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02-12-2009, 10:58 AM #1
MOVING to Massachusetts? Read Here First!
Mod: If you like this one, please sticky it. Seems that we get people moving to MA, despite all the warnings, every week.
So, for some reason you've decided to move to Massachusetts. As you may find on a search, this is highly discouraged by many people living here or people who have escaped this state. However, you've decided that you need to move here anyway for work, school, or whatever. You're wondering what you need to do to be able to own firearms in MA, what guns you can and can't bring, etc. Here's the rundown.
Moving with firearms.
This will come as a shock to many, but you must have a license to own any firearms, ammunition (including components) and large capacity magazines. In MA, there is the FID, which is shall-issue but only allows you to own low-capacity rifles and shotguns, and the LTC-B and A. Forget the B, it's useless. Go for the A, as it costs the same as the two other licenses and lets you own everything MA legal (the others don't) except machine guns, plus allows concealed carry if unrestricted.. So, getting one is your first priority on moving.
You can bring your firearms with you when you move, and this may be desirable as this is the only way you can get your firearms into the state without having to file registration forms on them once they're here. Bring them with you, immediately lock them up on arriving, and then start the LTC process. You have 60 days to apply for your license from the time you move in with firearms, but you want to do it as fast as possible so you can receive it within that 60 days.
As soon as you arrive, go to the RMV, get your car registration and license switched, and send in a voter registration, set up utilities and update your bank statements to your MA address. This should be enough to prove residency so you can start the application process with your town's PD.
If you choose to leave your firearms and bring them later, you will need to file an FA-10 form with the Criminal History Systems Board for each firearm brought in later (plus any firearms you buy in MA). These forms can be obtained from your local PD.
Most people will argue that you should move to a "Green" town, or one that is known to issue unrestricted licenses to carry. This is a good idea.
Also, if you have any criminal record or the like and are unsure if it will affect your suitability for a license (Massachusetts is shall issue on FIDs for low-capacity long guns and shotguns, but "may issue" based on suitability for licenses to carry (large capacity long guns and all handguns), make sure to consult with a qualified attorney who is expert on firearms matters. Forum members Cross-X, jcohen, and Scrivener (who is on vacation) are some of the best firearms lawyers in the state.
What Can I Bring?
There are a few classes of firearms that are not allowed in Massachuetts. So called "assault weapons," which have the same definition as under the old, expired Federal Assault Weapons Ban, cannot be brought in unless they were in AW configuration before 9/13/1994.
Thus, using an AR-15 as an example, your rifle has to have been a preban receiver with bayonet lug, flash hider, folding/collapsible stock, grenade launcher, or a threaded muzzle, etc made before that date to be legal in MA. If it was manufactured after that date, you'll have to cut off the bayonet lug, permanently pin any collapsible stock, and remove the flash hider and threads or permanently cover the threads with a muzzle brake. This also goes for any other rifles, such as post-ban AKs, which may have these features.
Basically, for a rifle with a detachable magazine or fixed magazine holding over ten rounds, (other than a fixed, tubular magazine .22 rifle), you can have one of the following: Pistol grip, flash suppressor, threaded muzzle or flash suppressor, collapsible/folding stock, bayonet lug, grenade launcher.
Also, you can't bring post-ban "assault pistols" that weigh over 50 ounces. Thus, without massive surgery, AR pistols and the like are out.
Certain classes of semiautomatic shotguns are also covered.
Violation of the above is a felony.
Other than that: Boston has a ban on the FN 5.7 pistol, SW500 revolver, Barrett .50BMG, and its own assault weapons ban that is more restrictive in certain ways (NO AR-15s, FALs, AKs, SKSs, period), as well as a ban on possessing any long gun magazines holding over ten rounds or shotgun mags holding more than 6 shells. This is a "home rule" regulation that only applies to residents of Boston, according to a vacationing attorney.
That's pretty easy to comply with. However, possession of large capacity magazines made after 9/13/1994 is a straight felony. There are ways to tell with some mags, others may be more difficult to tell. Do a search and you'll come up with some hits on how to identify some mags as pre-ban. If you have any newer mags, you'll have to sell them before you come, or leave them with someone, and buy ten rounders.
Now, you'll read some stuff about MA compliance. For guns you're bringing in, other than the above notations for "assault pistols", this does not affect what you can bring. MA compliance applies only to handguns sold to you by a Massachusetts FFL dealer, not to guns you already own and are bringing in, nor to guns you may purchase privately once you arrive in MA. For more information, do a search, this is covered on almost a daily basis. Basically, don't worry about it, you can bring your handguns in (although you may not bring any post-9/13/1994 magazines as noted above.
What to do once I get here?
Make sure you're an NRA member and a member of the Massachusetts GOAL (Gun Owners Action League). Make no mistake, the Massachusetts government has very little respect for your gun rights, with the exceptions of a minority of state reps and senators. Everyone needs to contribute.
Join a gun club. Some PDs will require you to join one anyway, but there are a LOT of very nice clubs in MA. You'll meet some great people.
Become a subscribing NES "Green" member. You'll get a lot of discounts, opportunities at group buys, NES shoots, and will help support this site.
Most of all, use the "search" function to help find answers to your specific questions. NOTE: The search function requires the query to contain at least four letters. Remember that all advice given here on the forum is subject to your own verification, and that with the exception of a few, none of us are lawyers and will not be held responsible if you don't understand something correctly. If you still have questions, contact a qualified attorney.
Last edited by vellnueve; 02-12-2009 at 11:08 AM.Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer and thus any interpretation or statements about the law that I might make should be taken with a grain of salt and mixed with your own legal research as well as advice from actual legal counsel. I cannot be held responsible if you find yourself somebody's "friend" in federal, state, or local prison should you act on my opinions on the law. My interpretations of the law will generally be on the conservative side.
02-20-2009, 05:41 AM #2M'HeadGuest
That's a good post, man. I moved here about a year ago. I was fortunate to get some good advice from some knowledgable people here before moving, but this would have been a handy reference.
10-30-2009, 04:36 PM #3
- Join Date
- Feb 2009
- Somerville, MA
A sticky of this post would be pretty cool, if the mods think that's appropriate.
04-11-2010, 12:50 PM #4
good info. have to pass it along to a lady friend of mine that is moving here. :)
i do have a couple of questions though. when she brings in her pistols, is she required to fill out a FA-10 regardless of when she crosses the line with them? and can she keep them locked up in my safe until she gets her LTC?
Last edited by djsmiles; 04-11-2010 at 12:56 PM.
04-11-2010, 01:14 PM #5
- Join Date
- Jul 2009
...and can she keep them locked up in my safe until she gets her LTC?
04-11-2010, 06:05 PM #6
thank you Kevlar. :)
if she ends up selling any of her guns, are there any restrictions? or can they be on a FA-10/through a FFL?
04-11-2010, 07:35 PM #7
- Join Date
- Sep 2005
04-11-2010, 07:59 PM #8
- Join Date
- Jul 2009
04-11-2010, 08:15 PM #9
- Join Date
- Sep 2005
04-11-2010, 08:28 PM #10