State Gun Laws - Massachusetts - Saul Roth

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By Saul Roth

Here’s an overview of gun laws in the state of Massachusetts. Please note that laws can change over time, so it’s always a good idea to consult the most current and official sources or legal professionals for the most up-to-date information.

Permits and Licensing:

1. A License to Carry (LTC) or a Firearms Identification Card (FID) is required to purchase, possess, and carry firearms in Massachusetts. The type of license depends on the type of firearm.

2. The LTC is required for the purchase, possession, and carrying of handguns, while the FID is required for long guns (rifles and shotguns).

Firearm Purchase and Transfers:

1. All firearm sales and transfers, including private sales, must be conducted through a licensed firearms dealer who conducts a background check.

2. A valid LTC or FID is required to purchase firearms and ammunition.

Assault Weapons and High-Capacity Magazines:

1. Massachusetts has a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. Certain firearms are classified as “Assault Weapons” based on specific features and are prohibited.

2. High-capacity magazines (more than 10 rounds) manufactured or possessed after September 13, 1994, are also generally prohibited.

Safe Storage and Reporting:

1. Massachusetts has strict safe storage laws. Firearms must be stored in a locked container or equipped with a tamper-resistant mechanical lock or other safety device.

2. There is a requirement to report the loss or theft of a firearm to law enforcement within 48 hours of discovering the loss or theft.

Carrying Firearms:

1. Massachusetts generally does not issue licenses to carry firearms for the purpose of self-defense. Licenses are typically issued for employment or specific reasons such as hunting, target shooting, or collecting.

2. Open carry of firearms is generally prohibited in Massachusetts, except for individuals with a valid LTC who are engaged in certain activities, such as hunting or target shooting.

Stand Your Ground Law:

1. Massachusetts does not have a Stand Your Ground law. The state follows a “duty to retreat” principle, meaning individuals have a duty to retreat from a threat before using force, unless they are in their own home or place of business.

It’s important to consult the official Massachusetts state statutes or seek legal advice to obtain comprehensive and up-to-date information on the specific provisions and requirements of Massachusetts’ gun laws.