All that can be said about the latest gun control measure is that its at least unique.
How long have we been hearing about the need for background checks, closing the gun show loophole, restricting magazine sizes, and other regulations that would’ve done nothing to prevent any recent mass shooting? It’s about time gun control advocates pitched something new.
So the new strategy: treat all Americans like middle school students. Want to carry a gun in Massachusetts? Get out a pen and paper because you’re going to have to write an essay to explain why.
As Fox News reports:
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.
Jensen said the jury is still out on whether the new policy will prove a remedy or just a more formal system for rejecting applications.
Despite the criticism, the new rules were adopted unanimously and are set to take effect this week.
The liberal state already has a long history of restricting gun ownership.
A 1998 state law known as the Gun Control Act included a raft of new regulations, fees and requirements that contributed to an 80 percent reduction in gun licenses over time, according to Wallace. The new law in Lowell, which Taylor said has about 6,000 gun owners with licenses to carry, will require a specialized training course.
A local firearms-safety instructor, Randy Breton, told the Sun the training requirement appeared designed to purposely make it cost-prohibitive to apply for a gun permit. He said one five-day course approved by the city costs $1,100.
Nobody in America wants gun control, so the only option the gun grabbers have to impose their wishes is to pass minor measures they can spin as “common sense” measures. It’s death by a thousand cuts. Cumulatively each new gun control measure chips away just slightly at our constitutional rights.
If the Founders had intended for there to be this amount of restriction on a constitutional right, they would’ve stated so in the Constitution.
[Note: This post was authored by The Analytical Economist]