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Firearms

FIREARMS

This blog article will outline some of the terms associated with firearms in Massachusetts. For an expanded explanation of firearms, dangerous weapons and related offenses referred to MGL c. 140 and MGL c. 269.

1. Firearm: MGL c. 140§121 describes a firearm as a pistol, revolver or other weapon (loaded or unloaded) from which a shot or bullet can be discharged with a barrel length of less than 16 inches or 18 inches if a shotgun.

2. Firearms Identification Card: This card gives a person the right to possess a firearm in his or her home or carry a shotgun or rifle. The card does not authorize the carrying of a pistol or a revolver. To carry a pistol or revolver requires a License to Carry.

3. License to Carry: This license allows the licensee to carry a firearm in public. It is issued by the local chief of police or board or officer in charge of the police in the city or town of the potential licensee. No license shall issue to a minor under the age of 18, an alien, or a person convicted of a felony or of unlawful use, possession or sale of narcotic or harmful drugs. A licensee must be a suitable person who has good reason to fear injury to his person or property or for any other proper purpose.

4. Carrying a Dangerous Weapon: a person who unlawfully carries a firearm, loaded or unloaded faces a mandatory minimum sentence of one year in jail in Massachusetts. The sentence may not be suspended, nor may the case be filed or continued without a finding.

5. BB Guns and Air Rifles: the possession of an air rifle or BB gun in a public place by a minor under the age of 18 not accompanied by an adult is a criminal offense, unless the minor has a sporting or hunting license. (See MGL c.269 §12B). Unlike carrying a firearm, there is no minimum mandatory sentence imposed for this criminal offense.

Firearm offenses have serious consequences, if charged with a firearms offense a competent and experienced criminal attorney should be consulted.

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