Definition of "unloaded"

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"Section 131C. (a) No person carrying a loaded firearm under a Class A license issued under section 131 or 131F shall carry the same in a vehicle unless such firearm while carried therein is under the direct control of such person. "

Is there any case law to establish meaning of "loaded"? If the chamber is empty, but a full mag is inserted, is that loaded or unloaded? If the chamber is empty and locked with a locking device, but mag inserted, is it loaded or unloaded?

Is there any case law to establish meaning of "under direct control" more clearly?
 

CCW

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Loaded is ammunition physically present in the gun in any way. Direct control is completely undefined so you need to keep the gun on your person to eliminate any questions. It's not that complicated really. People just make it that way.
 
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In either case it all depends on how much they want to stick it to you. Jack.
This. Law and precedent have very little to do with how police interact with people. Ignorance is not a defense as a citizen but it absolutely is when an officer does whatever the f*** he wants regardless of what the law says.

When's the last time you saw a cop prosecuted for false arrest (otherwise known as kidnapping) when making up the law as they go?
 

ReluctantDecoy

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I think all gun laws in MA are purposefully convoluted and vague so that interpretation left up to LEO and the DA upon prosecution.

To me, "under direct control" should mean that I can mount a kydex holster to my center console within arms reach and place my loaded gun there while driving. But good luck getting pulled over for any traffic violations with a loaded gun in plain sight. You'd probably get shot while reaching for your registration. The alternative is to then keep a car safe and constantly swap into/out of the safe to your concealed carry method or just keep the gun on you at all times. I do have a car safe, but feel like I'm drawing attention to myself using it. Last thing I want is to make someone think I'm loading out before entering a building when all I'm doing is getting or putting away my EDC. So now, I just keep the safe in for any times I'm unexpectedly going into a no-gun zone (and spare mags). I otherwise just carry appendix even when I'm driving.
 

CCW

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I think all gun laws in MA are purposefully convoluted and vague so that interpretation left up to LEO and the DA upon prosecution.

To me, "under direct control" should mean that I can mount a kydex holster to my center console within arms reach and place my loaded gun there while driving. But good luck getting pulled over for any traffic violations with a loaded gun in plain sight. You'd probably get shot while reaching for your registration. The alternative is to then keep a car safe and constantly swap into/out of the safe to your concealed carry method or just keep the gun on you at all times. I do have a car safe, but feel like I'm drawing attention to myself using it. Last thing I want is to make someone think I'm loading out before entering a building when all I'm doing is getting or putting away my EDC. So now, I just keep the safe in for any times I'm unexpectedly going into a no-gun zone (and spare mags). I otherwise just carry appendix even when I'm driving.

Quite frankly nobody should really care what other people think direct control should mean. It's not defined. End of discussion. If it's on your person there is no question. Anywhere else could be trouble. So the alternative to maybe that kydex holster on the center console might be direct control is a car safe? If the gun is not under your direct control it must be unloaded and secured in a locked container or a locked trunk. What do we know about unloaded guns in a real world self defense scenario? Why do people beat this stuff to death? The thread was over at post #3.
 

JRT

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Quite frankly nobody should really care what other people think direct control should mean. It's not defined. End of discussion. If it's on your person there is no question. Anywhere else could be trouble. So the alternative to maybe that kydex holster on the center console might be direct control is a car safe? If the gun is not under your direct control it must be unloaded and secured in a locked container or a locked trunk. What do we know about unloaded guns in a real world self defense scenario? Why do people beat this stuff to death? The thread was over at post #3.
Remember to seek medical help if a power boner lasts more than three hours.
 

CCW

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Remember to seek medical help if a power boner lasts more than three hours.
Good to know. I thought it was four hours actually. Thanks.

Can you prove anything I posted in this thread is incorrect? I'll wait....
 

JRT

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Good to know. I thought it was four hours actually. Thanks.

Can you prove anything I posted in this thread is incorrect? I'll wait....
I never doubted the fact that you’re correct. You getting your panties in a bunch over people debating a question over and over is silly. You’re on the equivalent of a private Facebook page for guns. The discussion is dominated by Massachusetts residents. The discussions are often fueled by people who profit from keeping Mass gun owners looking over their shoulders for the bogey man.
 

AHM

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To me, "under direct control" should mean that I can mount a kydex holster to my center console within arms reach and place my loaded gun there while driving.
The more they overthink the plumbing,
the easier it is to stop up the drains.
- Montgomery Scott​

Given:
Terry v. Ohio doesn't allow a cop to temporarily seize
inaccessible guns for their own safety.
Rather, they can only sequester weapons
that could be used against them during the stop.

Consequence:
If all of the people who could reach a gun were licensed,
and a cop justifiably siezed the gun under Terry v. Ohio
because they were afraid of it being used against them,
then to me it means that it was "under direct control" -
even if it was in a steering column holster, etc.

That is:

No seizure?
=> Wasn't under direct control,
(or
the cop didn't feel endangered -
the other seizure prerequisite under Terry).

But

Seizure?
=> Must have been under direct control.
=> No beef even if loaded.
 
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ReluctantDecoy

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Quite frankly nobody should really care what other people think direct control should mean. It's not defined. End of discussion. If it's on your person there is no question. Anywhere else could be trouble. So the alternative to maybe that kydex holster on the center console might be direct control is a car safe? If the gun is not under your direct control it must be unloaded and secured in a locked container or a locked trunk. What do we know about unloaded guns in a real world self defense scenario? Why do people beat this stuff to death? The thread was over at post #3.
This is a discussion forum, no? If all posts were ended when some feel the answer is stated early, then there would be little point to have a discussion forum. Might as well set up a wiki instead. It is this questioning of the status quo that lends to greater inspection of the letter of the law, which is only a good thing for gun rights advocates. No reason to act like discussion about it is a bad thing.

