Page 1 of 21 12311 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 206
  1. #1

    Default MA Assault Weapons Ban "AWB" FAQ

    Background:
    What is the MA AWB?

    The "Assault Weapons" ban in MA is almost a verbatim version of the Federal AWB that existed from 1994 - 2004.

    This is how it is currently encoded in MA law:
    http://www.malegislature.gov/Laws/Ge...140/Section121

    The "Assault Weapons" ban in MA did not expire in 2004, and a "cosmetic" bill was filed, passed, and then signed into law by romney (although it is arguable that such an extension was unecessary anyways, as the MA AWB had no sunset clause written into it to begin with. ).

    How so called "Assault Weapons" are defined by the law:

    Rifles:
    (B) a semiautomatic rifle that has an ability to accept a detachable magazine and has at least 2 of--
    (i) a folding or telescoping stock;
    (ii) a pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon;
    (iii) a bayonet mount;
    (iv) a flash suppressor or threaded barrel designed to accommodate a flash suppressor; and
    (v) a grenade launcher;

    NOTE WELL: Given (B), this means that things like PUMP and BOLT ACTION rifles are EXEMPT from the AWB.


    Handguns/Pistols:
    (C) a semiautomatic pistol that has an ability to accept a detachable magazine and has at least 2 of--
    (i) an ammunition magazine that attaches to the pistol outside of the pistol grip;
    (ii) a threaded barrel capable of accepting a barrel extender, flash suppressor, forward handgrip, or silencer;
    (iii) a shroud that is attached to, or partially or completely encircles, the barrel and that permits the shooter to hold the firearm with the nontrigger hand without being burned;
    (iv) a manufactured weight of 50 ounces or more when the pistol is unloaded; and
    (v) a semiautomatic version of an automatic firearm; and

    Shotguns:

    (D) a semiautomatic shotgun that has at least 2 of--
    (i) a folding or telescoping stock;
    (ii) a pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon;
    (iii) a fixed magazine capacity in excess of 5 rounds; and
    (iv) an ability to accept a detachable magazine.'.

    NOTE: Given (D) this means that break open, pump, bolt action shotguns are exempt from the AWB.

    How the AWB applies to Magazines (eg, so called "Large Capacity Feeding Devices" under MGL):

    The federal ban stipulated a ban on "Large Capacity Feeding Devices", and this is the MGL version:
    “Large capacity feeding device”, (i) a fixed or detachable magazine, box, drum, feed strip or similar device capable of accepting, or that can be readily converted to accept, more than ten rounds of ammunition or more than five shotgun shells; or (ii) a large capacity ammunition feeding device as defined in the federal Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act, 18 U.S.C. section 921(a)(31) as appearing in such section on September 13, 1994. The term “large capacity feeding device” shall not include an attached tubular device designed to accept, and capable of operating only with,.22 caliber ammunition.
    What this means in english is that within the borders of MA, you cannot legally own/possess a magazine that meets the description above (unless the magazine was made on or before 9/13/94). You're probably wondering what an attached tubular device is"- think feeding tube on a tube fed .22 LR rifle like a Marlin or some of the old Winchesters. This carve out was stuck in the law to keep the fudds from getting upset when it got passed.

    It should also be noted that the MA version of this law does not include the extra definition in Federal Law (reference to be added later) that used to define a standard of evidence for what constituted a "Large Capacity Feeding Device". Therefore, the means of prosecution with regards to magazines is not laid out in state law like it used to be on the Federal side. This means that how someone would be prosecuted for violating the mag ban is anyone's guess. Federal law rather FIRMLY put the burden of proof on the part of the state, even going so far as to stipulate that an unmarked mag that was claimed to be preban was to be taken at face value. This is not the case under MGL and enforcement is very unclear.

    Exemptions: (This is important!)

    The MA AWB does not apply in the following scenarios:

    -The Rifle/Shotgun/Pistol was an "Assault Weapon" or in the case of a magazine holding more than 10 rounds, a "Large Capacity feeding device" manufactured on or before 9/13/94. Note: In order to qualify for this exemption, the device must have existed "in AW configuration" the date the law was enacted. This caveat, of course, is rarely proveable one way or the other.

    -The device in question is possessed by an MA FFL or a LEO (for use in performance of their duties)

    Note: This exemption is "murky" at best. The "commonly accepted" interpretation is the dealers are AWB exempt because they supposedly are able to sell AWs and the like to Law Enforcement, and the LE exemption is doubly murky, depending on who you talk to.

    -The device in question is possessed by someone in US Military service under orders, or someone employed in a Federal law enforcement job as issued duty gear- issued gear is immune due to an overriding federal law more than likely. The protections ascribed to here likely do not apply beyond the scope of whatever the job you have is or whatever gear
    you are issued.

