IMPROPER STORAGE OF

Firearm In Massachusetts

Pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 140 Section 131L:

“It shall be unlawful to store or keep any firearm, rifle or shotgun including, but not limited to, large capacity weapons, or machine gun in any place unless such weapon is secured in a locked container or equipped with a tamper-resistant mechanical lock or other safety device, properly engaged so as to render such weapon inoperable by any person other than the owner or other lawfully authorized user. For purposes of this section, such weapon shall not be deemed stored or kept if carried by or under the control of the owner or other lawfully authorized user.”

Elements of Improper Storage of Firearm in Massachusetts

In order to prove a defendant is guilty of Improper Storage of Firearm, the prosecution must prove the following beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. The item in question meets the legal definition of a firearm, rifle, or shotgun in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts;>
  2. The defendant knowingly kept or stored the firearm, rifle, or shotgun; and
  3. The firearm, rifle, or shotgun was not secured (when stored or kept).

Important Facts

  • A firearm, rifle, shotgun, is not kept or stored when it is carried by the defendant or under his/her immediate control.
    – A firearm, rifle, or shotgun is carried when there is actual physical possession of it.
    – To be under one’s immediate control, the individual must be close enough to the firearm, rifle, or shotgun to immediately prevent its unauthorized use.
  • A firearm is not secured when it is accessible to a person not authorized by law.
  • For a firearm to be properly secured, it must be stored in a locked container or have an engaged tamper-resistant mechanical lock or other safety device.
  • A safety device is properly engaged when it renders the firearm, rifle, or shotgun inoperable by anyone other than the owner or other lawfully authorized user.

See https://www.mass.gov/doc/7630-improper-storage-of-a-firearm/download.

Penalties

In cases involving a firearm, rifle, or shotgun that is not a large capacity weapon, the maximum penalty is 18 months imprisonment and fine of up to $7500, or both

Misdemeanor

In cases involving a large capacity weapon or machine gun, the maximum penalty is imprisonment of up to 12 years and a fine of up to $15,000, including a mandatory minimum of 18 months imprisonment, or both.

Felony

In cases involving a rifle or shotgun that is not a large capacity weapon and stored or kept in a place where a person under 18 years of age who does not possess a valid firearm identification (FID) card may have access without committing an unforeseeable trespass, a violation is punishable by a fine not less than $2500 and not more than $7500 or imprisonment up to 12 years, including a mandatory minimum of 18 months, or both.

Felony

In cases involving a rifle or shotgun that is not a large capacity weapon and stored or kept in a place where a person under 18 years of age who does not possess a valid firearm identification (FID) card may have access without committing an unforeseeable trespass, a violation is punishable by a fine not less than $2500 and not more than $7500 or imprisonment up to 12 years, including a mandatory minimum of 18 months, or both.

Felony

Contact attorney Anthony Riccio for improper storage of a firearm in MA

With such serious penalties attached to firearm charges in the Commonwealth, it is important to have a knowledgeable Massachusetts gun crimes lawyer on your side. Founder and Lead Attorney Anthony R. Riccio is a former state prosecutor and experienced Massachusetts criminal defense attorney who represents individuals on gun and firearm charges throughout the state. Contact Riccio Law, LLC at (508) 226-4500 or here if you have been charged with Improper Storage of a Firearm or any other gun or firearm charge in Massachusetts.