City Demands Written Essay, $1,000+ in Training to Qualify for Handgun Permit

The city of Lowell, Massachusetts has adopted a new law requiring handgun permit applicants to write an essay and pay “upwards of $1,100 in training” to qualify.

Even then, Lowell police superintendent William Taylor “has sole discretion for approving or denying the applications.”

According to Fox News, Taylor pushed the new law and the city council passed it. As a result, applicants now have to write an essay and “state in writing why they should receive” a handgun license.

Gun Owners Action League of Massachusetts executive director Jim Wallace said, “It is absurd that people should have to write an essay to the town to explain why they should be able to exercise their constitutional rights. We already have a very strict set of gun laws in the state, but this is way over the top.” And Lowell resident Dan Gannon told the City Council, “I will never write an essay to get my rights as an American citizen.”

But Lowell Police spokesman Capt. Timothy Crowley defended the law, suggesting it is a mischaracterization to refer to the written requirement as an “essay.” He said, “If you want a license to carry a firearm unrestricted wherever you want and whenever you want, the superintendent is just looking for some documentation as to why. That is not unreasonable to most people.”

In addition to the essay requirement, residents who want a handgun permit have to pay “upwards of $1,100 in training” fees.

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