Tuesday, February 24, 2015

What it took to get a legal firearm in Massachusetts

At the request of my brother, I've collected the stories I wrote in 2013 when I went through the entire process of getting a license to possess firearms in Massachusetts.

I was initially intimidated by the famously long process of getting a firearm in Massachusetts, but then I thought about pairing it with my job as a journalist. Gun control was a big political issue at the time and I felt the country would benefit from a fair account of how my state's gun permitting process actually works.

I was also hoping the online release of the series would lead to job offers, or at least national attention. I did get my biggest response from readers for anything I'd ever written, includes gun advocates out of state, but it didn't lead to any contact from the national press. I showed that a state agency broke state law by failing to return my background check within the 40 days the state requires, and there were no consequences.

May 5: I began the process

May 30: I took a firearm safety course

June 2: A long waiting list kept me from meeting with local police representative for application

July 8: Met with police representative and sent application to state

October 14: Received my permit 150 days into the process

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