1998/99 Updated
Massachusetts Firearms Law
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MASSACHUSETTS HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OVERVIEW AND POLICY OF GUN CONTROL LEGISLATION

Note: This document has been prepared by Representative Paul Casey, Chairman of the Committee on Public Safety.

Title: An Act Relative to Gun Control in the Commonwealth

Overview of Conference Report (enacted as Chapter 180 of the laws of 1998)

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BREAKDOWN—CARRYING FIREARM IN M/V

Chapter 140 § 131C has been amended to now read:

CARRYING A LOADED FIREARM IN A VEHICLE (CLASS A)

(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. Whoever violates the provisions of this subsection shall be punished by a fine of $500.

CARRYING A LOADED FIREARM IN A VEHICLE (CLASS B)

(b) No person carrying a firearm under a Class B license issued under section 131 or 131F shall possess the same in a vehicle unless such weapon is unloaded and contained within the locked trunk of such vehicle or in a locked case or other secure container. Whoever violates the provisions of this subsection shall be punished by a fine of $500.

LARGE CAPACITY WEAPON IN A VEHICLE

(c) No person possessing a large capacity rifle or shotgun under a Class A or Class B license issued under section 131 or 131F shall possess the same in a vehicle unless such weapon is unloaded and contained within the locked trunk of such vehicle or in a locked case or other secure container. Whoever violates the provisions of this subsection shall be punished by a fine of not less than $500 nor more than $5,000.

(d) The provisions of this section shall not apply to

(i) any officer, agent or employee of the commonwealth or any state or the United States;
(ii) any member of the military or other service of any state or of the United States;
(iii) any duly authorized law enforcement officer, agent or employee of any municipality of the commonwealth; provided, however, that any such person described in clauses (i) to (iii), inclusive, is authorized by a competent authority to carry or possess the weapon so carried or possessed and is acting within the scope of his duties.

REPORTS OF CONVICTIONS

(e) A conviction of a violation of this section shall be reported forthwith by the court or magistrate to the licensing authority who shall immediately revoke the card or license of the person so con-victed. No new such card or license may be issued to any such person until one year after the date of revocation.

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BREAKDOWN—SAFETY DEVICES: PENALTIES

Chapter 140 § 131K—Safety Devices—Civil Penalties and Liability

Any firearm or large capacity weapon, both as defined in section 121, sold within the common-wealth without a safety device designed to prevent the discharge of such weapon by unauthorized users and approved by the colonel of state police including, but not limited to, mechanical locks or devices designed to recognize and authorize, or otherwise allow the firearm to be discharged only by its owner or authorized user, by solenoid use-limitation devices, key activated or combination trigger or handle locks, radio frequency tags, automated fingerprint identification systems or voice recognition, provided, that such device is commercially available, shall be defective and the sale of such a weapon shall constitute a breach of warranty under section 2-314 of chapter 106 and an unfair or deceptive trade act or practice under section 2 of chapter 93A.

Any entity responsible for the manufacture, importation or sale as an inventory item or consumer good, both as defined in section 9-109 of chapter 106, of such a weapon that does not include or incorporate such a device shall be individually and jointly liable to any person who sustains personal injury or property damage resulting from the failure to include or incorporate such a device. If death results from such personal injury, such entities shall be liable in an amount including, but not limited to, that provided under chapter 229. Contributory or comparative negligence shall not be valid defenses to an action brought under this section in conjunction with section 2 of chapter 93A or section 2-314 of chapter 106 or both; provided, however, that nothing herein shall prohibit such liable parties from maintaining an action for indemnification or contribution against each other or against the lawful owner or other authorized user of said weapon. Any disclaimer, limit or waiver of the liability pro-vided under this section shall be void.

EXEMPTIONS: No entity responsible for the manufacture, importation or sale of such a weapon shall be liable to any person for injuries caused by the discharge of such weapon that does not include or incorporate a safety device as required under this section if such injuries were:

(i) self-inflicted, either intentionally or unintentionally, unless such injuries were self-inflicted by a person less than 18 years of age;
(ii) inflicted by the lawful owner or other authorized user of said weapon;
(iii) inflicted by any person in the lawful exercise of self-defense; or
(iv) inflicted upon a coconspirator in the commission of a crime.

This section shall not apply to any weapon distributed to an officer of any law enforcement agency or any member of the armed forces of the United States or the organized militia of the commonwealth; provided, however, that such person is authorized to acquire, possess or carry such a weapon for the lawful performance of his official duties; and provided further, that any such weapon so distributed is distributed solely for use in connection with such duties.

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BREAKDOWN—SECURITY OF WEAPONS: CRIMINAL

Chapter 140 § 131L—Weapons MUST Be Secured—Penalties

SECURITY (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 law-fully 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.

