Chief of Police Requires “Essay” to Obtain CCW

As gun owners and supporters of the Second Amendment we are used to lawmakers and public officials coming up with new ways to subvert the law and enact defacto gun control. That being said, the Chief of Police of Lowell, Massachusetts, has set the bar to a new low. Massachusetts’ law mandates that it is an, “unrestricted right-to-carry” gun permit state. However, the police chief still has to issue the permit. In this case, the chief of the Lowell, Massachusetts Police Department has mandated that the residents of Lowell submit a written essay to the chief of police that explains just why they want that particular right. To actually receive the permit, the applicant must receive a passing grade.

Man in light blue shirt and white ball cap teaches two young ladies how to handle a gun, with a wooded area in the background The whole “shall not be infringed argument” is self-explanatory and needs no further explanation here, but how can anyone even conceive an essay requirement as a fair judge of whether to issue an “unrestricted right-to-carry” gun permit? I have read more than one report from police officers… based on their writing skills, more than a few would not have qualified to carry a firearm. However, that is not to say they were not good coppers. There is a lot that goes in to writing a report or an essay, including time, sleep, stressors, and education to name a few, but none of those have anything to do with the restriction of a Constitutional right.

English, writing skills, grammar, they are all subjective to the interpretation of the reader. Even the SAT, the standard requirement to enter most four-year universities, requires multiple readers to grade an essay, but not in Lowell. In Lowell, the Chief merely makes up a rule and assigns a reader. In fairness, the Chief did not make the rule, he merely brought it up to the city council who approved it, but you get the idea.

Adding insult to injury, in addition to the essay requirement, the residents of Lowell are also required to pay up to $1,100 for firearms training in order to obtain their permit.

The Local Perspective

Once the story broke, The Shooter’s Log immediately went to Mike Pelonzi, President of Magnum Anti Ballistic Systems Corporation. Beyond making some of the most innovative ballistic panels (Check back in the next couple of weeks for a story on Pelonzi’s ballistic solutions), Pelonzi is also a certified firearms training instructor in Massachusetts, which him an ideal candidate for a local perspective.

Pelonzi said, to be certified as a firearms instructor, you have to submit all of your training certificates and a written lesson plan to the Colonel of the MA State Police. Once approved, you are certified to teach the course. Students seeking a CCW who successfully pass that course are and issued a MA certificate, which is supposed to be—and was until now—accepted through all police departments in the state.

Magnum Anti Ballistic Systems Corporation Danvers MA 01923 Mike Pelonzi, President 978.815.6989 

However, Lowell, MA, Police Chief William Taylor’s new plan calls for additional requirements such as the essay and fees up to $1,100. Although the details are a bit vague as the department’s website has not yet been updated, it is rumored that the increase in fees is due to the Chief’s requirement that citizens be required to take a class taught by the police department instead of private instructors. Pelonzi noted that the average firearms safety class costs between $75 and $125, plus $100 for the license application fee.

Pelonzi concluded the interview by noting, criminals do not take firearm safety classes. We already have a system that requires training and an application that goes through a full NICS background check. Lowell’s new requirements add a burden to the law-abiding citizens and potentially denies them of their Constitutional rights, but does nothing to deter crime.

Jim Wallace with the Gun Owners Action League of Massachusetts released this statement: “It is absurd that people should have to write an essay to the town to explain why they should be able to exercise their constitutional rights. We already have a very strict set of gun laws in the state, but this is way over the top. It’s like having a college professor say, ‘I’m going to read your essay and if I don’t like it, I’m going to give it back to you.’” ATF Form 4473 “We’re no longer taking a cookie-cutter approach to issuing firearms licenses,” he said, in the Lowell Sun.

More time? More time for what? How is more time than the law dictates and burdensome, unnecessary requirements anything more than discrimination and an unlawful requirement to enact backdoor gun control by either denying citizens of their Constitutional rights or at a minimum delaying those rights?

How do you feel about Lowell, Massachusetts, new requirement to obtain an “unrestricted right-to-carry” gun permit by writing an essay and increasing the fees? Share you opinions in the comment section.


