Leonard Campanello, Chief of Police
197 Main St.
Gloucester , MA 01930
For Immediate Release
Thursday, July 24, 2014
Contact: John Guilfoil
Statement of Gloucester Police Chief Leonard Campanello
Chief Joins Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association in Support of House Version of Gun Bill
GLOUCESTER — Police Chief Leonard Campanello, with the steadfast support of Gloucester Mayor Carolyn Kirk, joins the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association in support of the House of Representatives version of the pending gun legislation.
As an active member of the Chiefs Association, Chief Campanello is following this important bill closely. He is disappointed to learn that the Senate Bill, S#2284 lacks a critical public safety provision found in the House Bill, H#4278. That provision gives police chiefs discretion in issuing rifle and shotgun licenses. Currently, Massachusetts law allows police chiefs absolute discretion in issuing handgun licenses, but no discretion in issuing rifle and shotgun licenses. The House bill would close that dangerous loop hole.
When polled in June by the Princeton Research Associates, the majority of Massachusetts voters were also in favor of police chiefs having discretion in licensing for rifles and shotguns.
Statement of Chief Campanello:
“The House bill is far superior to the senate version of the bill because it recognizes the importance of police chief discretion in issuing rifle and shotgun licenses. Police chiefs are generally in the best position to know who in their community is a threat to themselves, their partners, families and public safety.
“As the law stands, I may know that my officers have been called to a house 15 times to respond to a dangerously mentally ill person or domestic dispute where no charges were filed, but still have to give this person a rifle or shotgun when they apply for one. It does not make sense. This is why I support police chief discretion, it’s just commonsense in order to keep our community safe.
“Gloucester is fortunate to have a senator on the conference committee for the two guns bills, I just hope our Senator Bruce Tarr will take this opportunity to protect his community rather than cater to National groups like the NRA.
“Mayor Kirk and I stand together in supporting the House version of this bill, and we urge others to do the same.”