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MA Firearms Definition

Discussion in 'Massachusetts Laws' started by waltherlover, Nov 8, 2010.

  1. waltherlover

    waltherlover

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    I know this has been dealt with a million different ways. But I just wanted some clarification. MGLs say that a firearm is something that is capable of firing a bullet.

    If you had a handgun that had everything except a hammer, by MA definitions, would that be considered a firearm? If not, could someone without a permit be in possession of it? Federally I realize that the receiver defines the handgun, but it gets a little odd with MA laws.

    I also realize that although by the letter of the law it might be legal, that it wouldn't prevent an LEO from arresting someone for possession without a license - mistakenly.

    Thanks.
     
  2. MACGYVR

    MACGYVR Guest

    a handgun functional or not its still a firearm for possession purposes and will get you a ticket to meet bubba and his friends and usually a front page gun story in the paper.

    To clarify, a LEO will not care if working or not, its still a gun and will still be met with the appropriate response.
    They deal with this every day. Alot of the guns they take off the gang members are pieces of junk and they still charge them with gun crimes.

    Put simply its a dumb thing to do. If you are carry a gun you better make sure it works because if you draw it to threaten you may just be met with the same threat in response, but that one will actually fire.

    I am sure one of the legal gurus will be along to tear my post apart on grey areas and technicalities.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2010
  3. waltherlover

    waltherlover

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    This was more a hypothetical. Obviously any gun you carry you would want to very good working order. I was more interested in chasing the technicalities of the law.

    Eric
     
  4. OnTheRoad

    OnTheRoad NES Member

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    Good luck pinning down the gray technicalities of law. If it looks like a gun by the side of the road, expect it to be treated like a gun. Whether it fits a legal definition comes later in the process. Depending on what needs to be done to make it operable, it may or may not be defined as a "firearm" when court time rolls around and you're already out a few thousand bucks. The question essentially is "how easily can it be made operational?" For example, if it has no firing pin but can be made to fire - just once - by putting a common wire brad between the hammer and primer it will be considered a firearm. If the trigger is messed up but you can make it fire by wrapping a rubber band around the back of the hammer and thumbing it, it's a firearm.

    Remember, this is the same state that considers a spent .308 casing "ammo".
     
  5. mac1911

    mac1911 NES Member

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    It would br nice if the laws and definitions where clear and out right.

    I notice when reading through MGLs this phrase is present a lot firearms, and/ or rifle and shotguns.....no mention of handgun. I assume handgun comes in anything other than a rifle or shotgun.
     
  6. KMaurer

    KMaurer Moderator NES Member

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    There is case law here. Some prohibited jerk was arrested for carrying a handgun with (IIRC) a broken firing pin. The court ruled that it was still a firearm under the definition as long as it could easily be restored to firing condition by simply replacing a readily available part.

    Ken
     
  7. hicksonj

    hicksonj

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    US v Alverson 441 F. 3d 416. Not binding authority, but in MA it might as well be. It also addresses NFA items (more specifically cut-up M-14 receivers - MGs).
     
  8. waltherlover

    waltherlover

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    Did I mention how much I am annoyed by the way the laws are written here? Of course, I know I am far from alone. I have Glidden's book coming this week - 477 pages of interpretation of something that should be so simple.

    If they set the standard as an operable firearm - they should use that as the standard. I draw this from the concept where when someone is building an AR-15, they don't need to register it until it is able to file a bullet.

    Thanks for you insight everyone - it seems like we're stuck in the quagmire of contradictory laws again. Yay!
     
  9. AHM

    AHM NES Member

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  10. milktree

    milktree NES Member

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    Wow, by that definition, every AR is a machine gun.
     
  11. JRT

    JRT NES Member

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    Two 2010 necromancer threads in two days. Somebody is really missing those heady 2010 days.
     
  12. SgtHal75

    SgtHal75 NES Member

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    I still don’t know what you’re trying to accomplish here??? A Striker fired handgun doesn’t have a hammer, are you referring to this?? If not are you worried about being stopped without an LTC in mass and having a complete handgun like a 1911 on you with everything but a hammer in it??? In MA, if I didn’t have an LTC I wouldn’t even be in possession of a red dot optic Let alone a complete handgun with a missing part.
     
    AHM likes this.
  13. AHM

    AHM NES Member

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    I was thinking that you could fire a gun like that
    by tapping the breech end of the firing pin.

    Be smart to keep the safety engaged so that the slide stays in battery,
    instead of recoiling and ripping your hand up...
     

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