Critics blast Massachusetts city’s new ‘essay’ rule for gun-carry applicants

by  |  published on January 25, 2016

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.”

  • Nancy E

    This doesn’t sound ethical to me. Just another way to fill the coffers of the government. And we wonder why people are so fed up with government on every level.

  • masterc4u

    Welcome to 1937 Germany….

    I hope that you are not Jewish & wanting a license to carry handguns.

    Remember how well things worked out the last time for those of the Faith…..





    Go Meat…..

  • shavager

    CLEAR VIOLATION OF CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS!!! What part of “RIGHTS” do these liberal-tardation numbnuts NOT understand?? RIGHTS listed in those FIRST Ten Amendments are NOT NEGOTIABLE–BY ANY CONGRESS, PRESIDENT, OR SUPREME COURT!!!

  • Patriot47

    Ya can’t fix stupid.

  • trapperwv56

    This one should go straight to the supreme court, maybe the definition of infringe should be on the docket too.

  • Too big and heavy

    You crack the door open, the Liberals kick it Wide open….Never open the Door!!!

  • ted j

    when i hear of stupid laws such as this one… and those who wrote the law still being in office… i am stunned…why in the hell don’t the idiots who live in that locality take the morons out ..tar and feather them and send them packing ASAP..

  • Charlie

    Here’s MA one of the first thirteen states under the Constitution/ Bill of Natural (God given not government given) Rights. MA has had gun restriction laws now for decades .All of these laws are constitutionally illegal . By placing a restriction upon the citizens of MA by any means including the writing of an essay is an infringement of the Right to bear arms . Further the last four words of a very well articulated , well punctuated words of the twenty seven words of the second amendment are “shall not be infringed” . Again restrictions are infringements therefore constitutionally illegal .

    • Athanasios1

      Okay legal scholar…What do the words “well regulated” mean in the 2nd Amendment?

      • Charlie

        “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms , shall not be infringed.” This is the entire second amendment. The words “well regulated” refers to the Militia , every man from the age of nineteen to forty-nine capable to own, maintain , operate Arms . Well regulated does not refer to government regulations /controls, because the Bill of Natural (God given not government given) Rights are not to be regulated by our public political servants. The Bill of rights is to be respected and revered . The second amendment was a well thought out , well articulated amendment .The main reason for the second is to squelch tyranny. Tyranny is the abuse of absolute government power . Yes the second does give American citizens the Natural right to bear Arms and the ability to defend themselves from criminals or hunt or go to a shooting range, but the main reason for the second amendment is as stated above to squelch tyranny . A well regulated ( standard )Militia is needed to be able to squelch tyranny. Therefore the standard(regulated) of said Militia has to be high enough to accomplish the job of the second amendment . “Well regulated” means to maintain a high standard of competence of the Militia .
        Any further questions ?

        • Athanasios1

          So…the Second Amendment under your interpretation would allow mentally challenged people or men with Downs’ syndrome to keep and bear arms also. Blind and deaf men, can also exercise their right to keep and bear arms also…right? But what about your added interpretation of the right to hunt or go to a shooting range? I do not recall anything anywhere in the Bill of Rights to hunt or go to the range. These cynical points that I have made, disproves your claim that “regulated” does not require at a minimum some logical application of the Second Amendment. Under your interpretation Muslims, Communists and even idiots like John Kerry and John McCain should be allowed to handle firearms and these punks want to bring about the end of our Bill of Rights, and our way of life.

          • Charlie

            Don’t even try to twist what words as your are attempting in your above post.
            Never was there any indication that the suggestion in the second amendment or in my words to what you state in your first two sentences . Never used the word right about hunting or protecting oneself from criminals , used the words “ability to “. These are not “cynical points” , just asinine statements . Don’t think lumping two U.S. political public servants in with all the others you stated is wise , but do understand your point . Will go one further do NOT agree with our political public servants that state the illegal immigrants or humans that are not citizens of our nation are protected by our constitution these people are illegals therefore criminals. As for the deal with Iran actually think that it was totally wrong . The actions could be proven to be an act of treason .
            Our current administration branch is the worst in all of our nation’s history and there has been some pretty bad administrations in the past. Our nation was founded as a Christian nation with tolerances for all other religions , this is factual no matter what any ignoramus spews.

