Wednesday, August 11, 2004

My CCW letter

In Massachusetts, you need to provide a reason to your local Chief of Police in order for him to issue a License to Carry Class A (Otherwise known as CCW). Here is the letter I had written him last January. It worked, and I have the license to carry concealed.

Dear Chief L****, (or Chief F*****, depending on when you get this)

I am writing you this letter in order to clarify my reasons for requesting a Class A license to carry firearms.

In the past, I have not felt the need to carry a weapon of any sort, with the possible exception of a short time that I lived in Miami FL. (I had some mace then.) S******* is a very quiet town, fortunately, and I am thankful for that, and I expect it to continue to be a quiet town, with a very low probability of encountering any threats to my person.

I work, however, in an environment that is changing. I am the IT manager of the MRI Centers of New England, and we have 8 sites currently, all over Massachusetts and Rhode Island. My job is forcing me, more and more, to start transferring large amounts of valuable merchandise, (laptops, computers, flat screen monitors, and medical equipment) late at night to do my work, when the centers aren’t so busy. Specifically, I have had instances when I haven’t felt safe loading things into my car from the site, or vice versa. I have had, on occasion, to stop what I was doing, and go inside until I felt that I was no longer getting unwanted attention from people. It is times like this that I have a reason to fear injury to my person or property.

We have centers in Chelsea, MA (100 Everett Ave) and Springfield MA (3500 Main St). These two places are not in the best of neighborhoods, and I don’t see my job function changing anytime soon.

I don’t intend to carry a weapon on a regular basis, around town, or on the weekends. I would carry during those times at work when I felt that the risk, and my exposure, is higher than it normally is. I also don’t intend to get rusty or unfamiliar with the weapon I would carry- Our Woburn center (where my office is) is about 200 yards from the Massachusetts Rifle Association, so I can practice daily, almost, on my lunch break. I have been shooting rifles and handguns with my father for the better part of twenty years now, on and off. I am familiar and comfortable with firearms, but I have never lost the respect I have for the damage they can cause when inattentive or careless with them.

I fully understand the magnitude of responsibility you bear when you carry a weapon. Not only do you expose yourself to civil and criminal suits should you need to use it, but your judgment must be absolutely solid, your situational awareness must be very alert, and your ability to verbally defuse a potential situation becomes that much more important.

I hope to God that I never have to use a weapon to defend myself, but afraid of that as I am, I am even more afraid of leaving my wife, 4 year old son, and 1 year old daughter without a Dad.

You probably get many requests for this, and I understand a Police Chief’s hesitation in granting such a license to a person that they don’t know. I can assure you, however, that I will do everything in my power to be one of those people that you simply never hear about until three and a half years have gone by, and it’s time to renew again.

Thanks for considering,

J. Hollister

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