter’s Log immediately went to Mike Pelonzi, President of Magnum Anti Ballistic Systems Corporation. Beyond making some of the most innovative ballistic panels (Check back in the next couple of weeks for a story on Pelonzi’s ballistic solutions), Pelonzi is also a certified firearms training instructor in Massachusetts, which him an ideal candidate for a local perspective.

Pelonzi said, to be certified as a firearms instructor, you have to submit all of your training certificates and a written lesson plan to the Colonel of the MA State Police. Once approved, you are certified to teach the course. Students seeking a CCW who successfully pass that course are and issued a MA certificate, which is supposed to be—and was until now—accepted through all police departments in the state.

Magnum Anti Ballistic Systems Corporation
Danvers MA 01923
Mike Pelonzi, President
978.815.6989
mike@magnumantiballisticsystems.com
www.Mabs777.com 

However, Lowell, MA, Police Chief William Taylor’s new plan calls for additional requirements such as the essay and fees up to $1,100. Although the details are a bit vague as the department’s website has not yet been updated, it is rumored that the increase in fees is due to the Chief’s requirement that citizens be required to take a class taught by the police department instead of private instructors. Pelonzi noted that the average firearms safety class costs between $75 and $125, plus $100 for the license application fee.

Pelonzi concluded the interview by noting, criminals do not take firearm safety classes. We already have a system that requires training and an application that goes through a full NICS background check. Lowell’s new requirements add a burden to the law-abiding citizens and potentially denies them of their Constitutional rights, but does nothing to deter crime.

Jim Wallace with the Gun Owners Action League of Massachusetts released this statement: “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. We already have a very strict set of gun laws in the state, but this is way over the top. It’s like having a college professor say, ‘I’m going to read your essay and if I don’t like it, I’m going to give it back to you.’”

ATF Form 4473

“We’re no longer taking a cookie-cutter approach to issuing firearms licenses,” he said, in the Lowell Sun.

More time? More time for what? How is more time than the law dictates and burdensome, unnecessary requirements anything more than discrimination and an unlawful requirement to enact backdoor gun control by either denying citizens of their Constitutional rights or at a minimum delaying those rights?

How do you feel about Lowell, Massachusetts, new requirement to obtain an “unrestricted right-to-carry” gun permit by writing an essay and increasing the fees? Share you opinions in the comment section.

SLRule

Growing up in Pennsylvania’s game-rich Allegany region, Dave Dolbee was introduced to whitetail hunting at a young age. At age 19 he bought his first bow while serving in the U.S. Navy, and began bowhunting after returning from Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm. Dave was a sponsored Pro Staff Shooter for several top archery companies during the 1990s and an Olympic hopeful holding up to 16 archery records at one point. During Dave’s writing career, he has written for several smaller publications as well as many major content providers such as Guns & Ammo, Shooting Times, Outdoor Life, Petersen’s Hunting, Rifle Shooter, Petersen’s Bowhunting, Bowhunter, Game & Fish magazines, Handguns, F.O.P Fraternal Order of Police, Archery Business, SHOT Business, OutdoorRoadmap.com, TheGearExpert.com and others. Dave is currently a staff writer for Cheaper Than Dirt!

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Comments (224)

  • RPK

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    If there is ever a firearms death by some maniac where a good guy with a gun could have stopped it by the lawful possession of a firearm if it were not for these draconian rules by the police chief I trust he, his department and the city get the pants sued off of them. An essay? The police chief needs to complete an essay on the United States Constitution and each amendment. Remember the Constitution? The same Oath he took when becoming a police officer. Give this police chief a badge and a gun and he thinks he is God. What a tool!

    Reply

  • Jim collier

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    This is yet another clear effort to place burden upon all law abiding citizens. Those that chose to follow the law and obtain both a CCW and firearms are subjected to unbelievable restrictions for the feel good optics of those that do not want to accept reality. As far as the police officials in this area all I can say is that there will come a day to which you will need the support of those that you currently impose unnecessary restrictions, how do you think that we will support you????????????

    Reply

  • Dan

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    I think the police chief and city council of Lowell are worried that one of those nasty old CCW people will come along and shoot their unicorns…just sayin’!

    Reply

  • DaveW

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    Plus at least two states which are “Republics”… Texas and California.

    Reply

  • DaveW

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    So… you think this is a conspiracy by the NRA and the firearms companies?

    Tell that to the people of England, Scotland, and Wales. Tell it to the people of Australia. Listen to the words of Hillary Clinton, Barak Obama, and a host of other left leaning politicians.

    Sure, those companies are in business to make a profit. That I accept. But the NRA with a membership of only 5 million is credited by the left as having far more power than it’s numbers would suggest. That’s 5 million out of a population of an estimated 315 million. That’s 5 million members out of an estimated 100 million gun owners (while no official data exists, it’s estimated at 1 out of 3 Americans owns a gun). That’s a LOT of power attributed to a small organization. Non-member gun owners far outweigh member gun owners.

    Reply

  • Edgy Q

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    We the People need to start filing law suits against these Libtards for Violating their OATH OF OFFICE ,they swore to UPHOLD THE CONSTITION OT THE UNITED STATES when before they took office.
    We need to start building a fund Nation Wide to sue all these Idiots that go against the Constitution .
    I’ll bet a few lawsuits filed against these people will stop them in their tracks ..

    Reply

  • Stephen Gilbert

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    Has anyone noticed that the birthplace of America & ALL of our freedoms, the cradle of our very existence, the New England & Atlantic coastal states have , with few exceptions – can you say California & Illinois, the most restrictive and oppressive gun laws in this “free” country of ours ? You may have also noted that all of the mass shooting events occur in “GUN FREE” zones. Maybe what is really needed in our schools is better reading teaching so those criminals who cannot read those signs will leave their guns at home! Yea, right !!!

    Reply

  • DaveW

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    I don’t know if it was San Diego or not, but we had a suit which We the People won. Then a state judge (not sure at what level) put a stay on forcing the powers that be to comply. The last I heard, that ruling was under appeal.

    Reply

  • Festus

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    The entire state of Mass, can go to blazes as far as I am concerned. And that includes their POS baseball team! But how is writing an essay any different from answering a freakin’ math question as you must do in order to post a comment here?

    Reply

  • Scott

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    Do what I did. When I was applying for nonresident ccw in Massachusetts from my commi state, Connecticut, it took over 3 months to get my in person interview, then 3 months after I was accepted, I still had not received it. I called every day and still fell upon deaf ears. I called the Governor’s office, who is a Republican, and I received my permit less than a week later. Go over that POS hero’s head. Tell him to go shoot some black people and get off your back.

    Reply

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