VIOLATION OF SECURITY (MISDEMEANOR OR FELONY)
(b) A violation of this section shall be punished:

i) in the case of a firearm, rifle or shotgun that is not a large capacity weapon, by a fine of not less than $500 nor more than $5,000 or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or by both such fine and imprisonment, and ii) in the case of a large capacity weapon or machine gun, by a fine of not less than $1,000 nor more than $10,000 or by imprisonment for not less than one year nor more than ten years, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

VIOLATION OF SECURITY (FELONY)
(c) A violation of this section shall be punished

i) in the case of a rifle or shotgun that is not a large capacity weapon and such weapon was stored or kept in a place where a person under the age of 18 who does not possess a valid firearm identification card issued under section 129B may have access without committing an unforesee-able trespass, by a fine of not less than $1,000 nor more than $10,000 or by imprisonment for not less than one year nor more than ten years, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

VIOLATION OF SECURITY (FELONY)
(d) A violation of this section shall be punished:

ii) in the case of a rifle or shotgun that is a large capacity weapon, firearm or machine gun was stored or kept in a place where a person under the age of 18 may have access, without committing an unforeseeable trespass, by a fine of not less than $5,000 nor more than $10,000 or by imprison-ment for not less than two and one-half years, nor more than ten years, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

EVIDENCE OF WANTON AND RECKLESS CONDUCT (MANSLAUGHTER)
(e) A violation of the provisions of this section shall be evidence of wanton or reckless conduct in any criminal or civil proceeding if a person under the age of 18 who was not a trespasser or was a foreseeable trespasser acquired access to a weapon, unless such person possessed a valid firearm identification card issued under section 129B and was permitted by law to possess such weapon, and such access results in the personal injury to or the death of any person.

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BREAKDOWN—ASSAULT WEAPONS SALES

Chapter 140 § 131M—Assault Weapon Sales

No person shall sell, offer for sale, transfer or possess an assault weapon or a large capacity feeding device that was not otherwise lawfully possessed on September 13, 1994.

PENALTY: Whoever not being licensed under the provisions of section 122 vio-lates the provisions of this section shall be punished, for a first offense, by a fine of not less than $1,000 nor more than $10,000 or by imprisonment for not less than one year nor more than ten years, or by both such fine and imprisonment, and for a second offense, by a fine of not less than $5,000 nor more than $15,000 or by im-prisonment for not less than five years nor more than 15 years, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

The provisions of this section shall not apply to:

(i) the possession by a law enforcement officer for purposes of law enforcement; or
(ii) the possession by an individual who is retired from service with a law enforcement agency and is not otherwise prohibited from receiving such a weapon or feeding device from such agency upon retirement.

BREAKDOWN—DISGUISED FIRERARMS

Chapter 140 § 131N—Disguised Firearms—POSSESSION, ETC.

No person shall sell, offer for sale, transfer or possess any weapon, capable of discharging a bullet or shot, that is:

(i) constructed in a shape that does not resemble a handgun, short-barreled rifle or short-barreled shotgun including, but not limited to, covert weapons that resemble key-chains, pens, cigarette-lighters or cigarette-packages; or
(ii) not detectable as a weapon or potential weapon by x-ray machines commonly used at airports or walk- through metal detectors.

FELONY: Whoever violates the provisions of this section shall be punished, for a first offense, by a fine of not less than $1,000 nor more than $10,000 or by imprisonment for not less than one year nor more than ten years, or by both such fine and imprisonment, and for a second offense, by a fine of not less than $5,000 nor more than $15,000 or by imprisonment for not less than five years nor more than 15 years, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

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BREAKDOWN—STATEWIDE SURRENDER PROGRAM

Chapter 140 § 131O—Statewide Firearms Surrender Program

Notwithstanding any general or special law, rule or regulation to the contrary, the colonel of state police, in conjunction with the secretary of the executive office of public safety, shall promulgate rules and regulations implementing a statewide firearms surrender program.

NO ID REQUEST AND MANDATORY IMMUNITY: In conjunction with this program only, any citizen of the commonwealth who complies with the policies set forth by the colonel shall not be asked for identification and shall be immune from prosecution for possession of such firearm.
MUST BE COMPLIANCE: Nothing herein shall prohibit the prosecution of any person for the unlawful possession of a firearm who is not in compliance with the conditions and procedures established by the colonel
OTHER CRIMINAL ACTIONS PROSECUTABLE: Nothing herein shall pro-hibit the prosecution of any person for any other offense committed within the commonwealth.
RETURN TO OWNER: Any firearm surrendered in accordance with the provi-sions of this program that is reported stolen shall be returned to its lawful owner; provided, however, that any firearm suspected to be evidence in a crime shall remain in the custody and control of the department of state police in the same manner as any other such firearm lawfully seized by the department of state police.
TEST FIRE: The department of state police may test-fire and preserve any and all firearms voluntarily surrendered.
DISPOSITION: All weapons that have been voluntarily surrendered that are not suspected to be evidence of criminal activity and have not been reported stolen shall be disposed of in accordance with procedures established by the colonel.

BREAKDOWN—BASIC FIREARMS SAFETY COURSE

Chapter 140 § 131P—Completion of Basic Firearms Safety Course

(a) Any person making application for the issuance of a firearms identification card under section 129B, a Class A or Class B license to carry firearms under section 131 or 131F, or a permit to purchase under section 131A, who was not licensed under the provisions of this chapter on June 1, 1998, shall, in addition to the requirements set forth in said sections 129B, 131, 131A or 131F submit to the licensing authority a basic firearms safety certificate

CERTIFICATE BY DIVISION OF FISHERIES: A certificate issued by the division of fisheries and wildlife pursuant to the provisions of section 14 of chapter 131, evidencing satisfactory completion of a hunting safety course, shall serve as a valid substitute for a basic firearms safety certificate required under this section

FID FOR MACE ONLY EXEMPTED: provided further, that any applicant for a firearm identification card for the sole purpose of purchasing or possessing chemical mace, pepper spray or other similarly propelled liquid, gas or powder designed to temporarily incapacitate shall not be required to complete any basic firearms safety course as a prerequisite for receiving such card.

FURTHER EXEMPTIONS: Persons lawfully possessing a firearm identification card or license to carry firearms on June 1, 1998 shall be exempt from the provisions of this section upon expiration of such card or license and when applying for licensure as required under this chapter.

