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Court: Second Amendment doesn't bar police from revoking gun license for lying on application

A federal appeals court has upheld the right of Massachusetts police departments to deny people the right to bear certain arms if they lie on their permit applications.

The ruling means former Boston police officer Stacey Hightower can no longer carry a concealed .38 caliber five-round revolver - or carry high-capacity weaponry.

In 2008, after she had resigned as an officer, Police Commissioner Edward Davis revoked Hightower's "Class A" license, which would let her walk around with a concealed weapon in general, and high-powered guns in particular. Davis said he rejected the renewal because she had lied on her application by affirming she was not subject to "any complaints or charges pending" related to her work as a police officer when, in fact, she resigned while under investigation for lying to internal-affairs officers looking into a complaint lodged against another officer.

Hightower sued to get her license back, arguing in part that the Second Amendment gives her the right to pack a concealed pistol outside the home for personal protection. But a federal district court upheld Davis's decision and now the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Boston has upheld that ruling, saying the Second Amendment right to bear arms is not absolute: There is no specific right to carry high-powered weapons that go beyond the needs of personal protection and authorities have the right to restrict who can carry them based on the answers on their applications:

A requirement that firearms license applicants provide truthful information, enforced by the revocation of licenses if the applicant provides false information, serves a variety of important purposes. For one, it helps ensure the integrity of the system of keeping prohibited persons from possessing firearms. Massachusetts's licensing scheme prohibits certain categories of people from possessing firearms. See Mass. Gen. Law ch. 140, § 131(d)(i)-(vii). A licensing authority does not necessarily possess all of the information necessary to determine an individual's eligibility. The submission of false information by an applicant could make it more difficult for the licensing authority to assess whether the applicant is eligible (e.g., submission of a false name would make it more difficult to perform a background check). Footnote The prohibition of the inclusion of false information in a license application is necessary to the functioning of the licensing scheme.

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Comments

Why the hell would an IT Educator have to carry a concealed or highpower weapon?
www.linkedin.com/pub/stacy-hightower/4/546/94a

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because I'm honestly not - and I don't at all mean to be rude - but the answer is "none of your business."

State law lets a chief determine if you're a 'suitable person' (not insane or a criminal, essentially) but it's none of his or her business why you want to carry a firearm, any more than it's his business why you would want to be a Wiccan, write letters to the editor, decline to quarter troops, refuse to provide evidence against yourself in court or anything else the Bill of Rights acknowledges as fundamental.

The courts allow sensible restrictions on the exercise of those rights - falsely crying 'fire' in a crowded theater, lying on a firearms permit application, committing human sacrifice - but 'why do you feel the need to exercise your rights?' isn't, I'd argue, a road we oughtta go down.

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However, the application does ask applicants why they want a license to carry.

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Is 'gun nut' like 'voting rights nut' or 'gay rights nut' or 'free speech nut?' I think you already answered the question - though you might not have known it.

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Ever apply to adopt a child? Months of background checks that pull up everywhere you've worked or spent money or entered into any sort of contract, in-depth interviews by licensed clinicians around why you want to do this, what your childhood was like, what your current relationships are like, how you've dealt with setbacks in your life,.

It should be at least as difficult to get a damn gun.

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If anything, IT personnel have a long history of need for the use of deadly force.

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Here's a recent local example of what IT people can do if you let them have guns.

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the Harvard Mills building in Wakefield and walk past it twice a day.

However, the day Mr. McDermott ran amuck at Edgewater, I was in Illinois on vacation. Found out what happened when it was flashed on the national news that evening.

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