Today the Boston Herald reported how the State of Virginia accepts on-line classes for non-resident firearms permits. The article implies that applicants for these permits are skirting the requirements for residents, which require that the License to Carry Applicant complete a “live fire” course. What the article fails to recognize is that those who are applying for non-resident licenses to carry firearms are generally proficient with firearms and licensed in their home state. Thus, they’ve already demonstrated that they are suitable to be licensed and carry firearms, as they have met the qualifications and requirements of their home state.
In Massachusetts, applicants must have taken and passed a basic firearms safety course (BFS), which is provided by a licensed instructor, using an approved curriculum. In addition to this statewide requirement, some Massachusetts cities and Towns, such as Boston, require that the LTC applicant demonstrate his or her proficiency by passing a live “qualification course,” which is designed to test the LTC applicant’s safe handling abilities and basic accuracy.
Incidentally, the State of Massachusetts should streamline the firearms licensing process by using an on-line statewide application which could be completed via a secure website and payments could be made by credit card on-line. Once the application is submitted, the applicant could present himself or herself to his or her local police department for fingerprinting, interviews, etc… This would streamline the licensing process and hopefully reduce the “turnaround” time when it comes to processing applications.