did ma make the fa-10 scarce to move gun owners towards web?

 

E-FA 10 Issue

October 24, 2011 Update:
GOAL has received a letter from EOPS/FRB in regard to the use of paper FA10 forms. They wanted us to know that the only accepted paper form going forward will be the "official" numbered 3-part forms.

 

Please see the letter informing GOAL of this change here.

 

They also recommended the use of the electronic form available on their website.

 

At this time GOAL recommends that the online form is not used. Should you have any difficulties obtaining the official 3 part FA10 form, please contact the FRB here. or call them (617) 660-4782

 

 

June 22, 2011 Update:

We had a chance to review the new system and found many more concerns. What should have been a simple electronic version of the FA-10 form turned out to be an entire new website designed to gather information on lawful gun owners. As we reviewed the site, we quickly made a list of concerns:

There is no Massachusetts law that allows the state to create a database on firearms.

It is a common myth that gun registration is mandatory in Massachusetts. In fact, there is no such law that allows any agency to create a database on the private possession of firearms. There is transfer reporting law, but that is only so the state can make sure you have the correct license for the gun you have purchased.

What legislation gave the agency the authority to create the system?         

To our knowledge there was no legislation mandate to create a brand new online system to track transfers. This seems very reminiscent of the MIRC’s system several years ago that suddenly came into existence with no legislative authority.

What funds were used and how were they allocated to create the system?

We cannot recall a line item or budgetary means by which such a project was authorized or funded.

When we tried to log on to the new system this is the message that appeared on the screen:

This Connection is Untrusted

          You have asked Firefox to connect securely to mircs.chs.state.ma.us, but we can't confirm that your connection is secure.

          Normally, when you try to connect securely, sites will present trusted identification to prove that you are going to the right place. However, this site's identity can't be verified.         

What Should I Do?         

            If you usually connect to this site without problems, this error could mean that someone is trying to impersonate the site, and you shouldn't continue.           

On the home page there is the following statement:

“It is unlawful to conduct a personal sale or transfer of a weapon to anyone other than an individual lawfully licensed in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.”

This statement is not accurate. Lawful persons may transfer firearms to FFLs in other states under certain circumstances. To imply that is no longer legal is very deceptive and confusing to gun owners.

On the following page there are several problems,

Personal Sale or Transfer

“Use this option if you are a Massachusetts resident and you sold or transferred a firearm, rifle, shotgun or machine gun to another person or to a dealer, and you conducted the sale or transfer personally or through an agent.”

To our knowledge all Massachusetts Firearm Retailers are required to report any transfers to the state via the existing online system. Why would someone need to file through this system if they have already gone through a licensed retailer?

Registration

“Use this option if 1) you are a Massachusetts resident and you obtained a firearm, rifle, shotgun or machine gun from out of state 2) you recently moved to Massachusetts and you wish to record ownership of a firearm, rifle, shotgun or machine gun or 3) you possess a firearm, rifle, shotgun or machine gun and there is no record of the weapon on file with the Firearms Records Bureau.”

Again, there is no requirement in Massachusetts to “Register” any gun. There is only a reporting requirement to match the sale with the type of license. There is no law that allows agencies to compile databases on firearms that are owned.

In regard to 1), anyone who obtains a firearm (meaning handgun) from outside the state must do so through a dealer in Massachusetts and thus the reporting requirement should already have been met.

On 2), there is absolutely no statutory authority to collect information on firearms from people moving into the Commonwealth. Just because the FRB is stating “and you wish” does not make it legal to ask or to collect this information.

On 3), there is no requirement that anyone’s firearms be recorded with the state. It is only a requirement to report a transfer if it was done so after the date of the new law. If a person happens to own a gun that was in his/her possession prior to these laws being established, there is no statutory authority to collect that information. 

Surrender Weapon to Police

“Use this option if you surrendered a firearm, rifle, shotgun or machine gun to a police department because your firearms license has been denied, suspended, revoked or expired.”

There are no statutory matters dealing with a personal requirement to report confiscations to the state. Several years ago a GOAL supported bill required police to finally provide receipts.

Chapter 140, Section 131(m)   The officer shall, at the time of confiscation, provide to the person whose firearm, rifle or shotgun has been confiscated, a written inventory and receipt for all firearms, rifles or shotguns confiscated and the officer and his employer shall exercise due care in the handling, holding and storage of these items. Any confiscated weapon shall be returned to the owner upon the renewal or reinstatement of such expired or suspended license within one year of such confiscation or may be otherwise disposed of in accordance with the provisions of section 129D. The provisions of this paragraph shall not apply if such person has a valid license to carry firearms issued under section 131F. 

Generate Firearms License Validation

“Use this option to produce proof that your license is valid before you purchase a firearm, rifle, shotgun or machine gun from another individual or before you purchase a firearm, rifle, shotgun or machine gun at a gun show or other non-gun shop location.”

