Massachusetts Executive Branch Flouts Court Orders on Firearms Licenses


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Massachusetts Executive Branch Flouts Court Orders on Firearms Licenses

Fairfax, VA – -( The U.S.’s republican form of governance is predicated on co-equal branches of government that check and balance each other in order to preserve individual liberty. The system does not work when one branch simply ignores the lawful authority of another branch.

In Massachusetts, all prospective firearm owners are required to obtain a Firearms Owner Identification card or a License to Carry. Both licenses require applicants to submit to significant training requirements and a background check. Moreover, the licenses are may-issue, with local law enforcement retaining significant discretion over who may or may not obtain a license.

In 2004, the state instituted the Firearms Licensing Review Board. The law provides that a person denied a firearms license due to certain misdemeanor convictions punishable by up to two and a half years imprisonment may appeal the denial to the Firearms Licensing Review Board. The Firearms Licensing Review Board is vital to Massachusetts gun owners, as many nonviolent misdemeanors in Massachusetts are punishable by up to two and a half years in prison. For instance, a first conviction for operating under the influence is punishable by up to 30 months imprisonment in the Bay State.

Under federal law, a person is prohibited from possessing firearms if they have been convicted of a misdemeanor crime punishable by more than two years in prison. Therefore, under federal law, many convicted of minor non-violent offenses in Massachusetts have not only lost their right to obtain a state-issued LTC or FID card, but also their right to possess a firearm anywhere in the country.

Worse, ATF maintains a very stringent definition of when a person’s right to possess a firearm has been restored under federal law following a conviction. It is ATF’s opinion that Massachusetts’s Firearms Licensing Review Board procedure does not comport with their crabbed interpretation of federal law.

Citing the ATF interpretation of the law, the Massachusetts executive branch has refused to process the licenses of individuals cleared to possess firearms by the Firearms Licensing Review Board.

Several of the individuals that have been cleared by the Firearms Licensing Review Board have appealed to the state courts over the state’s continued refusal to issue them a firearms license. According to the Boston Globe, in at least seven cases the prospective gun owners have won their appeals and a judge has ordered that they be issued a state firearms license. As explained by Lowell District Judge Ellen M. Caulo, in failing to heed the determination of the Firearms Licensing Review Board, Massachusetts law enforcement had relied on an “incorrect interpretation of the law.”

In a complete breakdown of the U.S. system of government, Massachusetts’s executive branch has defied orders issued by the state’s judicial branch and continued to deny the licenses that the courts have ordered them to issue. According to the Globe report, “Daniel Bennett, Baker’s public safety secretary, told local police chiefs… that the state intends to block certain licenses from being reinstated, even if ordered by a judge.” In what some might view as encouragement to commit contempt of court, the Globe reported that the Baker administration has told local law enforcement officials that if they are ordered by a judge to issue a firearms license to an individual the executive branch has deemed prohibited, the local official should submit the prospective gun owner’s paperwork to the state, where “officials would refuse to process it.” The administration is demanding that local officials disobey a direct court order.

As the Globe reported, Milford District Court Judge Robert B. Calagione, who had ordered the issuance of a firearms license, explained that the state’s position “exceeded the scope of its statutory authority.” Moreover, the judge noted that the administration’s interpretation obstructed the legislature’s intent in establishing the Firearms Licensing Review Board. In ruling for another prospective gun owner, District Court Judge Michael D. Brennan explained that the administration’s position was erroneous and that a local law enforcement official’s “reliance on it was erroneous, arbitrary and capricious.”

The current events in Massachusetts are not only an affront to gun owners, but an affront to all those who value the American system of ordered liberty.

It is really quite simple: the legislative branch creates the law, the executive branch executes the law, and the judicial branch interprets the law. The executive branch does not have the authority to simply disregard a court order just because it disagrees with the court’s reasoning.

National Rifle Association Institute For Legislative Action (NRA-ILA)

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the “lobbying” arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Visit:

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Gregory Thomas

Shuttlesworth v. City Of Birmingham, AL, 373 U.S. 262:
“If the State converts a right (liberty) into a privilege, the citizen can ignore the license and fee and engage in the right (liberty) with impunity.”

Wild Bill

@Gregory Thomas, I admire your enthusiasm, but that appears to be a state of Georgia case. Have you got a federal case? Merry Christmas and a Happy New Rifle!

Robert Messmer

Senator 1/1,024 Central/South American is from Massachusetts. Now we know why.

Jack Mac

I suggest that everybody review Supreme Court decisions addressing police duties. One, Castle Rock v Gonzales,6/7/2005 is one of many going back over a hundred years. Protect and serve does not apply to us. Frankly, I do not want LEOs to decide who can possess anything. We are all to much under their mercy. There no reason to tell LEOs to do his job when we do not know what it is. Forget using the term duty. I am aware of the need for law enforcement, however we aware of what we have for law enforcement.

Bill in IL

Why aren’t the State Police arresting these law breakers?


I have asked the Administration to have the DOJ appoint a large task force, to go after locales, cities and states, under the 14th Amendment to defend our Constitution, our Second Amendment Rights. To date no Administration hs chosen to defend our Constitution on our Second Amendment ….but have on a small number on our First Amendment Rights being denied and infringed at Universities and other venues! Our President is product of liberal Ivy League and is not all that interested. The Ivy League if non has thought about it, is anti Christian America and anti Bill of Rights except… Read more »


George Soros, George Soros, let me think and remember. Hmmm !!! Oh yes, he was the scoundrel who had his mug all over the front cover of TIME magazine, way back once in 1979. He was being quoted as saying “I hate America and everyone in it”. And then he was on some TV show being interviewed by someone, and they asked him if he felt any remorse working with the Nazis, and helping to confiscate all the goodies that the Jews had, being that he was a Jew himself. He brushed that off as just being in a days… Read more »

Ansel Hazen

Just one more example of this countries laws being ignored at every level.

Our Founding Fathers would be shooting by now.

When do WE start?

Dennis Harry Owen

I am an American living in a foreign country, where some of the police are corrupt, I had a us marine try to kill me and the police treated him like a hero, while their automatics in hand, they took me to the police station, I was injured and I was refused treatment. I would frame the question this way, Okey, we give up clips, does it stop here? Yes, I would recommend accepting. Does it mean a gun where you can put in 11 rounds is okey, Yes, or why not? Draw a line in the sand, and cling… Read more »


The Socialistic Leftist DemoTARDS Pinko COMMIES are non-believers in the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, and should be hung in any town square available to show what happens to POLITICIANS that are against the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights in any way!


carpet-munchers 2 the rescue