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Machine gun permit sought

Sturbridge resident asserts rights violated

July 28, 2010
STURBRIDGE — An attorney representing a resident denied a license to possess and carry a machine gun has accused the police of fabricating the reasons for their decision.

"There is just nothing to support them. They are just throwing it out there to ruin Andrews' reputation," said Attorney Rachel Baird, who represents Sturbridge resident Andrew Mongeon who has sought the permit.

According to Dudley District Court records, police have twice denied Mongeon, 30, a license to carry or possess a machine gun, for several reasons. Mongeon believes the denials have violated his constitutional right to bear arms, according to Baird. Sturbridge Police Chief Thomas Ford denied his department did anything wrong in not issuing the license.

"It is obvious that I deny any of those allegations on the part of Mongeon's counsel," Ford said.

Mongeon is appealing the decision and a Thursday, Aug. 26 court hearing has been scheduled for the matter, which first arose in 2008 when Mongeon first applied.

The two parties are at loggerheads over why the police denied Mongeon's application. According to a Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2009 letter from Ford to Mongeon, the department cited his not being a certified gun instructor, nor a bona fide collector of firearms. According to court records, however, Mongeon has a federal collector license from the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, but that does not allow him to be a gun dealer.

See Friday's Southbridge Evening News for complete coverage of community news.

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