Does this 67 year old author look dangerous?
Jerome Tuccile reports how the arcane complexities of state firearm regulations can be selectively enforced by local officials to punish a critic.
Prolific writer Peter Manso, author of, among other books, biographies of Norman Mailer and Marlon Brando, has been indicted on a dozen firearms charges by a Massachusetts grand jury and faces years in prison.
Did he brandish a gun in public? Threaten a neighbor with a drive-by shooting?
No, the guns were all stored, quite securely, in his locked and alarmed home. In fact, police discovered the weapons only when they responded to a burglar alarm while the writer was away. Either the guns were in plain view — evidence that Manso expected no legal trouble for their possession — or else, as Manso’s attorney alleges, “Truro police searched Manso’s house illegally while responding to the alarm.” …
The main problem seems to be that Manso’s Firearms Identification Card expired after the passage of new legislation in 1998 — previously, FIDs lasted a lifetime; now they expire every six years. The new law has caused endless problems in the Bay State, since authorities have not been very effective about informing gun owners of the change. …
Manso claims that he’s been maliciously targeted by the police because of his controversial work on a new book that casts a skeptical look at the work of local authorities in investigating the murder of a writer named Christa Worthington.