Would you like to join my mailing list? Just enter your email below to sign up!

Concealed Carry

Archive for the ‘Gun Sense’ Category


On TV there is a lot of exciting action designed to keep you on the edge of your seat, but most importantly, for the TV executives, to keep their ratings high. TV is fun to watch but it can give the wrong impression more often than not. That can not be more true than when it comes to guns. TV entertainment never seems to go to the next level after a home invasion/shooting scenario. I talked about having a plan in my 7-13-09 #11 ‘Gun Sense’ article concerning home defense, among other important aspects.

First of all, I hope that you are never put in a situation to have to shoot anyone defending your family in your home, sadly this situation can be forced onto you. That said, I will touch on the aftermath of your use of a firearm defending your family and home. Previously, (in GS #11) I talked about having a plan should someone ever break in while you are home, I hope that you do have a plan. On TV or in the movies the criminal(s) kick in a door in the middle of the night and start going through the home. The good guy in the story takes his trusty firearm and calmly saunters through the house, he easily takes care of each criminal in turn. Of course the actor playing the good guy is suppose to win, it is written that way in the script, he will not be injured because they need him for a sequel.  He is in no danger, it is all make believe and he knows that after the scene he will go home to his mansion complete with body guards, camera surveillance’s and killer dogs to protect him from the public at large. You on the other hand could just as easily be killed if you try to go find the criminal(s).

Once you know that someone has broken into your home your “plan” should begin. If you have a child or children take your cell phone, flashlight and gun into their room and STAY PUT, but be ready to act, if you have no kids stay in your bedroom. If the bad guy(s) should come into the room where you and your family are, even after your loud verbal warning that the police are coming and that you have a gun, be damned sure and understand that he, or they are NOT the neighborhood welcome wagon delivering flowers and candy, he, or they, are there to rob, rape and/or murder you and your family! At that instance in time you have an obligation and a duty to protect your family with any means at your disposal. The police will not be there to do that for you…….

By staying where you are you increase your chances of survival, making the criminal invader come to you decreases their chance of survival. Should someone be foolish enough to kick in your bedroom door try your very best to hit who you are shooting at, aim at the center of that door. Under the stress of the situation you may miss, you may not, people handle stress in different ways. Some people may become very focused and angry,  females are hardwired to protect those children at the very thought of a home invader(s) endangering their family, others may become jittery nervous wreaks, but in any case you must do something, so fire away, aim for the largest target, his torso, the center of the doorway. Even if you miss, the chance is very good that the criminal(s) will not hang around to let you take ‘pot shots’ at him/them, hopefully he/they get the message.

Never fire a ‘warning’ shot, that gives away your position and gives the criminal the first chance to get you. You must survive, your family must survive.  After, if the criminal is dead or badly wounded, then police come, you may initially be arrested. The police will need to work out who the person is in relation to you, to make sure there was no bad motive on your part. After they figure out that this was/is a criminal, or there is a history of abuse linked to this person with you, etc., you will be released in short order, probably within hours.

Fast forward; The court date. The criminal that you killed in defense of your family and home also may have relatives, and the chances are good that you took out one of their main sources of income, (other than welfare) and they want restitution, to replace that income somehow. They want your home, to garnish your wages, whatever they can do to take away what you have. All because you stood your ground to save your family. They will have a lawyer, his job will be to make you look bad and try to make you say things you don’t really mean in front of the jury. And he has the ability to do it, the courtroom is his playground, its how he makes his bread and butter, he is at home there.

You on the other hand are light years away from being accustomed to a courtroom setting like this. You never wanted to be here, it was forced onto you by the actions of a criminal. The lawyer is going to do his very best to finish the job the criminal started and make you a victim. He will say things at you in a forceful way to make you nervous, as he talks at you, that’s right, at you, he is really talking to the jury, everything he says is for their benefit. He may say something forcefully like; So you wanted to shoot Rufus didn’t you!! You may nervously say something like; I had to! He had a knife and was coming at my wife and kids! He will try to make you sound like you are a trigger happy nit wit to the jury; So!!, you admit wanting to murder him!! I, I, I, didn’t know what else to do! Now the jury is starting to look at you in a different light, the lawyer is planting a subliminal seed in their minds that does not bode well for you, he used the word ‘murder‘ for the juries sake.

People have lost their homes in cases like this because they said things that made them sound guilty when in actuality they were only very nervous and upset. Your lawyer knows what can happen in court and should do what he can to prepare you for the coming onslaught. You should focus on one main thought, that you did nothing wrong. That you were only trying to stop the threat to your family and yourself.

