Go git'em, Scriv...
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.