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I’ve possessed my Class A License to Carry Firearms since 2002 and my check to renew my annual membership to the Rod & Gun Club of New Bedford will be going out in tomorrow’s mail.
At my local Walmart, ammo sales have almost literally been flying off the shelf for months upon months – our warehouse simply cannot keep bullets in stock!
Is it the fear of an Obama gun grab? Is it worries about personal safety and the safety of loved ones? Is it a deepening respect for the hunting & target shooting? Maybe it’s partially all of the above.
Either way, I’m personally pleased to see more people exercising their legal right to keep & bear arms as gun permits issuing has increased 15% over the past 2 years. It’s about time that nearly decade of steady declines has been reserved as people take their Constitutional rights seriously here in Massachusetts.
After all, Massachusetts has some of the toughest gun laws in the country. To get a permit or license, hopefuls have to complete a certified firearms safety course, cannot have a felony or misdemeanor conviction with a sentence of more than 2 years, and still then local police departments have wide latitude as to why they can reject you.
The increase in Class A permits – the largest and broadest category of gun license – amounted to a jump of more than 28,000 statewide to about 224,000 as of last month, according to data provided by the state Executive Office of Public Safety and Security.
The number had previously been dropping, from about 239,000 in 2001 to 192,000 in 2007. Class A permits, commonly called “a license to carry,” are the only permits that allow individuals to carry concealed guns and own all types of legal firearms.
Permits rose in all but a handful of very small towns, and appeared to increase more or less evenly across the state – in small towns and larger cities and in wealthy areas as well as poorer ones. Towns including Andover, Beverly, and Newton saw increases at or slightly above the state average, as did Medford, Weymouth, and Woburn. Boston was up 18 percent, Cambridge 25 percent, Somerville 26 percent, Brockton 13 percent.
“We’re concerned about criminals with guns, not law-abiding citizens,” said John A. Grossman, undersecretary of forensic science and technology for the state Office of Public Safety and Security. “It’s the illegal gun trafficking we’re really focused on.”