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Riding Shotgun With Charlie

Jan 28, 2020

Riding Shotgun With Charlie


Mark Shean 

Instructor & Author


I got a message last summer from an FB friend in New Jersey, John Petrolino, who said he just finished editing a book of gun laws from an instructor in Massachusetts.  He sent me Mark Shean’s info and we had a nice quick conversation. I read Mark’s book before we set up the interview. 


Mark started shooting at 7 with his siblings.  He joined the NRA Junior Rifle Team and has his photo in the book they published. But back then they didn’t use eye or ear protection. He’s had ringing ears since then. 


He works for a nuclear power plant and the nuclear security officers couldn’t be trained by civilians. He took a week long class on patrol rifle and handgun with plans to be able to train with the police and nuclear security officers, who are considered part of Homeland Security. He also earned several other NRA instructor qualifications. 


At 15, Mark’s son wanted to get his firearm identification card (FID), but they couldn’t find instructors that wanted to teach teens.  At the time, the course for the FID was different than the course for the License To Carry (LTC). Mark started doing classes for teens only, because that’s how we keep the firearm tradition going!


After teaching for several years, Mark started to gather questions students asking and put them down. A student suggested that Mark start a website with all the information he was giving his students.  Fortunately, that student also designed websites. That’s when Gun Sense was born. He kept adding posts about things that his students were inquiring about. The posts kept adding up, currently at 52. After John P took a course with Mark, he convinced Mark to make a book out of the information. A year after that thought was sparked, the book was published!


We have a great conversation about the laws in Massachusetts. And yes, it does get heated up!  Mark is very passionate about firearm safety, the laws and how they impact the citizens and what they can own. And about how not knowing the laws can lead to problems legally.  He shares some good stories about some classes he taught. 

Favorite quotes. 

“We live in the United States of America.  We don’t live only Massachusetts, or only Rhode Island, or only Connecticut.  Our citizenship doesn’t stop at the state that we live in. We’re American citizens”

“If I put up a map of the United States, I’d say ‘there’s my sanctuary: the United States”

“I started putting them into the website and called the Gun Sense. Even though Bloomberg has tried to steal the term, I was using it before Bloomberg.”

“The reason these guns are on the banned lists, its legal extortion by the politicians in Massachusetts”

“They know where you live but they don’t know where the criminal lives who stole your gun”

Mark Shean MA Gun Safety Website


MA Gun Safety on Facebook


Order Gun Sense on amazon…


Mark’s book review on Ammoland

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