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Comm2A Wins in Federal Court - Mass Alienage Ban Overturned

kimmie1911

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Boston Gun and Rifle's application does say that you have to be a U.S. citizen. However, since it's a privately owned club, it wouldn't take much to change that. I'll check with them.
 
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Sorry, but you'll just be wasting your time. The BOD does not change Bylaws at BR&P, it is done only at the Annual Meeting in December each year. I also know that without BOD support, any changes to the Bylaws have ZERO chance of passage and I sensed no support for such a change when I mentioned this case and the change in law. I wish that I had hopes of such a change, but 13 years as an active member tell me otherwise. And with 4000 members, there is no sense that we need to change to gain/bring in new members.

Read the application form, top line or two specifies that one must be a US Citizen. I don't have my Bylaws handy, but I'm sure that it is in there (IIRC the club president mentioned that it would require a Bylaw change).

LenS, thank you for your confirmation.

So, it seems the only option I have here is submit the application without club membership see how Braintree PD will say to me.

Or get citizenship then get membership...[hmmm]
 

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LenS, thank you for your confirmation.

So, it seems the only option I have here is submit the application without club membership see how Braintree PD will say to me.

Or get citizenship then get membership...[hmmm]

So you have to have a club membership before Braintree will process your app?
 

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LenS, thank you for your confirmation.

So, it seems the only option I have here is submit the application without club membership see how Braintree PD will say to me.

Or get citizenship then get membership...[hmmm]

Shouldn't this open them up for a world of hurt in court?
 
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Shouldn't this open them up for a world of hurt in court?

Probably not on "citizenship", unless the applicant argued that the citizenship requirement was a proxy for denial based on a protected class such as race, religion, ethnicity or sexual orientation. Declining a membership application from a hispanic gay jew could bring considerable legal peril.
 

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Oh, they'll process it all right, and then they'll most likely deny you for not having one.

http://www.braintreepd.org/LTC.pdf

Hmm... And yet, there's no such STATE requirement, so the BPD is exceeding it's authority there. Wonder if there's another lawsuit in the offing...

Boston Gun and Rifle's application does say that you have to be a U.S. citizen.

It's a long haul from Braintree but I was curious, so I checked. I don't see a requirement like that in Harvard Sportsman's Club's bylaws.
 
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Len-2A Training

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So you have to have a club membership before Braintree will process your app?

Yes, unfortunately.


Hmm... And yet, there's no such STATE requirement, so the BPD is exceeding it's authority there. Wonder if there's another lawsuit in the offing...

Lots of towns pull all sorts of crap. "Suitability" and "chief's discretion" allow them to do it with legal impunity.

- - - Updated - - -

LenS, thank you for your confirmation.

So, it seems the only option I have here is submit the application without club membership see how Braintree PD will say to me.

Or get citizenship then get membership...[hmmm]

I'm truly sorry about this.

There are other clubs out there that don't have that requirement. You just have to carefully check before applying.
 
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Hmm... And yet, there's no such STATE requirement, so the BPD is exceeding it's authority there. Wonder if there's another lawsuit in the offing...



It's a long haul from Braintree but I was curious, so I checked. I don't see a requirement like that in Harvard Sportsman's Club's bylaws.

Thank you, dwarven1, are you the member of Harvard Sportsman's Club? How is the club?

I'll check the application procedure there and I'm really interested in the IDPA training in
Harvard Sportsman's Club as well.
 

dwarven1

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Thank you, dwarven1, are you the member of Harvard Sportsman's Club? How is the club?

I'll check the application procedure there and I'm really interested in the IDPA training in
Harvard Sportsman's Club as well.

Yes, I am, and I think it's an awesome club. Lots of action pits, lots of ranges, LOTS of different disciplines shot there and lots of shoots on the weekends. If you primarily are looking for a skeet and trap club I'd recommend places like Southboro or North Leominster, but if you're a pistol or rifle shooter, this is your playground!

How is that legal?
"Suitability". Or so they claim. [thinking]
 

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How is that legal?

Derek,

TTBOMK nobody has successfully challenged most of the excessive BS used by some towns as "policy" to determine "suitability" . . . such as doctors letters, Notarized recommendations, club memberships (Atty Karen MacNutt lost that one against Boston many years ago), etc.

It also cost magnitudes more money (and years) to fight these things vs. just giving in, so 99.999% just go with the flow. As long as a PD has a policy that they follow for all (or almost all but some privileged) applicants, I can't see any MA judge ruling against them. That's why Comm2A doesn't waste it's time/money on MA courts . . . there is no justice to be had there.
 
