Judge: Massachusetts Law Gives Local Police Broad Powers to Ban Selling of Guns

QUINCY - A court upheld Quincy Police Chief Robert Crowley’s decision to deny a downtown sporting goods store a license to sell firearms in a case that further riled gun advocates already frustrated by the chief’s policies on granting permits.

Superior Court Judge Wendie Gershengorn ruled that Crowley was within his authority to deny a license to sell guns to Ronald Hidalgo, the owner of the Sportsman’s Den on Southern Artery, because of a 20-year-old assault charge and a 6-year-old restraining order.

Both cases were ultimately dropped, but a state law giving police chiefs broad discretion in deciding who is qualified for a gun permit doesn’t contradict Crowley’s reasoning, the judge ruled.

Hidalgo, who has owned the store for 10 years, filed the lawsuit last year, asserting that the chief was abusing his authority essentially because he could.

Hidalgo has a Quincy-issued licensed to carry a handgun and earned approval from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to be a gun dealer before he was shot down by Crowley.

‘‘Somebody has to explain to me how I can be perfectly suitable to carry a firearm, but I can’t sell one. I just can’t wrap my brain around that,’’ Hidalgo said.

‘‘He’s hurting me financially, taking money out of my pocket just because he wants to be the guy in charge. It’s ridiculous,’’ Hidalgo said.

Hidalgo said he doesn’t think he’ll appeal the court ruling because he has already spent $20,000 and doesn’t think he can afford to take the fight any further . . .


Blogger saturdaynightspecial said...

The Americans that wrote the most letters to the most politicians to ban gun possession were the police. I'll bet many of them are members of the NRA.

9/17/2006 5:35 AM  

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