Non-Resident "traveling" with Shotgun

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If a court has interpreted the statute that way then so be it but I doubt one has. it wouldn't make sense in light of a pretty unambiguous statute.
 
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I think what's important to understand is that MA law, law enforcement (not all, but, lots), and courts are stacked against you. I'd stick to the easiest to understand legal method of transfer.
 

M1911

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If a court has interpreted the statute that way than so be it but I doubt one has. it wouldn't make sense in light of pretty unambiguous statute.
You don't understand our legal system at all.

It is precisely because statutes are ambiguous that courts interpret them, and precedents are developed.

Look, this is a state where the laws say that your average shotgun is not a firearm. Really. Logic doesn't have a lot to do with the MGL.
 

strangenh

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At the destination (CA) he is covered and at the departure point (MA) the issue is whether the ch 140 section 129C(h) exemption for "traveling" covers him.
FOPA cares about whether you can lawfully "possess and carry" it at origin and destination.

129C(p) seems the relevant "exempted persons and uses" as it exempts "possession" (and "carrying") of conventional long arms in MA specifically by non-residents, if the non-resident is legal to possess or carry it in their home state.

I'd like to hear from an MA ATTORNEY on this section which is so often skipped over because it starts off talking about residents and black powder weapons. But it clearly is also about non-residents and conventional long arms. I also seem to recall a thread in which GSG and ShadeWPI discussed it (to some astonishment). http://www.northeastshooters.com/vb...n-or-hunting?p=1411686&viewfull=1#post1411686

http://www.malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws/PartI/TitleXX/Chapter140/Section129c said:
(p) Carrying or possession by residents or nonresidents of so-called black powder rifles, shotguns, and ammunition therefor as described in such paragraphs (A) and (B) of the third paragraph of section 121, and the carrying or possession of conventional rifles, shotguns, and ammunition therefor by nonresidents who meet the requirements for such carrying or possession in the state in which they reside.
(emphasis mine) Note that the black powder portion applies to residents and non-residents; but the conventional long arms part applies to non-residents only.

MA attorneys care to weigh in?
 
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You don't understand our legal system at all.

It is precisely because statutes are ambiguous that courts interpret them, and precedents are developed.

Look, this is a state where the laws say that your average shotgun is not a firearm. Really. Logic doesn't have a lot to do with the MGL.
When a statutue is unambiguous, the basic rules of statutory construction are that words are given their ordinary meaning. There is, to me, nothing ambiguous about 129C(h) other than what it means to "travel" in the commonwealth, which was the subject of my OP and the question which seemingly cannot be answered.
 
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129C(p) is a reciprocity/comity provision (i.e., a separate right) that does not seem to diminish the right to possess while traveling under 129C(h).
 
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129C(p) is a reciprocity/comity provision that does not seem to diminish the right to possess while traveling under 129C(h).
 
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M1911

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When a statutue is unambiguous, the basic rules of statutory construction are that words are given their ordinary meaning.
Do you know what case law is?

There is, to me, nothing ambiguous about 129C(h) other than what it means to "travel" in the commonwealth, which was the subject of my OP and the question which seemingly cannot be answered.
Sure thing, your honor. And if you are sitting on the bench, then you can interpret it. But you're not.
 
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Yes, I'm familiar with case law. The only MA case I find with a reference to the travel statute is Commonwealth v. Lee, 10 Mass. App. Ct. 518 (1980). That case dealt with whether the case mentioned in 129C9(h) had to be a case specifically designed for a gun. No discussion of what traveling means. So no real useful case law -- either way. Do you know of another case then that interprets the statute?

Old but relevant is AG Bellotti's opinion (No. 86/87-4) issued after FOPA's passage. Anyone know of a way I can attach it?

Here are the relevant excerpts:

"For the reasons set forth below, I conclude that as a result
of these new federal laws, a non-resident in lawful possession of
a handgun is exempt from the licensing requirements imposed by
the Commonwealth while he is transporting that weapon and that he
has a defense to prosecution for failure to possess a
Massachusetts license, provided, that the handgun is unloaded and
inaccessible throughout his travels in Massachusetts."

"The exemptions noted make sec.29C applicable to [p]obsession of rifles and shotguns and ammunition therefor by nonresidents traveling in or through the commonwealth,
provided that any rifles or shotguns are unloaded and enclosed in
a case." G.L. c. 269, sec. 129C(h). Similar exemptions for
rifles and shotguns are provided for nonresident hunters, sec.
129C(f), and non-residents engaged on a firing or shooting range,
sec. 129C(g).