When the lawyer for the plaintiff trys to make you rush your words in his attack, such as; You wanted to shoot Rufus didn’t you! Say no, I only wanted to stop the threat to my family and myself, that the criminal died was not my intention, the criminal forced me into this situation by unlawfully breaking into our home.

Don’t use his name, use criminal’, because that is what he was! You too can plant subliminal seeds in the minds of the  jury…. Their lawyer will come at you from all different angles to try to make you change your answer, just stick like glue to the fact that you were only trying to stop the threat to your family, never vary, because it is the truth! The jury will side with the truth. That lawyer will eventually give up trying to incriminate you when he realizes he can not make you budge from the truth of the matter.

I am not a lawyer, this is meant as a guide, to give you an idea as to what can happen next in court. Seek legal advice in the event that you did have to defend your home from a violent criminal attack, don’t be a victim twice!

Remember, {Firearm Education Will Save Lives, Firearm Ignorance Can Take Lives}. Ignorance of History could cost us our freedoms.

Mark Shean,  Knowledge through Experience

Former NRA Law Enforcement Firearm Instructor

About Me

Reviews written 9-20-2009

Your comments/insights are welcomed.

Reviews Towns Served  

In Massachusetts if you go through the ‘hoops that many towns in the state force you to jump through in order to exercise your right to self defense, and are not successful in gaining your LTC or FID, the police must, (by law) within 40 days send to you a written notification stating the reason(s) that you are being denied. If you do not agree with the reason(s) stated than you have at your disposal a remedy in which to challenge the police decision. The police may not be ‘arbitrary, capricious or abuse their discretion’ in denying a gun license, the petitioner would need to show that he/she believed they were being so.

NOTE: A Judicial Review is also referred to as a ‘complaint’, so file a complaint as the plaintiff against chief that you want a judge to review and make a decision on.    Do not leave the courthouse without insuring that the clerk has filed and docketed your case—and ask the clerk to stamp your copy of the complaint with the date and the docket number.  Although in some District Courts, the clerk will insist that the matter go before a Judge, if the affidavit is regular and complete on its face this should not be necessary. You would attach a copy of the denial from the police for the judge to look at along with clear reasoning from you as to why you believe the chief is wrong. Read #39 Gun Sense closely if you have not done so already.

This remedy is called a Petition for Judicial Review. You would need to go to your areas District Court, to the ‘clerks’ office at the courthouse to file a petition for judicial review based on the letter that the police sent to deny you your permit. The law states that you would need to show that the refusal was {arbitrary, capricious, or an abuse of discretion} that wording is straight from the law. You would want to state that there is nothing in your police record that would raise to the level of denying you your Constitutional, or God given right to self defense. You would want to attach a copy of your record, you may obtain that from the Criminal History Systems Board in Chelsea Ma.,  (617-660-4780, or-4600)  ‘for a nominal fee of course’, to use as evidence to strengthen your argument, also attach the letter from the police that denied you.

Once you file your petition,(complaint) you may be given a date and time to go before a judge, the police will send a representative. The judge is supposed to make a ruling based on FACTS, if the police are short on facts and long on hearsay, you should win. If you are not denied a gun permit but instead are given a restriction such as “for target and hunting only” or “for employment reasons only” or maybe a “class B license” then technically, if you accept it,  you have no grounds for a Judicial Review because you have not been denied a permit. Please read #19, ‘Reason’ Letter for class ‘A’ LTC before you even go to submit an application for a permit, this may help you. In those cases it would be wise to contact your selectmen or your state Representative and lodge a complaint, have them work for you, that is their job, but you need to let them know.

Now, apart from the ‘afore mentioned, if you had a gun permit in the past and would like to have it reinstated after losing it due to a past misdemeanor conviction, a new law in 2004 created a seven member review board with the authority to look at your case,see # 20 Been Denied your Gun Permit, the burden is on you to show why you should get your permit back, the review board can recommend reinstatement of the permit based on the circumstances that surround your case, of course each individual case is different. Many gun owners with certain criminal records may now get the licenses that they were denied prior to the new 2004 laws. The best way to keep your rights is to know your rights.

Mark Shean,  About Me

Reviews   Towns Served written 10-18-2009, revised 8-13-2014

For the Ma. Firearm Transaction List;  choose the option you need.


IMPORTANT NOTE: Also there is a non-profit group of lawyers under the name of Comm2A that can help if you have been denied an LTC due to an old conviction, or a minor firearms conviction or even a minor drug offense that may have caused you to lose your LTC/FID. If they take your case, there will be no cost to you. Comm2A has multiple cases pending in federal court in an effort to ensure state firearms law treats all lawful residents fairly and equally. You can contact this group at  or  or 617-942-0660.