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To the OP:

Harvard is a great club and you'll be welcome there. One of our Fletcher plaintiffs is planning on becoming a member.

Non-statutory requirements like range membership and letters of reference are ostensibly legal under a chief's 'discretion' to deny someone a license based upon suitability. Requirements such as these are abusive and likely would not survive a federal challenge. Braintree has gone way overboard with their five letter requirement. This is clearly an attempt to make it harder for people to exercise their Second Amendment rights. We'll have a better understanding of what can be done with (to?) suitability once the 1st Circuit rules in Hightower. Suitability is part of the claim in this case and the court's ruling may give us something usable.

Range membership is also abusive but a less attractive basis for a challenge given that the 7th Circuit in Ezell held that training and maintaining proficiency were core components of the protected right. However, in the OP's case this changes based upon his exclusion, based upon alienage, from his local range. As member for a 'suspect class' the OP would have a compelling argument to use against the Braintree PD.

Is any other group beside aliens for membership at Braintree R&P? Do they admit blacks and Jews?


to the funde
 
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Too bad they don't know that being a member of a gun club has nothing to do with Suitability. [thinking]

They will make the argument that if you don't belong somewhere that you have no way to practice (legally) and thus could be a danger to society if you ever use your firearm. Long gone are the days of trotting into the woods and just doing plinking/target practice (E. MA specifically, W. MA may still have some capability here). It follows the requirements for training in order to qualify for a LTC! They can make a good argument that the legislature intended for LTC holders to be "proficient" by virtue of the training requirement (we may know it is absurd that 20 rds of ammo makes one proficient, but a judge won't know that or care), and thus a club membership is a natural extension of that. [thinking]

Remember that the US Constitution is null and void in MA and there is no recognition of the 2nd Amendment being applicable here. [rolleyes]
 

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Is any other group beside aliens for membership at Braintree R&P? Do they admit blacks and Jews?

Yes, women, blacks, Asians, Jews, etc. are all welcome at BR&P. And there is a metric ton of all of these categories represented at BR&P.

If I were to guess (and it is strictly a SWAG), the "US Citizens Only" requirement at a lot of clubs may well have been fallout from the McCarthy anti-communist witch-hunt in the 1950s or WWI or WWII worries about spies/enemies training in the US. [I do think that researching why this requirement came about could be of some historic interest.]
 

dwarven1

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Too bad they don't know that being a member of a gun club has nothing to do with Suitability. [thinking]

Oh, please, folks. We're all grownups here. Let's haul it out in the open, shall we? The police departments that insist on club membership are just using that as a way to make it more expensive and difficult for people to exercise their Second Amendment rights. They think if they make it expensive enough, they'll dissuade people from trying to get their LTC and buy guns. And it works, too.
 

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Rob Boudrie said:
One thing to consider with BR&P is the possible history of the club's alien ban. It's quote possible that the ban was enacted because aliens couldn't own handguns.

There was a group of monkeys with a stairway with food at the top. Every time a monkey walked up the stairs to get the food, he was sprayed with water. Eventually, all the monkeys learned this and would not go up. A new monkey was introduced and when he tried to go up, the other monkeys knew about the problem and stopped him. The monkeys were replaced one by one until there were no monkeys left who had ever seen or experienced the water spray. Even so, all of these monkeys, who had no idea why, would stop any new monkey who tried to go for the food ... simply because it had always been done that way.

Holy crap I work there!! Lol
 

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They will make the argument that if you don't belong somewhere that you have no way to practice (legally) and thus could be a danger to society if you ever use your firearm.

If only there was some large piece of machinery that could whisk me away to far away places whenever I wanted it to...

Remember that the US Constitution is null and void in MA and there is no recognition of the 2nd Amendment being applicable here.

oh and, QFT... sadly.

To the OP, I would highly recommend Harvard if it's not too far out of your travel range.
 
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...
If I were to guess (and it is strictly a SWAG), the "US Citizens Only" requirement at a lot of clubs may well have been fallout from the McCarthy anti-communist witch-hunt in the 1950s or WWI or WWII worries about spies/enemies training in the US. [I do think that researching why this requirement came about could be of some historic interest.]
It is terribly unfortunate that the inalienable and per-existing rights the framers had the foresight to protect are, after 200+ years, seen as uniquely 'American' rights that originated with the Constitution and only apply to Americans. A belief in our rights really gives us the responsibility to encourage and facilitate the exercise of fundamental rights by all people. It's sad that Braintree and other clubs have such a narrow view of rights and who should be able to exercise them. They unwitting play into the hands of those who think that the Second Amendment is 'different', and should be regulated 'differently' from other rights.

