Newtown has changed the conversation on guns in this country so much, authorities in Massachusetts are aghast at the number of people who are trying to exercise their rights.
The local increase in licenses is a trend reflected statewide. The number of people in Massachusetts with Class A licenses rose by nearly 5 percent, from about 271,000 in 2012 to 284,000 last year. The latest number represents an increase of more than 20 percent since 2009.
Of course, to many lawmakers, this is a problem about which something must be done, and they are looking to also issue FIDs, which is what you need for grandpa’s deer rifle and shotgun, on a may-issue basis.
A panel to consider changes was appointed by House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo following the Newtown, Conn., school massacre in December 2012. It developed a list of 44 recommendations, which included giving police chiefs the power to block potentially dangerous people from buying rifles and shotguns, broadening background checks, and strengthening gun safety courses. A bill is now being drafted, according to the speaker’s office.
How long before the federal courts start recognizing that the vast majority of gun laws out there are motivated almost exclusively by an animus toward the idea of the common people being armed?