Note: A word from a Founding Father; {“Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law’ because law is often but the Tyrants will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual” } THOMAS JEFFERSON

Your comments/insights are welcomed.


This information is for those who live in Massachusetts and have either a Firearm Identification Card (FID) or a License to Carry permit (LTC). This information can save you from losing your gun permit and or paying a huge fine of $10,000; Any FID card holder or LTC licensee shall notify, in writing, the original licensing authority who issued said license, the chief of police into whose jurisdiction the licensee moves and the executive director of the criminal history systems board of any change of address. Such notification shall be made by certified mail, (with a return receipt for your protection) within 30 days of changing your address. Failure to do so shall be cause for revocation or suspension of said license.

Basically the state wants you to to photocopy the front side of your gun permit three (3) times, When you send in the states Change of Address Notification form, you send it to three (3) different places.

1. To the police chief in your old city or town,

2. To the police chief in your new city or town,

3. To the Firearms Record Bureau at 200 Arlington st. Suite 2200, in Chelsea Ma. 02150.


So you will attach to each notification form a copy of the (front) of your gun permit, and mail them out. It is very important that you file away the return receipts when they come back to you, in a safe place, later they may come in very handy as proof that you did what you were supposed to do. Police departments may (misfile) this information and not have it when you go to renew your permit in a new town later, so CYA. And if you trust the state not to (lose) your information,…..God bless you. I don’t trust the state to do anything efficiently except to create new tax burdens/fees.

Your local police stations should carry the Change of Address Notification forms if you need them, or the Firearms Record Bureau in Chelsea, (617-660-4780 or 4600) could mail them to you, or they can be downloaded  from the Ma. State Police website. You DO NOT need to fill them out if your only moving from one street in your town to another street within your town because your still in your town, also you DO NOT need to fill them out if your moving out of state. I put one copy of the form in each folder I hand out in class so that you can make as many copies as you need. Just keep in mind that the Change of Address Notification forms have explicit directions on them for your convenience, read them.

NOTE: As far as where the criminals live and keep their guns, no one knows, but by God, you should feel all warm and fuzzy knowing all the people least likely to commit crimes, (legal gun owners) are right under the thumb of big brother at all times, makes me feel good all over, and makes politicians feel they have created something really special and important, (more likely impotent). As far as the number of crimes this address notification form has prevented, there are no statistics readily available at this time, and there never will be…….

Renewal ‘Tip”:

    Your permit is good now for 6 years and expires on your birthday. You are supposed to get a ‘reminder’ notice to renew, but don’t hold your breath waiting for it to come, I have never seen one since 1970, I know some people who have and have not got one. At least 3 months before it expires you should start the renewal process anyway, (please read Gun Sense #39) if you have started that process ‘prior’ to expiration, and your birthday comes before you have received your new permit, you will be given a receipt  along with your old gun permit, together they will be honored for as long as it takes the state to send you your new license. Please read Gun Sense #41.

Here is the ‘catch’, if your permit expires and you never started the renewal process,  you can/will lose your license/guns and, (in some towns) you will need to go through the safety class/process again before you can get them back, also you may be fined $500, as ridiculous as that fee sounds it is true and can be enforced! Hey, you keep these pinheads in office…..

So please, mark it on your calendar three months out, and try to pay attention. If you do not want to renew your license it is up to you to legally get rid of your firearm(s) prior to your license expiration so that you will not be in illegal possession of them. I know that ‘life’ sometimes can get in the way, that is why I give you this reminder. If you took my class you will know where I stand on this issue….Sincerely,

Mark Shean,  About Me

Reviews  Towns Served  FLORIDA CCW Info.  -written 11-30-2009, revised 8-13-2014

For Ma. Firearm Transaction list;  choose the option you need.


Your comments/insight are welcomed.


This next little segment will illustrate the confusion that is out there in the law enforcement community, and in general, on weather you can carry handguns out in the open or not. I do not blame law enforcement for this confusion, I blame the legislature for drafting archaic laws that could confusTe Einstein!

I was in Plimouth Bay Outfitters in downtown Plymouth, and I could not help but overhear a conversation between a patron and one of the store keepers. They were discussing the purchase of a new pistol and the patron asked about weather it was required in this Commonwealth to carry concealed when in public? The storekeeper emphatically announced that if one was to carry in the open without a badge, that it was a felony and they would go to jail. The statement struck me as odd, as I had recently been on one of the interactive maps through www.usacarry , and had read that Massachusetts was an open carry state, and I had never found any law to the contrary.

