20 Nov The Top Four Myths About Owning a Gun in Massachusetts
Time to Clear Up Some Misconceptions…
When we teach our MA Firearms Safety Courses we get the pleasure of hearing quite a few interesting opinions on what you can and cannot do with a gun in Massachusetts. Some are valid… others, not so much.
So… We decided to compile the Top Four Myths About Owning a Gun in Massachusetts!
Myth #1: You Have to Store Your Gun and Ammo Separately in Your Home
I ask every single class this question: Can you leave a loaded handgun in a safe? We usually get a varied range of responses, with some folks suggesting that you keep your ammo and gun separate even when locked in a secure container. I attribute this to a processing error when people read that “a firearm must be secured with a trigger lock or cable lock device, or in a safe or locked container” as people tend to tune out once they think that they have read the complete sentence.
No… you don’t have to lock your gun up after you disassemble it, take your ammo to your neighbor’s house, and hide your firing pin. Simply stage your gun for its intended purpose. My home defense pistols are staged just for that. Loaded in condition one and staged for home defense.
Myth #2: If You Defend Yourself With Your Firearm You WILL Get Arrested.
I’m going to put this one as “depends.” There are a lot of factors that come in to play when you defend yourself with a firearm. First and foremost, you have to know the laws that are specific to your state. For instance if you say Castle Doctrine in Texas, it means a completely different thing than it does in Massachusetts.
The bottom line is you have to educate yourself on the appropriate use of force rules for your state. The best way to do that is to take a Use of Force class such as our Use of Force | Home Defense | Concealed Carry Class which will teach you all you need to know about using lethal force to protect yourself and your loved ones. Remember: your goals should be staying alive, and staying out of jail.
Myth #3: You Can’t Open Carry in Massachusetts. Ever. Period. End of Story.
Nope again. In fact, in 2013 the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts actually ruled in our favor in the case of FRB v. Simkin. In this case Mr. Simkin was at a medical appointment during which one of the technicians became scared of his lawfully carried firearm, which he disclosed prior to disrobing. Check out what the SJC said:
…we suspect that the average Massachusetts resident may become “alarmed” on learning that someone other than a law enforcement officer is carrying concealed weapons in his or her presence. However, Simkin is not responsible for alarm caused to others by his mere carrying of concealed weapons pursuant to a license permitting him to do exactly that. Although the bureau claims that Simkin “went out of his way to show and inform certain staff members that he was ․ armed,” the record indicates otherwise. Simkin concealed his weapons until he was in the examination room and was about to disrobe, at which time he notified the medical assistant that he was carrying concealed weapons and was going to secure them, presumably so that she would not be alarmed. Further, he had disclosed the fact that he was armed immediately prior to disrobing during a previous visit to the same medical office, albeit to a different practitioner, and had received no objection to his behavior either during or after the visit. – See more at: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/ma-supreme-judicial-court/1641408.html
While it is not prudent to openly carry a firearm in Massachusetts, or anywhere you can lawfully conceal it for that matter, you certainly can.
That being said… conceal your shootin’ irons. Please. It will scare the sheep otherwise.
Myth #4: You Can’t Buy Ammunition Online and Have it Sent To Massachusetts.
Ha…. My UPS and Fedex delivery drivers will tell you differently based on the amount of ordnance that shows up at my door on the regular.
Repeat after me: There is no law that prohibits buying ammo online and having it sent to a duly licensed person in Massachusetts.
Some vendors have made the decision not to sell to persons in Massachusetts due to previous Attorneys General bringing suits against them for selling the ammo to MA residents. Which was bovine excrement. To my knowledge this hasn’t happened recently.
Do your research and find out which companies ship to MA.
Do you have any other myths you want debunked? Leave them in the comment box and let us know!