To that end, my initial points stand. The laws are convoluted and vague. As such, they limit one's rights to successfully exercise 2A to the fullest extent because even tip toeing near the fringes of the law is often enough to be breaking the law in this state.

And no, the police will not be looking into the safe because A) I wouldn't tell them I have one, and/or B) won't let them look inside of it. Not in plain sight and not a danger to the responding officer, so they have no right to know what is inside.
 

cockpitbob

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It could be worse. I used to live in CA where, depending on if it was criminal or hunting laws, there were 4 or 5 different definitions of "loaded", depending on the situation. One definition, that they eventually got rid of, was if the ammo is "attached to the gun in any way". That meant a hunting rifle with a fabric slip-on buttstock cartridge holder was "loaded" if there was a cartridge in the holder. Another, for on school grounds I think, said it is "loaded" if ammo is immediately accessible, like having a loaded mag in your pocket.[rolleyes]
 

MAJoe

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Doesnt Massprudence say that the ammunition and firearm have to be in seperate locked containers during transport and storage?
No. For storage a firearm can be kept loaded. This includes a parked vehicle.

For transport, direct control loaded or unloaded, and unloaded in locked container. Unloaded to me means empty chamber and empty mag or no mag. Ammo can be in the same container.

IIRC the law is silent with regard to transport of low capacity weapons and handguns (i.e., firearms). Apply Mass prudence.

(b) No person possessing a large capacity rifle or shotgun under a license issued pursuant to section 131 or 131F shall possess the large capacity rifle or shotgun in a vehicle unless the large capacity rifle or shotgun is unloaded and contained within the locked trunk of the vehicle or in a locked case or other secure container.
General Law - Part I, Title XX, Chapter 140, Section 131C

Regarding storage. The law does not specify loaded or unloaded:
Section 131L. (a) It shall be unlawful to store or keep any firearm, rifle or shotgun including, but not limited to, large capacity weapons, or machine gun in any place unless such weapon is secured in a locked container or equipped with a tamper-resistant mechanical lock or other safety device, properly engaged so as to render such weapon inoperable by any person other than the owner or other lawfully authorized user. For purposes of this section, such weapon shall not be deemed stored or kept if carried by or under the control of the owner or other lawfully authorized user.
General Law - Part I, Title XX, Chapter 140, Section 131L

More on ammo here:
ammunition storage laws?
 
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M1911

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There is at least one person on NES who claims that bad legal things may happen if you don’t lock up your stored ammunition. I’m skeptical of that opinion.
 
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MisterHappy

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Doesnt Massprudence say that the ammunition and firearm have to be in seperate locked containers during transport and storage?
I coined the term, and I'd say, "no."

Masprudence tells you to throw a blanket over the guns stuff, so nobody asks. If they ask regardless of your compliance...you're doing to wrong! [laugh]
 
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This is a discussion forum, no? If all posts were ended when some feel the answer is stated early, then there would be little point to have a discussion forum...
But it was HIS answer, so he feels that was the correct one, and the conversation should have ended there. ;-)



There is at least one person on NES who claims that bad legal things may happen if you don’t lock up your stored ammunition. I’m skeptical of that opinion.
Does this apply to Cabela's, Dicks, etc? Because their stuff is not locked up separately.
 

whacko

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This. Law and precedent have very little to do with how police interact with people. Ignorance is not a defense as a citizen but it absolutely is when an officer does whatever the f*** he wants regardless of what the law says.

When's the last time you saw a cop prosecuted for false arrest (otherwise known as kidnapping) when making up the law as they go?
This!

And it is mine and many other subjects in Massachusetts opinion that "direct control" is undefined and vague on purpose. Same with suitability. It gives more power to the gestapo
 

CCW

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I never doubted the fact that you’re correct. You getting your panties in a bunch over people debating a question over and over is silly. You’re on the equivalent of a private Facebook page for guns. The discussion is dominated by Massachusetts residents. The discussions are often fueled by people who profit from keeping Mass gun owners looking over their shoulders for the bogey man.
This is a discussion forum, no? If all posts were ended when some feel the answer is stated early, then there would be little point to have a discussion forum. Might as well set up a wiki instead. It is this questioning of the status quo that lends to greater inspection of the letter of the law, which is only a good thing for gun rights advocates. No reason to act like discussion about it is a bad thing.

To that end, my initial points stand. The laws are convoluted and vague. As such, they limit one's rights to successfully exercise 2A to the fullest extent because even tip toeing near the fringes of the law is often enough to be breaking the law in this state.

And no, the police will not be looking into the safe because A) I wouldn't tell them I have one, and/or B) won't let them look inside of it. Not in plain sight and not a danger to the responding officer, so they have no right to know what is inside.
But it was HIS answer, so he feels that was the correct one, and the conversation should have ended there. ;-)





Does this apply to Cabela's, Dicks, etc? Because their stuff is not locked up separately.



Yes, this is certainly a discussion forum. That said, when it comes to the definition of direct control or what is legally a loaded gun what exactly is there to discuss? Direct control is not defined so if the gun is holstered on your person it's 100% GTG and anything else is questionable. A loaded gun is ammunition physically present in the gun in any way. What else is there to discuss? The OP came here looking for answers to stay out of trouble. Filling up a thread with fluff based on what you THINK this stuff means or should mean based on the principles of the 2A and the fundamental right of self defense doesn't mean jack here. In fact, you're more than likely hurting the person more than helping because now they're probably more confused than when they began. I don't feel my answer is the correct one. I know it is. So feel free to keep on keepin' on with shouting what part of shall not be infringed is it they don't get, it's my fundamental right and etc etc. By doing so you are all making this a bad place to get any kind of real answers regarding the law and how to stay out of trouble.
 
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