While Massachusetts has provided for non-residents
transporting rifles and shotguns, corresponding provisions for
non-residents transporting handguns have not been adopted by the
General Court. "
 

strangenh

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129C(p) is a reciprocity/comity provision that does not seem to diminish the right to possess while traveling under 129C(h).
Agreed. I suspect the legislative history would prove illuminating, with (h) passed as an explicit adoption of some of the terms of FOPA (or perhaps it predates FOPA as it provides for transport of long arms only and doesn't seem to care whether the person is OK to possess at origin/destination) to avoid jurisdictional confusion (many other states did so as well), and with (p) as a straightforward reciprocity provision - it is extremely telling that (p) applies to long guns only, provides no exception to the state's AWB, and that it appears to explicitly permit non-residents to purchase low-capacity long arms directly from an dealer in MA:
"Any person, exempted by clauses (o), (p) and (q), purchasing a rifle or shotgun or ammunition therefor shall submit to the seller such full and clear proof of identification, including shield number, serial number, military or governmental order or authorization, military or other official identification, other state firearms license, or proof of nonresidence, as may be applicable."
Again, sure would like to hear from an MA attorney on paragraph (p) - especially as (p) and (u) appear to be in conflict w/r/t sales, and would need to be harmonized (probably through case law).
 
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Unfortunately there isn't likely to be much, if any, legislative history or at least not a record of it from when paragraph h was added in 1969. But that makes the provision, in my mind, even more unambiguous and therefore not subject to an interpretation other than the most simple one.
 

strangenh

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Unfortunately there isn't likely to be much, if any, legislative history or at least not a record of it from when paragraph h was added in 1969. But that makes the provision, in my mind, even more unambiguous and therefore not subject to an interpretation other than the most simple one.
Yeah, the adoption date alone means it - and similar state-level provisions - may have been informative to those drafting FOPA's peaceable travel provisions.

Do you have a date for the adoption of the para (p) exceptions?
 
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Here's what I have:

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES



2002 Main Volume


St.1968, c. 737, § 7, was approved July 20, 1968.


St.1969, c. 799, § 8, approved Aug. 24, 1969, rewrote the third paragraph, which prior thereto read:


“A seller shall, within seven days, report all such transfers to the commissioner, with a complete description of the firearm, rifle or shotgun, including its make, model, serial number, if any, and caliber or gauge; and in the case of loss or theft, notice shall be given to the commissioner within fourteen days of the discovery by the owner of the loss or theft.”;


in the fourth paragraph, in cl. (a), deleted “rifle, shotgun or” following “Any”, in cl. (c), substituted “stating” for “of”, in cl. (e), added “or license to carry firearms”, rewrote cls. (f) to (i), which prior thereto read:


“(f) Nonresident hunters with valid nonresident hunting licenses during hunting season;


“(g) Nonresidents while on a firing or shooting range;


“(h) Nonresidents traveling in or through the commonwealth, providing that any firearms are unloaded and enclosed in a case;


“(i) Nonresidents while at a firearms showing or display organized by a regularly existing gun collectors' club or association;”;


in cl. (j), inserted “, or any resident of the commonwealth upon being released from active service with any of the armed services of the United States” and “such release or after”, in cl. (k), inserted “or a license to carry firearms” and added “or reserve components thereof, while in the performance of his duty”, in cl. (l), inserted “for examination purposes” and added the proviso, rewrote cl. (m), which prior thereto read:


“The temporary holding, handling or firing of a rifle or shotgun for examination or trial in the presence of a holder of a firearm identification card or where such holding, handling or firing is for a lawful purpose;”;


in cl. (n), inserted “or a license to carry firearms if not otherwise an exempt person who is qualified to receive such” and deleted “or the commissioner” following “authority”, in cl. (o), added the proviso, rewrote cls. (p) and (q), which prior thereto read:


“(p) Nonresidents bearing a current license, permit or identification card to possess any firearm, rifle or shotgun in the state in which they reside;


“(q) Any nonresident acquiring a rifle or shotgun, provided it is removed from the commonwealth within thirty days of such acquisition.”;


and added cls. (r) and (s); and added the former sixth paragraph and seventh through ninth (now sixth through eighth) paragraphs.


St.1971, c. 456, § 4, approved June 29, 1971, deleted the sixth paragraph, which read:


“An air rifle, spring gun and BB gun or rifle which has a barrel length of sixteen inches or over shall not be considered a rifle or shotgun under the provisions of this section; provisions providing for the possession or usage of such are set forth in sections twelve A and twelve B of chapter two hundred and sixty-nine.”


St.1972, c. 312, § 3, approved May 25, 1972, in the third paragraph, substituted “, theft or recovery” for “or theft”, inserted “, a” following “shotgun” and “forthwith” and deleted “within fourteen days of the discovery by the owner of the loss or theft” from the end.


St.1973, c. 892, § 3, approved Oct. 9, 1973, in the first paragraph, substituted “, shotgun or ammunition” for “or shotgun” and, in the second paragraph, deleted “thereof” following “ammunition”.


