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See Somerville's Active Firearms Licenses

Somerville saw a 40 percent increase in firearms permits from 2008 to 2012.

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden unveiled a number of efforts Wednesday aimed at curbing gun violence in the United States.

Massachusetts is home to some of the toughest gun control laws in the country, with local members of Congress urging the federal government do more to prevent tragedies like that in Newtown, Conn. 

The state Executive Office of Public Safety and Security provided Patch with a summary of active firearms licenses in Somerville from 2008 through 2012. Here are the numbers for Somerville:

Permit 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 Firearms Identification Card 128 136 137 130 129 Firearms Identification Card Restricted Chemical Propellant Only 98 123 144 172 181 Resident Class A Large Capacity License to Carry Firearms 799 916 997 1,094 1,208 Resident Class B Non-Large Capacity License to Carry Firearms 101 100 95 75 68 Resident License to Possess a Machine Gun 5 5 7 7 7 Total 1,131 1,280 1,380 1,478 1,593

More information on the kinds of firearms permits available in Massachusetts can be found here

As you can see, in Somerville there was a 40 percent increase in firearms permits from 2008 to 2012—from 1,131 to 1,593.

Somerville's population is 75,754 according to 2010 Census data, which means just over 2 percent of the city's population had a firearm permit in 2012.

According to the data provided by the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, across the state there was a 23 percent increase in firearms permits from 2008 to 2012—from 268,520 to 329,277.

With a state population of 6,547,629, according to the 2010 Census, that means about 5 percent of residents in Massachusetts had a firearm permit in 2012.

