NRA Explore
APPEARS IN News

Boston Police Commissioner: I Say Who Needs a Gun!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Writing for a majority of the Supreme Court in District of Columbia v. Heller, which recognized an individual right under the Second Amendment to possess firearms for self-defense, Justice Scalia observed:The very enumeration of the right takes out of the hands of government … the power to decide on a case-by-case basis whether the right is really worth insisting upon.”   

Nevertheless, Boston Police Commissioner Bill Evans expressed his support this week for a provision in the House version of a Massachusetts gun control bill that would give local law enforcement officials discretionary power to decide who may acquire licenses to own shotguns and rifles. This provision was stripped from the State Senate version of the bill. Under current law, local law enforcement officials already have discretion over who is issued a license to own a handgun.

In an interview Boston Public Radio, Evans stated:

For the most part, nobody in the city needs a shotgun, nobody needs a rifle, and I don’t know a lot of people who are into hunting who, being lifelong residents, would actually want that who lives in the city, but, especially here in the city I want to have discretion over who’s getting any type of gun because public safety is my main concern and as you know it’s an uphill battle taking as many guns off the street right now without pumping more into the system.

Unfortunately, Evans is not alone in his failure to comprehend that constitutional rights limit, rather than depend upon, the discretion of government functionaries. On Tuesday, several Massachusetts police chiefs gathered at the statehouse to protest the discretion provision having been stripped from the senate’s bill. Among those participating were Evans, Chief Terrence Cunningham of Wellesley, Chief Erik Blake of Oaks Bluff, and former Boston Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis. The Boston Globe additionally reported that Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick supports the House bill.

Executive Director Jim Wallace of NRA’s Massachusetts state affiliate, Gun Owner’s Action League, explained to Fox News that the discretion the chiefs have to issue handgun permits is already being misused.

Massachusetts police chiefs have had discretionary ability [to issue handgun permits] for decades here and the system has been pretty widely abused as far as suitability goes because it’s left up to the chief to decide… Some chiefs say they just don’t hand out those licenses, or some are granted for target and hunting purposes only.

Earlier this year, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recognized that a California regulatory scheme that effectively granted local sheriffs the discretion to decide who had “good cause” to carry firearms in public was unconstitutional. That case, like nearly all successful Second Amendment litigation, was made possible by local officials who, though having sworn an oath to the Constitution, insisted they had a better grasp of human nature and public welfare than the framers of the Bill of Rights.

We therefore suggest some remedial reading and a dose of humility for Commissioner Davis and his likeminded colleagues. Some of the rights these officials now find so inconvenient arose from the overreaching of their predecessors in authority.

TRENDING NOW

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Missouri: Permitless Carry Self-Defense Legislation Overwhelmingly Passes House, Headed to Senate

Today, the Missouri House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed House Bill 1468.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Oklahoma: Hunting with Suppressors Legislation Signed into Law

Yesterday, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin signed House Bill 2637 into law and it goes into effect immediately.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Connecticut: Anti-Gun Bills Expected for Floor Vote Tomorrow

One or both of the anti-gun bills, House Bill 5054 and House Bill 5623, may be called as early as tomorrow to go to the House floor for consideration by the full House of Representatives.  Both HB 5054 and ...

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

California: Anti-Gun Bills Still Alive After Policy Committee Deadline

After a busy week of hearings, Friday April 22nd marked the deadline for bills with a fiscal note to be passed out of their respective policy committees. Bills not meeting this deadline are considered defeated ...

News  

Friday, April 22, 2016

Hillary Blames Guns, Not Criminals

Despite a litany of rebukes from news outlets and organizations that normally provide her with a steady stream of fawning coverage, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton refuses to abandon her misleading statements blaming Vermont’s gun laws for New York’s ...

News  

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Merrick Garland MUST NOT be confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court

The U.S. Senate needs to hear from you TODAY that Merrick Garland MUST NOT be confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Rep. Tom Emmer Introduces Firearm Due Process Protection Act

On Tuesday, Representative Tom Emmer (R-MN) introduced H.R. 4980, the Firearm Due Process Protection Act. This legislation is meant to ensure that eligible firearms purchasers are not arbitrarily denied their right to obtain firearms. The Act ...

News  

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Political Report | Disarmament Cloaked as "Common Sense"

Gun control advocates have been at their civilian-disarmament campaign for so long that astute observers will notice the same tactics and approaches returning time and again to the political landscape. When the American public rejects ...

News  

Friday, April 22, 2016

Professor: "How can I say I don't want to support students who are gun enthusiasts…"

More evidence that America’s institutions of higher education have given up any pretense of providing a bastion for the free exchange of ideas came this week in the form of a commentary published in the Chronicle ...

Friday, April 22, 2016

Hypocrisy on Firearms Enforcement? Congressman Beyer, Heal Thyself!

On April 11, U.S. Rep. Donald S. Beyer, Jr. (D-VA) rolled out his so-called ATF Enforcement Act, H.R. 4905 in an opinion piece in the Washington Post.  Beyer claimed hypocrisy on the part of NRA and other pro-gun advocates who ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -
NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.