Now I am not generally an advocate of open carry; I have always felt that it should be a surprise to those around me and especially my attacker that I am usually armed. Nonetheless, I have never found the statute that requires me to carry concealed. So I challenged the storekeeper for the source of their declaration. And although he was absolute in his resolve, he could not produce the Ma. General Law (MGL). I decided to  make some  phone calls starting with  my local police station and queried the on duty detective. He had no answer (although he was certain as well that it was an arrestable offense to carry open). So, being onto something, I called a few more police departments all with the same result.

By this point I decided to bump the issue up to the State Police, (they regulate the firearms laws for the state) and phoned the Bourne barracks first. The Trooper at the other end of my cell was pretty sure that open carry was prohibited and said he would arrest an individual carrying in the open, but could not find the specific MGL that supported the statement. He recommended that I call the State Police Headquarters in Framingham. The nice woman at the State Police Headquarters did not have a clue what I was talking about, but kindly referred me to the Firearms Record Bureau in Boston. After playing a few rounds of phone tag with an attorney name of Jason Guida, he answered the long and sought query. There is no specific written statute or law that prohibits open carry in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. That technically makes us live in an open carry state. HOWEVER, as the local authority has the power to grant and revoke a license to carry, the wise gun toter would check with their local police chief before waltzing down Main Street with a .45 strapped to their thigh like Wyatt Earp……just to avoid unnecessary harassment and needless trips to the court house.

{Note} Law enforcement ‘perceptions/misconceptions’ are a funny thing, not in a laughing sort of way. In my class I tell people that it is a good practice to carry concealed because of the liberal culture here in Massachusetts, which for the most part is very much anti-gun, anti Second Amendment. Even though you would ultimately win in court because no one would be able to dig up the law against open carry, it would surely put you through headaches and monetary burdens that you could live without. Err on the side of caution, conceal that handgun unless you don’t mind spending your days in a courtroom…….

Mark Shean,  Knowledge through Experience

Former NRA Law Enforcement Firearm Instructor

About Me

Reviews  written 12-8-2009


NOTE: Some of this information is taken from an NRA pamphlet, and some from my own experience, it is not all NRA verbatim, it is an informative read, especially for people with children or those whom you know have children.

ACCORDING TO FEDERAL STATISTICS, THERE ARE GUNS IN APPROXIMATELY HALF OF ALL U.S. HOUSEHOLDS. THE PARENTS RESPONSIBILITY; In a home where guns are kept, the degree of safety a child has rests squarely on the child’s parents. Parents who accept the responsibility to learn, practice and teach gun safety rules will ensure their child’s safety to a much greater extent than those who do not. Parental responsibility however does not end when the child leaves the home. Even if no one in your family owns a gun, chances are that someone you know does. Your child could come into contact with a gun at a neighbor’s house while playing with friends, or under other circumstances outside your home. It is critical for your child to know what to do if he or she encounters a firearm anywhere, and it is the parents responsibility to provide that training.

TALKING WITH YOUR CHILD ABOUT GUN SAFETY; There is no particular age to talk with your child about gun safety. A good time to introduce the subject is the first time he or she shows an interest in firearms, even toy pistols or rifles. Talking openly and honestly about gun safety with your child is usually more effective than just ordering him or her to “stay out of the closet”, and leaving it at that. Such statements may well stimulate a child’s natural curiosity to investigate further, when your not around. As with any safety lesson, explaining the rules and answering a child’s questions help to remove the mystery surrounding guns for them. Any rules set for your child will also apply to friends who visit your home. This will help keep your child from being pressured into showing a gun to a friend.

TOY GUNS vs. REAL GUNS; It is advisable, particularly with very young children, to discuss gun use on TV as opposed to gun use in real life. Firearms are often handled carelessly in movies and on TV. Additionally, children see TV and movie characters shot and “killed” with well documented frequency. When a young child sees that same actor appear in another movie or TV show, confusion between entertainment and real life may result. It may be a mistake to assume that your child knows the difference between being “killed” on TV and in reality. If your child has toy guns, you may want to use them to demonstrate safe gun handling and explain how they differ from real firearms. There should be no chance that he or she could mistake a real gun for a toy. (To Be Continued on page 2, G.S. #17)

Mark Shean-  About Me  written 12-25-09

Your comments/insight are welcomed. Reviews    Gun Sense #44, KSG 12ga. Shotgun Demonstration


WHAT SHOULD YOU TEACH YOUR CHILD ABOUT GUN SAFETY? If you have decided that your child is not ready to be taught in a gun’s handling and use, teach him or her to follow these simple instructions: If you find a gun: STOP! DON’T TOUCH!  TELL AN ADULT! This may be at a very rudimentary level, but it is far better than nothing at all. To counter the natural impulse to touch/pick up a gun, it is imperative that you impress these steps of the safety message upon your child. You can accomplish this by using a toy gun, tell your child to pretend that the toy gun is real, children are the masters of pretend.  Set the gun down in the house somewhere in plain sight for your child to easily see. Now, when your child spots it, ask your child what he or she should do? When the child repeats to you at least the Stop, Don’t Touch, and Go Tell an Adult, parts of the lesson, make a very big deal out of it, because it is a very big deal, and a lesson that should be reinforced every few days so that the child understands the importance of the lesson. This lesson could well avert a tragedy one day while your child is playing in a friends home with another child that was never taught anything about guns, even at this rudimentary level.

