Gun Buy Backs Illegal in Massachusetts?

GOAL

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Gun Buy Backs Illegal in Massachusetts?

Tis the season when we start hearing about all of these communities holding, so-called, gun buy backs. Aside from the normal chatter of how can the government buy back a gun it never owned, there is an honest question about them. Are they legal in Massachusetts? While always having to caveat these articles with, I am not an attorney nor do I play one on TV, there is a simple answer. No, they are not! At least as we know them.

Normally what we see in the news are people lining up with various guns to exchange them for a gift card of some sort. Usually these types of events are conducted by local groups, churches and even law enforcement. Using a statement that is often incorrectly used against lawful gun owners: I can find no law that allows this to take place.

The current law establishing a “Firearm Surrender Program” was passed as part of Chapter 180 in 1998. Section 47 of that bill to be specific. The law requires the colonel of state police, in conjunction with the secretary of the executive office of public safety, to create regulations to make the surrender program function. They did so with Commonwealth of Massachusetts Regulation (CMR) 515 CMR 3.06: Firearms Surrender Program.

This CMR specifically requires anyone wishing to surrender a firearm to directly contact law enforcement in writing or by phone. Once done, a specific time and place must be agreed on: Such persons shall make arrangements with the department regarding date, time, locations, manner, and officer who shall be receiving the firearm(s). There is nothing in the law or regulation that allows for mass turn ins or just random people showing up to turn in a firearm or exchange it for a gift.

Yet another major problem is that the law does establish protections from the other gun laws like licensing, transportation, storage, etc. But these protections only exist as long as the person surrendering the gun is complying with the regulations. Clearly, they are not in compliance and therefore not provided protection.

And wait, there is more. A lot of the pictures we see from these “buy back” are of old rifles and shotguns. Most are junk, but once in a while there are some nice ones. None of that matters because the law clearly limits the program to handguns. The law specifically states the law applies to “Firearms”. Under MGL Chapter 140, Section 121 (The definition section.) that word means handgun. The use of this term strictly limits any surrender, under this law and regulation, to a handgun. No other types of guns are allowed to be turned in under the program.

Municipalities should also be very careful about how they dispose of the firearms turned. It appears in paragraph 2 of the CMR that all of the firearms must be turned over to the state police. We had heard that some were being directly turned over to out of state companies for destruction.

The big question now is, will the government uphold the laws against itself? Don’t hold your breath.
 

Uzi2

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This CMR specifically requires anyone wishing to surrender a firearm to directly contact law enforcement in writing or by phone. Once done, a specific time and place must be agreed on: Such persons shall make arrangements with the department regarding date, time, locations, manner, and officer who shall be receiving the firearm(s). There is nothing in the law or regulation that allows for mass turn ins or just random people showing up to turn in a firearm or exchange it for a gift.
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LAWS DO NOT "ALLOW" THINGS OR ACTIONS, THEY PROHIBIT THEM.

We do not live in a monarchy where things or actions are GRANTED by one or any other number of idiots sitting on a throne.

Anything is legal to do until there is a legitimate law passed that prohibits it.
 
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oldguy68

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So this program is run with the same strict following of their own laws as they have when issuing a LTC permit here in MA.[rofl2]
Call me shocked![smile]

The elites are above the very laws they write.
We as serfs have to follow the thousands of twisted firearm laws that exist at both the state and federal levels.
But a criminal is treated with more favor in our injustice system than anyone trying to follow the labyrinth of firearm laws that we are held to..

Just like any rational and slightly intelligent person understanding why and in what context the 2nd amendment was written for in our constitution.
They pervert of whom the right was intended and the meaning of the word infringe!

PS. Every citizen of this country was considered part of the militia. With the right to carry arms everywhere without government interference. The thought was that everyone be armed to protect their own life and in doing so the nation as a whole!
 
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appraiser

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so the end run around this is some gun grabbing group gets the gift certificates and such, arranges the place,maybe even gets a POS FFL involved, and in the end they hand the guns to the cops for destruction.
 

