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Thread: ‘May issue’ gun carrying laws and police discretion: Some evidence from Massachusetts

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    ‘May issue’ gun carrying laws and police discretion: Some evidence from Massachusetts

    Journal of Public Health Policy , (16 April 2015) | doi:10.1057/jphp.2015.11

    ‘May issue’ gun carrying laws and police discretion: Some evidence from Massachusetts, David Hemenway and James G Hicks

    Abstract

    In almost all states in the United States, to carry a concealed handgun legally requires a permit from the police. Many states have changed from may-issue laws (where the local police chief has discretion about to whom to issue a license) to shall-issue laws (where the police chief must issue a permit if the applicant passes a computerized federal background check). Studies conflict on the effect on crime. None considered the situation in may-issue states when police used discretion and refused to issue a permit. We provide suggestive evidence from a December 2013 survey of police chiefs in Massachusetts’ 351 cities and towns. Of the 121 responding police chiefs, a large majority favored retaining police discretion. Chiefs issued few discretionary denials – median 2 per year, citing providing false information, a history of assault (often domestic violence), a history of drug or alcohol abuse, or of mental-health issues as the most common reasons for denial.

    http://www.palgrave-journals.com/jph...hp201511a.html

    ""The evidence from our survey suggests that passing a federal background check may not always be enough to ensure that an individual does not pose a threat of violence to others or to themselves. Local police chiefs typically know more about the people in their community than does a national computer," said Hemenway"

    http://phys.org/news/2015-04-mass-po...iscretion.html
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    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    In a survey of police chiefs in a predominately anti-gun, big government, deep blue state police chiefs prefer to retain as much authority and power as possible. Natch.
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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    Most people who get bestowed a little bit of power over others tend to not like having that power taken away from them. When a police chief can use that power to solicit "donations" for an assured permit or to a certain political party or.......you know how it goes. Power corrupts and all that. The dirty little secret is that "discretion" turns into cronyism at best. Ever know of any politician, and a police chief is a politician, who does not use their position for their personal gain? I can't think of any.

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    The word politician becomes even more meaningless.

    A police chief is a mere employee of the community, hired and fired by the ruling, body same as the head garbageman or sewer plant operator. The sheriff, elected, might be a politician.
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    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    The trials and tribulations of MA citizens re their 2A right is of no concern to me because it is of no concern to them. When they become concerned, then too will top cops in MA become concerned, and then I might become concerned as well...but, don't hold your breath as I will not.
    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson.

    "Better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer" - English jurist William Blackstone.
    It is AFAIK original to me. Compromise is failure on the installment plan, particularly when dealing with so intractable an opponent as ignorance. - Nightmare

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    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC for ME View Post
    The trials and tribulations of MA citizens re their 2A right is of no concern to me because it is of no concern to them.
    I generally concur. However, I do not know enough about MA to know if the image we have is really state wide or if it is one of Boston beating down the rights of the rest of the state as Chicago did/does in IL.
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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    Quote Originally Posted by deepdiver View Post
    I generally concur. However, I do not know enough about MA to know if the image we have is really state wide or if it is one of Boston beating down the rights of the rest of the state as Chicago did/does in IL.
    The article is more suggesting an IL-type shall-issue than a true may-issue. They are talking about police being able to weed out certain individuals (people with numerous, non-charged run-ins with the law) as opposed to being able to deny because they "feel" the applicant lacks "cause". I wonder if this is a slick attempt at re-defining may issue.

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