New Gun License Technology Unveiled

Massachusetts is the first state to use electronic scan

Outdoor Life Online Editor

Massachusetts is the epicenter of anti-gun legislation. It might have been the location of the shot heard 'round the world, but since then gun owners have faced stringent regulations, taxes and endless bureaucracy.

Gun owners can sigh a bit of relief. Massachusetts residents will still be required to possess a license for firearm ownership (which involves keeping a picture and finger prints on file at your local police precinct), but with new technology gun stores will know immediately if a customer can purchase a firearm. The contraption was dubbed the Massachusetts Instant Record Check System and is an electronic fingerprint scan.

By next summer the scan should be present in all gun stores and police stations. It will give police and store owners instant access to arrest warrants, restraining orders and the like. This, in theory, will cut down substantially on waits and paperwork. Currently, gun stores have to pay 50 cents every time they submit an inquiry. That cost will be eliminated.

Jim Wallace, executive director of the Gun Owners Action League, told the Associated Press, "We don't support licensing anyway, but it's a fact of life here in Massachusetts, and if you're going to mandate it, you better provide it."