Mesatchornug

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This CMR specifically requires anyone wishing to surrender a firearm to directly contact law enforcement in writing or by phone. Once done, a specific time and place must be agreed on: Such persons shall make arrangements with the department regarding date, time, locations, manner, and officer who shall be receiving the firearm(s). There is nothing in the law or regulation that allows for mass turn ins or just random people showing up to turn in a firearm or exchange it for a gift.
**************************break

LAWS DO NOT "ALLOW" THINGS OR ACTIONS, THEY PROHIBIT THEM.

We do not live in a monarchy where things or actions are GRANTED by one or any other number of idiots sitting on a throne.

Anything is legal to do until there is a legitimate law passed that prohibits it.
When it comes to what the government is empowered to do, you're upside down. The government can only do what the laws say it can do. The argument here seems to be that the law doesn't permit the Commonwealth to hold these events and accept the listed firearms in the way they are. That is, the government is (allegedly) barred from holding these events because it's not specifically granted the power to do so.
 

swatgig

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Someone could be a real dick, pose as a news reporter (or blogger), interview the people turning in the guns, then file an application for criminal complaint against them in the district court. Then file an application for criminal complaint against the police department for destruction of evidence.
 

Uzi2

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When it comes to what the government is empowered to do, you're upside down. The government can only do what the laws say it can do. The argument here seems to be that the law doesn't permit the Commonwealth to hold these events and accept the listed firearms in the way they are. That is, the government is (allegedly) barred from holding these events because it's not specifically granted the power to do so.

My post was to state that laws themselves do not grant permission- "allow" things or actions, they "prohibit" things or actions or require actions......by government or citizens.

Doesn't matter who, government or citizen. If there was something in the buyback regulations that "required" specific procedures to be followed by the state and they didn't follow it they are in the wrong.

There is nothing upside down about it.
 

AHM

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Yet another major problem is that the law does establish protections from the other gun laws like licensing, transportation, storage, etc. But these protections only exist as long as the person surrendering the gun is complying with the regulations. Clearly, they are not in compliance and therefore not provided protection.
The enabling statute only delegates permission for MSP/EOPSS
to promulgate regulations for the surrender of handguns.

The language doesn't grant the Staties permission to regulate longarm surrender;
any more than it lets them regulate alcohol, carbon credits, kayak fire extinguishers,
or any other thing.


Various and sundry police departments encourage people to
anonymously surrender longarms by just showing up
at an event held on some Saturday morning in the station parking lot.

And the cops who are standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Teh Community Activists
reassure the public that they are immunized from prosecution
for violation of licensing/storage/transport laws for guns and ammo
because of a loophole opened by Ch. 140 §131 O.

But that statute only bestows immunity of handgun surrenders
for people complying with the regulations.

It doesn't tell cops not to prosecute for longarm violations.

And even more obviously it doesn't tell cops not to prosecute for ammo violations.

Large capacity feeding devices? No immunity whatsoever under this loophole.

better question is if they found out it wasn't allowed how many hours would it take for them to vote on it? I think less than 24.
This.
And really, pointing things like this out is just asking those pricks to comb over and tighten up chapter 180.
The legislature would have a choice:
either pass a comprehensive statute that directly defined longarm/ammo/LCFD amnesty,
or amend §131 O to empower MSP/EOPSS to promulgate more regulations.
Would the latter choice require interminable public hearings?

I can't speculate on what GOAL's purpose is for tearing off this particular scab.

The argument here seems to be that the law doesn't permit the Commonwealth to hold these events and accept the listed firearms in the way they are. That is, the government is (allegedly) barred from holding these events because it's not specifically granted the power to do so.
No, the cops can hold these events just like they're allowed to run an undercover drug sting.

The argument is that any cop who tries to guarantee that you are legally immune from prosecution
for surrendering a longarm, ammo, or LCFD, is not telling you the truth.
They probably don't know they're saying false things, but intent doesn't matter.

Now normally everyone swans about the station house,
and it's all cool unless there's a Parking Lot Pop.