ATTACHMENT: No application for the issuance of a firearm identification card

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or license to carry shall be accepted or processed by the licensing authority without such certificate attached thereto; provided, however, that the provisions of this section shall not apply to

(i) any officer, agent or employee of the commonwealth or any state of the United States;
(ii) any member of the military or other service of any state or of the United States;
(iii) any duly authorized law enforcement officer, agent or employee of any municipality of the commonwealth; provided, however, that any such person described in clauses (i) to (iii), inclusive, is authorized by a competent authority to carry or possess the weapon so carried or possessed and is acting within the scope of his duties.

(b) The colonel of state police shall promulgate rules and regulations governing the issuance and form of basic firearms safety certificates required by this section.

CERTIFICATION: Said colonel shall certify certain persons as firearms safety instructors and shall certify safety course curriculum.
TEN YEAR CERTIFICATION PERIOD: Such certification shall be for a period of ten years, unless sooner revoked by reason of unsuitability, in the discretion of said colonel.
FEES IMPOSED: The department of state police may impose a fee of $50 for initial issuance of such certification to offset the cost of certifying instructors. The fee for certification renewal shall be $10.
FIREARMS SAFETY INSTRUCTOR: Firearms safety instructors shall be any person certified by a nationally recognized organization that fosters safety in firearms, or any other person in the discretion of said colonel, to be competent to give instruction in a basic firearms safety course.
APPLICANTS NOT EXEMPT: Applicants for certification as instructors under the provisions of this section shall not be exempt from the requirements of this chapter or any other law or regulation of the commonwealth or the United States. CURRICULUM: Upon application to the colonel of state police, said colonel may, in his discretion, certify as a firearms safety instructor any person who operates a firearms safety course or program which provides in its curriculum:

(a) the safe use, handling and storage of firearms;
(b) methods for securing and childproofing firearms;
(c) the applicable laws relating to the possession, transportation and storage of firearms; and
(d) knowledge of operation, potential dangers and basic competency in the ownership and usage of firearms

(c) Any firearms safety instructor certified under the provisions of this section may, in his discretion, issue a basic firearms safety certificate to any person who successfully completes the requirements of a basic firearms safety course approved by the colonel.

FAILURES: No firearms safety instructor shall issue or cause to be issued any basic firearms safety certificate to any person who fails to meet minimum requirements of the prescribed course of study including, but not limited to, demonstrated competency in the use of firearms.

INFO FORWARDED TO SP: Instructors certified under the provisions of this section shall forward to the department of state police the names of those persons who have received basic firearms safety certificates.

LOCAL INQUIRY WITH SP: Local licensing authorities, as defined in section 121, shall, upon receipt of an application for a firearm identification card or a Class A or Class B license to carry firearms, make inquiry to the department of state police to confirm the issuance to the applicant of a basic firearms safety certificate.

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(d) Any person applying for licensure under the provisions of this chapter who knowingly files submits a basic firearms safety certificate to a licensing authority which contains false information shall be punished by a fine of not less that $1,000 nor more than $5,000 or by imprisonment for not more than two years in a house of correction, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

(e) Any firearms safety instructor who knowingly issues a basic firearms safety certificate to person who has not successfully completed a firearms safety course approved by the colonel shall punished by a fine of not less than $5,000 nor more than $10,000 or by imprisonment for not more than two years in a house of correction, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

BREAKDOWN—STORING FIREARMS SEIZED (209A)

Chapter 209A § 3B is hereby amended by adding the following words—

“and, said law enforcement official may store, transfer or otherwise dispose of any such weapon in accordance with the provisions of section 129D of chapter 140; provided however, that nothing herein shall authorize the transfer of any weapons surrendered by the defendant to anyone other than a licensed dealer.”

BREAKDOWN—CONTINUED 209A ORDERS

Chapter 209A § 3C is hereby amended and now reads:

“Upon the continuation or modification of an order issued pursuant to section 4 or upon petition for review as described in section 3B, the court shall also order or continue to order the immediate suspension and surrender of a defendant’s license to carry firearms, including a Class A or Class B license, and firearms identification card and the surrender of all firearms, rifles, shotguns, machine guns or ammunition which such defendant then controls, owns or possesses if the court makes a determination that the return of such license to carry firearms, including a Class A or Class B license, and firearm identification card or firearms, rifles, shotguns, machine guns or ammunition presents a likelihood of abuse to the plaintiff. A suspension and surrender order issued pursuant to this section shall continue so long as the restraining order to which it relates is in effect; and, any law enforcement official to whom such weapon is surrendered may store, transfer or otherwise dispose of any such weapon in accordance with the provisions of section 129D of chapter 140; provided, however, that nothing herein shall authorize the transfer of any weapons surrendered by the defendant to anyone other than a licensed dealer. Any violation of such order shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000 or by imprisonment for not more than two and one-half years in a house of correction or by both such fine and imprisonment.”

BREAKDOWN—ARMED ROBBERY UPDATE

Chapter 265 § 17 (armed robbery) is hereby amended by adding the following two sentences:

“Whoever commits any offense described herein while armed with a firearm, shotgun, rifle, machine gun or assault weapon shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not less than five years. Any person who commits a subsequent offense while armed with a firearm, shotgun, rifle, machine gun or assault weapon shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not less than 15 years.”