Section 4 of St.1973, c. 892, in the fourth paragraph, in cls. (c), (f) through (h), (j) and (p), inserted “and ammunition therefor”.


Section 5 of St.1973, c. 892, in the fifth paragraph, inserted “or ammunition therefor”.


St.1974, c. 289, approved June 4, 1974, in the third paragraph, substituted “, shotgun or machine gun” for “or shotgun”.


St.1975, c. 378, § 1, an emergency act, approved June 30, 1975, in the fourth paragraph, in cl. (o), deleted the proviso, which read, “provided, however, that private or sporting use of such firearms, rifles or shotguns shall be subject to the provisions applicable to nonexempt persons and uses”.


St.1978, c. 551, § 1, approved July 21, 1978, in the fourth paragraph, rewrote cl. (p), which prior thereto read:


“Possession of rifles and shotguns and ammunition therefor by nonresidents bearing a current license, permit or identification card to possess any firearm, rifle or shotgun in the state in which they reside;”


St.1984, c. 172, approved July 9, 1984, in the seventh paragraph, deleted “Neither the provisions of section one hundred and twenty-nine C nor” from the beginning and inserted “not”.


St.1991, c. 82, § 2, approved June 20, 1991, in the fourth paragraph, in cl. (s), substituted “handling;” for “handling.”.


Section 3 of St.1991, c. 82, in the fourth paragraph, added cl. (t).


St.1991, c. 89, approved June 24, 1991, in the fourth paragraph, rewrote cl. (q).


St.1996, c. 151, § 318, approved June 30, 1996, and by § 690 made effective July 1, 1996, in the third paragraph, substituted “executive director of the criminal history systems board” for “commissioner of public safety”.


Section 319 of St.1996, c. 151, in the third paragraph, substituted “executive director of the criminal history systems board” for “commissioner”.


Section 320 of St.1996, c. 151, in the fourth paragraph, in cl. (c), substituted “colonel of the state police” for “commissioner” following “authority, the”.


Section 321 of St.1996, c. 151, in the fourth paragraph, in cl. (c), substituted “colonel of the state police” for “commissioner” following “or the”.


Section 322 of St.1996, c. 151, in the fourth paragraph, added cl. (u).


St.1998, c. 180, § 30, approved July 23, 1998, in the third paragraph, added the second sentence.


Section 31 of St.1998, c. 180, in the fourth paragraph, rewrote cl. (j), which prior thereto read:


“Any new resident moving into the commonwealth, or any resident of the commonwealth upon being released from active service with any of the armed services of the United States with respect to any firearm, rifle or shotgun and ammunition therefor then in his possession, for sixty days after such release or after the time he moves into the commonwealth;”.


Section 32 of St.1998, c. 180, in the fourth paragraph, deleted cl. (q), which prior thereto read:


“Any nonresident who is eighteen years of age or older when acquiring a rifle, shotgun or ammunition from a licensed firearms dealer, provided that such nonresident is in compliance with the law of the state where he resides and has the proper firearms license if required;”.


Section 33 of St.1998, c. 180, in the sixth paragraph, substituted “person under the age of 21” for “minor”.


Section 34 of St.1998, c. 180, inserted the seventh paragraph.


Section 35 of St.1998, c. 180, in the eighth paragraph, inserted “and, the possession of a firearm identification card issued under section 129B shall not entitle any person to possess any large capacity rifle or shotgun or large capacity feeding device therefor in violation of subsection (m) of said section 10 of said chapter 269” following “sixty-nine”.


St.1998, c. 358, § 5, an emergency act, approved Oct. 19, 1998, and by § 12 made effective as of Oct. 21, 1998, in the fourth paragraph, in cl. (r), substituted “chartered by the commonwealth or recognized as a nonprofit tax-exempt organization by the Internal Revenue Service” for “or included in clause (12) of section five of chapter forty”.


St.1999, c. 1, § 2, an emergency act, approved March 5, 1999, in the fourth paragraph, in cl. (p), inserted “residents or”.
 
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But you do agree that it does not take away from what's provided in 129C(h)? -- the right to travel in MA with a shotgun. 129C(p) just provides an additional exemption for people licensed in their home state.
 

strangenh

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But you do agree that it does not take away from what's provided in 129C(h)? -- the right to travel in MA with a shotgun. 129C(p) just provides an additional exemption for people licensed in their home state.
Can't give MA legal advice, but the whole set of exceptions appears to be meant to be read as independent and non-exclusive of each other. Otherwise the exception for officers would be most peculiar.

