View Full Version : C&R purchases from outside Massachusetts

Ben Cartwright SASS
November 10, 2009, 08:00 PM
Massachusetts has a law on the books that says you cannot buy any gun made before 1994 unless it was previously owned in Massachusetts and there is proof to that fact.

The question I have is on the C&R FFL, I live in Mass, I want to buy a S&W Victory that is on GunBroker from a dealer in Maine, it was made in 1943 so is pre-94, I know that as a non-licensee (just my LTC) I cannot buy it, however what is the rules FFL to FFL (C&R)?

I am trying to contact Goal regarding this but no luck so far.

November 10, 2009, 08:32 PM
I can't speak to MA's specific (and surely draconian) rules, but there aren't specific "FFL to FFL" rules. Anyone can SEND a firearm; the restrictions are on the recipient.

There is no difference between an FFL, a C&R FFL, or a non-FFL sending a firearm to a C&R FFL. Your license allows you to receive C&R-eligible stuff from whomever.

November 10, 2009, 11:26 PM
Please quote the chapter and section of MGL that states that one "cannot buy any gun made before 1994 unless it was previously owned in Massachusetts and there is proof to that fact."

Ben Cartwright SASS
November 11, 2009, 08:23 AM
I will go on line and check it out. I have been told so many different things my head is spinning.

Also I will admit, I overreact, I also worry too much and also am to quick to accept everything.

I will also call Goal about the pre-94 issue. I know when I bought a 1911 Colt I was told by the dealer that they could only sell it to me because it was in the state before 94, and we have the approved gun list so that only those new guns on the list may be sold in the state.

I will post what I can find here.

I hate to start rumors, or put out incorrect "facts" but am often guilty of it.


November 11, 2009, 09:03 AM
Mass FFL's, C&R or not, can buy or take delivery of, any firearm they're licensed to do business in/with - and can also transfer/sell them.

The caveat is that they may only sell/transfer to Mass residents firearms that are on the Mass Approved Roster.
All firearms not on the Mass roster can be sold transferred only to non-Mass residents/FFL's.

That is the reason many Mass FFL's won't deal in non-roster firearms - they have no ready market for such, unless they regularly deal online or at non-Mass gun shows.

You should be legally able to receive any firearm that's C&R listed - you just may not transfer/sell some/any to another Mass resident unless they have an FFL.


Ben Cartwright SASS
November 11, 2009, 09:33 AM
I was reading Mass General Law 140 as well as reading the "Roster of Approved Guns" from reading of it agrees with what you said a firearm has to be on the approved roster to sell to a Mass Resident, I am trying to find out about older guns, I am going to call Goal.

I know at shows alot of dealers won't sell stuff to us.

I can buy 100 AR 15's and Para 1911's but potentially not an old Victory.

I am doing more checking.

November 11, 2009, 11:16 AM
Ben, you can legally buy any C&R handgun and have it shipped to you. The tricky part is finding people willing to ship to MA.

There are dealers and distributors who will, but other MA C&R holders don't want the word getting out, because "people" have ratted out the companies. :mad:
Companies have been harrassed by the MA.Gov.

You'll just need to call around to find somenone willing to deal with you.

November 11, 2009, 11:17 AM
Damn, I thought California gun laws were jacked up.....

Ben Cartwright SASS
November 11, 2009, 11:45 AM
I just talked to a large dealer here in Mass, and I was wrong about the dates, it is for Used Firearms before Oct 1998. They have to be show documentation that they were owned or under a dealers license before Oct 1998 or they cannot be purchased by a Mass Resident. MGL c140

However the C&R, per the dealer, is a FFL and can buy firearms interstate that were not here before Oct 1998, but they cannot be sold to a private citizen due to the law stated above, also in Mass a C&R cannot sell to a private party unless you have a dealers license issued by Mass, so you have to go to a 01 FFL, but even they cannot sell prohibited firearms as stated above.

