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Old March 8, 2013, 04:28 PM   #1
Arcfault
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Massachusetts Handgun law

Hi I just joined TFL today and I am also a fairly new gun owner as well and I live in Massachusetts. My question is regarding the Massachusetts allowed firearm list. If I were to go out of state and buy a new firearm not on the allowed list would it then be illegal to own in MA ? I would love to buy a Kimber but its not on the list because of what I assume is the trigger pull. Would I have to buy a used one out of state in order for it to be legal ? Any help would be appreciated. I have looked online for answers but one site seems to contradict another.
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Old March 8, 2013, 04:31 PM   #2
Doyle
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Simple answer is that you CANNOT legally go outside of MA to buy a handgun period. By federal law, all handgun transfers have to take place in the state of legal residence of the purchaser. If the handgun crosses state lines then that transfer also has to go through an FLL in the state of the purchaser's residence.
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Old March 8, 2013, 05:55 PM   #3
Arcfault
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So I couldnt walk into a cabelas etc out of state and buy a handgun and have it sent to a licensed dealer back here in MA ?
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Old March 8, 2013, 06:10 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcfault
So I couldnt walk into a cabelas etc out of state and buy a handgun and have it sent to a licensed dealer back here in MA ?
What Doyle said:
Quote:
If the handgun crosses state lines then that transfer also has to go through an FLL in the state of the purchaser's residence.
Yes, you could do that.

But you also need to be sure that the handgun you buy is one that's legal to own in Massachusetts. An FFL in MA won't release it to you if it's not on the approved list.
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Old March 8, 2013, 06:19 PM   #5
Arcfault
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Vanya Thank You ! Thats what I wanted to know. I was a little confused by Doyles terminology. So the only way I can get a firearm not on the allowed MA list is if it was made before the ban correct ?
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Old March 8, 2013, 06:53 PM   #6
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I believe that's correct -- if, and only if, you have a Class A license to carry. Note that this applies only to "large capacity weapons" as defined in MA -- some other classes of handguns , such as cheap "Saturday Night Specials" that don't meet certain testing standards, are illegal to transfer at all.

But it's been a while since I lived in Mass., and you'd do better to consult an attorney familiar with firearms laws, or possibly the State Police, which is basically the regulatory authority. Or you could ask a Mass. FFL, since they do have to know what's legal or not. Don't take my word for it.

As I said, advice you get via the internet is worth what you pay for it.
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Old March 8, 2013, 07:18 PM   #7
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And, of course, welcome to The Firing Line, Arcfault!
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Old March 8, 2013, 08:57 PM   #8
357 Python
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Welcome to TFL. There is another way you can leagally get a gun that is not on the list. You could move to a state that would allow the gun you want. I know it is easier said than done, but it is doable.
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Old March 8, 2013, 09:30 PM   #9
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Depending on where in MA, you would not even have to move far... NH and VT are reasonably friendly.
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Old March 8, 2013, 09:54 PM   #10
Frank Ettin
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Welcome, Arcfault.

I'm afraid I don't know much about Massachusetts gun laws. But since we're a non-commercial forum I have no qualms about suggesting you check out Northeastshooters.com: New England's Premier Shooting forum..

Since the focus on that board is New England, you just might find a knowledgeable Massachusetts resident or two. You might also get directed towards a Massachusetts RKBA (Right to Keep and Bear Arms) advocacy organization which could be helpful.
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Old March 8, 2013, 10:24 PM   #11
Arcfault
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Thanks for all the advice. I now at least have a starting point to figure out my options.
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Old March 8, 2013, 10:55 PM   #12
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Something else that hasn't been mentioned, and I may have this a little off, so the actual lawyers may have to jump in and correct me but it's my understanding that it's illegal to buy a gun that's not legal to own in your own jurisdiction? So if you bought one that's illegal in your home town, and have it mailed there, not only can the FFL not release it to you, you could in theory have committed a crime, though prosecution chances could be exceptionally slim.
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Old March 9, 2013, 07:21 AM   #13
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Quote:
So the only way I can get a firearm not on the allowed MA list is if it was made before the ban correct ?
Not exactly. First, the list (technically the EOPS Roster) applies only to handguns and only to dealers, so if you can find the gun you want in a within-state private sale you can legally buy it (other conditions being satisfied, of course) - the sale has to be reported to the state using the FA-10 form, which I believe is now done on-line (usually the seller will take care of that). Dealers can sell guns not on the list if it can be established that the gun was legally in-state prior to October of 1998. The 1994 "Assault Weapons" ban, which is still in effect in Massachusetts, is a different issue.