And h and p seem pretty obviously aimed at different circumstances - (h) applies to people traveling in/through without regard to whether they are legal to possess at origin or destination, and makes no mention of whether they are residents of any state in the US (just that they are non-residents of MA) and (p) appears to apply to residents of other states who are legal to carry and possess in their home state, period, without regard to whether they are traveling. I'd say the exception in p is less restrictive, but sets a higher bar than that in h. Honestly, they seem pretty well set out and I would not assume any conflict.
 

GSG

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It's a good thing I have a buzzcut, or I'd be pulling out my hair reading this thread. Everyone has chimed in, most of them with awful legal information. Know the law before you go all Scriv on a newbie.

Any thoughts? Thanks
There's two separate issues here, both of which I'll delve into with you.

The first is the one that everyone is immensely confused on. Non-residents can possess and/or carry non-large capacity rifles and shotguns in Mass. without any kind of permit as long as they can legally do the same thing in their home state. Keep in mind, he doesn't have to own the gun in order to be legal. In theory, he could fly to Mass., borrow your pump shotgun and drive around with the thing in his trunk while on vacation, as long as he could lawfully possess it in his state. Statute and case law are extremely clear on this issue. Local law enforcement may not be, but that is in fact the law. Refer to my non-resident gun laws thread in my sigline.

The only question is what kind of a gun is it?

The second issue is ownership of the gun. If he owns it, he can pick it up and fly it to CA, check it in at Logan and be 100% legal. That's if he owns it. Don't get cute about this here, the key is does he own the gun? If he doesn't, it has to be shipped to a CA FFL for a DROS and all that jazz.

Under MA law you are permitted to travel into and within the state if it's for a hunting trip (granted you have a MA hunting license), shooting activity such as a competition, or for a collectors association meeting. (we recommend that all firearms are secured in a locked container, unloaded, with no ammunition, and not accessible from the drivers seat. (don't lock in glove box or console) Bear in mind that you must be licensed in your home state for this to apply.

Basically you can not travel with the shotgun in MA unless it meets one of the above conditions.
You're wrong. You're referring to 140-131G, which only applies to handguns. Not only that, but very few LTC's are compliant with 131G, there's more to this than "have a home state LTC." Also discussed in the thread in my sigline.

It would be a violation because the gun is not registered to him at this time in his home state.
It depends on the gun. CA has some crazy AWB laws that differ from standard possession of long guns.

what does it mean to be the "owner"? Can you be the owner but not an FID or LTC holder?
Gray area. As LenS said it depends on provenance.

Never call up a police agency asking for information about firearms laws. The answer you get will almost always be wrong.
Amen to that.

He doesn't have a MA LTC. So he doesn't have a right to possess the gun in MA, so he isn't in compliance with FOPA.
Wrong.

If he is in possession of the gun while "traveling," then under exemption h to ch 140 section 129(C), he is allowed to possess the gun, no?
Yes. 140-129C(p) doesn't require anything about travel, timeframes, competitions, licenses or macaroni and cheese.

MA requires at least an FID for possession. No FID/LTC, no cannot possess gun in MA, even if he owns it.
Wrong.

Mike, please be extra careful when giving out legal advise as "GOAL" that it is correct.

It's bad enough that dealers, law enforcement and many instructors give out wrong legal advice. But I always want citizens to be able to trust that any legal info given out by GOAL is correct.
+1.

assuming friend is the bona fide owner of the gun but does not have an FID, can he be covered by FOPA while "traveling" from MA to CA?
Yes.

So, while I am unlikely to advise my friend to risk it without confirmation, it would seem to me that this exemption (unless I am missing something) does not limit the travel exemption to the 3 categories listed by GOAL CM and that if my friend is just traveling, that he has the right to possess the gun while traveling in MA and out of MA.
You're confusing things by talking about travel. Travel applies to FOPA. As long as he is not a resident of Mass. and he's in compliance with his homestate laws he can travel to, from, and within Mass. with it, no permit required (unless his home state requires a permit for long guns, but CA does not).

I am licensed in both Massachusetts and New Hampshire, but I don't own a side-by-side. So I borrow my pal's side-by-side and travel up to Portsmouth, NH, and I have broken a federal law?
It depends on what yu're borrowing the gun for. See 18 USC 922(a)(5):

http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/18/usc_sec_18_00000922----000-.html

(5) for any person (other than a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, licensed dealer, or licensed collector) to transfer, sell, trade, give, transport, or deliver any firearm to any person (other than a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, licensed dealer, or licensed collector) who the transferor knows or has reasonable cause to believe does not reside in (or if the person is a corporation or other business entity, does not maintain a place of business in) the State in which the transferor resides; except that this paragraph shall not apply to
(A) the transfer, transportation, or delivery of a firearm made to carry out a bequest of a firearm to, or an acquisition by intestate succession of a firearm by, a person who is permitted to acquire or possess a firearm under the laws of the State of his residence, and
(B) the loan or rental of a firearm to any person for temporary use for lawful sporting purposes;
Risky to say the least.