 

When was this new “validation” system created and under what legislative authority? Is this something new that gun owners are going to have to carry with them? There has never been any such requirement in the past. What is a “non-gun shop location” other than a gun show? Virtually all sales at Massachusetts gun shows are done through dealers. Under Massachusetts law, non-dealers are only allowed to transfer up to 4 guns per calendar year.

Representative Peter KocotIn general there are so many concerns with this new system that it is difficult to summarize them all!

GOAL is currently working with Representative Peter Kocot, House Chair of the Committee on Administration and Regulatory Oversight in an attempt to get some answers. In the meantime due to valid security concerns and questions regarding the legality of the system we would urge members not to use the new system until all of the issues are addressed.

 

 

 

 

June 9, 2011

 

GOAL has received confirmation that paper FA10 forms will still be available and accepted.

 

The confirmation was a letter sent to us from Jason Guida, Director of the Firearms Records Bureau.

 

Click Here to view the letter

 

GOAL will continue to work with both the FRB and our legislators in resolving the issues with the e-version of this, see below for more information.

 

We will update as information develops.

 

 

June 3, 2011

 

GOAL has been made aware that the new electronic file version of the Massachusetts FA10 form has major issues that need to be addressed.

 

These issues include some of the language on the opening page which contradicts itself, and worse, incorrectly states MA law.

 

Another huge issue to be addressed, the site does not appear to be “safe”! Nobody should be expected to expose themselves to security threats online, and to be forced by law to share vital, private information online is indefensible.

 

On the good news front it appears at this time that the paper version of the FA10 will still be available and accepted by the FRB, this has not been confirmed as of yet however!

 

GOAL is currently working with many MA legislators and the FRB to resolve this issue, please stay tuned for further updates as information develops.

 

May 26, 2011

 

Gun Owners’ Action League has recently received a letter from the Firearms Record Bureau (FRB) dated May 23, 2011. The letter is in regards to the new E-FA-10 Online Firearms Transaction Recording Application.

 

Most Massachusetts gun owners are familiar with the current FA-10 sales and transfer form. This form is required to be filed with the state whenever a gun is transferred, sold, etc. Under the law, licensed individuals in the state are allowed to privately transfer up to four guns in a calendar year utilizing the FA-10 form.

 

The letter from the FRB states that on June 1, 2011 the new online version of the form, the E-FA-10, will replace the current paper forms. What is unclear is whether or not the paper forms will still be available for those people who do not have access to the internet, high speed or not.

On Thursday, May 26, 2011 GOAL received a call from Senator Ben Downing’s office. The Senator’s staff stated that they had been in contact with agency personal and were assured that paper copies of the FA-10 would still be available through local police stations and so-forth. GOAL has received information from other sources that the paper forms will no longer be available.

 

Unfortunately, there seems to be no clear answer as of yet. GOAL will continue to work on the matter and keep our members informed of any new developments.

May 14, 2010 Update. As many of you know, the CHSB uploaded the FA10 form onto their website on April 30th. We just now noticed that they FINALLY updated it to a correct form that includes instructions/codes etc... This form can be downloaded, filled out, and mailed back. We are awaiting information about a new electronic filing system.

New FA10 form here. *10/24/11 Update, The links to this document have been taken down as non-numbered "official" forms will be the only thing accepted going forward.

We will keep you updated as information develops and are still awaiting resolution of this situation.

Thanks all for being pro-active with this.

April 30, 2010 Update;

MA EOPS has now updated their website with a "Temporary FA10" form that is a downloadable PDF. According to their website:

"Please use this interim FA-10 form to record a firearms transaction pursuant to G.L. c. 140, §§ 128A and 128B.  Please note, no alternate forms will be accepted.

Over the past 6 months, CHSB has been developing a web-based firearms transaction application to allow for the electronic submission of FA-10’s.  This application is currently in the testing phase and will replace the paper reporting system once it is available online."

 

GOAL will continue to follow this and will update the situation as it develops.

April 28, 2010 Update;

Gun Owners Action League Executive Director Jim Wallace, and Representative George Peterson have officially petitioned House Post Audit and Oversight Committee Chairman, Representative David P. Linsky (D) to amend the current FA10 situation.

Please know that we are working very hard within the State House to resolve this situation in a manner that will be beneficial to all lawful gun owners in the state of MA.

At this time no further action is necessary, we will keep all updated when it's time to start working the phones/faxes/emails etc..

Letter;

April 27, 2010

Representative David P. Linsky
Chairman, House Committee on Post Audit and Oversight
State House, Room 146
Boston, MA 02133

Chairman Linsky,

I write you today making you aware of the scarcity of the state firearm transfer reporting form, more commonly referred to as the FA-10 form. If you are not already aware, please let me provide you with a couple of relevant facts, that have been presented from the Firearms Record Bureau.

