BOSTON (WWLP) – The mass shooting outside of Chicago was just one of many firearm tragedies around the country over the holiday weekend.
This comes after last month’s Supreme Court decision regarding gun laws in New York. 22News learned how that decision affects Massachusetts.
New York required residents to show special cause to police to obtain a permit to carry a concealed handgun in public. New York required residents to show special cause to police to obtain a permit to carry a concealed handgun in public. The Supreme Court sided with the challengers in the state that argued proving proper cause turned the right into a limited privilege and not a constitutional right.
In Massachusetts, it still remains unlawful to carry a firearm without a license to carry. State law still allows for licensing authorities to deny, revoke or suspend a license to carry if the applicant is “unsuitable” or a “prohibited person”.
An “unsuitable” person is someone who has exhibited or engaged in behavior that may create a risk to public safety and a “prohibited person” is someone who is unable to legally obtain a firearm.
“I think the only thing we can do is to strengthen our laws by making sure that people we don’t want to have concealed carry weapons, don’t have them. So we already have laws in place protecting us from people obtaining licenses if they have restraining orders in place if they have been convicted of felonies. We can continue to look at those categories more broadly,” said Representative Lindsay Sabadosa of Northampton.
However, in light of the ruling, the attorney general’s office is ordering that licensing authorities no longer enforce the “good reason” aspect of the license to carry statute, under which the applicant had to identify reasons to obtain the license. Thus, moving forward, as long as the applicant is not an “unsuitable” or “prohibited” person, the applicant must be issued an unrestricted license to carry.
The ruling does not affect the Firearms Identification card application process.