Gun Owner’s Responsibilities; Most states impose some form of legal duty on adults to take reasonable steps to deny access by children to dangerous substances or instruments. It is the individual gun owner’s responsibility to understand and follow all laws regarding gun purchase, ownership, storage, transport, etc. Contact your state police and/or local police for information regarding such laws, at G.S.#22 you can read Ma. laws on storage. If you own a gun and do not know how to operate it, do not experiment with it. Seek competent assistance and instruction as soon as you can. An untrained adult can be as dangerous, and in as much danger as a curious child!

  A parent must, in every case, be absolutely sure that the firearms in your home are inaccessible to your children, and that your children may only see them under your direct/strict supervision. There are states that mandate a basic firearm/law course, and have certified state instructors teach the course, like myself. There is also a NRA program pertaining to children called “Eddie Eagle,”call (800) 231-0752 for more information. Note; This was not verbatim from the NRA pamphlet, I added my knowledge, drawn from my life experience’s as well.

{Remember, Firearm Education Will Save Lives, Firearm Ignorance Can Take Lives}. Ignorance of History could cost us our freedoms.

If you like this information please share G.S. #3, 16,and 17 with others who have children, even if they do not own guns. Do not set kids up for failure by telling them nothing about firearms, that would be dangerous AND irresponsible.

Mark Shean

Former NRA Law Enforcement Firearm Instructor

Ma. Basic Firearm Instructor


written 12-25-2009  Reviews    Gun Sense #44, KSG 12ga. Shotgun Demonstration

Your comments/insight are welcomed.


Gun Sense #18, Misplaced LTC or FID in Ma.?

I hope this does not happen to you, but if you ever lose, (as in opps, where is it?) your Ma. Firearm License, LTC or FID you can get it replaced by going to the police station where you originally filled out the application for the license. The police will or should have on file proof that you got the license through them and take care of the problem by getting a replacement for you. And also call the Firearms Licensing Bureau at 617-660-4780 or 4600 to tell them that you have lost your firearm license, this is so they can notify the National Instant Check System (NICS) people to be on alert in case someone tries to fraudulently use your lost license.

You should have a place where you keep important records and have on file the number that is on your LTC or FID so you can tell the police what the number is as well as the people at the Firearms Licensing Bureau, . You will be issued a different number than the one you previously had , the original number will be ‘red flagged’.

It is also a very good idea to have on file a list of the serial numbers, manufacturer, model and caliber/mm/ga., on individual index cards for each gun that you own in case of theft, ONE gun on each card, in order to help the police identify your property when and if it is recovered. Do not give them a list of every gun that you own, just the gun(s) stolen. They do not have a need to know what you own.

-Mark Shean-

About Me

Reviews  Towns Served  written 2-3-2010

Your comments/insight are welcomed.

Reviews  FLORIDA CCW Info.   Gun Sense #31, Frequently Asked Questions


I am getting more and more feedback from people around Massachusetts that have taken my State Basic Firearm Safety course, or took it somewhere else but could not get any answer(s) from where they took it, asking me about what they should say when the police chief of their town will not accept “Any Lawful Purpose” as good enough a reason for issuing the gun permit. He will issue them a restricted license for ‘target and hunting’ only, but later, they are told, if they can prove some good reasonto be issued an unrestricted license with a letter explaining ‘why’ you think you need an unrestricted  LTC the chief will consider it, but of course that can/will cost you another $100!

NOTE: ( My ‘Reason Letter’ is further down the page near the bottom in Bold type, you cant miss it ). Please read the whole page.

In my opinion this is meant to intimidate you, and is an illegal scheme/scam to charge honest people $100 twice by the state, it does absolutely zero to prevent crime, hell, I think it is a crime! Call your Representative,( 617-722-2000) if this is happening to you. If your Representative is not willing to stop the scheme/scam, then he/she is a willing participant in the scheme/scam, vote them out of office!

