Oct 10, 2005
southern ma
Feedback: 6 / 0 / 0
dose anyone know if there is anybody above the licensing officer
that you can contact about approval.
i am trying to help a friend that has been waiting now 13 week for his permit
and everybodt i talk to say tht bs and he should have had an ansewer by
any help would be great thanks
You could check with the Mass. Criminal History Systems Board. I believe all applications have to go through that organization before they are approved. The chief of police might do some other checks before that, but eventually it has to pass through the chsb. Your friend could call them up an see a) if they got your the app. and b) what the status is. That, at least, will give you more information about how far the app. is along in the process, even if it doesn't really give you an estimated delivery date.

Sometime after the app. is ok-ed by the chsb, the very last thing that happens is that the state (not the local pd) prints a ltc card. So, that's another point of limbo: the app. might have been ok-ed by everyone, but the state hasn't mailed the pd a ltc license to deliver to you. I THINK the state is pretty good about delivering ltc cards in a timely manner ("pretty good" means "takes no more than two weeks").
Yes, 13 weeks is BS, however, when my husband went for his renewal, it took 138 days. He got it, and from a Class A friendly chief, but it happens. Calling the state isn't going to do any good. Others have and haven't found out a thing. The only thing your friend can do is, 1 - call GOAL, and fill out the complaint form that they have as to the length of time it's taking (which I believe is on line at their web site, and 2 - call the PD and ask about the license. From my understanding, the state is claiming that the Dept. of Mental Health is what holds them up. Also 3 - IF your friend is registered to vote (if he isn't, don't bother doing this), then have him CALL his Rep. and Sen and complain to their office. Even if they're anti gun, they still have to check on it for him. The law states 40 days, and it's over that, so let them do some work for him (or her).
Direct link to the complaint form

Straight from MA General Laws:

Chapter 140: Section 131 Licenses to carry firearms; Class A and B; conditions and restrictions

<big Snip>

(e) Within seven days of the receipt of a completed application for a license to carry or possess firearms, or renewal of same, the licensing authority shall forward one copy of the application and one copy of the applicant's fingerprints to the colonel of state police, who shall within 30 days advise the licensing authority, in writing, of any disqualifying criminal record of the applicant arising from within or without the commonwealth and whether there is reason to believe that the applicant is disqualified for any of the foregoing reasons from possessing a license to carry or possess firearms. In searching for any disqualifying history of the applicant, the colonel shall utilize, or cause to be utilized, files maintained by the department of probation and statewide and nationwide criminal justice, warrant and protection order information systems and files including, but not limited to, the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. The colonel shall inquire of the commissioner of the department of mental health relative to whether the applicant is disqualified from being so licensed. If the information available to the colonel does not indicate that the possession of a firearm or large capacity firearm by the applicant would be in violation of state or federal law, he shall certify such fact, in writing, to the licensing authority within said 30 day period.

The licensing authority may also make inquiries concerning the applicant to: (i) the executive director of the criminal history systems board relative to any disqualifying condition and records of purchases, sales, rentals, leases and transfers of weapons or ammunition concerning the applicant; (ii) the commissioner of probation relative to any record contained within the department of probation or the statewide domestic violence record keeping system concerning the applicant; and (iii) the commissioner of the department of mental health relative to whether the applicant is a suitable person to possess firearms or is not a suitable person to possess firearms. The director or commissioner to whom the licensing authority makes such inquiry shall provide prompt and full cooperation for that purpose in any investigation of the applicant.

The licensing authority shall, within 40 days from the date of application, either approve the application and issue the license or deny the application and notify the applicant of the reason for such denial in writing; provided, however, that no such license shall be issued unless the colonel has certified, in writing, that the information available to him does not indicate that the possession of a firearm or large capacity firearm by the applicant would be in violation of state or federal law.

Sometimes may is used as shall regarding the state mental health dept.
If you read carefully what Sean posted, you'll see that DMH is being used as an excuse for unwarrented delays, either by the State Police or by the local PD. The State Police are required to check with DMH, but not required to wait for a response. They're explicitly required to respond to the local PD within 30 days. Similarly, the local PD has the option of making a redundant query of DMH, but again, they don't have to wait for a response, and are required to either approve or deny within 40 days.

Just like when you were a little kid watching your elders, behaving (in this case obeying the law) is a matter of do as I say, not as I do. [evil]

A little letter to the editor of your local paper pointing out the double standard would be nice, but unfortunately it isn't the sort of thing that "suitable" person would do.

Well....despite what you have read in sdavid's post regading the law, here is reality: The State Police will run your prints through its AFIS data base and IAFIS, if the results are negative, the issuing agency will receive a letter stating that "An AFIS check failed to find disqualifying information" and at that point the licensing agency will be told that it is incumbent upon itself to do other background checks including the DMH check. The ONLY exception to this is when the State Police issues a license, however, it only licenses its own officers, employees (if required for the job), and retired State Police and others deemed suitable (You can interpret that last one based on your knowledge of Mass politics). It must respond within thirty calendar days of receiving the fingerprints.

If an applicant comes up positive and there are prints on file, the State Police will send copies of all information that it has about the applicant on file and again it is up to the local licensing authority to contact the appropriate agencies.

I'll tell you what happens. Fingerprint cards will accumulate in town firearms licensing officers desk drawers and file cabinets. I have seen up to three months worth sent to the State Police from some towns. Of course, when the applicant queries the town licensing officer he or she is told that the prints are at the State Police and they are behind. Do NOT CALL THE STATE POLICE IDENTIFICATION SECTION, you will be ignored, usually politely, but then again, it depends on who answers the phone. Sometimes people have called posing to be the licensing officer themselves. The Ident Unit has a list, and will promptly call the licensing officer to confirm that they just called, if there is some doubt, don't impersonate a police officer on the phone or you may never get an LTC if you are caught.

Let GOAL help you if there is a problem.

What I am sharing with you is ground truth reality, having done that job for the State Police for over five years.


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