Massachusetts law prohibits the issuance of a firearms license before the State Police complete a background check based on an applicant’s fingerprints. For individuals residing in Boston, after an application is submitted to the Boston Police Department, the Department’s Licensing Unit makes them wait for many month before they are provided with an appointment to have their fingerprints taken. It is currently estimated the wait time is more than six (6) months for an appointment.
Prior to this litigation, the Licensing Unit engaged in a practice that made individuals seeking licenses wait for months on a “wait list” to merely submit their applications – a practice that was abandoned in response to litigation from some of the Plaintiffs in this case. The Boston Police Department has seemingly traded one mechanism to effectuate lengthy delays with another, all in an effort to prevent peaceable Bostonians from obtaining firearms.
On August 31, 2023, the Second Amendment Foundation, joined by four individuals, and two civil rights organizations, filed suit against Boston’s police commissioner. The lawsuit seeks a declaration that the Department’s practices violates the Second and Fourteenth Amendments and injunctive relief to prevent the Department from continuing to deprive individuals of the ability to exercise their constitutional rights.
Case Team: Jason Guida, David Jensen
To access all of the case documents, please visit the docket.