I have helped  people on a one to one basis in the past, but now will simplify things for everyone (and myself). I have already talked about arbitrary discretion and its disservice to the law abiding public in past articles for years, so I am not going to go there again. If you would like to read any of  my related articles some are listed below.  [Again, I strongly urge you to call your so-called state reps to complain about it. They might listen, but only if it is an election year….   I am going to give you a ‘template’ to use if your police chief tries to intimidate you in your legal pursuit for your right to self defense. The Second Amendment is not about ‘target and hunting’, this is a restriction some police chiefs coyly love to bluff you with/use.

One reason I decided to do this was because recently someone called me who had taken the class from someone else, that person knew someone who had taken the class from me. The place that had given him the class told him they could not help him, that they only give the required class and that was all. Shame on them! I believe in standing with my students or anyone else looking to exercise their gun rights as American citizens!

Police Dept. Firearm Policies in some Ma. Towns,

The following letter will be your guide as to how you can counter, and hopefully ‘satisfy’ the chief demanding such a (hoop) for you to jump through. If this does not satisfy him, then he is not trying to be reasonable, and nothing short of a Petition for Judicial Review will help if you are denied outright. In that case revert to Gun Sense #13  Specific to Ma. Petition for Judicial Review of my web site.  If the chief or his designate want to give you a permit for ‘target and hunting only’ even though you know your record or lack of a record does not warrant that decision, I advise that you politely tell them to deny you outright, and to put the denial in writing as to why they will not give it to you for ‘Any Lawful Purpose’. What the hell do they want for a reason? Any criminal intent!? See a great  letter at bottom of page from a past client.

They may argue that your not being denied,…. but you most certainly are being denied for the reason that you want it!  Dont accept less in the form of an unwarranted restriction like ‘target and hunting’.

Note: AS of 8-13-2014 the class B license is now gone, please read #41 Gun Sense.  Also, with that in mind, read: Gun Sense #30, Graduated Licenses,(D-A)under Ma. Law & “GREEN CARD” Info.  for definitions of the license’s. They know what they are doing is wrong, don’t allow it to happen.

Here is a letter designed to guide you; {Dear Chief of Police,(his name if you know it) I am currently applying for my class ‘A’ LTC and would like it for [ All Lawful Purposes] as this would cover any contingency/reason that I would ever need for its use. I am a devoted family man to my wife and children, and as such must think of their protection. I pray that I would never be forced into a situation by a criminal(s) that would put the lives of my family and/or myself in jeopardy, so while I hope for the best, I would like to be prepared for the worst, wherever I may lawfully do so.  

I realize that there are bad people in the world that do not follow the laws of man nor God. As important as I know the jobs of policemen are, I am not naive, I realize they can not be everywhere at once, especially in our homes at night guarding us. Is anyone anywhere truely safe from a violent criminal act? Not if the news is correct. This is why I feel strongly, that as the head of my household, the defense of my family is MY immediate duty and  responsibility, and it falls to me first and foremost. Thank you sir for your understanding in this matter.} (your name, address, and phone # should be at the end). This letter will not cover all individual circumstances but can easily be molded to your liking. Send it ‘certified‘ with a cc: to your attorney and put a copy in your file.  As I said before , it is merely a guide as to how to write down your humble reason(s) as you legally try to exercise your Second Amendment right to self defense!

Always, Always, Always! keep copies of all of your gun related information, including the state certificate for the gun safety class, along with your ‘letter’ in case you need it for proof in the future should you be unreasonably denied or injured because of such denial. Your concern about crime is real, most crime happens when the police are not around! Two articles concerning what I have written about, there are more, look around my blog.

(Some Ma. Police Departments, 2009)  

(Arbitrary Discretion 3-8-2007)

{Remember, Firearm Education Will Save Lives, Firearm Ignorance Can Take Lives}.  Ignorance of History could cost you your freedoms.

Mark Shean, Knowledge through Experiance

Gun Sense #29, Firearm Safety Test with relevance to Ma.

NOTE: Another game some towns put people through is letters from friends, even employers, go to Gun Sense # 33, Ma.”Letters of Recommendation”,Gun License Help.

Recently someone who had taken my class had followed my advice about how to handle a town that routinely would only give a restricted license to its peasants, the town he lives in is Wareham, you may want to read the following letter he sent me, with his permission I put in my website;

LETTER: Mark, I have been meaning to contact you and thank you for your help but I wanted to wait until I had good news….yesterday I picked up my class A license at the Wareham PD; a full five months after my interview, and almost seven months after I applied!

The interview went well and in fact….went down just as you suggested it might. I was told that they would “probably start me off with just an FID…”. I politely said, “no…not interested; if you want to reject my application do so in writing and I will appeal.”

