Massachusetts H.4121 would allow state officials to arbitrarily and capriciously deny citizens the right to bear arms if they don’t meet the government’s idea of what constitutes a “suitable person” (our bold):

SECTION 19. Section 129B of said chapter 140, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out paragraph (1) and inserting in place thereof the following paragraph:- (1) Any person residing or having a place of business within the jurisdiction of the licensing authority or any person residing in an area of exclusive federal jurisdiction located within a city or town may submit to the licensing authority an application for a firearm identification card, or renewal of the same, which the licensing authority may issue if it appears that the applicant is a suitable person to be issued a card and that the applicant has good reason to fear injury to his person or property, or for any other reason, including the carrying of firearms for use in sport or target practice only…

H.4121 leaves the defining of what constitutes a “suitable person” to the whims of  the government of Massachusetts:

The executive office of public safety and security, with the advice and recommendations of the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association and the gun control advisory board, shall promulgate rules and regulations establishing uniform standards that specify, clarify or define what constitutes a suitable person for purposes of issuing a card pursuant to this paragraph.

This law would allow the state to arbitrarily deny the issuance of a firearm owner identification (FOID) card to Massachusetts citizens, regardless of whether or not they broke any laws, had a criminal record, or record of mental health problems.

We had similar laws in the past in this nation, primarily issued between 1876 and 1965, which allowed discrimination against citizens who had not committed any disqualifying crimes.

It’s hardly surprising that radical Democrats are once again behind a plot to strip law-abiding citizens of their basic human liberties, including the right to bear arms.

Update: H.4121 has been replaced today by H.4278, which changes the applicable language substantially (our bold):

SECTION 21. Section 129B of said chapter 140, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out paragraph (1) and inserting in place thereof the following paragraph:- (1) Any person residing or having a place of business within the jurisdiction of the licensing authority or any person residing in an area of exclusive federal jurisdiction located within a city or town may submit to the licensing authority an application for a firearm identification card, or renewal of the same, which the licensing authority shall issue if it appears that the applicant is not a prohibited person. A prohibited person shall be a person who…

“Shall issue” is a marked improvement over the “may issue” language in 4121, but the replacement bill still contains a conditional after listing all the offenses that would mark someone as a prohibited person:

Notwithstanding other provisions of paragraph (1) to the contrary, the licensing authority may deny the application or renewal of a firearm identification card, or suspend or revoke a card issued under this section, if in the reasonable exercise of discretion, the licensing authority determines that the applicant or card holder is unsuitable to be issued or to continue to hold a firearm identification card. A determination of unsuitability shall be based on: (i) reliable and credible information that the applicant or card holder has exhibited or engaged in behavior that suggests the applicant or card holder could potentially create a risk to public safety if issued a card; or (ii) existing factors that suggest that the applicant or card holder could potentially create a risk to public safety if issued a card. Upon denying an application or renewal of a card based on a determination of unsuitability, the licensing authority shall notify the applicant in a writing setting forth the specific reasons for such determination as set forth in paragraph (3). Upon revoking or suspending a card based on a determination of unsuitability, the licensing authority shall notify the holder of a license in a writing setting forth the specific reasons for such determination as set forth in paragraph (4). The determination of unsuitability shall be subject to judicial review as set forth in paragraph (5).

In other words, “reasonable exercise of discretion” still allows authorities a great degree of latitude to deny a firearm owner ID card to people based upon arbitrary and capricious risk factors they assert “create a risk to public safety,” which could presumably mean anything from supporting the “wrong” political party, to joining the “wrong” Facebook group, to living in the “wrong” neighborhood, or associating with the “wrong” people, even though you have broken no laws.

Is this supposed to be acceptable?