    -The device in question is not an "assault weapon" as described above or a large capacity feeding device. EG, a 10 round cripple mag is obviously not covered/governed by the AWB.
    Last edited by drgrant; 04-01-2012 at 09:20 PM.

  2. #2

    Default

    Common Questions:


    Magazines:
    Q: Can I use a pre-ban large capacity mags in post-ban, ban neutered firearm?

    A: Yes. The gun the mag works in has nothing to do with the mag, legally speaking.

    Q: I have a post-ban, large capacity mag in a free state, can I cripple my mag to be 10 rounds only to make it legal for use in MA?

    A: Probably- I would suggest doing a modification where reversing or attempting to reverse the modification would basically result in the mag being destroyed, that way someone cannot argue that you intended to circumvent the law.

    Q: Can I legally re-build old magazines?

    A: The commonly accepted interpretation of this is "yes". Problem is this has never been fleshed out under MA law- the fed interpretation was that you could replace ANY part on a pre ban magazine as long as you were not creating a new magazine... but who knows how that would fly in MA.


    Q: How can I identify if a mag is pre-ban or not?

    A: This would take way too long to explain here, and honestly, 8 out of 10 times it is nearly impossible to identify whether something is pre or post ban. One type of mag that is definitely off limits 100% of the time is anything with "LE/Mil/Government use only" markings on it- those markings are a dead giveaway since they were used during the AWB to identify post-ban magazines. We also have other threads here in the gun laws forum (eg, the Glock mag thread) where some people have attempted to identify provenance of magazines by various means.

    Q: I am a LEO in MA. Can I have/buy post-ban large capacity magazines (or for that matter, so called "assault weapons" for personal use? )

    A: This is unclear. The "Gliddenism" answer/interpretation is NO, and that the LEO exemption only covers duty items or items "necessary for duty use". That being said, if I were a LEO in MA I would be basing my ability to use this exemption on whether or not my command brass would back me up or not if the chips were down. Also remember that if for some reason you are not active, you are no longer protected- eg, you quit, got fired, or retired.

    Q: Is a fixed tube on a semiautomatic shotgun that holds more than 5 rounds a large capacity feeding device?

    A: Have fun with that. There is a significant amount of controversy regarding this question.

    Q: If I have an existing preban magazine that held 11 or more rounds, can I modify it so it holds even more than that?

    A: This isn't really addressed by MGL at all, but at least as far as the ATF was concerned with the fed ban that it mirrored, doing this was OK as long as the magazine still functions in the original firearm that it was intended for, after the modifications were performed.


    Firearms and the AWB:
    Q: I have a pistol/rifle/shotgun that is single shot/bolt/pump action does the AWB...

    A: No, not really. The only thing that really applies WRT the AWB is the mag ban if your firearm takes a magazine of some sort or has one built into the gun.

    Q: I have a preban rifle/pistol/semiauto shotgun- does any of this crap apply to me?

    A: Not really, provided your gun was in "assault weapon" configuration when the ban was passed. Obviously the mag ban still applies regardless, as the gun does not "immunize" nor "poison" the magazines used with it by association.

    Q: I have an FID. IS this AWB thing what blocks I can actually buy?

    A: No. The MA AWB has nothing to do with the restrictions between license classes in MA.

    Q: I noticed that there is a "name ban" in the AWB. Does this even really apply/matter?

    A: Not really. Federal ban was the same way, name ban portion of the law doesn't really mean much. (ETA: If someone can disprove and explain this to me, I would be happy to add it to the FAQ. PM me with info- AFAIK, nothing is actually banned by name as the dust settles via the name list in the fed awb)

    Q: People keep telling me that the MA AWB is rarely prosecuted and can basically be ignored.

    A: While they are 100% correct on the "rarely prosecuted" part, prosecutions have occurred- and it is a "disabling felony" too, if convicted.... see also AWB prosecutions in MA:

    http://www.northeastshooters.com/vbu...utions-in-Mass

    So, ignore it at your own peril, more or less. Enforcement is rare and inconsistent but being stuck on the wrong side of the law when the chips are down could be very costly legally.

    Q: People keep telling me the MA AWB expired when the Federal one expired....

    A: It did not- it exists as its own law under MGL and only references Federal law as it had appeared at the time of the ban. There is no wallhack to it in this regard. Additionally, Romney signed an AWB extension before the original Fed ban ended, anyways, as the antis wanted "insurance" that this
    loophole could not possibly be used by anyone in court, despite the fact that it probably wouldn't have
    worked anyways.

    Miscellaneous:
    Q: What about this EOPS AWB memo that was sent to dealers that people keep talking about? Is it legit?

