Brookline gun case appealed to superior court

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Go git'em, Scriv...


Brookline -
A Brookline gun owner is taking his legal battle with police over gun licenses to the Norfolk Superior Court.

Earlier this year, resident Morton Bardfield petitioned the Brookline District Court to prevent Brookline Police from requiring additional safety tests when residents seek to renew gun licenses. The court agreed with Bardfield, but rejected the petition because he received his licenses before the state passed new statutes in 1998.

Bardfield’s attorney, Keith Langer, said the court misinterpreted the statute and has appealed the case to Dedham Superior Court.

“The only issue presented to the trial court by either party was whether a local licensing authority can require safety certification requirements beyond those required by the law,” Langer said. “The court went beyond the one issue presented to it.”

Brookline Police additionally require gun owners to complete a range test, in addition to state requirements, before they can renew their license. When Bradfield’s license expired this June, he declined to take the test and instead petitioned the court to end the practice.

In the case, Bardfield v. Chief of Police of Brookline, the court ruled that local police chiefs did not have the authority to impose additional requirements beyond those provided by state statute.

Bardfield, a law enforcement consultant who has carried a gun for 40 years, said he supports safety certification, but does not think it should be required.

“It shouldn’t be up the chiefs,” he said. “They should recommend it.”

Bardfield has appealed the case to Norfolk Superior Court, where a May 2009 hearing date has been scheduled. Langer said he hopes to move up the hearing.

Associate Town Counsel George Driscoll, who represented the town in the case, is on vacation and could not be reached for comment.
http://www.townonline.com/brookline/news/x225118429
 
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[thinking]
In the case, Bardfield v. Chief of Police of Brookline, the court ruled that local police chiefs did not have the authority to impose additional requirements beyond those provided by state statute.
I'm confused... Why does he need to push this further? Didn't the court already rule in his favor? Maybe I am missreading the "did not have the authority to impose additional requirements beyond those provided by state statute...
[thinking]

If I read that correctly, then why is it going further? Is the town now fighting the ruling?
 
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yeah, well, that gives them plenty of time to arrest him for having the firearms in his home and then make the whole thing go away.
 
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If I read this right the court basically said that the CLEO cannot add requirements for licensing and renewal for permits/licenses received after 1998, but if applying for a renewal of a license received before 1998 they can add whatever requirements they want. Ludicrous. Go Scrivener go.

This is like a recent civil service ruling on our town where the administrative judge basically ruled that the ex-police chief had lied and shouted at people, but not as much as the town manager said he had, so the TM could only demote him, not fire him. Dishonest is dishonest, bullying is bullying.
 

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The court agreed with Bardfield, but rejected the petition because he received his licenses before the state passed new statutes in 1998.
Which makes absolutely no sense to me - do these judges even LIVE in the real world???
 

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Don't we Americans have a right to a speedy trial? Oh sorry, I forgot, we live here. As a commonwealth and not a state certain federal laws don't apply, I'd imagine.

What a slap in the face. Tell me that's not an attempt to get him to shut the f*** up, or just an attempt to thumb their nose at him.
 

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Don't we Americans have a right to a speedy trial? Oh sorry, I forgot, we live here. As a commonwealth and not a state certain federal laws don't apply, I'd imagine.

What a slap in the face. Tell me that's not an attempt to get him to shut the f*** up, or just an attempt to thumb their nose at him.

We have right to a speedy trial but he is not on trial, this is a lawsuit. I was told when I took my class that I may be required range test for competency so I was under the impression that this was up to the towns discretion. Is this another one of those gray areas?
 

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We have right to a speedy trial but he is not on trial, this is a lawsuit. I was told when I took my class that I may be required range test for competency so I was under the impression that this was up to the towns discretion. Is this another one of those gray areas?
It is NOT a gray area; it's a power trip by the CLEO of Brookline. There is NOTHING in the law that gives him the authority to require a range test.
 

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IMHO, as the issuing authority just like any legislative body he can impose "stricter" regulations but cannot allow the higher authoritie's regulations to be more lienient. A state can impose stricter firearms laws than the federal laws require, as MA has regularly done, but they can't loosen them up so as to ignore some of the federal regulations in that state.

Basically the issuing authority can do pretty much anything they want to impede the process. Shall issue as opposed to may issue. And always at some appointees discretion. So I don't even see why the court agreed with the petitioner in the first place, maybe because the judge knew he was going to throw it out anyways.

There is nothing in the law specifically granting him the power to require a range test but there is nothing preventing it either. Again as the "decision maker" he can pretty much do whatever he wants until someone like this brings it to court and finds a judge that doesn't have his/her head up their ass.
 
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I was told when I took my class that I may be required range test for competency so I was under the impression that this was up to the towns discretion. Is this another one of those gray areas?
Back before the major re-write of the gun laws in 1998 there was nothing anywhere in the law about training or competency testing. Boston was sued by Karen McNutt over their requirement of a range test, and the SJC ruled that, since the legislature gave local licensing authorities discretion in determining who was a "suitable person", but didn't provide any criteria, that training and competency testing were reasonable criteria for them to require. Since the law now specifically requires training (which includes competency testing) and delegates the determination of what courses meet that requirement, many persons have argued, and at least one court has agreed, that this is no longer a discretionary area for licensing authorities.

Ken
 
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According to a report on page 7 of the Outdoor Message, the decision from the Brookline District Court is not binding upon other courts. In order to have a decision binding upon all other courts, the next court level up has to render the decision.
This is one tiny victory for gun owners and the plaintiff who has had a gun license for 40 years should be congratulated by all gun owners for having the fortitude to challenge the status quo. Those of us who live in Boston have to jump through the same flaming hoops as Brookline residents only to be handed a Class A license that includes the restriction, "NO Conceal Carry".
Congratulations to Mr. Morton Bardfield and his attorney. It is my fervent hope that more and more people will challenge these over zealous licensing authorities and put a stop to these prohibitive restrictions.
To all of you who live in "Green" communities, count your blessings.
Best Regards.
 

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Back before the major re-write of the gun laws in 1998 there was nothing anywhere in the law about training or competency testing. Boston was sued by Karen McNutt over their requirement of a range test, and the SJC ruled that, since the legislature gave local licensing authorities discretion in determining who was a "suitable person", but didn't provide any criteria, that training and competency testing were reasonable criteria for them to require. Since the law now specifically requires training (which includes competency testing) and delegates the determination of what courses meet that requirement, many persons have argued, and at least one court has agreed, that this is no longer a discretionary area for licensing authorities.

Ken
Thanks Ken.
 
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IMHO, as the issuing authority just like any legislative body he can impose "stricter" regulations but cannot allow the higher authoritie's regulations to be more lienient. A state can impose stricter firearms laws than the federal laws require, as MA has regularly done, but they can't loosen them up so as to ignore some of the federal regulations in that state.
You are WRONG. First of all the police chief of any town or city within Massachusetts is not a leglislative body. He can not create statutes that constrict your rights as you imply.

I suggest that as an ordinary resident of Massachusetts that you should be aware of the actual MGLs. Please read all of MGL 30A.

Regulations are supposed to be issued by the State Officers. The MGL has to specifically enable the agencies to promulgate regulations with legal force. There is no common law which effects the ability to create such regulations. The other chapter that you should read is MGL 40, which specifies the scope of regulations that your selectmen or alderman may pass.

Hopefully you will read MGL 140.
 
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