LSG January 19, 2013 at 01:04 PM
I have zero problem with imposing substantial taxes on those who want to keep and use inherently dangerous instrumentalities/deadly weapons. The societal costs of their guns are enormous. I also support the recently proposed law that would require gun owners to have liability insurance. That really is the least they can do.
LSG January 19, 2013 at 01:07 PM
Exactly, Paula. A gun owner doesn't have to be malicious, or even all that careless, to have an accident. And in a city this densely populated, that puts dozens of people directly in harm's way. As for "national guard or military reserve" folks, WHY can't they story their weapons at an armory - you know - away from where people who don't consent to be in the vicinity of military weapons live and raise their children?
LSG January 19, 2013 at 01:13 PM
You hunt with a large capacity weapon? You must not be very good at it.
LSG January 19, 2013 at 01:24 PM
Keep our assumptions to ourselves? Here's the thing: under our Constitution, you have a second amendment right, limited by the right of others to be reasonably safe in their pursuit of life and liberty, to have a firearm; we have the first amendment right, limited by the right of others not to be defamed or defrauded, to voice our concerns.
Jason January 19, 2013 at 01:25 PM
http://www.mass.gov/eopss/firearms-reg-and-laws/ Please read this entire link before posting. See you in a year when your done reading the laws on the books in Massachusetts.
Jason January 19, 2013 at 01:25 PM
http://www.mass.gov/eopss/firearms-reg-and-laws/ The beauty of the intranets'..... Enjoy.
Jason January 19, 2013 at 01:26 PM
One more time for those that missed it or refuse to read the laws.. http://www.mass.gov/eopss/firearms-reg-and-laws/
LSG January 19, 2013 at 02:03 PM
Although Massachusetts' gun laws are some of the best in the country (and yes, I did just take the time to read them), they do absolutely nothing to allay my concerns about the number of deadly weapons in one of the most densely populated cities in New England. There is zero reason for the presence of a large capacity weapon in this town. Zero. Yet there are 1200 active licenses in a city of only 4.2 square miles.
LSG January 19, 2013 at 02:22 PM
For example, fines for unauthorized use don't apply in the case of an "unforeseeable trespass." M.G.L. c. 140 § 131L. But really, there's no such thing as an unforeseeable trespass. And in a town like this, it is simply unacceptable to ask the innocent bystanders who are living right on top of you to bear the risk that you will misjudge the possibility that an unauthorized person will gain access to your large capacity weapon. Or that you will forget to lock your gun. Or that you will accidentally discharge your gun.
Jason January 19, 2013 at 04:46 PM
In the case of the law, if you are not citing specific pieces of ithe law, and are making larger generalizations. You are passing misinformation Those that read these types of forums may not want to spend the time and effort to better understand them and may use your opinion as fact and spread more misinformation. As far as the 1500+ lawful permit holders in Somerville go, you have no idea what they do for a living or for recreation. Or whether or not they actually have a fire arm in their possession. And your point above about, machine gun owners being military, you are ignorant of how the military operates. US property Does not leave the armory unless its is for specific use in training or active duty deployment. Never will you ever have a military personel take home such property. Please refrain from making such statements, they are not informed. And do not help the argument for or against the right to bear arms.
Jason January 19, 2013 at 04:53 PM
Yearly inspections? Not a bad idea. But there are mechanical devices in the regulator on the propane tanks sold in the us that will help mitigate that. Like a trigger lock on a pistol or rifle. See the story on the Times Square bomber from about a year ago.
LSG January 19, 2013 at 06:38 PM
I was not the one who stated that the machine gun permits were for military personnel - I was the one who objected to having machine guns in Somerville. Someone else stated that those permits were probably for military personnel or National Guard persons. Guess what? I still do not think there should be machine guns or large capacity weapons (except for those used by on-duty police officers) anywhere near Somerville. Here's another little factoid for you: 1200 large capacity permits does not mean there are only 1200 large capacity weapons in Somerville. Any one of those permit holders could have several guns, and there is no one checking up on them to make sure they are all locked in accordance with applicable law.
Jason January 19, 2013 at 09:16 PM
Lsg, I saw you where not the military commenter after i pressed, submit. But this forum does not allow an edit feature much to my particular dismay. A note on that topic, remember the Fort Hood massacre, all military personnel in the depot at the time of the shooting where not armed. The security personnel that showed up where, but not a single uniformed member was armed in the depot except the shooter. Thems the rules. Just like us on this side of the gate. Yes, I do realize the numbers above do not actually represent the number of fire arms in the city that can utilize "Normal capacity feeding devices." Also to some else who was concerned about accidental discharges, i could not find an account of Accidental Or Negligent Discharge statistics in the state? Nation wide. I am not suggesting that it never happens, but I'm courious about the stats.
LSG January 19, 2013 at 10:20 PM
Jason - all I could find were some older figures for accidental deaths from gunshots. http://www.med.umich.edu/yourchild/topics/guns.htm
LSG January 19, 2013 at 10:26 PM
And this: http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2013/01/shooting-at-gun-show-marks-gun-appreciation-day.html
LSG January 19, 2013 at 11:12 PM
Actually, it appears that there were four people shot at three different gun shows today. http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2013/01/19/1473881/two-people-accidentally-shot-at-a-gun-show-safety-checkpoint-on-gun-appreciation-day/
AHM January 20, 2013 at 12:05 AM
I think there would be a lot more gun owners who like myself just don't get around to actually going through the process. I keep wanting to go and get one and have one at the house here in Somerville. After 3 people over the years have been killed on my street and who knows how many I am not aware of or attempted. I out it off because I think that if I put it away properly I won't get to it in time when I do need it. One person I know that has a permit to carry does carry large amounts of cash sometimes.. Him I don't trust with a gun. Also, years ago we used to be required to get a firearms permit to use a ramset in construction. Now you can just grab one in Home Depot.
Warren Dew January 20, 2013 at 12:57 AM
To the contrary, there is every reason for police to carry service pistols, which are "large capacity" weapons.
LSG January 20, 2013 at 01:09 AM
Not talking about police, Warren.
Warren Dew January 20, 2013 at 01:29 AM
You are talking about police if you are talking about the gun licenses discussed in the article.
Warren Dew January 20, 2013 at 01:31 AM
A national guard armoror still might need a permit to carry a machine gun between the armory and an exercise site.
LSG January 20, 2013 at 02:58 AM
No, Warren, I actually specifically said that I'm not talking about police. I am talking about people who have zero need for a large capacity weapon possessing such weapons in a town where you can't swing a dead cat without hitting an innocent bystander. I am talking about people who can't figure out how to work a four way stop sign being entrusted with securing weapons that can shoot through the walls of a house a block away. I really hope the proposed law requiring gun owners to carry insurance passes. I also hope a provision is added requiring landlords to carry liability insurance if they decide to rent to tenants with guns.
Jason January 20, 2013 at 12:59 PM
Warren, you are guessing. Stop it.
ttt January 23, 2013 at 01:57 PM
There are many things my neighbors do, which I would rather they not do. I am sick and tired of choking on the exhaust from the cars they drive - maybe we should ban them within our dense city limits, for health's sake. And who really needs a truck or SUV? It's the vehicular equivalant of a machine gun. Each individual is free to make decisions in their own best interest regardless of whether their neighbors agree. No one has the right to tell their neighbor what type of guns to lawfully own, just as no one has the right to tell their neighbor what type of car to lawfully drive. It's not the licenced gun owners people should be worried about, it is the unlicenced ones.
LSG January 23, 2013 at 02:23 PM
The guns used in Newtown were licensed. And I don't have to worry about my neighbor's SUV accidentally driving through my bedroom window. Also, we as a society have decided that the (considerably broader and more available to the public) benefit from regulated use of automobiles is worth the (considerably lower) risks of letting examined, licensed, and insured drivers own them. EVERYONE who is within firing range of a gun has the right to object to being placed in harm's way.
Rog January 23, 2013 at 03:03 PM
LSG- "1200 large capacity permits does not mean there are only 1200 large capacity weapons in Somerville" Exactly! We have no idea how many large capacity firearms there are in Somerville (both legal and illegal). For all we know there could be zero based solely on this data. For instance, I have a LTC-A license but I don't own a large capacity firearm. Or to say it another way... just b/c you have a driver’s license doesn’t mean you own a car. Presenting licensing data is nothing but misleading.
LSG January 23, 2013 at 03:23 PM
Rog, you make some really good points. We really need to know how many (and what kind of) guns are in Somerville - not how many licenses have been issued. But, so far, this is the only info we have, and at least it's a start to the discussion.
Warren Dew January 23, 2013 at 11:40 PM
ttt, Excellent points. LSG, Why wouldn't you worry about your neighbor's SUV driving through your bedroom window? I'm far more worried about that than about gun accidents. Heck, you actually have to go through a gun safety course to get a firearms license - not true for a driver's license.
Jake January 25, 2013 at 03:16 PM
I drove by a new condo development in the city the other day. And there was a gas grill sitting on their teeny tiny 'balcony'. You wouldn't even need an explosion, just a few sparks from starting up the grill could easily ignite the house, along with nearby houses. This is a densely populated city of mostly wood structures. Need I say more?
LSG January 25, 2013 at 03:41 PM
OMG! If ONLY we had a fire code in the Commonwealth! Especially one that already forbid the use of most kinds of gas grills on most kinds of balconies and that allowed local communities to impose even more stringent regulations! Oh! And an authority to take reports and investigate violations. Why, we could call that person a Fire Marshall and bring the force of law, with penalties and fines, to the Fire Marshall's orders. But surely that would be an unconscionable abridgment of the god-given right to endanger our neighbors' persons and property without their permission. http://www.malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws/PartI/TitleXX/Chapter148/Section28

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