In addition to the EOPS Roster, which is available on-line, Massachusetts also has the Attorney General's "double secret probation list" which includes guns that are banned because they don't satisfy certain "consumer protection" requirements such as weight of trigger pull and the like. Unfortunately, that list isn't published so dealers are left to twist in the wind wondering if they're running afoul of some sort of Star Chamber run by an out-of-control AG. In fairness to the current AG, Martha Coakley, she's not the one that started this absurd abuse of power - that was Tom Reilly the prior AG - but Martha hasn't changed things either.

Yes, Massachusetts is a looney bin and no place for a gun owner. I know, I lived there for about 50 years. Take MLeake's advice and move to NH. I did.

Quote:
Since the focus on that board is New England, you just might find a knowledgeable Massachusetts resident or two. You might also get directed towards a Massachusetts RKBA (Right to Keep and Bear Arms) advocacy organization which could be helpful.
Northeast Shooters is a good forum with many knowledgeable members. The state pro-gun organization is the Gun Owner's Action League (GOAL). They have their faults but they're worthy of your membership, so join them. Another good pro-gun group is Comm 2A, which is more of an aggressive gun advocacy organization as opposed to GOAL, which tends to focus a bit more on hunters and other outdoorsy types.
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Last edited by Vanya; March 9, 2013 at 03:38 PM. Reason: removed remarks about other forum.
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Old March 9, 2013, 03:22 PM   #14
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Quote:
In addition to the EOPS Roster, which is available on-line, Massachusetts also has the Attorney General's "double secret probation list" which includes guns that are banned because they don't satisfy certain "consumer protection" requirements such as weight of trigger pull and the like. Unfortunately, that list isn't published so dealers are left to twist in the wind wondering if they're running afoul of some sort of Star Chamber run by an out-of-control AG. In fairness to the current AG, Martha Coakley, she's not the one that started this absurd abuse of power - that was Tom Reilly the prior AG - but Martha hasn't changed things either.

Yup. As another MA resident, the "Approved" gun roster sucks horribly. There's even a SECRET list the Attorney General has that's rumored, because guns that have been sold legally have been kiboshed by the AG, telling stores to take them back because they don't fit the bill.

I need to move to New Hampshire too, ugh. Once I'm done with college (again) because I don't want to pay out of state tuition.
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Last edited by Vanya; March 9, 2013 at 03:36 PM. Reason: Removed comments on other forum
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Old March 10, 2013, 06:52 PM   #15
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Another Massachusetts native here, I can relate with how much the damn roster sucks.

As others said, if you want to buy a handgun out of state that IS on the list, it must be shipped to an FFL in Massachusetts. Now make sure that particular gun does or does not have Mass. approved or Cali approved versions. These guns have been altered to be legally sold in Mass, one example is the Seecamp which had an external saftey added so it could be sold in Mass or Cali.

Rifles and shotguns on the other hand can be bought out of state and driven over state lines. Although High capacity mags can not even if you have a Class A Unrestricted which enables you to own large capacity magazines. Any high capacity magazines in Massachusetts must be pre-ban. Want pre-ban mags for your pistol? There is a good supply of pre ban 15rd Beretta 92 mags floating around mass that pop up every now and then. I own three pre ban 15rd Beretta mags as well as a couple pre ban 20rd M1A mags.

I plan to move out of state eventually so I have a whole bunch of high cap mags for various guns stashed at my sisters in Connecticut that I cant have here.
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Old March 10, 2013, 07:32 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragline45
I plan to move out of state eventually so I have a whole bunch of high cap mags for various guns stashed at my sisters in Connecticut that I cant have here.
It sounds like they won't be safe in Connecticut soon, either.
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Old March 10, 2013, 08:37 PM   #17
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It sounds like they won't be safe in Connecticut soon, either.
Then I guess they'll be off to my uncle in Ohio!
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Old March 11, 2013, 12:54 AM   #18
Frank Ettin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragline45
...Rifles and shotguns on the other hand can be bought out of state and driven over state lines...
Not quite -- under federal law only if:
  1. The transfer is done by an FFL; and

  2. The long gun is legal in the transferee's State of residence; and

  3. The transfer complies with the laws of the State in which it takes place; and

  4. the transfer complies with the law of the transferee's State of residence.
See 18 USC 922(a)(3); 18 USC 922(a)(5); and 18 USC 922(b)(3).
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