I wasn’t sure I wanted to do this. I’ve heard a wide variety of views on how far we should go with respect to civil disobedience regarding conceal-carrying firearms. In my current state of residence, it almost makes no sense to have a conceal carry, given that the penalties for carrying where you are not supposed to are greater than if you have no permit at all and are caught carrying. I’ve been told that it’s only a misdemeanor and if you’ve used it in a self-defense situation, you will likely have any ‘gun charges’ dismissed. No, I am not a lawyer, and haven’t actually asked a lawyer about it, though. So caveat emptor.
But I do visit the VDZ of MA a few times a year. It’s a long drive and I pass through a few other states that are problematic. I can at least transport my equipment through any of them and if any of the JBTs in those states decide to make an example of me, I may be able to slap them down in court with 18 U.S.C 926A.
But due to the draconian, anti-human rights laws in MA, it could involve much more than a short visit to the courthouse should you run afoul of the whims of the faux royalty in that state. So, given my typically three times a year visits up there per year, and the fact that it’s not my state any more, I figured it’s not my battle at the moment. Yes, I know we can all help with battles in other states, but I figure focusing my energies on my current home state and it’s problematic laws as well as laws at the federal level would be the best approach. Don’t want to wind up in a re-education cell in a foreign land. So I’ll obey the statists in MA for now. At least until my few remaining relatives there defect.
I do feel like I’m conceding that MA officials have the authority to allow or deny me the ability to carry my mark. But one relative put it this way:
As for conceding that MA officials “have authority”, I don’t see it that way. I see it as conceding that MA is a communist, totalitarian thug state.
Soothed me at least a little bit.
The brief summary of the process is as follows. Note the first step may change if MA updates its web site. The current phone number for the FRB is (617) 660-4780, but here’s how I got it for posterity:
- Visit http://www.mass.gov/
- Click on the ‘For Government’ tab
- Click on ‘A-Z Agency List’ under ‘Branches & Departments’
- Scroll down and click on ‘Criminal History Systems Board’ (yeah, I know)
- Click on ‘Firearms Records Bureau’
- Click on ‘Firearms Possession Information’
- Click on ‘Non-Residents’
- Call number listed on that page to have an application snail-mailed to you.
- Get a pair of passport style photos taken. Most Post Offices will do this.
- Fill out the application.
- Take the fingerprint card and the actual blank license (in triplicate) to your local police department or sheriff’s office. Be sure to call them in advance to see if an appointment is required. Note that one issue I had is that my sheriff’s office no longer had a process for ink fingerprints which is what’s needed for the actual license (just the right index finger). They dug up the old ink fingerprinting equipment just for me, but you may not be as fortuitous.
- Draft your reason for ‘all legal purposes.’ I suggest avoiding statements like “It’s my constitutional right!” or “It’s the mark of a free man!”. Either play the game and give a reason that doesn’t rub their immature hoplophobia in their faces, or don’t bother applying. My reason alluded to my elderly mother whom I visit in MA and take on errands and don’t feel I can protected sufficiently due to my own advancing years.
- Find an instructor at GOAL and schedule and take your safety course to get your certificate of completion. That’ll likely run you about $100.
- Bundle it all up with the $100 fee and send it along.
Note that MA issues Class B licenses that aren’t really LTC licenses, but also issues two types of Class A LTCs, one of which, annoyingly, isn’t really an LTC at all. It’s only an LTC if it says ‘NO RESTRICTIONS’ on it or something else that indicates carrying is okay. Kind of reminds me of an airport I went to recently that has all these signs inside the terminal indicating what you must do to transport firearms on your flight. Yet there’s this huge sign on the road leading to the airport warning drivers that no firearms are allowed on the premises and violators will be prosecuted. Leave it to a bureaucrat. I’d say weirdness like the non-LTC LTC in MA and the conflicting signs at that airport are a good indication that the policy was devised out of pure emotional panic and no rational thought. The cognitive dissonance of the hoplophobes never ceases to amaze.