Well, you know I'm a firm supporter of the 2nd Amendment. We as Americans have the right to keep and bear arms not only to protect ourselves from criminals but also from the possibility of a tyrannical government. We would not have the Constitutional Republic we have today were our citizens not armed. At the height of World War II the Japanese Emperor ordered his generals to plot an invasion of the American homeland-- the generals sheepishly came back to him and said it was impossible because "there would be a rifle behind every blade of grass."
Guns get a bad name because some nut job loses it and shoots someone. What doesn't make the nightly news quite as often is the number of times a trained citizen legally armed has prevented the same such tragedy.
Rather than run from guns or dismissing gun owners as rabid gun loonies take the time to educate yourself-- that's what we'll look at this week. I'm going to try and avoid political statements like states that restrict the magazine size are violating your constitutional rights or that the fact that we don't have a 50 state carry across all borders is ridiculous, I'm not going to say any of that, even though its true.
WHY DO WE WANT THEM?
Take away the reasons above, the protecting of the nation, the ability to keep us from being overcome by a tyrannical government, etc-- guns are a LOT of fun to shoot. There are a lot of different gun ranges out there with a variety of memberships. Some of them, like MASS FIREARMS SCHOOL in Holliston, are top notch, super clean and have the added perk of having classes for newbies to get used to guns and to experience shooting one.
GETTING YOUR LTC
It depends on your state-- in some states we have constitutional carry, which means they recognize its your right as a citizen and you need do nothing further than be a resident of that state. Other states-- like Massachusetts, require that you have a high capacity license to carry a concealed weapon which involves some steps;
1- You need to take a safety class from a licensed instructor. The class is generally about four hours long. Mass Firearms School has a great one here. Class is $100 but scour GROUPON because discounts come up there quite often.
They also have ladies only classes if that's your thing. You can also take classes at your local police station if they offer them, for example if you are a Worcester Resident you can take the class at Police Headquarters for $20.
In the class they'll go through things like handling a weapon, loading and unloading, the importance of treating a gun with the utmost respect and always assuming its loaded. At some classes you get a live fire session so you can experience what its like to fire a weapon at a target.
At the end of the class you'll get a certificate which you'll need to submit along with your application (the one for Massachusetts residents is HERE).
You'll need to print that out and fill it in, and you'll also need TWO letters of recommendation from people who know you who are not relatives. You'll also need your actual birth certificate, not a copy and whatever else your jurisdiction requires (its outlined on the forms). In Massachusetts you make an appointment with your police licensing department and bring the whole package in.
Generally the wait time to bring in the package is about six weeks so don't wait to schedule it. In MA there is a $100 fee for the LTC and when you bring in your paperwork the licensing authority will look over it, make sure you have all that's asked and they will fingerprint you and take your picture. Once all that is done your paperwork is sent in for a background check and they'll follow up with everything and give you a date when to call back to see if its come in.
I applied for mine in mid-June after calling in April and they told me I'd have word as to whether it was approved sometime around early October. I took a chance and called in early August and found out that it had indeed been approved.
Tomorrow; Different Types of Guns