          • Athanasios1

            You stated first in your post about hunting and going to the shooting range. The Second Amendment is a Right, but some people that are mentally unfit or want to destroy our Constitution should not be afforded that Right. If you think that the Hate Group, Islam is a religion, then you are either illogical or a blind moron, and should not be allowed to own a gun because you are to stupid to think and act responsibly.

          • Charlie

            Muslims have been waging war on our nation before our revolutionary war. Pres Thomas Jefferson tried to stop, in 1779, a payment to the Muslims in the amount of $295,000.00 . Jefferson did not succeed and the Muslim pirates that were raiding our merchant ships got the money. So Jefferson put our Marines on our Naval ships and sent the Naval ships into international water to stop the Muslim pirates .
            ISIS is a terrorist group that harbors the lowest of humanity . These dolts need to be purged from the face of the earth . The Muslims have centuries of waging war on all other religions . A high percentage of the Muslims in our nation now want Sharia Law over our constitution . So do I disagree with you —not really .

  • James in Texas

    Here’s a thought……..If these kinds of folks had been “running Massachusetts” in 1775 we would still a member of the King’s Great Britain, and a great source of slave labor . Scary thought!

  • maxx

    I smell an immediate law suit coming. The SCOTUS just reiterated in 2015 the term “shall not be infringed” means just that.

  • Stash Holly

    If this holds up then we need to FORCE people to write an essay before they can vote as to what it means to be an American, bye bye Illegals and some legals.

  • Albert M. Forget

    The Founders must have thought there was a need for some sort of regulation else why would they have included the words “a well-regulated militia”–the sort of militia which could be prepared for and would respond to the call to federal service–Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution is the part to which the 2nd Amendment relates and, therein, the Congress is the sole determiner of what those regulations are and in today’s America they are set forth in the UCMJ and DOD Directives, Orders and Regulations. Now 81 and a 100% disabled veteran, I served on active duty for just over 30 years (spanning Korea to Vietnam–2 years in country, 2 years otherwise involved adding up to 11 of 17 campaign periods–and beyond). I grew up hunting and fishing; I have been robbed at gunpoint; my father (with a pistol under his pillow) slept through a burglary; I dodged bullets in Spain and Nam and once fended off 3 teens (in Brooklyn, NY) who tried to mug me. With all that and more as experience, I have never felt threatened about my guns being taken from me. Still don’t. Mostly, I see nothing wrong with being responsible AND doing what we can to help insure others are just as responsible as each of us prides ourselves on being.

    • Carline D. Long Jr.

      Thanks much for your service. You have given so much already. If your true feeling is there are some legitimate things Congress could do that isn’t already covered by existing laws then by all means speak to your Congressman about the proposed items you feel are needed. What we truly face here is a twisting of each law to the administrations belief and far away from the intended original law. The government does not enforce the laws that are already on the books so, what will new laws do more than further make criminals out of law abiding citizens?

    • chris berrian

      Well regulated means in the 1700’s calibrated and working properly good aim and poficant not regulated as in restricted. And thanks for your service for fighting for the politicians I’m sure they didn’t care if you and your friends died fighting another countries fight. We never ever need to send our good citizens to fight over seas for those criminals. And the militia was never to be used by the feds unless only congress calls them forth but who gives two hoots they have managed to almost wipe clean the militia part of our constitution.

    • DrRisk

      In the 18 century the term “well regulated” did not have the meaning it has today, i.e.,“well restricted”. In those days it meant “well organized/prepared”.

    • Obwon One

      I call B.S.

  • Smitch

    LOCK & LOAD Massachusetts!

  • cae973

    write an essay…sounds racist to me

  • CB Michael

    I don’t need to essay my rights, they were given to all citizens by the founding fathers for a reason. we’re seeing now, why they did this, to protect our individual freedoms to protect ourselves and from government tyranny.


    here we go, AGAIN !!! only the ” right people ” have this PRIVILEGE….IT IS his decision….NOT THE law, not the constitution…not even a court of law !!! SEEN THIS PREVIOUSLY ….NEW YORK, LONDON, PEKING, MOSCOW, BERLIN….oh, the right people yes HIS PEOPLE will have their guns…Donald Tacky Trump talks / brags about HIS GUN…SENATE DEMOCORRUPTORS HAVE THEIR GUNS…AND ARMED BODY GUARDS…BUT OH THE IMPOSSIBLE TASK OF GAINING FREEDOM FROM THE CITIZEN CZAR, THE LOCAL WARPED FURHER , THE PETTY POISONOUS TYRANNY OF THE LOCAL POLITICAL BOSSES….