You don't understand our legal system at all.
Glass houses/rocks.

MA attorneys care to weigh in?
None of the three known-to-NES Mass. gun attorney's are present, if any others are, they're keeping their heads low.

Yes, I'm familiar with case law.
Indeed you are. +1 to you for holding your own in a room full of confused people tearing into a newbie.

Again, sure would like to hear from an MA attorney on paragraph (p) - especially as (p) and (u) appear to be in conflict w/r/t sales, and would need to be harmonized (probably through case law).
I'm not an attorney. 140-129C(u) is a leftover and made obsolete by the updated Mass. dealer laws. The "Simon's Rock" law is what changed that, after a highly publicized school shooting. Two pieces of case law on that incident.

http://masscases.com/cases/sjc/428/428mass45.html

http://masscases.com/cases/app/54/54massappct286.html

The Mass. laws are a nightmare to navigate because of things like that.
 

GSG

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One more thing to the OP. For the most part the people on this forum (and many contributors to this thread) are the people who take the time to try and learn the Mass. gun laws. This area of Mass. law isn't well known and is very different from the resident portion of law, so people are naturally a little misguided.

Take a second and imagine that this conversation were taking place on the side of the road, your friend in handcuffs trying to explain to the cop and his supervisor that he's not violating the law. Read through this thread again with that in mind to give you an idea of how he'll be viewed and what's at stake, and what's likely to happen even if you're in 100% compliance with the law.

If your friend were my friend, my advice would be to ship the stupid gun and avoid this whole mess altogether.
 

GSG

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Seriously this thread is still going on?

Even aside from the constant bumps by the op...

[hmmm]
It's a good thing it's still going on. Maybe we can use it to correct the swarm of bad information on the subject.
 

strangenh

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Refer to my non-resident gun laws thread in my sigline.
...
Yes. 140-129C(p) doesn't require anything about travel, timeframes, competitions, licenses or macaroni and cheese.
Your excellent post/FAQ has it, but since you talk immediately about black powder after referencing (p), it seems to send people on here looking elsewhere - could be a little clearer on that. GOAL's FAQ is clear on it, which is a good thing (and I'm surprised someone posting as GOAL would contradict it). I'm also really amused in this thread, especially the "you don't know how the law works" comments to a newbie, from non-lawyers. Cracks me up. No wonder Scriv used to get all heated on people.

I'm not an attorney.
Your input is nevertheless always helpful to drive discussion.
140-129C(u) is a leftover and made obsolete by the updated Mass. dealer laws. The "Simon's Rock" law is what changed that, after a highly publicized school shooting. Two pieces of case law on that incident.

http://masscases.com/cases/sjc/428/428mass45.html
Nothing to do with the laws in question, it's an appeal of portions of the case not related to gun laws.

Nothing to do with the gun laws at all. It's an insurance case.

Thanks again for your input -- but can you cite the "Simon's Rock Law"? Searching back, what I find people pointing to prohibits unlicensed SELLERS of ammunition, or requires a permit to purchase "firearms".
 

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I proceed to offer one final (final for me, at least) observation. This has more to do with the legal process than it does with the specific legal question under discussion.

While laymen find it frustrating, it is sometimes (indeed often) true that there will be no clear answer to a legal question. Statutes may be intrinsically unclear (after all, they are drafted by legislators who, if they could get a better job, wouldn't be legislators) or they may have become butchered by patchwork and inconsistent amendment over decades. Likewise, judicial decisions are--perish the thought--sometimes less than crystal clear statements of legal analysis. Worse, a judicial decision is limited to resolving the specific controversy before the court at that time, so that the process of "answering" a legal question by looking a judicial decisions is actually a process of logical extrapolation, by which I really mean guessing at how the next court will decide a different issue when that different issue is presented. Mind reading is always an exercise fraught with risk.

What lawyers do when then discover that there is no clear and reliable answer to a particular question is (a) hopefully recognize that situation and (b) find a way to avoid the question. This becomes particularly important in any context where the risk of being wrong bears severe consequences, which fairly states the situation of the OP's original question.

Hence my initial suggestion that the OP's pal avoid the whole FOPA issue by shipping the shotgun to California.

Edit: Afterthought #1: What this exercise serves as powerful evidence of is the wisdom of the notion that one should not seek legal advice in an internet forum. Even as one as informed as this one tends to be.

Edit: Afterthought #2: Kudos to GSG for shining the spotlight on this proposition quite effectively.
 
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GSG

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Your excellent post/FAQ has it, but since you talk immediately about black powder after referencing (p), it seems to send people on here looking elsewhere - could be a little clearer on that.
I know the question was specifically asked and answered later in that thread. I update that thread periodically, looks like it's time for another.

GOAL's FAQ is clear on it, which is a good thing (and I'm surprised someone posting as GOAL would contradict it).
While legally incorrect, they were erring on the side of caution and not being nasty. It would be a different story if they were advising people to commit felonies or something similar.

Your input is nevertheless always helpful to drive discussion.
I just wanted to be clear. [grin]

Nothing to do with the laws in question, it's an appeal of portions of the case not related to gun laws.
Correct, I linked to the 1st case because it has a summation of the incident that people might recognize. I worded the reference carefully.

Nothing to do with the gun laws at all. It's an insurance case.
Actually it does have something to do with the gun laws. It discusses liability of the people who run a gun free zone. It's an appeals case so it's not binding, but it does make for interesting reading on the subject, and presents some interesting ideas. Again I quoted it to give people background on the incident, and didn't state (or intend to imply) that those cases were the "Simon's Rock" law I was referring to.

Thanks again for your input -- but can you cite the "Simon's Rock Law"?
No I can't. Below is a few links where it's discussed.

http://www.northeastshooters.com/vb...Getting-a-permit-with-a-greencard-in-MA/page2

http://www.northeastshooters.com/vbulletin/threads/1339-Non-resident-ammo-sales

http://www.northeastshooters.com/vbulletin/threads/39947-Non-Resident-buying-ammo

It appears to have been a piece of legislation drafted in knee-jerk response to that shooting that changed the dealer laws to prohibit non-residents from buying guns or ammo from FFL's in Mass. The name is just a label likely attached to a bill that changed several different areas of law in one fell swoop. LenS appears to know that a little better than I do, I was a wee lad at the time it passed so I have no memory of it outside of reading about it years later on NES.

Searching back, what I find people pointing to prohibits unlicensed SELLERS of ammunition,
Sort of. It's illegal for anyone to sell ammunition (including components, live ammo, empty shell casings, etc.) without a license to sell ammunition in Mass. In practice they'll only give the license to FFL's or ammo manufacturers, and people have been prosecuted for selling ammo without a license in Mass. Ben Seay was convicted for selling six cartidges with a revolver. There's no exemption to this licensing requirement for FID or LTC holders. [thinking]

But it was illegal for an individual to sell ammo privately even when it was legal for non-residents to buy guns and ammo from Mass. FFL's.

or requires a permit to purchase "firearms".
More out of date leftover laws. In Mass. an FID used to allow one to possess handguns and long guns, an LTC was needed for carry, but a handgun could be purchased with an FID and a permit to purchase. The GCA 1998 made that obsolete since an LTC is now required to even possess a handgun (in almost every case, some exemptions do exist but they're very limited). They didn't remove it, leading to more confusion.

Statutes may be intrinsically unclear (after all, they are drafted by legislators who, if they could get a better job, wouldn't be legislators) or they may have become butchered by patchwork and inconsistent amendment over decades.
That's exactly the case in Mass.

Edit: Afterthought #1: What this exercise serves as powerful evidence of is the wisdom of the notion that one should not seek legal advice in an internet forum. Even as one as informed as this one tends to be.
Sadly prominent gun lawyers, experienced law enforcers and even the SJC have all been very wrong on the Mass. gun laws from time to time. The good thing about this forum is it's free, and the discussion has the benefit of theory, so people can get an idea of what legal standard they'll be held to without actually being held to that standard.

Edit: Afterthought #2: Kudos to GSG for shining the spotlight on this proposition quite effectively.
Kudos to NES for my free legal education. [grin] This was the first thread I ever started on NES:

http://www.northeastshooters.com/vbulletin/threads/21330-Mass.-compliant-guns-for-CCW

Gentle prodding and painful slaps have guided me to where I am today. [laugh]
 

Len-2A Training

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Simon Rock Law:

- Damn, I still can't find it, but it is a long section of law where a section (p,o, or q stick in my mind) was REMOVED. It was the section that allowed a NR with a MA NR LTC to purchase ammo in MA.

So when you can't find the law, it didn't add anything to the law, but it removed a pre-existing section.

Here's where we discussed it before several years ago.

http://www.northeastshooters.com/vbulletin/threads/1339-Non-resident-ammo-sales

I was present in Gardner Auditorium when Simon Rock College bused in a lot of students to testify that NRs should be allowed to possess/buy any guns/ammo/etc. It was sometime after that hearing that they passed the law that removed that section which allowed NRs to purchase ammo.

Info on that shooting:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wayne_Lo
 
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Thanks to all -- I think this has been very useful (to me at least) to prove at a minimum (as several have pointed out) that the laws are not well understood and unless one is willing to be a test case to prove a point, the easiest way is the best way. While there was confusion about what was legally possible, there seemed to be at least consensus about what was practically possible (and safely legal). So sorry for the "constant bumps" but I wanted to get this resolved.
 

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Len, I appreciate it, but no bill #, no cite, nothing. As the law stands, it appears to me at least that there are indeed circumstances where a NR qualifying under some of the 129C exceptions could legally buy long arms and long arms ammo from a dealer - those circumstances may depend on having a temp permit, or the dealer laws may make it impossible from their side, but I have not sewn that part together yet. So while they may have removed a permission in 129C ((q) or something else), criminal law does not operate on the principle that everything not permitted is denied. Even in MA.

I'll keep looking when I have time and inclination, nevertheless happy that we have at last pounded home that section (p) provides a solid comity-style provision for residents of other states to possess and carry long arms in MA without the need to be hunting, competing, etc. so long as they are legal to possess and carry same in their state of residence.

(As an aside, I find myself a little surprised that among a board full of folks who like me insist one should not rely on a police officer for legal advice... there are still some who seem to rely on a book by a police officer for legal advice.)
 

GSG

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Len, I appreciate it, but no bill #, no cite, nothing.
You're asking him to cite a specific bill number (which is not unique to a bill, each session new ones come out with the same numbers) from a fairly obscure law that was passed a decade ago. [laugh]

As the law stands, it appears to me at least that there are indeed circumstances where a NR qualifying under some of the 129C exceptions could legally buy long arms and long arms ammo from a dealer - those circumstances may depend on having a temp permit, or the dealer laws may make it impossible from their side, but I have not sewn that part together yet. So while they may have removed a permission in 129C ((q) or something else), criminal law does not operate on the principle that everything not permitted is denied. Even in MA.
That's because you're only looking at 140-129C, which is an area of law that deals with ownership, carry, and explains some of the licensing exemptions, aside from a very brief reference to the FA-10 requirement and the now obsolete allowances for NR purchasing. Also, MSP doesn't issue a list of states that are in compliance with 140-129C(u), so no dice.

MGL 140-123 is one of the sections of law that addresses restrictions on dealer licenses and dealer sales. There's many others as well, but for the purposes of our discussion, this is the one you want to read. It says in part:

http://www.malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws/PartI/TitleXX/Chapter140/Section123

Seventh, That no delivery of a firearm shall be made to any person not having a license to carry firearms issued under the provisions of section one hundred and thirty-one nor shall any delivery of a rifle or shotgun or ammunition be made to any minor nor to any person not having a license to carry firearms issued under the provisions of section one hundred and thirty-one or a firearm identification card issued under the provisions of section one hundred and twenty-nine B nor shall any large capacity firearm or large capacity feeding device therefor be delivered to any person not having a Class A license to carry firearms issued under section 131 nor shall any large capacity rifle or shotgun or large capacity feeding device therefor be delivered to any person not having a Class A or Class B license to carry firearms issued under said section 131; provided, however, that delivery of a firearm by a licensee to a person possessing a valid permit to purchase said firearm issued under the provisions of section one hundred and thirty-one A and a valid firearm identification card issued under section one hundred and twenty-nine B may be made by the licensee to the purchaser’s residence or place of business, subject to the restrictions imposed upon such permits as provided under section 131A.
Note that there's no exemption here for non-residents with temporary LTC's issued under MGL 140-131F to buy guns, ammo or even magazines from an FFL. Also notice that this section still includes language regarding permits to purchase, and the third paragraph contains language allowing people exempt from licensing to purchase guns, ammo and mags, even though both are made obsolete by other areas of law.

There is an interesting potential loophole here though. Non-resident business owners, police officers and people living on federal property in Mass. can be issued "resident" LTC's issued under MGL 140-131 (business owners and people living on federal property can also get "resident" FID's, although police officers can't, which appears to be another legislative oversight). In theory, this tiny class of people could purchase long guns from an FFL, if MSP had published a list in accordance with 140-129C(u), which they haven't. MIRCS doesn't appear to differentiate between residents or non-residents with such licenses.

Abstract legal theory aside, I can't imagine any Mass. FFL would risk selling a gun to a NR under any circumstances.

(As an aside, I find myself a little surprised that among a board full of folks who like me insist one should not rely on a police officer for legal advice... there are still some who seem to rely on a book by a police officer for legal advice.)
I'm assuming you're referring to Ron Glidden's book. It's not perfect, but there's few if any people around who can match his knowledge of Mass. firearms law. Even the gun lawyers who frequented this board each had their own area of expertise, and were just as confused as the rest of us about other areas. Glidden's book is an excellant resource for Mass. gun owners, because even if he was wrong on every single thing he wrote (which he isn't), his views reflect what every cop in the state is being trained to believe.

While you bring up good discussion points on the law, you're approaching this as a free-stater who's not used to the insanity of the mangled Mass. laws. If you could just remove any ideas of freedom, logic or legislative accountability from your mind, this would make a lot more sense to you. [wink][laugh]
 
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strangenh

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You're asking him to cite a specific bill number (which is not unique to a bill, each session new ones come out with the same numbers) from a fairly obscure law that was passed a decade ago. [laugh]
When over the course of several years people cite a "law" over and over but can't reference any MGL section or changes thereto, yes, I do ask for that. Call me picky. [wink] Given the ease with which anyone can confuse sections of MGL applying to "firearms" vs. rifles and shotguns, high-capacity issues in long arms vs. handguns vs. magazines, resident vs. non-resident vs. alien, possession vs. carry vs. purchase (for all of the above)... given all that, if we can help push the questions and you keep gelling them in your FAQ, it's worth asking tough questions of things people have heard but can't cite.

That's because you're only looking at 140-129C, which is an area of law that deals with ownership, carry, and explains some of the licensing exemptions, aside from a very brief reference to the FA-10 requirement and the now obsolete allowances for NR purchasing. Also, MSP doesn't issue a list of states that are in compliance with 140-129C(u), so no dice.
Well, not just that (esp. since there is a completely separate reference to purchase under (o) and (p)). But see below, where you have cited a mooting section in 140-123...

Until earlier this year, folks on this board consistently missed the existence of 129C(p) in discussions on the topic, a black-letter NR exception in its current form since 1999 (some still seem to miss it). So I think it is reasonable and even helpful to push the envelope of assumptions from time to time. Too many posters treat these laws like religious doctrine and trot out what they learned in [strike]Sunday school[/strike] NES conversations, often with some "telephone" transmission/recall damage.

[Citing [140-123, Seventh clause]]Note that there's no exemption here for non-residents with temporary LTC's issued under MGL 140-131F to buy guns, ammo or even magazines from an FFL. Also notice that this section still includes language regarding permits to purchase, and the third paragraph contains language allowing people exempt from licensing to purchase guns, ammo and mags, even though both are made obsolete by other areas of law.
I think you overstate the obsolescence, as it is broader than just the selling/delivery that the seventh section moots; still that is the section I was looking for.

Thanks - I may go digging for the changes to it over the years, as I suspect mods to that messy section could constitute the legendary "Simon's Rock" law. The seventh provision of that section (in my not-giving-advice-here opinion) indeed means sellers are prohibited from selling long arms and ammo even to a person who is legally exempted under 129C. So that is the answer to the question I asked. It effectively moots 129C's purchase exceptions by restricting any seller; though an exempted buyer might be committing no crime, the seller still would, a common pattern in gun laws at both state and federal levels.

I'm assuming you're referring to Ron Glidden's book. It's not perfect, but there's few if any people around who can match his knowledge of Mass. firearms law. Even the gun lawyers who frequented this board each had their own area of expertise, and were just as confused as the rest of us about other areas. Glidden's book is an excellant resource for Mass. gun owners, because even if he was wrong on every single thing he wrote (which he isn't), his views reflect what every cop in the state is being trained to believe.
Is that your legal opinion on it? I'm being half-serious, here. What I mean is, yes, that is a valuable thing to know. But on the flip side, it means that in slavishly following it, MA gun owners effectively make the law for them as restrictive as the author says it is. Recent events in Wisconsin suggest there is a gap between the two that should be discussed, even if MA gun owners subject to arbitrary licensing would not want to push the envelope lest they be declared "unsuitable."

Then again, I was asking about the provisions applying to non-residents. [smile]
While you bring up good discussion points on the law, you're approaching this as a free-stater who's not used to the insanity of the mangled Mass. laws. If you could just remove any ideas of freedom, logic or legislative accountability from your mind, this would make a lot more sense to you. [wink][laugh]
Humor appreciated, but there's some incorrect assumption there. I have a very jaundiced view of statutory law, criminal law, and even firearms law. Rather than glibly looking for ways to bend statutory words to fit my hopes, I am just pushing because there are so many bad answers on here. There was a mountain of bad information in just this thread alone, some of which Len corrected.

But I mean, here we had a thread that discussed FOPA with regard to the state of origin (where it does not apply unless the person is - absent FOPA - already legal to "possess and carry" the item), a thread where questions of ownership were conflated with questions of possession, a thread where the hunting/competition exception for handguns was raised in the context of a shotgun, and where the travel exception was raised even though a more on-point exception was right there on the same page. A thread where the answer was (relative to many MA gun law questions) easy - and right in the GOAL FAQ - was a trainwreck.

So anything that helps better gel the issues for or from your FAQ (or any other tightly-written guide to the basics) is what I am after in pushing this little envelope. Call me crazy, just don't call me Scriv. [laugh]
 
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