How to handle a delayed transfer in Mass?

Brewer

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Have I offered correct and complete advice on this transfer?

I've got a (licensed) friend in Mass who has a .22 rifle, gifted from older man who had it since childhood -- very old piece. They were unaware of EFA-10 requirements. Curiously, a local LEO recently told him registration was unnecessary since it was a personal transfer.

My response:
  • Sadly LEOs often don't know the laws.
  • In Mass, any firearm must be registered to a license holder and at all times either stored in accordance with regulations or under direct control of the owner.
    • If you buy a firearm from a dealer, they immediately file a form EFA-10 with the state to register the transfer, ensure the person is licensed, and not otherwise prohibited.
    • If you buy from a private individual, they must file the EFA-10.
    • If you manufacture a firearm from parts, you have seven days to file it. Essentially a transfer to yourself from no one.
    • If you move to the state, you have either 7 or 30 days (I can’t remember which) to register any firearms.
  • The distinction of private sale vs dealer that LEO referred to only counts for some firearms that are restricted from dealer sale (circumvented by construction or personal transfer, but still requiring registration).
  • If that rifle is ever discovered by law enforcement, they will check the history via EFA-10, find there is none for him, and charge him with felony possession of an unregistered firearm. Challenging the sentence will likely cost $10k minimum.
  • Best bet is to just register it with today’s date as the date of transfer since no one knows any different. He'll need to meet up with the person who gifted so he can use his license number and state firearms PIN for the EFA-10.
  • Provided him links to state portal and MGL c. 140, §§128A and 128B.
My friend then tells me the prior owner is deceased. Well crap. So am I correct saying these are his only options?
  1. Register it as a transfer to self as if he had constructed it.
  2. Keep it quietly (risking felony, jail time, and losing his license to practice medicine).
  3. Take it to a gun buyback for a Walmart gift card to spend on video games.
 
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Also - is it possible your friend acquired said rifle as a parts lot including a serialized receiver (but not a firearm, capable of discharging a shot per MGL) and within 7 days of assembling said collection of parts into a firearm (as defined by MGL) which was rather recent, he then filed an EFA10?

Or - is your friend older, and received the rifle YEARS ago via paper FA10, like in the early 90s or 80s or 70s, before all the chaos with paper records storage etc, and that he's quite sure he filled one out back then? Why don't you look it up, EOPS? I remember it like it was yesterday... probably.
 

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You are significantly off base in a few key areas.
If you move to the state, you have either 7 or 30 days (I can’t remember which) to register any firearms.
NO you don't. You NEVER have to register it. As an expert witness, I blew an ADA out of the water on this charge.

If that rifle is ever discovered by law enforcement, they will check the history via EFA-10, find there is none for him, and charge him with felony possession of an unregistered firearm. Challenging the sentence will likely cost $10k minimum.
Maybe they charge him for this non-crime, but my rates are quite reasonable and won't cost him but a small fraction of that amount. Possesion of an "unregistered gun" is NOT a crime in MGL even if the police/media make it sound like it should be.

  1. Register it as a transfer to self as if he had constructed it.
  2. Keep it quietly (risking felony, jail time, and losing his license to practice medicine).
  3. Take it to a gun buyback for a Walmart gift card to spend on video games.

1. This would be perjury which is a serious crime if ever found out.
2. Illegal and dumb.
3. Totally unnecessary.

Legal way would be for him to bring it to a MA Dealer and have the dealer do a transfer to him. That's all nice and legal. If the gifter were still alive, the two of them together could have done this if the gifter no longer had a valid LTC.
 

MisterHappy

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Burden was in the giver to report the transfer. Recipient had and has no duty to report.

There is no statute prohibiting possession of an unregistered firearm.

There is a fine for failing to report a transfer.

Since the burden is on the seller/donor to report, the fine would be directed at the seller/donor, yes? And if they're dead..?
 

AHM

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I've got a (licensed) friend in Mass who has a .22 rifle, gifted from older man who had it since childhood -- very old piece.
The above answers depend upon knowing the answers to the questions:
  1. Where did the older man reside at the time of the gift?
  2. Where did the friend reside at the times of the gift?
Which maybe you shouldn't answer here.

But if the old-timer lived out of state when he gave it to the friend,
and the friend lived out of state,
and the friend only subsequently moved into the state after owning the gun,
then he has nothing to declare to Mass,
because he moved into state with a gun he already owned.
(Which was alluded to above).

On the other hand,
if the old-timer lived out of state when he gave it to the friend,
and the friend lived in Mass,
then it was the friend's responsibility to register the transfer.

Curiously, a local LEO recently told him registration was unnecessary since it was a personal transfer.
Your "licensed friend" needs to learn to stop running his mouth
before he becomes your unlicensed friend.
 

Brewer

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  1. Register it as a transfer to self as if he had constructed it.
  2. Keep it quietly (risking felony, jail time, and losing his license to practice medicine).
  3. Take it to a gun buyback for a Walmart gift card to spend on video games.
1. This would be perjury which is a serious crime if ever found out.
2. Illegal and dumb.
3. Totally unnecessary.

To clarify for my friend whom I sent this thread, my list of options included a heavy dose of sarcasm (not seriously advising what I thought was a felony) and citing another NESer’s gun buyback rationale. Here’s some entertainment.

 

Len-2A Training

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On the other hand,
if the old-timer lived out of state when he gave it to the friend,
and the friend lived in Mass,
then it was the friend's responsibility to register the transfer.
Ah, no. That is called a Federal Felony if it didn't involve a FFL.
 

AHM

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Ah, no. That is called a Federal Felony if it didn't involve a FFL.
Longarm?

Ah, right. Sorry about that. Dammit. I'm doing good at doing bad about that.

It's the situation that if the FFL was on the out-of-state end
(which ain't OP's case),
then the buyer must file an EFA-10 in Mass within 7 days.


Curiously, a local LEO recently told him registration was unnecessary since it was a personal transfer.
To clarify the Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt I'm spreading here:

Not saying the biggest risk is that some cop buddy of your buddy was trolling him,
and is just getting the warrants lined up for the SWAT raid.

A more plausible risk is that the LEO is shooting the breeze with his pals sometime down the road,
and the LEO only then learns of more cases when registration is necessary.

Then the LEO may decide that he has some unfinished business to attend to.
Especially if he admits to his buddies that he gave bad advice to a local: that they were good to go.
 
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Since you folks seem to "know your stuff", let me pose a question if I may. I own a (winter) home in FL. If I buy a handgun there (let's say a Glock), if/when I bring it back here, as long as I have only 10-round mags, is there anything that I have to do to make the gun legal in MA? I assume that I don't have to fill out any transfer papers since I bought the gun legally in FL, and completed all of their necessary paperwork.
 

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Since you folks seem to "know your stuff", let me pose a question if I may. I own a (winter) home in FL. If I buy a handgun there (let's say a Glock), if/when I bring it back here, as long as I have only 10-round mags, is there anything that I have to do to make the gun legal in MA? I assume that I don't have to fill out any transfer papers since I bought the gun legally in FL, and completed all of their necessary paperwork.
Only eFA-10 as registration once it is in MA.
 
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But I would have filled out an EFA-10 in FL, right? So, would I have to file another one here, or would the FL one suffice?
 
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