  • Bernie Lounds

    Follow the money.sounds like a money scam to me when one person has that right.

    • DrRisk

      There is a federal law that might be invoked to nip this in the bud, “The Administrative Procedure Act”, 5 U.S.C. Subchapter II, under lieberals’ FAVORITE phrase in the Constitution, the equal protection clause of Amendment XIV.

  • Bernie Lounds

    It’s illegal to charge a fee like that.It’s totally against the Constitution of the US.

    • DrRisk

      That depends on what the meaning of the word “abridged” is.

  • mike

    Here is my essay. For my protection and to protect my family and who ever else needs to be protected from the criminal element. Where do they find these ass holes. Nothing but lib turd dems. Write us an essay as to why you should be able to live in the United States

    • maxx

      There is a huge over abundance of them in Massachusetts.

      • mike

        Just to bad we couldn’t ship them off to an island surrounded by sharks

        • FedUpAlready

          They are the SHARKS! They’d be in their own element! They’d starve without being able to feed off the Citizenry.

    • FedUpAlready

      Unfortunately the Criminal Element of Tyranny has already infiltrated the entire Government. Gun laws weren’t made by Government to protect it’s citizens, they were made to protect Government from Citizens.

  • David Kledzik

    Time for mawsuits people. Noncompliance. It’s b.s.

  • Ken says

    It’s a simple 6 word essay – BECAUSE IT IS MY CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT

  • Swed.

    Liberalism is a dangerous mental disorder, they are proving to be the most egregious criminals on top of their mental illness.
    Remove this clown form office and prosecute.

  • Athanasios1

    I WILL keep and bear arms anywhere in the United States that I choose to do so, including anywhere in Massachusetts where I have carried a handgun since my first visit there in 1985 and up until the present. Never has a lawman asked me if I was carrying a weapon and why should they? I will never apply for a permit to exercise any part of my Bill of Rights.

    • Nancy E

      You might rethink not having a license to carry. If you ever did get asked, you would be arrested and fined and be added to a watch list. Applying for a license takes only a few minutes and a few days for a background check. Being in compliance with law is the right way to go, in my opinion. Do you have a family that would suffer if you were arrested? Just sayin.

  • SapientHetero

    This is distinctly reminiscent of literacy tests used by southern Democrats to deny blacks the right to vote. Modern day liberal racism at its worst.

  • Kathy

    The people that are put into office are under the impression that they know better. They need to all be voted out immediatley. They think they have arrived and don’t have to follow the rules any more. Make them up as they go along. It’s uncostitutional.

  • Monte Mann

    Every time you think Liberals have hit bottom with their ideas they fool you again by digging even deeper to find bottom. It is impossible to set the bar too low for these idiots not to exceed your wildest exceptions.

  • Dodie1990

    The anti 2nd amendment people keep hipping away little by little. One day we will wake up and it will be completely gone. Instead of worrying about the lagal law abiding citizen,how about the criminal. Think he will write an essay. Most “gun crimes” are committed with stolen handguns(95%) More laws, rules, background checks won’t make any difference. Ever see a gangbanger at a gunshop or gun show?

  • Dwight Thomas

    This is redicilous and sounds unconstitutional.

    • maxx

      It is and the SCOTUS said so in 2015 for the nth time. It should never become a case in the first place.

    • FedUpAlready

      Look what crazy laws, were passed to stop Blacks from voting in the South! This is no different! It’s UnConstitutional, but, DEMORATS don’t care, they’ll do it anyway. They not only have OBAMA PHONES, they now have OBAMA PENS! All your Constitutional rights are in danger! The Sovereignty of our Country is being Relegated to the Global Governance of the NEW WORLD ORDER and UN Oversight!

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