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  1. #1
    NES Member daveshrews's Avatar
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    Default Clarification of MA laws for ammo storage in vehicle / home

    I apologize if this has been asked before, but I've searched the forum and haven't found a clear answer.

    1) I know that if I leave a handgun in my car, it must be in a securely locked container, and I know that container may not contain ammunition. Does the ammunition have to be in a separate LOCKED container, or can the separate container be unlocked? Or can the ammunition be pretty much anywhere in the vehicle?

    2) Is it necessary to store ammunition in the home in a locked container, or can it be in a drawer, cabinet, etc which is unlocked? For handguns that are stored in a safe, can this safe also contain ammunition?

    I thought I knew the answers to these questions, but I was speaking to another gun owner recently who made me second-guess my understanding of these laws. I'm just looking for clarification. Thanks!

  2. #2
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    1) Ammunition can roll around on the floor if you like, or can be in the same container as the handgun. MA law does not require storing ammo and guns in separate containers. I'd keep the ammo out of the mags though just in case some LEO thinks a loaded mag means a loaded gun.

    2) Ammo and guns may be stored in the same locked container. MGLs do not require ammo to be locked up, but the CMRs require it for fire safety. (This only applies to ammo stored in a building and not your car) Check out 527 CMR 13.04(1)(e) http://www.mass.gov/Eeops/docs/dfs/o...red/527013.pdf for the exact wording. Ammo must be in a locked container.
    Last edited by EcHo; 08-04-2010 at 02:33 PM. Reason: typo and more info

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by daveshrews View Post
    I know that if I leave a handgun in my car, it must be in a securely locked container
    It must be "unloaded and contained within the locked trunk of such vehicle or in a locked case or other secure container" (M.G.L. c.140 s.131C)

    Quote Originally Posted by daveshrews View Post
    and I know that container may not contain ammunition.
    Incorrect. The unloaded firearm and the ammunition may be secured together.

    Quote Originally Posted by daveshrews View Post
    Does the ammunition have to be in a separate LOCKED container or can the separate container be unlocked? Or can the ammunition be pretty much anywhere in the vehicle?
    See previous answer.

    Quote Originally Posted by daveshrews View Post
    Is it necessary to store ammunition in the home in a locked container, or can it be in a drawer, cabinet, etc which is unlocked?
    Ammunition must be "stored in original containers and such containers shall be stored in a locked cabinet, closet or box". (527 CMR 13.04)

    Quote Originally Posted by daveshrews View Post
    For handguns that are stored in a safe, can this safe also contain ammunition?
    Yes, and unlike storage in a vehicle, firearms may be stored loaded.

    Quote Originally Posted by daveshrews View Post
    I thought I knew the answers to these questions, but I was speaking to another gun owner recently who made me second-guess my understanding of these laws. I'm just looking for clarification. Thanks!
    No problem dave, and welcome to NES!

  4. #4
    NES Member daveshrews's Avatar
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    Thank you so much - that was a concise and perfect answer!

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    Quote Originally Posted by daveshrews View Post
    Thank you so much - that was a concise and perfect answer!
    Very typical of a response from Kevlar. He's one of the few people here that gives cites with everything he says; I'm just too lazy to find them whenever someone asks unless I already know the MGL or CMR number.

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    Instructor HTRN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevlar View Post

    Yes, and unlike storage in a vehicle, firearms may be stored loaded.
    Can you provide a cite for this. I see laws regarding "Transportation in a vehicle" or "storage" but not "storage in a vehicle."

    Thanks!

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    Moderator M1911's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HTRN View Post
    Can you provide a cite for this. I see laws regarding "Transportation in a vehicle" or "storage" but not "storage in a vehicle."
    There is no specific law about "storage in a vehicle." There is a law about storage, which does not disallow loaded storage. There is a law about transport in a vehicle, which requires guns that are not in your direct control to be unloaded.

    What is unclear to me is which of the laws (transport or storage) governs while the vehicle is parked and unattended. I think the conservative recommendation is to obey the stricter law (i.e., transport which requires the gun to be unloaded).

  8. #8

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    It is generally accepted that storage in a vehicle is controlled by 140-131C.

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    Moderator M1911's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevlar View Post
    It is generally accepted that storage in a vehicle is controlled by 140-131C.
    Says who? I've seen some attorneys suggest that, but I've never seen anyone cite a precedent. And it wasn't clear to me whether what the attorneys really meant was "obey the stricter of the statutes because it is legally safer" versus "140-131C controls due to X, Y, and Z."

  10. #10

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    IANAL, and I don't have a legal cite (which is why I said "generally accepted"), but it is the opinion of several attorneys on this board, and the EOPS, that 140-131C controls storage in a motor vehicle. Personally, I'm inclined to follow their advice. YMMV.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrivener View Post
    A stored gun does NOT have to be unloaded.

    A gun in a vehicle MUST be unloaded, unless it is under the direct control of the licensee.

    Storing a gun and ammo in a vehicle is asking for serious problems.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cross-X View Post
    When you start transporting guns other than via on the body carry, problems may arise. One big issue is the situation that results when you accidently leave your gun in the car. Since it is unsecured, and also probably loaded, you have unwittingly committed a crime.

    As we all know, in Massachusetts, the only way for a properly licensed person to leave a handgun in the car is to unload it, and store it locked in the trunk, in a locked case, or inside some other secure container.

    >snip<

    Too many of my clients have found themselves in criminal trouble because they chose to transport a handgun inside the passenger compartment of their car or truck, did not unload and lock it in a case or the trunk or other container, and then accidentally or intentionally left it in their vehicle.
    Quote Originally Posted by EOPS
    Q: Can I leave my gun in my car if I need to go into the store on my way home from the range or from hunting?

    A: If your handgun or large capacity rifle or shotgun is transported in accordance with the provisions of M.G.L. c. 140, ß131C (i.e. unloaded and in a locked case, locked trunk or other secure container) then the gun may be left unattended in the vehicle. Weapons transported in this manner will automatically be considered "stored or kept" in compliance with the safe storage requirements of ß131L.
    http://www.mass.gov/?pageID=eopsterm...aqs&csid=Eeops

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