Massachusetts gun laws - what are the gun laws in the state of Massachusetts?
The state of Massachusetts has gun laws that are the most stringent in the nation, and according to studies conducted, the state also has the third-lowest rate of gun-related deaths in the country. The license and registration requirements are extensive to own a firearm in Massachusetts. The state has a "may issue" policy for concealed carry. The local police chief issues licenses for most jurisdictions. License to carry are issued to residents and non-residents. The Non-residents must apply for a temporary permit before traveling to the state.
Not required to inform an officer on contact by the law
There is no requirement in Massachusetts gun laws that state you need to notify a law enforcement officer that you have a firearm when you are approached on official business. The bill does require you to carry your permit at all times even when you are in actual possession of a concealed handgun.
No weapons sign is not enforced
The “No Weapons” signs are not mentioned in the Massachusetts gun laws. There are no legal penalties for entering private property or business that have these signs. They have no force of law unless they are posted in areas that are mentioned in the law as being off limits.
Carry in vehicles
If you do not have a license, you are not permitted to carry a loaded firearm inside any vehicle. Carrying a firearm in a vehicle, unlawfully or in one’s possession outside one’s residence or place of business, without the required license or card, will subject a person to a minimum sentence of 1 year in jail, or 2 1/2 years in prison which is mandatory. A permit/license holder can transport a loaded or unloaded handgun on his person or in a motor vehicle if the handgun is under their direct control.
Open Carry law
Without a permit/license, you cannot open carry, and there are no laws that prevent a permit/license holder carrying a concealed firearm openly. It is essential to be very cautious as it may attract attention from law enforcement and could end up a test case.
In Massachusets, residents are prohibited from carrying firearms into an establishment whose primary business is to serve alcohol. Restaurants, in general, allow you to carry firearms as long as it's not at the bar area and also if the restaurant does not have a “no weapons” sign.
State park carry law
The residents are allowed to carry in state parks, state forests, Wildlife Management Areas and roadside rest areas. However, state wildlife sanctuaries are off-limits.
Residents who are prohibited from owning firearms in Massachusetts:
Many people are not allowed to own a gun in Massachusetts. These people include:
- Convicted Felons
- Convicted of unlawful use, possession, or sale of drugs
- Convicted of habitual drunkenness
- Under 18 years of age.
- Committed to a mental hospital or institution for mental instability.
Firearm license reciprocity in Massachusets
A non-resident is allowed to carry a pistol or revolver in the state when engaging in a firearm competition, or while attending any meeting or exhibition of any organized group of firearm collectors, or for hunting, if he or she:
- Is a resident of the United States
- Has a permit or license to carry firearms that are issued under the laws of any state or local jurisdiction having regulations that prohibit the issuance of permits or licenses to persons who have been convicted of a felony or the unlawful use, possession or sale of narcotic or harmful drugs
- For a hunter traveling in or through Massachusetts, possesses a hunting or sporting license issued by Massachusetts or the state of his or her destination.