Gun ownership advocates are pushing for a return to lifetime firearm licenses, saying the state's 1998 get tough gun control laws have created a bureaucratic nightmare that turns them into lawbreakers, while cash strapped police departments say they are swamped."It's a license that's mandated by a state that cannot supply it," said James Wallace, president of the Gun Owners' Action League of Massachusetts, which is pushing a bill to speed up the process by eliminating renewals -- and instead just yanking licenses from people when they violate the terms. "It's taking so long that people are technically illegal, and they're scared to complain, because they're illegal."

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