Massachusetts Gun/Magazine/Ammo Laws

1)      Large Capacity Magazines or “LCMs” (those magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds).  In order to be able to possess LCMs in Massachusetts, the magazine must have been manufactured on or before September 13, 1994 (and you should have proof of that), and you must have a Massachusetts License To Carry.  Non-residents are able to apply for Temporary Licenses to Carry in Massachusetts for purposes of participating in firearms competition.  Without a resident or non-resident Massachusetts License to Carry, possession of a LCM (even one manufactured before 9/13/94) is a serious crime in Massachusetts which carries a mandatory minimum two and a half year prison sentence!

 2)      The MA AG Regs and “Compliant” firearms.  The Massachusetts Attorney General regulations regarding certain handgun characteristics (such as a 10lb trigger pull) only apply to the transfers of handguns by firearms dealers to customers in Massachusetts.  These regulations are used to determine whether a handgun is “compliant” for sale in Massachusetts.  They do not apply to the possession in Massachusetts of “non-compliant” handguns by non-residents (or residents for that matter).

 3)      Transport of Handguns.  Non-residents may transport pistols or revolvers into Massachusetts (unloaded and in locked cases) for the purpose of taking part in a pistol or revolver competition, provided that the person is a resident of the United States and has a permit or license to carry firearms issued under the laws of any state, district or territory of the U.S. which has licensing requirements which prohibit the issuance of permits or licenses to persons who have been convicted of a felony or who have been convicted of the unlawful use, possession, or sale of narcotic or harmful drugs.  Despite this language, Massachusetts does not recognize permits or licenses to carry firearms from any other state.  Therefore, as noted in the information provided by GOAL below, a non-resident can only “carry” on the person (concealed or open) a handgun in Massachusetts if he or she has a Massachusetts Temporary License to Carry. 

 4)      Ammunition.  The law implies, but does not explicitly state, that a non-resident may possess handgun ammunition in Massachusetts (however, it does expressly permit the possession of ammunition for rifles and shotguns, provided the non-resident meets the requirements for such possession in his or her home state).  Ammunition may only be sold to a Massachusetts resident who has a License to Carry or Firearms Identification Card.

 In addition to the above, it would be wise for non-resident competitors who will be transporting handguns and ammunition into Massachusetts to make sure they have documentation (registration papers, etc.) evidencing their participation in the competition in the event they are stopped and searched by law enforcement while in Massachusetts.  Given the harsh penalties associated with firearms laws violations in Massachusetts, competitors must be cognizant of all of the relevant laws before traveling to Massachusetts.