They said that certain firearms are manufactured by a very large company located in Massachusetts and therefore are under that dealers license in Mass before being sold elsewhere, so I am lucky since I am specializing in their victory revolvers. But at least I could add an Enfield No 2 revolver or a Colt if I wanted to, I just can't sell it to a Mass resident.

November 12, 2009, 09:00 AM
Is there an echo in here ? :D :D :D


Don H
November 12, 2009, 11:04 AM
Wouldn't 27 CFR 178.58 require an 03 FFL to comply with state law?
Sec. 178.58 State or other law.

A license issued under this part confers no right or privilege to
conduct business or activity contrary to State or other law. The holder
of such a license is not by reason of the rights and privileges granted
by that license immune from punishment for operating a firearm or
ammunition business or activity in violation of the provisions of any
State or other law. Similarly, compliance with the provisions of any
State or other law affords no immunity under Federal law or regulations.

November 15, 2009, 09:14 AM
An 03FFL is not a license for a primary business- you cannot run a firearms business using an 03 license, Don. 'Activity' could run the gamut from buying a used 1911 slide made in 1920 to buying the whole 1911 made in 1920 so I expect legal precedent and the conduct of a primary business is what governs that part and I don't really feel like making it a project this morning to dig into MA commonwealth legal findings. I just ask what's legal to buy in MA using my 03

Using my 03 I bought a P.38 made in 1944 that had never been to MA before, ever. 100% legal. I cannot sell that to anyone in MA but an 03 holder however and if I try to sell it out of state I must comply with all laws of course

here is a link to MA chapter 180 for the laws of 1998. It's a fun read, make yourself a snack because its also looooooong


The BATFE also should have sent you a booklet and a CD, Ben

The commonwealth of Massachusetts, in my opinion, broke legal contracts with its residents in 1998 in violation of state law. In 1998 the laws changed, making lifetime licenses void, whereas previously the licenses made were for the holder's lifespan. But they did it, legal or not, so that's that

Don H
November 15, 2009, 01:30 PM
An 03FFL is not a license for a primary business- you cannot run a firearms business using an 03 license, Don....I don't really feel like making it a project this morning to dig into MA commonwealth legal findings. I just ask what's legal to buy in MA using my 03

I'm well aware of that, Chris. I'm just pointing out that an 03FFL doesn't confer blanket authorization to circumvent a state's firearms laws. Seems to me that a person with interests that are extensively regulated by a state's laws would exercise prudence by becoming intimately familiar with those laws rather than depending on anonymous opinions on an internet forum. :)

November 15, 2009, 02:43 PM
Sorry; I misunderstood you

November 19, 2009, 08:43 PM
What you are talking about are commerical sales. Massachusetts has two sets of lists that dealers must comply with in order to commercially sell handguns. One list is the Approved Roster. Any handgun commerically sold after 1998 must be on that list. The Approved Roster is further limited by guns that meet the Attorney Genernal's safety requirments. Unfortunately, the AG's office does not publish a list of Compliant guns. These two lists only apply to the commerical sale of handguns.

An individual may possess a handgun whether it appears on the Approved Roster or not, regardless of when it was made. There is no requirement that the handgun be lawfully possessed in Massachusetts before 1998.

The problem that most people run into is that you may want to buy a new gun that is not on the approved roster nor meet the AG's safety specs. For instance a Springfield Armory XD is not on either list, however, they can be legally possessed in MA. It is however, almost impossible to lawfully get one in MA as even out of state purchases to MA residents must comply with both lists. These requirements only apply to commerical sales. A private sale does not need to comply with these requirments

I digress, the real issue is buying C&R handguns. As long as the gun was made before 1998 it can be lawfully sold and purchased in MA regardless of whether it is on the Approved Roster or MA compliant. So, you can buy all of the WWII pistols you want (that is if you can find them in MA or you can find an out of state dealer to ship to you).

I hope this helps.

The MA gun laws suck.