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MOVING to Massachusetts? Read Here First!

Discussion in 'Massachusetts Laws' started by vellnueve, Feb 12, 2009.

  1. vellnueve

    vellnueve Member

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    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: Feb 12, 2009
    8 people like this.
  2. M'Head

    M'Head Guest

    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.

    Kudos.
     
  3. zeppelinfromled

    zeppelinfromled Member

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    A sticky of this post would be pretty cool, if the mods think that's appropriate.
     
  4. djsmiles

    djsmiles Member

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    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: Apr 11, 2010
  5. Kevlar

    Kevlar Member

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    If she brings them with her when she moves, a FA-10 is not required. Be sure to advise her to not bring any "large capacity" magazines (10+ rounds) with her that were manufactured after 9/13/94, as they are a felony to possess.

    Yes, providing you are appropriately licensed.
     
  6. djsmiles

    djsmiles Member

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    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?
     
  7. Scrivener

    Scrivener Banned

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    NOT correct. Ten-rounders are fine; it is post-ban mags IN EXCESS of ten rounds capacity that are forbidden, regardless of the license held.
     
  8. Kevlar

    Kevlar Member

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    No restrictions on FA-10 sales (other than the buyer being appropriately licensed). The only FFL restrictions are that they won't be able to transfer "non-compliant" handguns.

    Scriv, isn't "10+" in excess of 10 rounds? [smile]
     
  9. Scrivener

    Scrivener Banned

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    Not to those of us who can read.

    "10+" means "ten or greater."

    ">10" means "greater than ten."

    The former is wrong; the latter is right. Guess which one YOURS was.
     
  10. Kevlar

    Kevlar Member

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    Fair enough.
     
  11. vellnueve

    vellnueve Member

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    Scrivener is entirely correct, and Kevlar is correct on every point except for the one which Scrivener so eloquently corrected.

    Remind your friend that she can only sell four firearms per FTF sales, so if she does intend to sell her non-compliant guns, she should keep those transfers open for those specific handguns.
     
  12. djsmiles

    djsmiles Member

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    thank you all for your help. i made it plain to her about the hi-cap/pre-ban restrictions. i also encouraged her to stay in NH. lol.

    i just wanted to be clear with her and give her the right answers. once again, thank you all. :)
     
  13. ceo012384

    ceo012384 Member

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    Is there any time limit as to when you can bring them?

    A coworker of mine has a lot of guns that he left at his mother's house when he moved here 4 years ago. He now decided he is going to take the gun course and get his license, but only if he can bring his guns up here.
     
  14. Len-2A Training

    Len-2A Training Instructor Dealer

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    No time limit. Just need to register each one (not brought with him when he moved to PRM) on an FA-10. NO guns can be in evil AW configuration unless they were built in AW configuration PRIOR to 9/13/1994. Similarly no mags with >10 rd capacity unless they were made pre-9/13/1994.
     
  15. DarrenL

    DarrenL NES Member

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    I have a quick followup question: I fall into the "fill out the FA-10 after getting LTC in MA" category. However, I have three guns that were originally bought by me in MA on FID and LTC before I moved out of state, (1998-2001 timeframe). Do I need to re-register these three? Thanks.
     
  16. vellnueve

    vellnueve Member

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  17. Kevlar

    Kevlar Member

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    If you brought your firearms with you when you moved here, you are not required to file any FA-10 forms.

    If you moved here without your firearms, and brought them into the state at a later date, you must file a FA-10 form for each firearm within 7 days of it entering the state.
     
  18. Powerslide

    Powerslide Member

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    Suppose someone brings a handgun into MA when they move here. By law, he has 60 days to get an LTC. Let's say he knows it will take more than 60 days to get an LTC (lives in Boston). If he can get a friend (who has a Class A) to hold onto the gun, do they need to fill out an FA-10? Even if the friend is just holding onto the gun until the owner gets his LTC?
     
  19. Len-2A Training

    Len-2A Training Instructor Dealer

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    Perfectly legal and no FA-10 needed.
     
  20. vellnueve

    vellnueve Member

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    Boston is relatively efficient with their applications, usually takes about 4-6 weeks (which beats many of the towns I've seen). The advantage of having a full department dedicated to licensing.
     

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