Gun Safety

Please read more about what Senator Brownsberger has learned from the State Police about firearm safety courses here: http://willbrownsberger.com/state-requirements-for-certified-firearm-safety-courses/.

Are these requirements sufficient? Please share your thoughts below.

Published by Anne Johnson Landry

Anne works as Committee Counsel and Policy Advisor to Senator Brownsberger.

9 replies on “Gun Safety”

  1. Daniel,

    It would seem you’re arguing for denial of a guaranteed right based on an allegation and without due process. Is that correct?

    Further, in number two, you’re arguing that a right should be only granted based on a determination of skill. That would by definition be a privilege.

  2. A question about 3 issues regarding gun safety. One when their is an allegation of domestic abuse, do the police have the absolute authority to require that guns be removed from the home of either party, and a way to check to see if there are legal firearms around? If not why not? Two, if someone owns a handgun, is there a requirement that they be able to aim and hit what they are aiming at as part of their rights and responsibilities as a handgun owner? Three, if there are multiple incidents at a residence where police respond to problems involving the same individuals under the new reform law can the police revoke a person’s right to have guns under this scenario?

    1. Dan, yes, the police can confiscate guns under certain circumstances — if there is a restraining order, a court order, condition of bail, search warrant, or crime at the time — or other good cause. There are due process rules in place for this under the new law.

      According to the Department of Public Safety, there is no state-wide requirement for hands-on shooting instruction and practice, although Boston does require it for a LTC application.

  3. One relevant piece of research I’d be interested in is what are the crime and accident numbers for LTC/FID holders in MA. I’m willing to bet those numbers are approaching zero and that any additional requirements will be diminishing returns at best. My experience with those people concurs with Don’s and that is that they are very safety conscious.

    Along the lines of Mark Bacon’s post (and I know I’ve posted similar stats here before), the number of LTC holders in MA has risen by 45% over the last 4 years (320k vs. 220k) based on numbers I’ve heard from multiple sources. If there were a problem with the training level of LTC holders, it would seem those problems should have become more apparent over that period.

  4. I’m not sure I understand the gun safety debate question. We should be focused on the sources of gun violence, which are mostly related to drugs and gang violence. I link to an article, from NPR, that gets very little attention in general from the media. It discusses the massive drop in homicide with guns and relates it to increases in gun ownership. I’m not sure of the reasons, but we should look into whether increasing gun ownership is correlating with the drop in crime.

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/05/07/181998015/rate-of-u-s-gun-violence-has-fallen-since-1993-study-says

  5. I think gun control is pretty strong in Massachusetts, for people who want to legally acquire and keep guns. For people who have no interest in legal gun ownership, controls are weak, mainly because of our porous borders and the ease of unregulated or illegal gun purchases. National legislation is needed. So we’re back to the same old issues. I don’t think the Marathon bombing and its aftermath have changed the basic issues, or the solutions.

    Gun safety is always a concern, as is driving safety, workplace safety, food safety, etc. Your research is useful. I don’t see that more training in gun safety per se will make a difference. Beyond communicating the rudiments (“Assume every gun is loaded.”, etc.) real gun safety is based on the characteristics of the people handling the guns. Which then takes us back to who should own a gun.

  6. This research was in response to a conversation that is happening among gun owners and others concerned about gun safety in Watertown. The premise of that conversation is that gun control is strong in Massachusetts already, but given that guns are in many peoples hands, the group is asking what can be done about gun safety. The issue of training was raised and we did this research to provide background.

  7. Will and Ann: In my own experience, gun safety requirements and instructions work pretty well. The licensed gun owners I know are acutely aware of safety requirements. Are there proposals to change the rules? What issues do you see?

    No doubt, non-licensed gun owners are a different issue, but the safety issue there is fundamentally their ownership of the guns.

  8. Will and Ann,

    What is your goal with this research? What problems are seeing among LTC/FID holders in MA?

    GOAL held their annual range day for legislators last week. Did you attend? It’d be a good opportunity to learn about this subject from the other side.

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