I was then told that “We’re winning all the appeals…”. I replied, “well…you won’t win this one. I am a picture of stability. I’ve been in the same job for forty years, the same address for 30 years, I pay all my taxes & bills, I owe nobody anything, I’ve never been in trouble or arrested, and I’m not going to be the only one in this town without a gun. “If I don’t qualify…then nobody here does and you’ll have to defend virtually every permit you have given out to justify excluding me”.

The officer then said “well we didn’t give you a license to drive without a permit….why would we give you a permit to carry a handgun when you have no experience?” I said “well, I don’t have a right to drive, but I do have a constitutional right to have a weapon….and since you brought it up, I’ve had a driver’s license for 43 years, driven over one million miles, and not had one accident.”

At the end I said “look…I don’t own any property that I can’t just replace. I don’t own anything that’s worth hurting anyone or getting in trouble over…but I do have a wife and two daughters in a neighborhood that is becoming increasingly dangerous, and the police alone cannot guarantee their safety.” His response….”perfect”.

So again….thanks a lot for your help Mark, particularly with preparing me for that interview. Thomas, Wareham Ma. 9-15-2013

Very well said Tom!

Sincerely, Mark Shean-   About Me  Gun Sense # 33, Ma.”Letters of Recommendation”,Gun License Help.

Ma. Firearm Safety- written 3-21-2010

Reviews  Gun Sense #31, Frequently Asked Questions

For the Ma. Firearms Transaction list go;  choose the option you need.

Your comments/insight are welcomed, please leave some.

If you have been denied in you’re quest for a firearm permit, (LTC) here in Ma. due to a past misdemeanor conviction(s),  there is a process that you may initiate to try to counter the denial by your police chief. You need to realize though that if the Firearms License Review Board, a 7 member board, finds in your favor, that will be a good thing, but you’re police chief will still be making the final determination. He will look at you’re application in a different light if the review board has found in you’re favor, that will lend weight to you’re cause and may sway him to issue you a license. Initially he may only issue you a license with a restriction like ‘target and hunting only’ and the next time around in six years may issue the license you really want, so keep this in  mind.

This link gets you to their instructions and address;   Just copy and paste.

Another option for you would be to apply for an FID card first. With an FID card there are only 3 reasons you can be denied. The reasons are, 1. If you have not been a felon. 2. If you have not been a substance abuser within the last 5 years.  3. If you were not involuntarily placed in a mental institution within the last 5 years. Under the law no other reason/criteria for denial may be used when issuing an FID card. There are even exemptions to a couple of  these, (2, 3)  reasons.  As  a courtesy I have added the following  link for you to find instantly the ‘petition form’ needed, if your being denied a LTC, along with all related information.     Another link that gets you to the Criminal History Systems Board is,

For the Ma. Firearms Transaction List go;  choose the option you need.

Please go to the ‘Gun Sense’ page for all Gun Sense Articles from first to last.

  –>IMPORTANT NOTICE: Also,there is a non-profit group of lawyers under the name of Comm2A that may help if you have been denied an LTC due to an old conviction, or a minor firearms conviction or even a minor drug offense that may have caused you to lose your LTC/FID. If they take your case, there ‘may’ be no cost to you. Comm2A has multiple cases pending in federal court in an effort to ensure state firearms law treats all lawful residents fairly and equally. You can contact this group at  or  or 617-942-0660.


Mark Shean,   About Me

Reviews   written 4-11-2010

Gun Sense #13, Specific to Ma. Petition for Judicial Review

Your comments/insight are welcomed.


Why I Do not have you shoot;

 *In a nutshell, it is a waste of your time and extra money, read on… 

I have an educated, common sense theory as to why the state has not made shooting mandatory for the state certification (so far). The course is carefully titled Basic Firearm Safety with emphasis on thebasic, it covers gun laws and safety aspects. You do not want to run afoul of the gun laws in Ma., that is a point of the course.  The main reason I believe that shooting is not required can be summed up in one very big word, liabilityThe police are extremely careful about who will receive that little plastic gun license, they do an extensive background check before they will hand it out. Someone may be a felon. No one has done a background check on the people I initially see, that certainly is NOT my job.  I would not want to put guns into the hands of a felon who may only want to steal the firearm(s) and ammunition, endangering  me or anyone else at a range. That is number 1, my safety, call me selfish OK………….

     There is a very foolish push by a panel of left wing academic so-called ‘experts’ that would mandate you must shoot in this initial class to get your state certificate. Another words, to them its OK to endanger firearms instructors PRIOR to the background check! But no one is allowed the little plastic gun license prior to the background check, BRILLIANT!! I pray I NEVER get as ‘smart’ as these so-called academic ‘experts‘………..who must live in La La land.

