Holyoke, Chicopee, Northampton, Belchertown, Granby, Deerfield and Greenfield.
Attorney Stephen F. Burke
The results of the most recent Massachusetts Gun Control Law, Chapter 180, Acts of 1998 are here to stay. Not surprisingly, this piece of legislative nonsense does not reduce crime, or make the street any safer. All it has done is create a few “gotcha laws” that can put innocent gun owners in jail.
However, the law has been a complete disaster for hundreds of thousands of licensed gun owners with old misdemeanor convictions and/or a court history that now disqualify them from the license they held for many years.
Gun owners that had a “sealed record” learned the hard way that a “sealed record” is nothing but a scam, a fancy gift wrapped box with absolutely nothing inside. Gun owners that may have a had a minor conviction for possession of marijuana, completed their probation and had their record sealed, are now all too familiar with the situation when they found they are no longer qualified to hold an LTC/Pistol Permit.
Gun owners that have a 20 to 50 year-old minor conviction for a misdemeanor such as “Assault and Battery” or an Operating Under Influence conviction after 1994, now find themselves reclassified as unsuitable for present-day firearms licensing, despite the fact that they have never again been arrested and have continued to live a productive life.
They learned the hard way that they no longer qualify for a gun license, had their licensed revoked and were ordered to surrender their firearms to the local police chief. Anyone who did not surrender their firearms to the local police department upon receiving such an order will now been made into a criminal of the ( “gotcha” law ), and are now subject to a jail sentence as a result of this legislative disaster. All with no wrongdoing on their part.
Gun owners also learned the hard way that the local police chief, who had discretion and issued them a license in the past, now had that authority removed and that court action to restore a lost gun license was a waste of time and money. The gun owners who lost their license and complained to their state senators or representatives and were told they could apply for a governor’s pardon are finding out that an unconditional pardon entitling one to possess firearms is granted in Massachusetts about every 30-40 years.
Relief from these convictions is possible and available on an individual basis. Certain convictions obtained in District Court may be invalid and subject to reversal, thereby removing the event that disqualifies a person from obtaining a firearms license. Court records from the original case may be incorrect and wrong information has been acted upon which now disqualifies them from licensing.
Persons with valid convictions for such offenses as Assault, Assault and Battery, and OUI, may now appeal to the Firearms Licensing Review Board (FLRB) for relief.
The FLRB is empowered to relieve a person from the licensing disabilities that Chapter 180 imposed. When a licensing disability is removed, that person can then apply to their local police chief for whatever license suits their needs.
Attorney Burke has been successful in petitioning the FLRB and obtaining relief for persons who lost their right to a gun license as a result of Chapter 180.
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