In Massachusetts, gun licensing requirements vary at discretion of local police.

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Image: masscharterschools.org

In Hanover, gun owners should plan on taking a gun safety test every six years, even if they’ve already taken it. In Pembroke, applicants must write a letter to the chief explaining why they want a license. And in Canton, the chief rarely hands out an unrestricted license to carry a concealed handgun unless the applicant has already been licensed for several years.

Long-standing gun laws in Massachusetts give police chiefs wide latitude in setting requirements for gun permits, an arrangement that has led to a patchwork of rules that vary widely from town to town.

“Because of the absurd way in which the Legislature delegated licensing authority, you have 351 different authorities with 351 different standards, which would seem to be a textbook example of ‘arbitrary and capricious,’” said Keith Langer, a Wrentham lawyer who has argued several gun rights cases in Massachusetts.

Read the rest of Neal Simpson’s article at The Patriot Ledger.