The police departments that insist on club membership are just using that as a way to make it more expensive and difficult for people to exercise their Second Amendment rights.
This. +1

And it's not just the police departments. The entire regulatory scheme and practice in Massachusetts has as it's common denominator the objective of minimizing gun ownership. And they've been very, very successful.

Everything from universal licensing, the exercise of local 'discretion' in licensing, an expansive and punitive approach to defining prohibited persons, limiting the available of many guns in common use, aggressive (and often inappropriate) prosecution for minor malum prohibitum offenses, etc. The system has at it's core the objective of making gun ownership as difficult and expensive as possible in order to drive down the rates of gun ownership. If owning a gun is difficult enough most people will give up. The political, judicial and law enforcement establishments of this state long ago came to the conclusion that private gun ownership is undesirable and presents a grave threat to public safety. Everything else flows from there.
 

terraformer

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I think that if one looks carefully, they will find that many/most clubs in MA have this requirement. I'm sure that the history of such a requirement would be interesting to know.

Because the clubs were dominated by people who didn't want the blacks and the browns (the gingers before them) owning guns any more than the .gov did...

- - - Updated - - -

According to my club's bylaws US citizenship is required too.

If I can ever find time to attend a meeting I think I have found yet another way to make myself "popular" around that place... [laugh]
 

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If I can ever find time to attend a meeting I think I have found yet another way to make myself "popular" around that place... [laugh]

Yup!

I brought the subject up at BR&P right after I let the 60+ at the meeting know about the Comm2A win! Not one person spoke up and said "yes, we should re-look at this" and the club president reacted in a negative way towards the suggestion (I don't recall exactly what he said). I've been around there long enough (it's very rare for me to miss a meeting) that without his support, nothing is going to change. If there had been even a few people who said "yes, we should" there might be some hope, but the silence was deafening. And amongst those present were a number of women, blacks, Jews and Asians!
 
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Yup!

I brought the subject up at BR&P right after I let the 60+ at the meeting know about the Comm2A win! Not one person spoke up and said "yes, we should re-look at this" and the club president reacted in a negative way towards the suggestion (I don't recall exactly what he said)....

Sounds like the "Toby Keith" Fudd mentality in a nutshell. How unpatriotic of you to question America! They are missing the bigger picture of "Liberty".
 

kimmie1911

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Actually, the MacNutt v Police Commissioner of Boston was to challenge the range test and the range test fee (in addition to the $100 LTC application fee). It had nothing to do with club membership. She lost on the range test but won in regards to the fee. The club membership requirement was challenged - see Victor v. Barkhouse, and was won, resulting in Randolph doing away with it's club membership requirement.
 

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TTBOMK nobody has successfully challenged most of the excessive BS used by some towns as "policy" to determine "suitability" . . . such as doctors letters, Notarized recommendations, club memberships (Atty Karen MacNutt lost that one against Boston many years ago), etc.

Club membership wasn't part of the MacNutt case. She presented two related issues: The Moon Island test - which was upheld by the court, and the fee for that test which was struck down.

The club membership was successfully challenged in 1998. Google Victor v. Barkhouse. That was in Randolph (Quincy court - same as Braintree).

ETA: Kimmie beat me to it.
 
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Actually, the MacNutt v Police Commissioner of Boston was to challenge the range test and the range test fee (in addition to the $100 LTC application fee). It had nothing to do with club membership. She lost on the range test but won in regards to the fee. The club membership requirement was challenged - see Victor v. Barkhouse, and was won, resulting in Randolph doing away with it's club membership requirement.

Brain fart . . . I knew that Karen's case was on the Moon Island test, not sure why I wrote that. My bad.
 
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The MIRCS update appears to have gone live this week. LTC/FID applications for green card holders can now be processed through MIRCS rather than the paper license exception process.

Police departments can no longer use this excuse for not taking applications from lawfully admitted permanent residents.
 

terraformer

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Police departments can no longer use this excuse for not taking applications from lawfully admitted permanent residents.

It's not like we let them use the excuse either. How many C&Ds did we send plus the lawyer made how many more phone calls? Things didn't always go smooth but where people didn't try we made sure an effort was made.
 
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It's not like we let them use the excuse either. How many C&Ds did we send plus the lawyer made how many more phone calls? Things didn't always go smooth but where people didn't try we made sure an effort was made.
Three C&D letters and numerous calls to town attorneys in Arlington, Lynn, and Boston PD.

And we're greatly appreciative for the fine legal service of Jeff Scrimo.
 
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