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BREAKDOWN—ASSAULT W/INTENT TO ROB UPDATE

Chapter 265 § 18 (assault with intent to rob or murder while armed) is hereby amended by adding the following:

The first paragraph of subsection (a) of section 18 of said chapter 265, as so appearing, is hereby amended by adding the following sentence:

Whoever commits any offense described herein while armed with a firearm, shotgun, rifle, machine gun or assault weapon shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not less than ten years.

The second paragraph of said subsection (a) of said section 18 of said chapter 265, as so appearing, is hereby amended by adding the following sentence:

Whoever, after having been convicted of the crime of assault upon a person 60 years or older with intent to rob or murder while armed with a firearm, shotgun, rifle, machine gun or assault weapon commits a second or subsequent such crime shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not less than 20 years.

Subsection (b) of said section 18 of said chapter 265, as so appearing, is hereby amended by adding the following sentence:

Whoever, being armed with a firearm, shotgun, rifle, machine gun or assault weapon assaults another with intent to rob or murder shall be punished by imprisonment in state prison for not less than five years and not more than 20 years.

BREAKDOWN—ASSAULT IN DWELLING UPDATE

Chapter 265 § 18A (armed assualt in a dwelling) is hereby amended by adding the following:

“Whoever, being armed with a dangerous weapon defined as a firearm, shotgun, rifle or assault weapon, enters a dwelling house and while therein assaults another with intent to commit a felony shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for a term of not less than ten years. Such person shall not be eligible for parole prior to the expiration of ten years.”

BREAKDOWN—FIREARM IN COMMISSION OF FELONY

Chapter 265 § 18B (use of a firearm while in the commission of a felony) is hereby amended and now reads:

“Whoever, while in the commission of or the attempted commission of an offense which may be punished by imprisonment in the state prison, has in his possession or under his control a firearm, rifle or shotgun shall, in addition to the penalty for such offense, be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not less than five years; provided, however, that if such firearm, rifle or shotgun is a large capacity weapon, as defined in section 121 of chapter 140, or if such person, while in the commission or attempted commission of such offense, has in his possession or under his control a machine gun, as defined in said section 121, such person shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not less than ten years. Whoever has committed an offense which may be punished by imprisonment in the state prison and had in his possession or under his control a firearm, rifle or shotgun including, but not limited to, a large capacity weapon or machine gun and who thereafter, while in the com-mission or the attempted commission of a second or subsequent offense which may

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be punished by imprisonment in the state prison, has in his possession or under his control a firearm, rifle or shotgun shall, in addition to the penalty for such offense, be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not less than 20 years; provided, however, that if such firearm, rifle or shotgun is a large capacity semiauto-matic weapon or if such person, while in the commission or attempted commission of such offense, has in his possession or under his control a machine gun, such person shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not less than 25 years.

“A sentence imposed under this section for a second or subsequent offense shall not be reduced nor suspended, nor shall any person convicted under this section be eligible for probation, parole, furlough or work release or receive any deduction from his sentence for good conduct until he shall have served the minimum term of such additional sentence; provided, however, that the commissioner of correction may, on the recommendation of the warden, superintendent or other person in charge of a correctional institution or the administrator of a county correctional institution, grant to such offender a temporary release in the custody of an officer of such insti-tution for the following purposes only: (i) to attend the funeral of a spouse or next of kin; (ii) to visit a critically ill close relative or spouse; or (iii) to obtain emergency medical services unavailable at such institution. Prosecutions commenced under this section shall neither be continued without a finding nor placed on file. The provisions of section 87 of chapter 276 relative to the power of the court to place certain offenders on probation shall not apply to any person 17 years of age or over charged with a violation of this section.

BREAKDOWN—HOME INVASION UPDATE

Chapter 265 § 18C (home invasion) is hereby amended by adding the following:

“Whoever commits said crime while being armed with a firearm, shotgun, rifle, machinegun, or assault weapon shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for 20 years. Said sentence shall not be reduced to less than ten years nor shall the person convicted be eligible for probation, parole, furlough, work release or receive any deduction from his sentence for good conduct; provided however, that the commissioner of correction may, on the recommendation of the warden, superintendent or other person in charge of a correctional institution, or the administrator of a county correctional institution, grant to such offender a temporary release in the custody of an officer of such institution for the following purposes only: to attend the funeral of next of kin or spouse; to visit a critically ill close relative or spouse; or to obtain emergency medical services unavailable at such institution. The provisions of section 87 of chapter 276 relative to the power of the court to place certain offenders on probation shall not apply to any person 17 years of age or over charged with a violation of this subsection.”

BREAKDOWN—STEALING BY CONFINING, ETC.

Chapter 265 § 21 (stealing by confining and putting in fear) is hereby amended by adding the following:

“Whoever commits any offense described in this section while being armed with a firearm, rifle, shotgun, machine gun or assault weapon, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not less than five years in state prison.”

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BREAKDOWN—RAPE W/FIREARM, ETC.

Chapter 265 § 22 (rape) is hereby amended by inserting the following paragraph:--

“Whoever commits any offense described in this section while being armed with a firearm, rifle, shotgun, machine-gun or assault weapon, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not less than ten years. Whoever commits a second or subsequent such offense shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for life or for any term of years, but not less than 15 years.”

BREAKDOWN—RAPE OF CHILD W/FIREARM, ETC.

Chapter 265 § 22A (rape of a child with force) is hereby amended by adding the following paragraph:

“Whoever commits any offense described in this section while armed with a firearm, rifle, shotgun, machine gun or assault weapon shall be sentenced to the state prison for life or for any term of years, but not less than ten years. Whoever over the age of 18 commits a second or subsequent such offense shall be sentenced to the state prison for life or for any term of years, but not less than 20 years.”

