An Act Relative to an Unloaded Rifle or Shotgun

1/16/17 update: This bill has been refiled for the 190th General Court by Rep. Paul Mark.

When the 1998 Gun Control Act was passed into law there was an obvious attempt to paint gun ownership as socially unacceptable. One specific law was put in place that forced lawful gun owners to hide who they are.

Section 12D of Chapter 269 makes it mandatory to hide our guns when on a public way. It also imposes very severe penalties for failure to do so, up to ten years in prison! How is it possible that a free and open state like Massachusetts could impose such punishments on lawful citizens who possess legal products? How is it possible that the same government would force a group of people to hide who they are? This bill simply removes this very insulting law.

Bill Language:

SECTION 1.Section 12D of Chapter 269 of the Massachusetts General Laws shall be amended by deleting the following language: (b) Except as exempted or provided by law, no person shall carry on his person on any public way an unloaded rifle or shotgun, unless such rifle or shotgun is enclosed in a case. Whoever violates the provisions of this subsection shall be punished by a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $1,000, and may be arrested without a warrant; provided, however, that if such unloaded rifle or shotgun is a large capacity weapon and is carried simultaneously with a fully or partially loaded large capacity feeding device, such person shall be punished by a fine of not less than $1,000 nor more than $10,000 or by imprisonment for not less than one year nor more than ten years, or by both such fine and imprisonment, and may be arrested without a warrant. This subsection shall not apply to drills, parades, military reenactments or other commemorative ceremonies, color guards or memorial service firing squads, so-called, as permitted by law.

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