A Massachusetts police department announced Wednesday that it would indefinitely halt new firearms permit applications due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Nantucket Police Department said the employees who fielded the permit applications expressed “concern that they could not safely do their jobs,” according to a news release.
Unlike most states, Massachusetts residents need a firearms identification card to purchase guns of any kind, meaning Nantucket’s refusal to accept applications effectively rules out first-time gun ownership entirely.
“Effective Wednesday, November 18, 2020 the Nantucket Police Department has suspended accepting any applications for permits or licenses that require a fingerprint based criminal records check,” the department wrote.
“Included in this suspension are firearms related permits such as LTC permits and FID Cards.
“This action was taken after employees responsible for obtaining these fingerprints expressed their concern that they could not safely do their jobs with the workplace safety procedures that we have in place. Because of the processes involved in obtaining these permits it is impossible to do while following state guidelines for social distancing in the workplace.”
— Nantucket Police (@NantucketPolice) November 18, 2020
The department wrote that it made a similar move to halt permit applications during the beginning of the pandemic, but resumed in July when “adequate workplace safety procedures” were put in place.
“However, at the time [Nantucket] was not experiencing many, if any, cases of COVID. That has changed,” the department wrote. “And after listening to our employees, we agree that their concerns are potentially valid.”
Philadelphia police suspended firearms applications in March and were subsequently sued by the Gun Owners of America, a Second Amendment organization, and a number of city residents, according to a news release.
The Nantucket Police Department did not immediately respond to questions from the Daily Caller News Foundation.
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