Weekly Wonder: Guns in Massachusetts

By Anastasia Lennon
BU News Service

BOSTON — In the late evening of Nov. 7, 11 people were killed in a bar in Thousand Oaks, California. It was the second mass shooting in the United States in the past two weeks.

In Massachusetts, individuals must be age 21 or older to apply for a license to carry a firearm. A 2o16 study from Northeastern University stated that 97 percent of individuals who applied for a firearm identification card or a License to Carry (LTC) in Massachusetts were approved.

The three primary reasons for denial of a license include a disqualifying conviction, unsuitability and being untruthful. Suitability is based on evidence that the applicant could be a risk to public safety due to previous behavior. Mental illness problems only accounted for 1.7 percent of LTC denials.

According to the Center for Disease Control, there were 242 firearm deaths in Massachusetts in 2016 – making up 0.63 percent of the national total.

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