Wednesday, December 8, 2004
The Massachusetts Instant Record Check System is operating in three gun shops and about 140 police departments across Massachusetts. The system enables gun shop owners to know almost instantaneously, with the quick scan of a customer's fingerprint, who is authorized to purchase firearms. The system efficiently operates using a statewide collection of fingerprints, photographs, and relevant legal documents (such as arrest warrants and restraining orders), all available to gun shop owners and the local police, who act as the licensing authority. Arrest warrants, restraining orders, and fingerprints scanned into the system at gun shops or by the police upon arrest are instantly entered into the system, eliminating the delay of informing the appropriate authorities of who is authorized to become licensed or purchase a firearm.
With the new technology, MA becomes the first state equipped with biometric-based firearms license and sales applications. By next summer, the system will operate in all gun shops and police departments in MA. More... [Mark Godsey]