Boston Police Commissioner Faces Lawsuit Over Concealed Carry Delays

The Firearms Policy Coalition, Second Amendment Foundation, Commonwealth 2A, and four individuals recently filed a lawsuit against Boston Police Commissioner Michael Cox over what the plaintiffs describe as “substantial and untenable delays” in the police department’s processing of concealed carry applications.

The lawsuit argues that when the Wuhan virus pandemic emerged in March 2020, the police department’s Licensing Division stopped processing applications and refused to accept new applications. On top of that, when the division resumed operations, thousands of applicants were stuck in a backlog that lasted several months. 

SAF and Commonwealth 2A filed a lawsuit against the police commissioner in 2021. At the time, the case was settled via mediation, with the Boston Police Department agreeing to get up to the pace on the applications and work through the backlog by October 2021.

Currently, the plaintiffs indicated that the department is using the same delays, subjecting applicants to a multiple month waiting period to go through the process. The lawsuit detailed one case in particular that was especially egregious:

“Plaintiff Leslie Good submitted an application for a LTC to the Licensing Unit on February 6, 2023, using an online portal on the Police Department’s website. She submitted a completed application form, as well as documentation of the required training and copies of her identification. She paid the $100 application fee.

Ms. Good contacted the Licensing Unit by email about two weeks later, on February 16, 2023. An employee told her that it would take “a few months” for an officer to contact her to set up an appointment to submit fingerprints because they were “very backed up.”

On June 15, 2023, Ms. Good had not heard anything further, so she again contacted the Licensing Unit by email to ask about the status of her application. She received no response. Ms. Good contacted the Licensing Unit twice more, on June 23, 2023 and July 10, 2023, but again received no response.

Ms. Good has received no further communications from the Licensing Unit. Pertinently, the Licensing Unit still has not contacted her to schedule the taking of fingerprints or an interview. As of the date of this Complaint, it has been 206 days since Ms. Good submitted her application, but Defendant has not started the state background check process, which the state will then have 30 days to complete. Ms. Good has no idea when she will be able to obtain a LTC.”

Per Massachusetts law, licensing authorities “shall” either give the green light to the application and issue the license or reject the application and inform the applicant of the reason for why they were denied the license in writing within 40 days of the application being completed prior to its submission. For a year, Good has waited to receive her carry permit. 

SAF executive director Adam Kraut claims that there has been no explanation from the commissioner about why Good and other applicants are waiting endlessly to exercise what is otherwise a sacred civil liberty.

“We can only conclude the commissioner has adopted a policy or instituted a practice of delaying applications for many months, which amounts to deprivation of rights under color of law. We’re hoping the court provides a quick resolution to this practice and stops it cold,” Kraut stated. 

Overall, Massachusetts is an incredibly anti-gun state. According to Guns & Ammo magazine’s best states for gun owners, Massachusetts is ranked in 47th place.

So it’s unsurprising why Boston’s police department is pulling such shenanigans. All things considered, filing lawsuits against constitutionally derelict public officials is the only way to effectively push back against gun control in blue states. 

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