This week, we delve into the semi-political side of things with guest Weer’d Beard as we discuss the rules and regulations involved in being a handgunner in Massachusetts. We will try to offer a contrasting picture between the laws in Maine vs. the laws in Massachusetts.
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NOTE: The material contained in this podcast and these show notes are for entertainment purposes only and SHOULD NOT be relied upon for legal advice or reference. If you have any questions about the firearms laws in your state, contact your local lawyer. Not for legal reference.
Week in Review:
Took my wife shooting for the first time this past weekend! Had a really great time! She was very nervous about the recoil and noise but she did really well. We shot the Ruger SR-22 and she really liked that gun because it fit her hand really well. There is a video over at the YouTube page (Ryan Michad) showing our experience!!
Main Topic : Handgunning with Restrictions
This week, we are going to be talking about what it is like to move from a very gun-friendly state to a very non-gun friendly state & the challenges it can offer. I usually try my best to keep politics out of this show, but this episode will be somewhat of an exception. I need to make one thing clear right off: this episode is covering gun laws of a particular state, and WILL NOT delve into Republican vs. Democrat battles. I am an ardent supporter of the 2nd Amendment and it does not matter one bit whether you have an R or a D beside your name; if you are not a 100% supporter of the 2nd Amendment as it is written (not with any clever changes, etc.) then you will NOT get my vote. I’ve been derided as someone who is a “single-issue voter” and that I am the problem, but I don’t see it that way. If you as a politician do not support the 2nd Amendment 100 %, then how in the world can I trust you to support the 1st, 4th, 5th Amendments and so on. The Constitution is not a “here is the Amendment, but…..” document to me. Period.
-No permit required to buy a handgun or long gun.
-No waiting period for completion of sale of a firearm.
-SBR’s, SBS’s, Suppressors and various other NFA items are all allowed, with the proper ATF paperwork and authorization.
-Concealed weapons permit process is fairly good. Most permits are processed in under 6 weeks. If you live in a city/town with a full time Police Department, you can get your permit issued there. If you live in a City/Town without one, you must go to the nearest State Police barracks for processing.
-No magazine capacity limits.
-Open carry is completely legal.
- Gun Permits.
Required for ownership, come in 4 Flavors All the higher permits cover all the guns for the lower permits.
Class D: $25, good for pepper spray only (may not require a training course...all below require the NRA basic Pistol course)
Class C:$100 Allows the owner to buy, sell, and own non-large capacity (>5 shots for shotguns, >10 Shots for rifles) long arms
Class B:$100 Allows the owner to buy sell and own non-large Capacity handguns
Class A:$100 Allows the owner to buy, sell, and own all mass legal firearms. If no restriction is affixed this is also the Massachusetts carry permit. Most common restrictions are "Target and Hunting Only" which essentially means no carry, and "Employment Purposes Only" which means the person may conceal carry only while performing duties of their employer, or commuting two and from employer. Essentially this is an armed security lenience, and its like other blue states where you must be traveling directly to your place of employment/assignment with no stopping or detours.
Again it is ILLEGAL to OWN any firearms without a permit. Further non-firearm guns like Black Powder guns are legal to own, but it is ILLEGAL to own ammunition or "Ammunition Components" without a permit. So if you have a demilled round keychain, or picked up a black shell at a Memorial day gun salute, or you kept a brass, or a mushroomed bullet from a range trip, or own muzzle loading components you are now a felon in the state of Massachusetts. Prosecution for ammunition or pepper spray is almost non-existent in the state. There was a high-profile story of a kid suspended from school for bringing in a spent .30-06 blank from a gun salute. The state let the school handle it, I suspect because if they prosecuted this case the law might be overturned. The same goes for people carrying OC spray, I've never heard of a prosecution, and I think doing so would cause the law to be repealed. Even Massholes aren't that stupid. Ammo charges HAVE been added to gang members caught with guns just to pad out the charges as plea bargains are the standard MO for REAL criminals here.
Permits are May Issue, except for C&D, which means some towns will issue you a Class C permit no matter what you apply for, or only issue restricted permits. They can deny your permit application in writing forfeiting your $100 and forcing you to apply again for a Class C that they cannot deny. This can be for any reason, but the most common is "Bad Judgement". More on that next. Many towns are essentially Shall Issue, and getting an unrestricted Class A is about as easy as getting a carry permit in most states.
-Handgun Safety Roster: I have most of the details here, as well as the story on how I got my off-roster PM45 100% legally. http://www.weerdworld.com/2011/the-story-of-eleanor/ This was NOT passed as a "Gun Control" bill but as a "Consumer Safety" bill. The Concern the NRA has for various politicians claiming guns are a "Public Health" issue is a VERY real one.
-Universal Registration: All firearms must be registered with the state. To date there has been NO crimes solved using the registry data, and I've heard enough stories that nobody even looks at this information. There is also no way to REMOVE a gun from the registry, so if you sell a handgun to an out-of-state FFL, that gun will be registered to you FOREVER in the Mass Database.
-"Private Sales": Mass gun owners are allowed to sell 4 personal firearms in a face-to-face transfer to other permit holders per calender year. They CALL this "Private" but the transfer needs to be registered with the state either through a new web system or by mail so that the gun can be registered to the new owner. So it is VERY public for a "Private" transaction. This was first done
-Assault Weapons Ban: The 1994 AWB is still in effect in Massachusetts. This was signed into law by Republican Governor Willlard Mitt Romney.
Now comes the "Good" part. This will mean NOTHING to people from Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire, as well as a few other states mostly in the North. Once you have your LTC A with no restrictions you can carry just about anywhere minus the near universal K-12 Schools, and Federal Buildings (Courts, Post Offices, National Park Buildings ect). You can carry in places posted "No Firearms", you can carry in Church, You can carry in polling places, you can carry on mass transit, you can carry in bars/restaurants (the law isn't clear but you may be able to even have a drink while you're there so long as you do not become legally drunk), most blue states are like this. Its a pain to GET the permit, but because permits are often issued to connected people the police and laws really don't harass lawful carry.
For a TLDR wrap-up, this video is really well done, and VERY accurate
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Until next week have fun and safe shooting!