Debate Magazine

The City of Lowell, Massachusetts is Now Requiring Gun Owners to Write an “essay” to Carry

By Eowyn @DrEowyn

The City of Lowell, Massachusetts has an approximate population of 110,000 and lies 35 miles north of Boston. They overwhelming elect democrats. So the following should come as no surprise. It is complete NONSENSE.

The commies in charge have enacted a new law that requires residents applying for a license to carry handguns to write “an essay” and pay upwards of $1,100 for training.

Police Superintendent William Taylor/City of Lowell Photo

Police Superintendent William Taylor/City of Lowell Photo

Fox News reports that this was pushed by Police Superintendent William Taylor and passed by the City Council. The law requires applicants for unrestricted handgun licenses to state in writing why they should receive such a license. Taylor has sole discretion for approving or denying the applications.

Jim Wallace, executive director of Gun Owners Action League of Massachusetts, is not mincing words. He said, “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.”

Other cities and towns in Massachusetts have tough licensing regulations. Lowell’s new requirements, which also include taking a gun safety course over and above one already required by the state, prompted complaints at a public hearing last week. “I will never write an essay to get my rights as an American citizen,” resident Dan Gannon told the City Council.

The new policy was prompted in part by a year-old federal lawsuit brought by Commonwealth Second Amendment, a Bay State gun-rights group. Attorney David Jensen said the suit stems from Lowell’s history of denying qualified applicants permits to carry handguns without what the plaintiffs consider a legitimate rationale.

Jensen said the jury is still out on whether the new policy will prove a remedy or just a more formal system for rejecting applications. “The question right now is what they actually do,” Jensen said. “Our initial response to that would be that the Second Amendment secures the right to keep and bear arms. You really shouldn’t be required to write an essay explaining why you would like to exercise this fundamental right.

Lowell Police spokesman Capt. Timothy Crowley said characterizing the written requirement as an “essay” is not accurate. “If you want a license to carry a firearm unrestricted wherever you want and whenever you want, the superintendent is just looking for some documentation as to why,” Crowley said. “That is not unreasonable to most people.”


Local attorney Richard Chambers, who often represents applicants who have been turned down, said calling the new requirement an “essay” is right on target. “An essay when you’re in school is when you write something, you turn it in and they grade it,” Chambers said. “This is an essay. And it’s also just another layer of bureaucracy they’ve tacked on to block people from exercising their rights.”

Despite the criticism, the new rules were adopted unanimously and are set to take effect this week.

Read all the details here.

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