NRA Explore

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.



Wednesday, August 5, 2015

'Forty percent of guns don’t go through background checks' Lie Debunked

The claim that 40 percent of gun sales do not go through a federal background check is false ...


Sunday, October 4, 2015

Handgun ban? Fuggedaboudit! Nassau County DA Lifts Unconstitutional Restriction

Last week, law professor and Washington Post blogger Eugene Volokh, exposed how the District Attorney’s Office in Nassau County, New ...

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Florida Alert! Bill to Allow Open-Carry to Stop Abuse of CW License Holders

On Tuesday, October 6, 2015 at 9:00am the House Criminal Justice Committee will hold a hearing on  HB-163 ...


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

New Jersey's Gun Control Trap

"They basically told me I'm one step below a murderer in the eyes of the New Jersey court." So ...


Sunday, October 4, 2015

San Francisco Supervisors Drive All Gun Stores from City

When gun controllers contend that they aren’t out to prohibit civilian access to firearms, but simply want “responsible” ...


Friday, September 18, 2015

CNN Poll Offers Bad News for Gun Controllers, Anti-gun Candidates

Candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination – Hillary Clinton and Martin O’Malley – have spent significant effort in recent months trying to ...

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered ...

Monday, October 5, 2015

Ohio: Concealed Carry Expansion Legislation Likely to Receive House Floor Vote This Week

Concealed carry expansion legislation, Sub. House Bill 48, is expected to come up for a floor vote in the ...


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

California’s Wildlife Resource Committee Continues to Operate without Procedures

On September 24, the National Rifle Association submitted a letter to the California Fish and Game Commission objecting ...


Thursday, August 6, 2015

North Carolina Governor McCrory Signs NRA-Backed Bill Into Law

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed NRA-backed House Bill 562 into law to improve a great deal of existing statutes ...


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.