The issue, Hereaux said, has been a problem in Massachusetts for some time due to the increased amount of applications and stricter gun laws.
Other legislators, including Rep. Elizabeth Poirier (R-North Attleboro) and Rep. Howitt (R-Seekonk) have signed onto the legislation.
Below is the full statement from Heroux's office:
State Representative Paul Heroux (Attleboro –D) has filed legislation to preserve Second Amendment rights for lawful gun owners.
Heroux, along with Representatives and Senators from all over the state, have received numerous calls from constituents who are concerned that they are in violation of the MA firearms laws. They have all indicated that they have completed the renewal process for their Firearms Identification Card (FID) or License to Carry (LTC) in a timely manner but have yet to receive their renewed FID or LTC, leaving the constituent in violation of the law. In speaking with the Executive Office of Public Safety and Homeland Security, Heroux learned that because of an increased volume of applications and more in depth background checks, the state has fallen behind, consequently leaving many citizens no longer legally allowed to carry a firearm.
By no fault of their own, citizens, who have done everything that was required of them by the law, are no longer allowed to exercise their Second Amendment right. It is imperative that a solution is proposed. This is a temporary solution intended to give the state more time to deal with the backlog of renewal applicants and not penalize law abiding citizens.
Heroux has filed two bills to help alleviate the situation. HD3882 extends FIDs renewals beyond the 90 day grace period and HD3905 extends LTC renewals up to 180 days, requires police departments to issue a receipt indicating that the citizen has applied for a renewal and that in the renewal period all rights and privileges are preserved.
The bills are before the House Committee on Rules and are
awaiting committee assignment. Both combined have nearly 40 co-sponsors. This
issue has garnered bi-partisan support from both chambers and parties,
including Republican leadership in the House and Senate. Other local state
officials that have signed on include Rep Poirier and Rep. Howitt. The bills
were also written with the input of gun right’s advocates.