    A: Nobody knows, except it is best described as being based on legally dubious premises. See also: http://www.goal.org/newspages/eops_e...er_to_ffl.html

    Q: What about Gliddenism I keep hearing about- that you can't take a post-ban rifle and have it neutered before taking possession, and that it is still illegal even after it is neutered?

    A: This is some musing that Glidden came up with that appears to have no actual basis in law. I have found no case law as to support his assertion. Bear in mind this attitude is
    contradictory to the attitude espoused by the feds during the term of the old federal
    AWB.

    Q: "Some gun shop sold me something that I think is an illegal assault weapon!!!/illegal magazine OMG what do I do?"

    A: If you are reasonably sure that is the case, and you care, my advice would be to shut up, bring it back to the dealer, and get your money back. Please don't come onto NES posting about it, lest you incriminate yourself in the process, or the dealer for that matter. There is a good, no strike that, excellent possibility a dealer made a mistake due to misunderstanding of the law. There is a lot of crap for these guys to keep track of, and it is trivial to see how a dealer could unwittingly sell someone a felony.

    Q: "I saw gun dealer X at gun show Y with a gun/magazine that violated the AWB ZOMG OH NOES? Won't heee get someone in trouble? what should I doooooo?"

    A: Best thing to do is simply be quiet and don't buy it.

    Q: "Someone told me that if I bring an AW/ post ban "large capacity" mag into MA when I move here it is grandfathered cuz I moved into the state with it, and whenever you move in with something it is grandfathered no matter what it is. "

    A: They are completely wrong. The AWB applies to all MA residents (or for that matter, anyone else lawfully possessing guns or feeding devices inside the borders of MA) and does not grant leeway or special exemption to move-ins and the like- we all live under the same pile of crap unless you are one of the rare exempt categories like dealers, LE, or military running under orders.
    Last edited by drgrant; 10-16-2012 at 10:59 AM.

  3. #3

    Default

    Questions Related to building rifles/shotguns/pistols and how the AWB affects these builds:

    Rifles:

    Q: Can I legally replace parts on a preban lower and still have the gun be pre-ban at the
    end?

    A: Yes, as long as the lower stays as a constant, the entire gun can be treated as a preban, even if all the other parts are brand new.

    Q: If I put a thumbhole stock on my AR can I get an extra evil feature?

    A: Yes. That said, beware that in a lot of cases this doesn't buy you much. You could swap out a brake for an FH. There is also the "usable threads" problem you run into on most normal uppers.

    ETA: There was some controversy about this. That said, it's somewhat of a moot issue since nobody makes the damned things anymore anyways.

    Q: What about this rumination I hear about a rifle being exempt from the AWB if it is an SBR?

    A: Controversial/Unknown - This issue is discussed in detail here:
    http://www.northeastshooters.com/vbu...l=1#post422229

    Flash Suppressors:

    Q: What Legally Constitutes/Delineates between a Flash Suppressor in MA?

    A: Nobody knows, the assumed guess is it references the old Federal standard, which is defined by this ATF bulletin here: (cite needed). To add to the fun, BATFE no longer conducts any kind of testing to
    determine what is or is not a flash suppressor. All you really have to go by is the manufacturers'
    claim(s). This is particularly amusing because I've seen at least a couple of rifles on the market that depending on the marketing literature you read, one says "Flash Suppressor" and the other ad blurb for it calls it a "muzzle brake".

    Attachment of Brakes/other muzzle devices:
    Q: What legally Constitutes "permanent attachment" of a muzzle device in MA?

    A: Nobody knows, the assumed guess is it references the old Federal standard, which is either Silver Solder or Blind Pin + Weld over the hole left behind.

    Collapsible Stocks:
    Q: What legally Constitutes a correct "pinning" of an adjustable or folding stock so that it is not considered as such under the law?

    A: Nobody really knows. The generally accepted premise is that it must not be able to be restored to its original state without the use of tools.

    Q: Why are stocks like the Magpul PRS considered legal? Doesn't that back section "collapse" ?

    A: If you read the law and how it describes a collapsible stock, it does not fit the definition of such a stock. Something like the PRS is "adjustable" but not collapsible. (the parts on the PRS don't really "telescope".

    Shotguns:

    Q: Can I add a pistol grip to a Saiga shotgun in MA?

    A: Not usually, this would push the shotgun above the part count limit for shotguns


    Pistols:

    Threaded Barrels:

    Q: Is a threaded barrel legal on a pistol in MA?

    A: Yes, pending the constrictions described in the AWB above... but generally speaking, most common handguns are lawful to use with a threaded barrel, because most of them are way below the AWB criteria.

    Pre-Ban Pistol:
    Q: Is it possible to build an AR or AK pistol in MA that doesn't violate the MA AWB?

    A: Maybe, but what you will end up with is usually best described as a "frankenstein hack job", manly to keep the pistol within the 50 ounce unloaded weight limit.