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Comments (224)

  1. I agrre 100% with you with one exception. All Plea-bargaining should be outlawed. Either you are guility of the crime or not. Plea-Bargaining only lets the criminal out on the street sooner and creates the criminal revolving door on crime. Criminal justice is supposed to be equal not expiedant for the sake of the prosicuting attornies.Our judical system is totally screded up!

  2. NRA/ILA does support suits by both individuals and groups. Here in California, they are backing one or two suits involving business owners v Camala Harris, CA Atty Gen, as well as supporting suits brought by Cal Gun Owners Assoc.

    The NRA is a 501c organization, while the NRA/ILA is a legislative action organization. While the two are often used interchangeably, they are separate entities.

  3. To DaveW…good commentary. You have touched on the prime reason we find people believing that the present laws are not enough to curb the violence. In fact, allowing perps to plea to lesser charges and throwing out the gun charge, allows those perps to avoid the mandatory sentences that are supposed to be automatic.
    If a group of legislators on any govt. level enacted a law that forbade a lawyer the right to plea down from a gun charge….and federal sentencing was allowed to be enforced, THAT would take a violent criminal off the street. THAT would show all that the present gun laws are enough.

  4. Being a California resident and pro 2nd Amendment, I keep tabs on legislation proposed by state legislators and what impact it will have on me. The same is true of the NRA/ILA.

    As for Ye, along with de Leon, and some others, we have watched their prolific writing of anti-gun legislation for a number of years.

    When the FBI busted Ye, it was published and broadcast in the media. When he was allowed to plead guilty to a lesser charge, it was aired.

    I do not care what happens to people like Ye, except that he was allowed to plead to a lesser charge and avoid the punishment you or I might expect to face. I do care that he continues to be paid for representing the people. I do care about the hypocrisy of the anti-gun movement which falsifies the data they quote, and when they seek to restrict lawful gun owners while they themselves might deal in illegal gun sales, or have personal investments in the firearms industry.

  5. In regards to Nick Liberto comment.
    Thank you. I hope there are a enough people who realize that no common sense person who reads that kind of rhetoric would believe a word of it. And as for the anti Second Amendment gun grabbers out there. I also wonder if any of them have even given a thought to how the tax dollars could be replaced or where the jobs will come from to replace those jobs lost because of their “the gun grabbers” anti gun, anti Second Amendment positions. As for those fine people who would lose those jobs; beginning with the line workers and all the way to the top engineers and designers, they should be inferriorated that anyone and I do mean anyone would make an attempt to destroy a persons livelihood. Doing so or even being a part of such a scheme should be abhorrent to every and anyone. Having had even a small role in the demise of those careers and family incomes, not to mention the effects caused by the loss of income will have on each and every person is a cross that only selfish, uninformed, ignorant and irrational people would carry without having any remorse. I doubt though that any of these anti gun, anti Second Amendment and dare I say anti American people would give a thought too any of what I have written here today.

  6. Now there’s a plan. And while on the subject. Has the NRA filed a law suit on behalf of its members or does the NRA plan on doing so. With over a million members and myself being one of them. I would gladly offer up an extra five $$$$$$$ dollars to help support law suits of this type.

  7. Well, I’m not sure what Dave is saying has anything to do with THIS article, but I am wondering why the writer didn’t ask whether anyone is yet suing the city council (ya’ know you can get rid of these idiots by voting against them) and specifically suing the police chief, not in his capacity as the chief of police, but as John Doe, which would require the chief to fork out HIS OWN MONEY to defend himself. That being said, if anyone in this little podunk town is reading this, join the NRA and then demand that they sue these jerks!!!! Let’s see how long a small town’s bank roll will last when they have spend their budget money for a high level lawyer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Because it is obvious that no one at the state level would help defend them since they have taken it upon themselves [THIS IS THE KEY WORD, “themselves”] to ADD requirements that the state of Mass does not require nor mandate!!!

  8. I agree that legitimate gun suppliers don’t do what the government does, but I do know that state legislator Ye (D-CA) was very prolific at producing gun control bills while running guns behind the scenes.

    1. I am not familiar with legislator Ye (D-CA) and if he/she is anti-second amendment I couldn’t care less about what happens to him/her. I am interested in learning how you know whether or not the said person has been guns and what scenes you are referring to.

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