But if a recognizable member of the PRM's Enemies List
surrendered an illegally possessed longarm,
and the Commonwealth discovered that the loophole didn't apply,
I can imagine them jacking up the outlaw
just like they were caught with contraband guns at a traffic stop.

"It's settled law, Your Honor: longarms are not Chapter 140 'firearms'".
Bang the gavel, you're toast.
 

mac1911

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Its only illegal when "they" want it to be.

Plus the "law" gives power to the kernel of MSP and Public safety to make up regulations.

As long as "they" see its ok then so be it.
"They" = ma goverment
 

AHM

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Its only illegal when "they" want it to be.

Plus the "law" gives power to the kernel of MSP and Public safety to make up regulations.

As long as "they" see its ok then so be it.
"They" = ma goverment
4toslj.jpg
 

yanici

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Ah, the sword above the native American.

I wonder how many know that when the Lone Ranger used the name "Tonto" for his Indian friend that the word tonto translates to "fool" in Spanish. And Kemo Sabe, as the lone ranger was called by the "Fool," translates roughly to "he who knows much." Guess all the Lone Ranger radio, TV, and film productions need to be canceled out too. Jus' sayin'
 

MGnoob

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Very interesting .
It’s my belief that these programs were designed to remove handguns from “the streets”...I didn’t check the date of the law, but at the time rifles and shotguns were non-issue. But obviously the police will just take anything you want to surrender...

I know of several incidents where widows called in some pretty crazy stuff and they almost tried to charge her/them with it.
 

Rob Boudrie

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protections only exist as long as the person surrendering the gun is complying with the regulations. Clearly, they are not in compliance and therefore not provided protection.
Except under the well established doctrine of "entrapment by estoppel". Even a MA ADA would look foolish bringing a case for bringing an unloaded cased gun to a buyback.

The real purpose of buybacks is to brainwash the public into the "guns are bad .... so bad it is worth spending taxpayer $$ to keep them out of the hands of the little people" mindset .... sort of like buying printing presses from dissidents. Once the populace is convinced buybacks (misnomer) are good, it's a short step to make them mandatory.

I wonder how many know that when the Lone Ranger used the name "Tonto" for his Indian friend that the word tonto translates to "fool" in Spanish. And Kemo Sabe, as the lone ranger was called by the "Fool," translates roughly to "he who knows much." Guess all the Lone Ranger radio, TV, and film productions need to be canceled out too. Jus' sayin
I've been enjoying some really old TV shows lately - most recently "One Step Beyond". There was an episode with Gypsies and they host started by explaining they have intermarried to the point where most are blond and blue eyed, but still gypsies (no doubt to add credibility to their use of non-Roma actors). But when the host made reference to something like "tell a few fortunes, pick a few pockets..." I wondered if someone missed that and failed to pluck that episode from the lineup.
 
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fshalor

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This CMR specifically requires anyone wishing to surrender a firearm to directly contact law enforcement in writing or by phone. Once done, a specific time and place must be agreed on: Such persons shall make arrangements with the department regarding date, time, locations, manner, and officer who shall be receiving the firearm(s). There is nothing in the law or regulation that allows for mass turn ins or just random people showing up to turn in a firearm or exchange it for a gift.
**************************break

LAWS DO NOT "ALLOW" THINGS OR ACTIONS, THEY PROHIBIT THEM.

We do not live in a monarchy where things or actions are GRANTED by one or any other number of idiots sitting on a throne.

Anything is legal to do until there is a legitimate law passed that prohibits it.
This was my take too.

How would the lack of prohibiting legislation indicate am illegal situation around gun buys.

CMR for disposal requirements may be interesting. And maybe CMR for transfer to law enforcement.
 

AHM

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How would the lack of prohibiting legislation indicate am illegal situation around gun buys.
The "prohibiting legislation" that's missing
is the legislation prohibiting prosecutors from
charging buyback participants with unlicensed possession, etc.
 

NotaCop

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Call me crazy but according to federal law, if you're issuing money for firearms in numbers, don't you need federal dealer licensing, i, e. an FFL ? If the city or town police agency isn't licensed, they're breaking federal law.
 
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