Massachusetts Legal Developments Blog

How to Store Your Firearm in Massachusetts Without Facing Charges

Sommerville law enforcement recently made multiple arrests following a shooting that occurred at a convenience store parking lot. Law enforcement executed a search warrant recently for a home in Dorchester and arrested both a 20-year-old and a juvenile for their participation in a shooting. Two additional men were also arrested during the search.  

Fortunately, no one was injured in the shooting. Stray bullets, however, broke several bedroom windows of girls who lived at the complex. The search warrant also resulted in the recovery of several firearms, including one that was fully automatic. Currently, each of the suspects faces multiple gun charges.

The Repercussions of Improper Firearm Storage 

If law enforcement decides to perform a search of your home in connection to your firearm, various charges can be brought against you for not properly storing your firearm. This can ultimately lead to a conviction that results in prison time and even the loss of the ability to obtain a license to have a firearm. 

For one reason, this is because Massachusetts law requires that if a person does not have the firearm immediately in his or her possession (meaning in the individual’s hands or close by where a person has immediate control over the firearm), the individual must appropriately store the firearm. The rationale behind this regulation is to ensure that firearms do not end up in the direct control of children or other people who might use the firearm to harm themselves or others. Not storing your firearm in accordance with this law can lead to a fine and even prison time.

The Two Lawful Ways to Store Firearms in Massachusetts

In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, individuals are supposed to store their firearms in one of two ways. First, a person might have a tamper-resistant mechanical device directly placed on the gun. This might be a trigger or cable lock or anything else that has a key and combination that prevents individuals who are not authorized to use the firearm from doing so. In Massachusetts, firearm dealers are supposed to inform people about this when they purchase a firearm. A person might also store a firearm in a locked container, which might be a safe, locked vehicle trunk, locked glove box, or lockbox.

This means that if your firearm is simply sitting in a drawer in your house, law enforcement will not view this as lawful storage. You can be found in violation of improper storage regardless of whether you live alone and have no children. Often, this also means that having your firearm in a locked room in the house is often not viewed as sufficient. These situations often revolved around whether the room is secured. Only if your firearm has a tamper-resistant device or is located in a qualifying locked container will it be viewed as properly stored.

Speak With a Firearm Charge Lawyer Today

Various valuable (but complex) regulations in Massachusetts address how people should handle firearms. If you or a loved one is charged with a firearm-related offense, you should not hesitate to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney. Contact Attorney Edward R Molari today for assistance.