Concealed handgun permits up 15 percent in Massachusetts
The number of gun permits issued in Massachusetts surged by more than 15 percent over the past two years, reversing nearly a decade of steady declines and marking a pronounced departure for a state known for its antigun sentiment.
The magnitude of the rise, evident in nearly every corner of the state, surprised law enforcement officials, and gun advocates and opponents alike. . . .
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. . . .
Law enforcement officials said that, while the sharp increase in permits is unexpected, it does not portend any increase in gun violence.
“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.’’
Police chiefs and district attorneys echoed that, saying they see few crimes committed with legally licensed firearms. . . .
Thanks to Dr. Richard F. Griffiths for this link.