BREAKDOWN—ASSAULT W/INT RAPE W/ FIREARM

Chapter 265 § 24 (assault with intent to commit rape), is hereby amended by adding the following:

“Whoever commits any offense described in this section while armed with a firearm, rifle, shotgun, machine gun or assault weapon shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not less than five years. Whoever commits a second or subsequent such offense shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for life or for any term of years, but not less than 20 years.”

BREAKDOWN—ASS. W/INT RAPE CHILD W/ FIREARM

Chapter 265 § 24B (assault with intent to commit rape of a child), is hereby amended by adding the following:

“Whoever commits any offense described in this section while being armed with a firearm, rifle, shotgun, machine gun or assault weapon shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for life or for any term of years, but not less than ten years. Whoever over the age of 18 commits a second or subsequent such offense shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for life or for any term of years, but not less than 15 years.”

BREAKDOWN—KIDNAPPING WITH A FIREARM, ETC.

Chapter 265 § 26 (kidnapping), is hereby amended by adding the following:

“Whoever commits any offense described in this section while armed with a firearm, rifle, shotgun, machine gun or assault weapon shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not less than ten years or in the house of correction for not more than two and one-half years. The provisions of the preceding sentence shall not apply to the parent of a child under 18 years of age who takes custody of such child. Whoever commits such offense described in this section while being armed with a firearm, rifle, shotgun, machine gun or assault weapon with the intent

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to extort money or other valuable thing thereby shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for life or for any term of years but not less than 20 years.

“Whoever commits any offense described in this section while armed with a dangerous weapon and inflicts serious bodily injury thereby upon another person or who sexually assaults such person shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not less than 25 years. For purposes of this paragraph the term “serious bodily injury” shall mean bodily injury which results in a permanent disfigurement, pro-tracted loss or impairment of a bodily function, limb or organ or substantial risk of death. For purposes of this paragraph, the term “sexual assault” shall mean the commission of any act set forth in sections 13B, 13F, 13H, 22, 22A, 23, 24 or 24B.”

BREAKDOWN—CIVIL RIGHTS VIOLATION W/FIREARM

Chapter 265 § 39 (assault and battery, race, religion, etc), is hereby amended by adding the following:

“Whoever commits any offense described in this subsection while armed with a firearm, rifle, shotgun, machine gun or assault weapon shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than ten years or in the house of correction for not more than two and one-half years.”

BREAKDOWN—ARMED BURGLARY W/FIREARM

Chapter 266 § 14 (armed burglary; assault on the occupant), is hereby amended by adding the following:

“Whoever commits any offense described in this section while armed with a fire-arm, rifle, shotgun, machine gun or assault weapon shall be punished by imprison-ment in the state prison for life or for any term of years, but not less than 15 years. Whoever commits a subsequent such offense shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for life or for any term of years, but not less than 20 years.”

BREAKDOWN—CERTAIN BREAKS W/FIREARM

Chapter 266 § 17 (entering w/o breaking nighttime or breaking and entering in the daytime a building), is hereby amended by adding the following:

“Whoever commits any offense described in this section while armed with a fire-arm, rifle, shotgun, machine gun or assault weapon shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not less than five years or in the house of correction for not more than two and one-half years.”

BREAKDOWN—CERTAIN BREAKS W/FIREARM

Chapter 266 § 18 (entering w/o breaking nighttime or breaking and entering in the daytime a dwelling, MV, etc.), is hereby amended by adding the following:

“Whoever commits any offense described in this section while armed with a fire-arm, rifle, shotgun, machine gun or assault weapon shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not less than five years or by imprisonment in the house of correction for not more than two and one-half years.”

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BREAKDOWN—UNLAWFUL POSSESSION UPDATE

Chapter 269 § 10 (h) (unlawful possession), now reads:

“(h) Whoever owns, possesses or transfers possession of a firearm, rifle, shotgun or ammunition without complying with the requirements relating to firearm identification cards as provided in section 129C of chapter 140 shall be punished by imprisonment in a jail or house of correction for not more than two years or by a fine of not more than $500. A second violation of this paragraph shall be punished by impris-onment in a jail or house of correction for not more than two years or by a fine of not more than $1,000 or both. A person committing a violation of this subsection may be arrested without a warrant by any officer authorized to make arrests.”

BREAKDOWN—ENHANCED PENALTIES

Chapter 269 § 10 is hereby further amended by adding the following subsection:

“(m) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (a) or (h), any person not exempted by statute who knowingly has in his possession, or knowingly has under his control in a vehicle, a large capacity weapon or large capacity feeding device therefor who does not possess a valid Class A or Class B license to carry firearms issued under section 131 or 131F of chapter 140, except as permitted or otherwise provided under this section or chapter 140, shall be punished by imprisonment in a state prison for not less than two and one-half years nor more than ten years.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The possession of a valid firearm identification card is-sued under section 129B shall not be a defense for a violation of this subsection.

ADDITIONAL NOTE: Any such person charged with violating this paragraph and holding a valid firearm identification card shall not be subject to any manda-tory minimum sentence imposed by this paragraph.

