• Boston has highest number of licensed gun owners in state


    Massachusetts is known for having some of the toughest gun laws in the country, but that's not stopping people from purchasing them.

    There's been a steady increase in gun licenses.

    To purchase a firearm in Massachusetts, you need a gun license. Most choose Class A; it permits ownership of any type of weapon deemed legal in the state, and concealed carry.

    "The license process starts with a course that every individual has to take," said Robert Sheehan, Norwood Armory.

    Sheehan is a licensed firearms instructor and gun shop owner. He says the application process includes an eight hour safety course and a criminal background check.

    As Governor Baker explains, local police chiefs have the final say.

    "There are very few states in the country where the chief of police is the vehicle for which you get your gun license. And that chief of police is in the position to revoke your license if they deem you to be a danger to your community," said Baker. 

    Boston 25 News found more than 100,000 new gun licenses were issued to Mass. residents over the past five years. Boston has the most license holders, following by Springfield, Worcester and Plymouth.

    In 2018, Plymouth saw a six percent increase in Class A license holders; they represent nine percent of the town's population.

    New Bedford saw a 14 percent increase; about four percent of the city's residents are legally permitted to own and carry guns. 

    If you've ever wondered how many of your neighbors have a license to carry a large capacity weapon or a concealed weapon, you can search below:

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