First, the contractor who was hired to produce the FA-10 forms for the Commonwealth has chosen to no longer be eligible as a state vendor. Secondly, this original contractor maintains the legal rights to the existing FA-10 forms. Subsequently, no other company is allowed to take the formatting/template from them and reproduce it. Thirdly, the state is currently seeking another company to produce a similar form, but must do so through a state approved bidding process, which is a timely process. Finally, the computer system that scans the information from the current FA-10 forms will not function with photocopies. As a result, the state has said that any photocopied FA-10 forms will most likely be rejected.

With the lack of FA-10 forms and uncertainty of when new forms will be available, the Firearms Record Bureau is recommending that transfers be delayed until forms are available or have them done through a licensed state firearms dealer through the computerized Massachusetts Instant Record Check System (MIRCS).*


As you can see from the points referenced above, this situation needs to be corrected. This is certainly an issue that certainly needs to be addressed in a timely manner, and I would be more than happy to speak with you should you have any additional questions.

Sincerely,


Representative George N. Peterson, Jr.
Assistant Minority Leader

 

April 26, 2010 

Gun Owners’ Action League (GOAL) has received several calls regarding the scarcity of the state firearm transfer reporting form commonly referred to as the FA-10 form. GOAL would like to inform all of our members that the state has contacted us and informed us of the following: 

  • The contractor who was hired to produce the FA-10 forms for the Commonwealth has chosen to no longer be eligible as a state vendor;
  • This original contractor maintains the legal rights to the existing FA-10 forms. Subsequently, no other company is allowed to take the formatting/template from them and reproduce it;
  • The state is currently seeking another company to produce a similar form, but must do so through a state approved bidding process which is a timely process;
  • The computer system that scans the information from the current FA-10 forms will not function with photocopies. As a result, the state has told us that any photocopied FA-10 forms will most likely be rejected. (Keep in mind that the law requires us to use forms furnished by the executive director of the criminal history systems board, see below in red) 

With the lack of FA-10 forms and uncertainty of when new forms will be available, the Firearms Record Bureau is recommending that transfers be delayed until forms are available or have them done through a licensed state firearms dealer through the computerized Massachusetts Instant Record Check System (MIRCS). 

GOAL will continue to look into the matter and if it is not resolved immediately we may seek emergency legislation repealing the reporting requirement. We will alert our members to any changes. We would urge any members experiencing problems obtaining an FA-10 form to contact their state legislators and report the problem. This most recent matter is yet another reason for the legislature to pass H.2259 GOAL’s Civil Rights and Public Safety Act reforming Massachusetts gun laws. 

 

Chapter 140: Section 128A. Application of Sec. 128

Section 128A. The provisions of section one hundred and twenty-eight shall not apply to any person who, without being licensed as provided in section one hundred and twenty-two, sells or transfers a firearm, rifle or shotgun to a person licensed under said section one hundred and twenty-two, or to a federally licensed firearms dealer or to a federal, state or local historical society, museum or institutional collection open to the public. The provisions of section one hundred and twenty-eight shall not apply to any resident of the commonwealth who, without being licensed as provided in section one hundred and twenty-two, sells or transfers to other than a federally licensed firearms dealer or organization named above not more than four firearms, including rifles and shotguns in any one calendar year; provided, however, that the seller has a firearm identification card or a license to carry firearms, is an exempt person under the conditions of clauses (n), (o), (r) and (s) of the fourth paragraph of section one hundred and twenty-nine C, or is permitted to transfer ownership under the conditions of section one hundred and twenty-nine D and the purchaser has, in the case of sale or transfer of a firearm, a permit to purchase issued under the provisions of section one hundred and thirty-one A and a firearm identification card issued under section one hundred and twenty-nine B, or has such permit to purchase and is an exempt person under the provisions of section one hundred and twenty-nine C, or has been issued a license to carry firearms under the provisions of section one hundred and thirty, or in the case of sale or transfer of a rifle or shotgun, the purchaser has a firearm identification card or a license to carry firearms or is an exempt person as hereinbefore stated; and provided, further, that such resident reports within seven days, in writing to the executive director of the criminal history systems board on forms furnished by said executive director, the names and addresses of the seller and the purchaser of any such large capacity feeding device, firearm, rifle or shotgun, together with a complete description of the firearm, rifle or shotgun, including its designation as a large capacity weapon, if applicable, the caliber, make and serial number and the purchaser’s license to carry firearms number, permit to purchase number and identifying number of such documentation as is used to establish exempt person status in the case of a firearm or the purchaser’s license to carry number or firearm identification card number or said document identity number, in the case of a rifle or shotgun.

 

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