SENTENCE NOT LESS THAN ONE YEAR: The sentence imposed upon such person shall not be reduced to less than one year, nor suspended, nor shall any person convicted under this subsection be eligible for probation, parole, furlough, work release or receive any deduction from his sentence for good conduct until he shall have served such minimum term of such sentence; provided, however, that the commissioner of correction may, on the recommendation of the warden, superinten-dent or other person in charge of a correctional institution or the administrator of a county correctional institution, grant to such offender a temporary release in the custody of an officer of such institution for the following purposes only: (i) to attend the funeral of a spouse or next of kin; (ii) to visit a critically ill close relative or spouse; or (iii) to obtain emergency medical services unavailable at such institu-tion. Prosecutions commenced under this subsection shall neither be continued without a finding nor placed on file. The provisions of section 87 of chapter 276 relative to the power of the court to place certain offenders on probation shall not apply to any person 17 years of age or over charged with a violation of this section.

APPLICABILITY: The provisions of this paragraph shall not apply to the posses-sion of a large capacity weapon or large capacity feeding device by:

(i) any officer, agent or employee of the commonwealth or any other state or the United States, including any federal, state or local law enforcement personnel;
(ii) any member of the military or other service of any state or the United States;
(iii) any duly authorized law enforcement officer, agent or employee of any municipality of the commonwealth;

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(iv) any federal, state or local historical society, museum or institutional collection open to the public; provided, however, that any such person described in clauses (i) to (iii), inclusive, is authorized by a competent authority to acquire, possess or carry a large capacity semiautomatic weapon and is acting within the scope of his duties; or
(v) any gunsmith duly licensed under the applicable federal law.”

BREAKDOWN—ADDTIONAL SECTIONS ADDED

Chapter 269 is hereby further amended by inserting after section 10E the following three sections:

Chapter 269 § 10F Large Capacity Weapons or Large Capacity Feeding Devices

(a) Any person who sells, keeps for sale, or offers or exposes for sale, gives or otherwise transfers any large capacity weapon or large capacity feeding device, both as defined in section 121 of chapter 140, to a person 18 years of age or over, except as permitted under this section or chapter 140, shall be punished by imprisonment in a state prison for not less than two and one-half years nor more than ten years. Any person who commits a second or subsequent such crime shall be punished by imprisonment in a state prison for not less than five years nor more than 15 years. The sentence imposed upon such person shall not be reduced to less than two and one-half years for a first offense, nor less than five years for a second or subsequent such offense, nor suspended, nor shall any person convicted under this subsection be eligible for probation, parole, furlough, work release or receive any deduction from his sentence for good conduct until he shall have served such minimum term of such sentence; provided, however, that the commissioner of correction may, on the recommendation of the warden, superintendent or other person in charge of a correctional institution or the administrator of a county correctional institution, grant to such offender a temporary release in the custody of an officer of such institution for the following purposes only: (i) to attend the funeral of a spouse or next of kin; (ii) to visit a critically ill close relative or spouse; or (iii) to obtain emergency medical services unavailable at such institution. Prosecutions commenced under this sub-section shall neither be continued without a finding nor placed on file. The provi-sions of section 87 of chapter 276 relative to the power of the court to place certain offenders on probation shall not apply to any person 17 years of age or over charged with a violation of this subsection.

(b) Any person who transfers, sells, lends or gives a large capacity weapon or large capacity feeding device to a person under the age of 18, except as permitted under the provisions of chapter 140, shall be punished by imprisonment in a state prison for not less than five nor more than 15 years. The sentence imposed upon such person shall not be reduced to less than five years, nor suspended, nor shall any person convicted under this subsection be eligible for probation, parole, furlough, work release or receive any deduction from his sentence for good conduct until he has served five years of such sentence; provided, however, that the commissioner of corrections may, on the recommendation of the warden, superintendent or other person in charge of a correctional institution or the administrator of a county correc-tional institution, grant to such offender a temporary release in the custody of an officer of such institution for the following purposes only: (i) to attend the funeral of a spouse or next of kin; (ii) to visit a critically ill close relative or spouse; or (iii) to obtain emergency medical services unavailable at such institution. Prosecutions commenced under this subsection shall neither be continued without a finding nor placed on file. The provisions of section 87 of chapter 276 relative to the power of the court to place certain offenders on probation shall not apply to any person 17 years of age or over charged with a violation of this subsection.

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BREAKDOWN—ARMED CAREER CRIMINAL ACT

Chapter 269 § 10G Penalties—VIOLENT CRIME OR SERIOUS DRUG OFFENSE

(a) Whoever, having been previously convicted of a violent crime or of a serious drug offense, both as defined herein, violates the provisions of paragraph (a), (c) or (h) of section 10 shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not less than three years nor more than 15 years.

(b) Whoever, having been previously convicted of two violent crimes, or two serious drug offenses or one violent crime and one serious drug offense, arising from separate incidences, violates the provisions of said paragraph (a), (c) or (h) of said section 10 shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not less than ten years nor more than 15 years.

(c) Whoever, having been previously convicted of three violent crimes or three serious drug offenses, or any combination thereof totaling three, arising from separate incidences, violates the provisions of said paragraph (a), (c) or (h) of said section 10 shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not less than 15 years nor more than 20 years.

(d) The sentences imposed upon such persons shall not be reduced to less than the minimum, nor suspended, nor shall persons convicted under this section be eligible for probation, parole, furlough, work release or receive any deduction from such sentence for good conduct until such person shall have served the minimum number of years of such sentence; provided, however, that the commissioner of correction may, on the recommendation of the warden, superintendent or other person in charge of a correctional institution or the administrator of a county correctional institution, grant to such offender a temporary release in the custody of an officer of such institution for the following purposes only: (i) to attend the funeral of a spouse or next of kin; (ii) to visit a critically ill close relative or spouse; or (iii) to obtain emergency medical services unavailable at such institution. Prosecutions commenced under this section shall neither be continued without a finding nor placed on file. The provisions of section 87 of chapter 276 relative to the power of the court to place certain offenders on probation shall not apply to any person 17 years of age or over charged with a violation of this section.