    VFG:
    Q: Can I attach a vertical foregrip or a buttstock to a pistol?

    A: No. This is prohibited by the Federal NFA. There are ways to do this legally but this is WAY outside the scope of this Faq.... see the NFA faq in the equipment section.

    Note well: There are some ancient handguns that have buttstocks that are exempt from being SBRs by Federal Law, for example certain old Mauser pistols and some Browning Hi Powers that had stocks that came
    with them. Of course, if you have one of these, you probably already know about the exemption.

    Flash Suppressor:
    Q: Can I put a flash suppressor on a pistol?

    A: Yes, if your pistol does not trip the AWB weight limit described earlier.
    Last edited by drgrant; 01-28-2014 at 07:40 PM.

  4. #4

    Default

    Rifles:
    (B) a semiautomatic rifle that has an ability to accept a detachable magazine and has at least 2 of--
    (i) a folding or telescoping stock;
    (ii) a pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon;
    (iii) a bayonet mount;
    (iv) a flash suppressor or threaded barrel designed to accommodate a flash suppressor; and
    (v) a grenade launcher;
    Sorry if this sounds dense, but I am trying to make sure I understand the MA AWB: You can't have an AR platform with a collapsable stock, flash suppressor or bayonet mount because it already has the pistol grip and you are only allowed one of those features. Is that correct?

  5. #5
    NES Member KMM696's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Western PRofMA
    Posts
    2,284

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by That Guy View Post
    Sorry if this sounds dense, but I am trying to make sure I understand the MA AWB: You can't have an AR platform with a collapsable stock, flash suppressor or bayonet mount because it already has the pistol grip and you are only allowed one of those features. Is that correct?
    Correct. Unless it's a preban.
    Kevin

    "History is made at night. Character is what you are in the dark." - Lord John Whorfin

    "The free market is providing exactly what people want, except what they want is ****ing stupid as shit." - endus

    "I swear, youíre like a circus clown trapped in a vice presidentís body. Youíre like assassination insurance. May God have mercy on us all." - Larry Correia

    http://www.comm2a.org/donate

  6. #6

    Default

    So If I have a 20 rd clip made before 1994 it is legal? Is a 5 round clip Legal?

  7. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    2,671

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by durmax View Post
    So If I have a 20 rd clip made before 1994 it is legal? Is a 5 round clip Legal?
    Did you bother to read anything in the original post? It clearly answers your question.

    “Large capacity feeding device”, (i) a fixed or detachable magazine, box, drum, feed strip or similar device capable of accepting, or that can be readily converted to accept, more than ten rounds of ammunition or more than five shotgun shells; or (ii) a large capacity ammunition feeding device as defined in the federal Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act, 18 U.S.C. section 921(a)(31) as appearing in such section on September 13, 1994. The term “large capacity feeding device” shall not include an attached tubular device designed to accept, and capable of operating only with,.22 caliber ammunition.

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by glide View Post
    Did you bother to read anything in the original post? It clearly answers your question.
    I was refering to this
    What this means in english is that within the borders of MA, you cannot legally own/possess a magazine that meets the description above (unless the magazine was made on or before 9/13/94). You're probably wondering what an attached tubular device is"- think feeding tube on a tube fed .22 LR rifle like a Marlin or some of the old Winchesters. This carve out was stuck in the law to keep the fudds from getting upset when it got passed.


    So this means a clip for an Ak is legal being made before 9/13/94. I have been told different variations depending who I asked.

  9. #9
    NES Member inerlogic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    New Bedford, MA
    Posts
    4,451

    Default

    They speak English in What?

    Quote Originally Posted by durmax View Post
    What this means in english is that within the borders of MA, you cannot legally own/possess a magazine (some ignorant people call these "clips") that meets the description above (unless the magazine was made on or before 9/13/94).
    So this means a magazine for an Ak is legal being made before 9/13/94.
    WINNER WINNER CHICKEN DINNER!!!
    /Sarchasm
    ********************************
    "Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid." -H.solo
    ********************************
    The 2A is supposed to allow people to be able to compete with a .gov force.
    Its not so your fat slob hick neighbor can go hunt stupid deer in the woods. -Dench

    "It's like US made vodka: it tastes good while making you a filthy capitalist pig in the process." -Boris

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by durmax View Post
    So If I have a 20 rd clip magazine made before 1994 it is legal? Is a 5 round clip magazine Legal?
    Yes, and yes.

    For rifles (and handguns)*:

    "Large capacity" (in excess of 10 rounds) magazines are illegal unless manufactured prior to 9/13/94.

    "Non-large capacity" (10 rounds or less) magazines are legal, regardless of manufacture date.



    *Shotgun magazines with a capacity in excess of five rounds are considered "large capacity".

Page 1 of 21 12311 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •