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)

  • Nick Liberto

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    Any suggestion that manufacturers are shipping thousands of guns to border towns to be sold to alleged gangs and then redistributed to members that ultimately bring them back into the U.S. illegally….is a pretty dumb idea.
    A gun manufacturer employs hundreds of people, has a stable business that reaps millions of dollars annually and contributes greatly to the city in which they operate via a large, tax base. I do not think they would risk being shut down to sell a few thousand guns to Texas border towns.

    Reply

  • PaulMan

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    If that is the case then they are breaking the law. If you know of such activities and you can proove it than by all means contact your local and the FBI law inforcement. It all comes down to inforceing the laws on the books.I am sure the gun manufactures are shipping the guns to lisenced FFL holders. If not than they should be shut down. Again if you know this is taking place and you do nothing to stop it you are as guility as they are for doing so.

    Reply

  • PaulMan

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    Well just another Oath Breaking official. He swore an oath to protect and defend the constitution and dose just the opposite. When are the people going to wake the hell up? This ass wipe of a Sherriff should be removed from office for violating his oath of office as should all elected officials that do so. I personally have had enough of the Bull Crap coming out of the mouths of elected officials. It’s time to amend the state and federal constitutions and add a line stating , any and all elected officials putting forth any form of legislature to circumvent the meaning of the constitution as written and interpreted at the time of its inception are violating their oath of office. By doing so it is considered you resignation.
    We can all read and determine the true meaning of the constitution and the arguments presented in the federalist righting. It is time for the American People to put a stop to elected officials violating their oath once and for all. The Constitution does no have any ambiguity. It means what it says and that is the law of the land. Non compliance is the answer and nullification by each and every citizen is the answer to a government that is out of control. Stand your ground as the forefathers intended. You elected him and you can have him removed.

    Reply

  • Aubrey

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    What a joke I walked into sheriffs office paid 50$ for background check, got my finger prints taken on both hands walked out it was at my door in the mail 30 days later. Not that I feel it should be that easy I’m glad I don’t have those unnecessary BS laws youball have.

    Reply

  • The Right Outrage, the Wrong Target

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    […] The Shooter’s Log ran an article about the outrages in Lowell, Massachusetts, where the police chief and city council have passed a law requiring citizens to write an essay as […]

    Reply

  • Nick Liberto

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    In Pa. there is a small space asking the applicant to show a reason for wanting a carry permit. In most instances, entering the phrase….”for personal protection” is sufficient. Because someone may not be articulate enough to write a satisfactory essay on ANY subject, should not deem that person unworthy. I am not a cook, and I could not explain how food is made to taste good….but I can enjoy eating same.
    There should be pertinent questions asked regarding criminal records; alcohol or drug dependencies; and protection from abuse records. Otherwise, simply wanting to have self protection should not be infringed upon. That is not a constitutional law….but it is certainly a natural law.

    Reply

  • Nick Liberto

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    The gun manufacturers are not controlling any laws. Several gun makers have moved their businesses from ultra-liberal states that impose too much in the way of restrictions and sur taxes.
    As for making too much money…how much is too much? In a country that was built and became great because of free enterprise, I applaud those gun makers that produce an excellent product. None of those companies has ever come to my home and demanded that I support them.

    Reply

    • cdnski12

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      Does your approval include gun manufacturers who ship 10,000’s guns to Texan Border Town Gun Shops, who sell these guns to anyone who walks thru their doors. Their best customers are known Mexican Drug Cartel Members; who buy pickup truck loads of guns for cash and legally drive them over the Mexican Border, with no inspection by the US Border Agency. Some of these guns are back in the USA in less than a WEEK! Check UTUBE.

      Reply

    • Dark Angel

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      With the U.S. Government giving Mexican Cartels all the weapons they need or want, why should the purchase them? I have to wonder about those that get their ‘factual’ news & information from Youtube. Anyone can post anything at anytime, fact or fiction. But, then, I’ve heard people comment and in all seriousness, “If it is on the Internet, it has to be true, because it is illegal to tell lies on it.” Having lived in A Texas border town, Brownsville, I assure that Texas gun dealers adhere to Federal gun sales law much more strictly than does the Federal Government. ‘Fast & Furious’ may be a thing of the past (or is it?), but guns provided by the U.S. Government continue to be sent to cartels in Mexico. Without the cartels shipping tons of drugs into the U.S., DEA becomes unnecessary. Without the ‘gun’ violence of cartels along the Mexican-U.S. Border, the liberals would have no cause for their anti-gun lies.

      Reply

  • Nick Liberto

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    BRUCE….all of your imagined problems that might occur if everyone is packing a weapon….are no more than imaginary. Certainly, there are many people that should never have a deadly weapon and most cities, and townships have reasonable pre qualifications to determine those that are unworthy to be so trusted. But you cannot base the enactment of a law based upon hypothetical possibilities.

    Reply

  • Nick Liberto

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    Whomever wrote the law, whether a single person, or a group of people, the person charged with enforcing the law, should know enough about such a law, to point that out to the council.
    The city council in this case, is desperate to act as though it is doing something to protect it’s city. I would suggest they impose a law on the city’s prosecuting attorneys to stop accepting plea bargaining in a gun related crime and putting perps away for a long time. This is a sure way to help stop crime.

    Reply

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