(e) For the purposes of this section, “violent crime” shall have the meaning set forth in section 121 of chapter 140. For the purposes of this section, “serious drug offense” shall mean:

an offense under the federal Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. 801, et seq., the federal Controlled Substances Import and Export Act, 21 U.S.C. 951, et seq. or the federal Maritime Drug Law Enforcement Act, 46 U.S.C. App. 1901, et seq. for which a maximum term of imprisonment for ten years or more is prescribed by law, or

an offense under chapter 94C involving the manufacture, distribution or possession with intent to manufacture or distribute a controlled substance, as defined in section 1 of said chapter 94C, for which a maximum term of ten years or more is prescribed by law

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BREAKDOWN—CARRYING UNDER THE INFLUENCE

Chapter 269 § 10H Carrying a Firearm While Under the Influence of Liquor or Drugs

Whoever, having in effect a license to carry firearms issued under section 131 or 131F of chapter 140, carries on his person, or has under his control in a vehicle, a loaded firearm, as defined in section 121 of said chapter 140, while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or marijuana, narcotic drugs, depressants or stimulant substances, all as defined in section 1 of chapter 94C, or the vapors of glue shall be punished by a fine of not more than $5,000 or by imprisonment in the house of correction for not more than two and one-half years, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

BREAKDOWN—RIFLE OR SHOTGUN IN PUBLIC

Chapter 269 § 12D is hereby amended as follows:

“(a) No person shall carry on any public way a rifle or shotgun having cartridges or shells in either the magazine or chamber thereof, unless such person is engaged in hunting and is the holder of a valid license issued under sections 6 to 9, inclusive, or section 51 of chapter 131. Whoever violates this subsection shall be punished by a fine of not less than $500 nor more than $5,000 or by imprisonment in the house of correction for not more than two years, or by both such fine and imprisonment and may be arrested without a warrant

NOTE: If such rifle or shotgun is a large capacity weapon, as defined in section 121 of chapter 140, such person shall be punished by a fine of not less than $1,000 nor more than $10,000 or by imprisonment in the house of correction for not less than one year nor more than ten years, or by both such fine and imprisonment, and may be arrested without a warrant.

“(b) No person shall carry on any public way an unloaded rifle or shotgun, unless such person is engaged in hunting and is the holder of a valid license issued under sections 6 to 9, inclusive, or section 51 of chapter 131, or unless such rifle or shotgun is enclosed in a case. Whoever violates this subsection shall be punished by a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $1,000, and may be arrested without a warrant;

NOTE: If such unloaded rifle or shotgun is a large capacity weapon and is carried simultaneously with a fully or partially loaded large capacity feeding device, such person shall be punished by a fine of not less than $1,000 nor more than $10,000 or by imprisonment for not less than one year nor more than ten years, or by both such fine and imprisonment, and may be arrested without a warrant.”

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BREAKDOWN—EFFECTIVE DATES FOR LTCs & FIDs

Expiration Dates of Effective FIDs and LTCs

SECTION 73 of the Act states.

“(a) Notwithstanding the provisions of any general or special law, rule or regulation to the contrary, all firearm identification cards issued under section 129B of chapter 140 of the General Laws and all licenses to carry firearms issued under section 131 of said chapter 140 prior to the effective date of this act shall expire on the following schedule:

if a person’s anniversary of birth is between July 1 and December 31, inclusive, such card or license shall expire on the cardholder’s anniversary of birth in 1999;

if a person’s anniversary of birth is between January 1 and June 30, inclusive, such card or license shall expire on the holder’s anniversary of birth in 2000

LEAP YEAR: Any such card or license issued to an applicant born on February 29, for the pur-poses described herein, shall expire on March 1.

EXPIRATION OF FID OR LTC: Upon the expiration of such card or license, the cardholder shall apply for a new card under said section 129B or a Class A or Class B license under said section 131; provided, however, that any person who holds a license to carry firearms that is expired under the provisions herein shall receive an abatement against the required fee for the next license issued equal to $5 per full year remaining before the original expiration date of such license; provided further, that not more than $20 shall be deducted from such fee; and provided further, that the licensing authority shall retain 50 per cent of such fee; provided, however, that the remainder of such fee shall be deposited in the Firearms Record Keeping Fund, established under section 2SS of chapter 29.

ALREADY LAWFULLY POSSESSED FIDs DEEMED LTC: Any firearm identification card lawfully possessed on the effective date of this act by a person in lawful possession of a large capacity rifle or shotgun on the effective date of this act shall be deemed a Class B license to carry firearms for the purpose of possessing such rifle or shotgun, and any license to carry firearms law-fully possessed on the effective date of this act by a person in lawful possession of a large capacity firearm on the date of passage of this act shall be deemed a Class A license.

(b) Any person who lawfully owns a large capacity rifle, shotgun or ammunition feeding device, as defined in section 121 of said chapter 140, on the effective date of this act shall, unless such person transfers such rifle, shotgun and ammunition feeding device in accordance with the provisions of said chapter 140, apply for a Class A or Class B license under the provisions of said section 131 of said chapter 140.

