Pistol-Packing Mama Grizzly!


“A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State,
the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

It’s official. I’m now permitted by the great state of Massachusetts to purchase and carry firearms.

It was not that arduous a journey, actually; I expected much worse. About a month before Gerry’s post about being shot at, I had completed the certification course required by Massachusetts in order to be allowed to apply for permission to buy a gun.

The course itself was hugely educational (as was, I’m sure, at least part of the point). It cost me $100 for a day of classroom course work and a day at the shooting range to qualify. The instructor, Mike, was an ex-military guy who was willing to spend as long as it took to make sure my classmate and I understood absolutely everything there was to know about guns and their history, from the invention of gunpowder to the present.

Now, I did not grow up in a family that hunted or fished. An occasional horseback ride at girls’ camp was the extent of my exposure to the great wild outdoors. So handling guns did not come naturally to me. But Mike, with infectious enthusiasm, had brought pretty much every firearm he owns, and patiently showed us the workings of each one.

By 5:00 in the afternoon, we were exhausted and ready to take our written test. Due to Mike’s tutelage, we both passed, my classmate with 92% and I with 96%.

The next day, we got to shoot! Bright and early, we met at the police range. Mike had us assure ourselves that we were the only patrons present, and then had us both walk the range, looking at the shooting booths, the target area, the layout of the range, everything. Shooters started to arrive and set up, and Mike announced that we were there to qualify. We were warmly welcomed, and Mike arranged our targets (to my eyes, ominously far away).

Eyeing the position of the targets, one of the shooters asked with a straight face, “You gonna just throw stones at those?” Then he laughed and wished us good luck.

After shooting some practice rounds with a .22, a .38 revolver, and a .45 (and boy, did that thing ever kick!), I qualified with the .22, getting five rounds in the black, and all 10 within the required white circle. I was quite pleased with myself. My classmate qualified as well, and we congratulated each other while Mike gave us our certificates.

And the very next day, I went to our local police station to apply for my license to carry concealed–and there goes another $100! Officer Cody made the process very easy and pleasant, even the part where he took my fingerprints. After the 30-minute interview-and-print-taking, he let me know that it would probably take six to eight weeks for my application to be processed, and then our Police Chief has to sign it.

Well, after five and a half weeks, I got the call, and was able to get my license!

So what I want to do is get a nice little Beretta U22 Neos as a starter gun to learn on. Sadly, Massachusetts gun dealers are not allowed to sell Berettas. Now what do I do?



8 Responses to Pistol-Packing Mama Grizzly!

  1. Gerry Ashley says:

    Congratulations, Stoutcat! I’m going to be contacting Robb Allen (who responded to my “Time To Get A Gun” article of a few weeks back) after Thanksgiving to get started on my training and permit.

    As to your question about what to do since you can’t buy a Baretta in Massachusetts?

    Well, for one, I’d move out of Massachusetts. Oh wait… I DID. But there are many states where that Beretta is easily purchased. That may be a bit extreme (moving to a different state), so I imagine a number of folks with good knowledge in this area will reply with how to go about obtaining one legally in Massachusetts.

    Glad to hear you did so well. Congratulations once again!

  2. Greg says:

    Actually you can buy Berettas in Mass, saw a few just last week at the gun store.

    Do yourself a favor and go to http://www.northeastshooters.com, it’s a forum for gun owners in New England, most of it’s members are in NH or MA, but there are folks from RI and CT as well.

    I you have any questions regarding gun laws please feel free to ask.

  3. Neologian says:

    I’m in a similar bind Stoutcat. I obtained my Mass LTC about a year ago and picked up the Beretta 92fs (a Beretta that IS legal to sell in MA.) I’ve decided to acquire a .22 caliber pistol in order to join a bulls eye pistol league in my area. In my search for something reliable and accurate I came across some great reviews of the .22 Neos. Sadly it’s not MA legal and I’ll have to make some other selection.

    Can’t say why the Neos is deemed non-compliant in MA. Occasionally its the absence of some “safety” feature required in MA or a magazine capacity that’s too large for MA (not the case here on the Neos as it’s 10 round magazine meets the requirement). Sometimes it’s just a question of the manufacturer failing or refusing to make that particular make/model of their firearm available to the MA authorities so they can pass it through the proprietary MA certification process. Whatever the reason it can be very frustrating to have done your research and gone through the entire process as you have, only to discover someone has deemed your preferred model non-compliant.

    Definitely check out Northeast Shooters as others have recommended. I’ve also found the web page and the staff at Four Seasons Firearms in Woburn MA to be very helpful and patient.

    Good luck out there…welcome to the People’s Republic of MA! 🙂


  4. […] of you may remember reading my post about the process of getting a license in Massachusetts from last year. Since then, about the only thing I’ve […]

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