Storage and Transportation Of Firearms
Chapter 284 Update: With the passing of Chapter 284 comes increased penalties for failure to properly secure a stored firearm. A conviction for failure to properly store a large capacity firearm will result in lifetime prohibition from legally owning firearms/ammunition. Reference MGL C.140 §129C
Non – large capacity rifle or shotgun:
- $1,000 – $7,500 and/or up to 1 1/2 years imprisonment
Large capacity weapon or machine gun:
- $2,000 – $12,500 and/or 1 1/2 to 12 years imprisonment
Non – large capacity rifle or shotgun where a minor without an FID could gain access:
- $2,500 – $15,000 and/or 1 1/2 to 12 years imprisonment
Large capacity rifle or shotgun or machine gun where a minor without an FID could gain access:
- $10,000 – $10,000 and/or 4 to 15 years imprisonment
The law requires guns to be stored in a specific manner. All guns, when not in use, with the exception of primitive firearms, must be stored or kept “secured in a locked container or equipped with a tamper-resistant mechanical lock or other safety device,” to prevent unauthorized use. Penalties are assessed even if no underage person obtains access.
TRANSPORTING IN A VEHICLE:
The law specifies how certain types of guns are to be transported.
- Handguns under a Class A License: “No person carrying a loaded firearm (i.e. handgun) under a Class A license to carry firearms… shall carry the same in a vehicle unless such firearm while carried therein is under the direct control of such person.” (Chapter 140, section 131C)
- Handguns on a Class B License: “No person carrying a firearm under a Class B license to carry firearms shall possess the same unless such weapon is unloaded and contained within the locked trunk of such vehicle or in a locked case or other secure container.” (Chapter 140, section 131C)
- Large Capacity rifles and shotguns: “No person possessing a large capacity rifle or shotgun under a Class A or Class B License… shall possess the same in a vehicle unless such weapon is unloaded, and contained within the locked trunk of such vehicle or in a locked case or other secure container.” (Chapter 140, section 131C)
- Rifles and Shotguns: “No person… shall have in his possession or under his control in or on any vehicle or aircraft a loaded shotgun or rifle.. Chapter 131, section 63
CARRYING RIFLES OR SHOTGUNS ON A PUBLIC WAY:
The state has enacted specific requirements for carrying a rifle or shotgun on the person on a public way.
- Loaded guns: Except as exempted or provided by law, no person shall carry on his person a loaded rifle or shotgun on a public way (see exemptions below).
- Unloaded guns: 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. This subsection “does not apply to drills, parades, military reenactments or other commemorative ceremonies, color guards or memorial service firing squads, so called, as permitted by law.”
- Exceptions: The provisions of these sections do not apply to (i) any officer, agent or employee of the Commonwealth or any other state, or the United States (ii) any member of the military or other service of any state or the United States, including national guard, reserves and junior reserve officer training corps (iii) any law enforcement officer, agent or employee of any municipality of the commonwealth, if the persons described are authorized by a competent authority to so carry a loaded or unloaded rifle or shotgun on a public way and such person is acting within the scope of his duties or training, or (iv) a person who is lawfully engaged in hunting and is the holder of a valid hunting or sporting license. (Chapter 269, section 12D.)