SURRENDER WHERE LTC NOT ISSUED: Said Class A or Class B license may be issued in accordance with the provisions of said section 131; provided, however, that if such Class A or Class B license is not issued, all large capacity rifles, shotguns and ammunition feeding devices shall be surrendered in accordance with the provisions of section 129D of said chapter 140.

OBTAINING CERTAIN WEAPONS ON OR AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE: Any person who acquires ownership or possession of a large capacity rifle or shotgun or large capacity feeding device therefor on or after the effective date of this act shall hold a valid Class A or Class B license to carry firearms issued under said section 131.

(c) Any person who lawfully owns a rifle, shotgun, ammunition or ammunition feeding device that is not a large capacity rifle or shotgun or large capacity feeding device on the effective date of this

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act shall, unless such person transfers such rifle, shotgun, ammunition and ammunition feeding device in accordance with the provisions of said chapter 140, apply for a firearm identification card under the provisions of section 129B of said chapter 140.

SURRENDER OF WEAPONS WHERE FID NOT ISSUED: Unless such applicant is disqualified under the provisions of said section 129B, such card shall be issued; provided, however, that if such card may not be issued, all rifles, shotguns and ammunition and ammunition feeding devices shall be surrendered in accordance with the provisions of section 129D of said chapter 140. Nothing herein shall prohibit such person from applying for a Class A or Class B license to carry firearms pursuant to the provisions of said section 131 of said chapter 140.

(d) Any person who lawfully owns or possesses a large capacity firearm or ammunition feeding device, both as defined in section 121 of said chapter 140, on the effective date of this act shall, unless such person transfers such firearm and ammunition feeding device in accordance with the provisions of said chapter 140, apply for a Class A license under the provisions of section 131 of said chapter 140.

SURRENDER OF WEAPONS WHERE CLASS A LTC NOT ISSUED: Unless such applicant is disqualified under the provisions of said section 131, and if such large capacity firearm or feeding device was owned or possessed on the effective date of this act, such Class A license shall be issued; provided, however, that if such license may not be issued, all firearms, ammunition and ammunition feeding devices therefor shall be surrendered in accordance with the provisions of section 129D of said chapter 140.

(e) Any person who lawfully owns a firearm or ammunition feeding device therefor that is not a large capacity firearm or ammunition feeding device on the effective date of this act shall, unless such person transfers such firearm and ammunition feeding device in accordance with the provisions of said chapter 140, apply for a Class B license under the provisions of said section 131 of said chapter 140.

SURRENDER OF WEAPONS WHERE CLASS B LTC NOT ISSUED: Unless such applicant is disqualified under the provisions of said section 131, such Class B license shall be issued; provided, however, that if such license may not be issued, all firearms, ammunition and ammunition feeding devices therefor shall be surrendered in accordance with the provisions of section 129D of said chapter 140. Nothing herein shall prohibit such person from applying for a Class A license to carry firearms pursuant to the provisions of said section 131 of said chapter 140.

(f) Any person who lawfully owns or possesses a firearm or feeding device on the effective date of this act that was purchased with a permit issued under section 131A of said chapter 140 shall, unless such firearm and feeding device are transferred in accordance with the provisions of said chapter 140, apply for a firearm identification card under the provisions of section 129B of said chapter 140.

SURRENDER OF WEAPONS WHERE FID NOT ISSUED: Unless said applicant is disqualified under the provisions of said section 129B, such card shall be issued; provided, however, that if such card may not be issued, all firearms, ammunition and ammunition feeding devices therefor shall be surrendered in accordance with the provisions of section 129D of said chapter 140.

EXCEPTIONS: The requirements for obtaining a card under said section 129B shall not apply to such person that possesses valid proof of exemption under the provisions of section 129C of said chapter 140. Nothing herein shall pro-hibit such person from applying for a Class A of Class B license to carry fire-arms pursuant to the provisions of said section 131 of said chapter 140.

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(g) Any person who acquires ownership or possession of any weapon, ammunition or ammunition feeding device on or after the effective date of this act must possess the proper card, license, card and permit or proof of exemption and permit as provided under section 131E of said chapter 140.

(h) The secretary of the executive office of public safety shall promulgate regulations necessary to implement the provisions of this act, and shall ensure that notice be provided through the most effective means possible to each such cardholder and licensee of the upcoming expiration dates of such cards and licenses, and instructing such holders with regard to renewal procedures, entitlements and restrictions provided under this act including, but not limited to, entitlements and restric-tions relative to large capacity weapons and ammunition feeding devices.

(i) The executive director of the criminal history systems board shall develop a plan to provide licensing authorities with applications and renewal applications for firearm identification cards and Class A and Class B licenses to carry firearms at no cost and within a reasonable time. The secretary of the executive office of public safety shall submit such plan to the joint committee on public safety, the house and senate committees on ways and means and the clerks of the house and senate by March 15, 1999.

SECTION 80 of the Act states.

The provisions of clause (iv) of subsection (d) of section 131 of chapter 140 of the General Laws shall not apply to any person who is a lawful holder of a license to carry firearms on the effective date of this act for the purpose of possessing rifles, shotguns and firearms lawfully owned by such person on such effective date; provided, however, that nothing herein shall permit a rifle or shotgun, the possession of which requires a Class A or B license to carry firearms, or any firearm to be sold, leased, transferred or delivered to any person less than 21 years of age.

NOTE: The above addresses the change of the age from 18 to 21. The former c. 140 § 131 clause (iv) of subsection (d) stated that a person under the age of eighteen at the date of the application for a LTC would be rejected. The age has now been changed to 21.

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