WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Most Massachusetts cities do not process their gun licenses in a timely manner.
Like many other communities, West Springfield Police have a specific gun licensing department to help process applications.
But even then, license approval by the police chief takes time.
It’s supposed to take 40 days for police to approve or deny a gun license.
In some Massachusetts towns, it takes an average of more than 60 days to process a firearm application.
“Whether it’s a conscious decision or just a failure of their administrative abilities, I’m not sure,” Eric Cromwell of Longmeadow said. “But it’s not surprising, but it’s something that should be resolved I think.”
The state auditor says that when applications are in state hands, the process is conducted efficiently.
It’s when applications are in local hands that the process slows.
West Springfield is one of the towns that didn’t pass the audit. They say that they’ve already tried to streamline the process without giving up public safety.
“I’ve tried to skip the interviews with me and I’ve looked at, if they don’t have a record, there’s nothing in their background, there’s no reason to sit down with me,” Chief Ronald Campurciani said. “They’ve gone through the gun safety course, they know all the regulations. I don’t need to sort of reiterate that.”
Delays in West Springfield could be the time it takes an application to get to Chief Campurciani’s desk.
If the licensing department needs to request court records for a background check, especially if they’re out of state, it can take more time to process.
The chief said this step is essential.
The chief said it’s his name on the gun license, and he wants to make sure everyone licensed to carry a gun is thoroughly checked first.