Mass. hikes fee for Firearms ID card....

Discussion in 'The Constitutional & RKBA Forum' started by Shizamus, Jul 15, 2003.

  1. Shizamus

    Shizamus New Member

    Jun 27, 2001
    Got a budget problem? License and tax the honest
    people trying to avoid becoming victims.

    FYI (copy below):
    State hikes fee for firearms ID card to $100: Expected to
    raise $3.6M for state

    By Trudy Tynan / Associated Press
    Thursday, July 10, 2003

    SPRINGFIELD -- A woman seeking to legally carry a $10
    container of Mace or pepper spray now has to pay a $100 fee
    to the state.

    The fee for a Firearms Identification Card, which is
    required to carry chemical sprays, ammunition and long guns,
    quadrupled at the start of the new fiscal year on July 1,
    along with the charges for a license to carry a handgun.

    The new $100 fee is expected to raise an additional $3.6
    million for the cash-strapped state, according to David
    Shaw, a spokesman for the state Department of Public Safety,

    "We were in a situation where the labor and the work that
    went into researching firearm permit requests was
    outstripping the fee," said Shaw, who did not immediately
    know how much the state spent on the criminal and
    fingerprint checks required of everyone seeking a Firearms
    Identification Card.

    He said $25 of the new fee goes to the FBI for expanded
    interstate fingerprint checks. Cities and towns keep
    another $25, and the remaining $50 goes into the state's
    general fund. Formerly, local communities kept half of the
    $25 fee.

    About 190,000 of the 270,000 Massachusetts residents with
    weapons permits are licensed to carry handguns. Another
    80,000 have Firearms Identification Cards, including 11,961
    that are restricted to chemical sprays, Shaw said. Those
    with cards limited to sprays get free renewals of the
    four-year permits.

    "The unintended result is that it is going to create too
    high a bar for some women and others looking for some level
    of protection," said Tony Troop of Jane Doe Inc., a
    Boston-based group that works with victims of domestic
    violence and sexual assault.

    Marianne Winters, director of the Rape Crisis Center of
    Central Massachusetts, said she would favor training in the
    use of sprays, which is not currently required, but
    questioned the fee hike and the need for criminal checks
    comparable to those for gun owners.

    "There is a difference in lethality," she said.

    Winters and others are also concerned that many will ignore
    the law. "It probably would mean that some women,
    especially those who want pepper spray for one activity,
    such as hiking alone, would take their chances and not pay
    the $100," she said.

    Massachusetts is one of two states to require permits and
    background checks to carry chemical sprays, which are
    considered ammunition under state law, said Lee Police Chief
    Ronald C. Glidden, who chairs the state's Gun Control
    Advisory Board.

    "The charges are being quadrupled for a system that is
    completely broken," said Jim Wallace of the Gun Owners
    Action League, which is pushing for a return to lifetime
    Firearms Identification Cards.

    "They are creating a situation where people who want to be
    legal and lawful can't follow the rules and they don't
    understand how dangerous this is," he said. "The average
    person is being pushed beyond what they are willing to do."

    He also complained about months of processing delays that
    often stretch beyond the expiration date of gun permits,
    leaving renewal applicants in a legal quandary. Municipal
    cutbacks have also prompted police in some communities,
    including Taunton, to stop taking new applications for gun
    and chemical spray permits, Wallace said.

    Shaw blamed the delays in part on a flurry of renewals on
    the four-year anniversary of the 1998 changes in the permit

    Still, Chief Glidden said he urges people to apply for
    renewals at least three to four months before their permits

    "It takes us a couple of hours to process our part of it,
    but then it takes three weeks to 90 days to get the
    information back from the state," Glidden said. :mad:
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