     Prime example: Two instructors, Cris Kyle and Chad Littlefield, good instructors with good intensions, were murdered by Eddie Ray Routh while instructing him in firearms at the Rough Creek Lodge in Glen Rose Texas. They set him up with a firearm, briefed him on safety, he picked the gun up then killed them both.  Routh then stole the firearms and Cris Kyle’s vehicle. He was apprehended the next day. There was NO background check done on Routh prior to this double murder, they did not know his real motives……they had no idea he was already a felon.

Another prime example;

     Accidents  also come under the heading of liability. The state does not want to be sued for making shooting mandatory in case of an accident (so far). The Representative’s we elect may never be bright enough to balance a budget, (its easy to spend someone elses money) but they are not crazy.  Also the state would not want the appearance of discriminating against the disabled, etc, etc.

These things are legal and political  ‘landmines’  that will always be avoided. The state is perfectly willing to let private instructors take any falls should there be an accident, i.e. (the little boy in Westfield Ma.) I have something to say about that ‘accident’ in my blog. [Zero Gun Sense=Uzi sub-machine gun tragedy in Westfield Ma.*The instructors who do infer that shooting is required in Ma. do so at their own risk, and if they are careful/smart  they carry insurance which of course will drive the price of the class up to significantly impact your wallet. The state wide average runs around $155 per person, (a house call and/or discounts not included).

    *I do not believe, knowing what I have learned in a lifetime of shooting, that the extra cost is justified, this is where knowledge through experience comes in… If you already know how to shoot it is a waste of your time and additional money paying for the instructors liability insurance, range, ammo, guns, lights, targets, other overhead ect. to take a few shots. On the other hand a complete novice will not even begin to retain any of the fundamentals. I know I cannot instill the fundamentals of shooting by waving a ‘magic’ wand after a few rounds.


Well intentioned or not, the few shots taken are more about justifying their higher price for the course than anything else. I strongly advise that the novice would be far better served by joining a gun club, to learn from knowledgeable members who will gladly help, or by taking the time for a series of lessons from an instructor which most clubs have, to get you started down the right path, over time.

In my experience with this state course since 2000, I can say without a question that a majority of the people I come into contact with have had previous experience with firearms through one venue or another. Some had moved into the state and needed the course simply as a way to legally keep the guns they already own. Others through life experience and/or military training. Still others because they had just come to figure out that the old FID card that said ‘indefinite’ in their wallets was no longer indefinite, it had expired years ago, (Oct. 1998) to be exact, and had to be brought up to speed.

Then there are those who take the class because they want to legally keep guns that have been inherited, for sentimental or other reasons. There are people that want their spouse to have some knowledge of the firearms they keep in the house as well as the laws surrounding the proper storage of those guns. Then there are people that learn certain laws loosened in 2004 no longer keep them from getting their gun permits back,  lost years ago over something minor.

After looking at all that, it is not quite as dire as, “no one could possibly know anything about firearms or the proper use of them” until they talk to someone like me. I wouldn’t flatter myself for a second by thinking that egotistical nonsense. For the types of circumstances surrounding the people I have just mentioned, people like me are useful in helping them understand the Ma. state firearm laws so that they may stay in sync with them, as well as introducing/reiterating specific safety aspects.

Discovering the varied levels of firearm experience that I have come into contact with from class to class, really does not surprise me. On the contrary, considering that firearms are an American birthright, and are estimated to be numbered in the hundreds of millions throughout America, it would be foolish of anyone to think all people looking for a gun license are completely ignorant about firearms or incompetent in the handling of them. I cannot resist inserting a quote by one of Americas greatest Founding Fathers, (in my opinion) as it happens to punctuate what I have been saying about American citizens….

This is an excerpt from the very first session of Congress, made by our first President: {“Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the peoples liberty, teeth and keystone under independence, the rifle and the pistol are equally indispensable…more than 99% of them by their silence indicate that they are in safe sane hands. The very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference. When firearms go, all goes, we need them every hour”} GEORGE WASHINGTON-

      Note: The word ‘Keystone’ is from 1630, it means; The central supporting element of a whole. Synonyms include; principle, foundation, basis. It is obvious to me, the meaning is clear, firearms and American citizens have had, and will continue to have a long standing ‘relationship’ with firearms. You hear that all you socialist ‘progressives’ ?  We will run many of you out of office over time, my preference would be to have them all tarred and feathered and run out on a rail, or jailed for breaking their Oath to uphold the Entire Constitution…..charged as traitors!

Mark Shean- written 5-2-2010

Reviews   About Me

Former NRA Law Enforcement Firearm Instructor

Your comments/insight are welcomed.   Gun Sense #44, KSG 12ga. Shotgun Demonstration