This is a report of considerable antiquity (as in, eight months ago) that we’d forgotten about. But it deserves examination and will make the residents of about 46 states glad they don’t live in a hell-hole like this.
Fifteen of the 20 police officers put on paid administrative leave for letting their gun permits expire were back on the job Tuesday, costing the department nothing more than some stress, Quincy police officials said.The 15 had renewed their gun permits, and the remaining five officers were expected to be back to work by Wednesday, according to Police Captain John Dougan. He noted that department had previously said 21 officers were put on leave, but had incorrectly counted one officer.
Regarding the financial impact of the paid time off, Dougan said, “There is no cost aspect of it. It didn’t cost us anything.”
One officer was put on administrative leave on Friday, and after a spot check of gun permits Friday, the rest of the officers were placed on leave Monday morning. Dougan said the 20 officers also turned in all of their personal and professional firearms and ammunition.The move meant that about 10 percent of the police force was being paid not to come to work for at least a day, but Dougan said several of the officers were already on their days off.
While the cost may have been unsubstantial, the expired gun permits of 14 patrol officers and six supervisors caused a flurry of activity Monday morning. According to city rules, officers in Quincy are not allowed to work without a gun permit, and so all the offending officers were told to stay home.
The rule recently played a part in the firing of Quincy Police officer Joseph McGunigle, whose termination was upheld by an outside arbitrator because his gun permit had been taken away.
Yes, the cops have to get permits, in this notorious state (which should be called a “may-issue-but-probably-won’t” jurisdiction). Most of Massachusetts’ cities and towns don’t require this, and the Massachusetts State Police do not.
Note also that when they were busted for the expired permits, 20 cops got a few extra vacation days, and they had to turn in their guns until they got their permits back. (Massachusetts has had comprehensive gun registration for decades, so even the cops’ guns are documented). Unlike an ordinary citizen in that predicament, though, the scofflaw cops got their permits back, got them back in as little as a day, and then got their guns back without difficulty. (In MA, citizens’ guns are often “lost” in police custody and wind up in officers’ personal collections. Officers are exempted from some of the state’s laws, and others — like the registration requirement — they’re not exempted, but no one can remember a prosecution of such a case).