Concealed handgun permits up 15 percent in Massachusetts

Even in Massachusetts the number of concealed handgun permits has been increasing. This comes to about 4 percent of the state's adult population in 2007. Since then the rate of concealed handgun permits has grown much faster than the population.

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.

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Blogger Unknown said...

While the trend is probably correct, the absolute numbers reported are a bit deceptive. While a Class A License to Carry Firearms is required in order to carry, many of them are restricted by the issuing police department to prohibit carry. A License to Carry (which is issued at the discretion of the local police) is required simply to own a handgun, and a Class A License is needed to own any so-called large capacity handgun (i.e., any semi-automatic that holds more than 10 rounds).

12/20/2009 4:06 PM  
Blogger Weer'd Beard said...

Ged is correct, tho post Heller several of the famous towns that would ONLY issue restricted permits (ie "Target and Hunting Only" or "Employment Only" and other such) has gotten much smaller.

Also, while it isn't great, most restrictive towns WILL issue an unrestricted permit after your first renewal (6 years).

I will say from first hand knowledge, the number of people getting their permits, and buying guns is WAYYY up from past years.

12/21/2009 10:48 AM  

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