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Transporting Handgun into MA or CT for Competitive Shooting Match.

Discussion in 'Pistol Competition' started by Airwolfe1, Mar 18, 2010.

  1. Scrivener

    Scrivener Banned

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    There are 2 states which have no such licensing system; VT and AK, in order of creation. It is my understanding that CHSB acknowledges that fact, primarily to accommodate our VT neighbors, by accepting a certification (for lack of a better term) from the COP of the person's town of residence, that there are no such convictions on the record.
     
  2. GSG

    GSG

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    If they're large capacity firearms, none of those guns are legal to possess in Mass. without a resident or non-resident LTC, even at a competition. Some Sigs aren't "large capacity" as defined in Mass. law, such as the single stack P220 .45 or the 9mm P225/P6, and a few of the Glocks aren't "large capacity," for instance the G36 (single stack .45 ACP) and the G37, G38 and G39 (.45 GAP models). However, all the rest of the Glocks are large capacity, even the subcompact ones, in Mass.

    Mass. laws are confusing, but the short answer is that the competition exemption in MGL 140-131G allows you to bring handguns into Mass., but they have to be "non-large capacity" such as single stack 1911 .45's, revolvers, and others. You must have some type of Massachusetts Class A LTC (resident or non-resident) to legally possess "large capacity" pistols in Mass., even if you don't have high cap mags with them.

    Actually, Alaska has a license to carry system, but it's optional (legal to carry without an LTC up there), and mostly used for reciprocity purposes. However, Wisconsin doesn't issue any kind of LTC, and while Illinois issues an Firearm Owner Identification Card, you can't carry a gun with it.
     
  3. GSG

    GSG

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  4. ScottS

    ScottS NES Member

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    I'm sorry, but I have to respectfully disagree with your interpretation of the MGL's. It runs counter to everything else posted on the subject, and counter to a straight reading of the competition exemption. In fact, the very paragraph you quoted says this:

    Clearly, those carrying at a qualifying competition are "exempted by statute," and specifically "as permitted or otherwise provided under this section or chapter 140," under which the competition exemption falls.

    To believe your read of the law means that the ESP and SSP divisions at every single IDPA match I've been to in MA, as well as every AR-type rifle course, is literally filled with out-of-state law-breakers.

    ETA: I'd like to ask one of our more experienced members--perhaps one of our lawyers--to weigh in on you interpretation to get a better perspective.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2010
  5. GSG

    GSG

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    I would be thrilled if I were wrong in the interpretation of this area of Mass. law. [grin] Plus, I'm human, so it's entirely possible that I am wrong. [laugh]

    I posted about this in post #26 of this thread as well. You mentioned the "exempted by statute" portion of MGL 269-10(m), but the only area where people are exempt by statute from the "large capacity" weapon/mag BS is people with Mass. LTC's, resident or non-resident.

    Like I said, MGL 140-131G was written a very long time before the "large cap" stuff was written into law, so I will concede that it's possible that the lawmakers simply didn't realize what they were doing by not re-wording that section of law. But like so many other areas of Mass. law, the ignorance of the authors has left us with a confusing mess that doesn't make much sense, like the absurdity of not being allowed to buy ammo in Mass. with a NR LTC, or so many other things.

    As far as out of state lawbreakers at Mass. competitions, you might be seeing people with Mass. LTC's, which would be legal. But lots of people violate Mass. gun laws every day simply because they don't know them; whether or not they get caught doesn't change the violation itself.

    But I welcome differing opinions on the subject, based in logic and law, obviously. [grin]
     
  6. Len-2A Training

    Len-2A Training Instructor Instructor NES Life Member NES Member

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    I also believe that ScottS' interpretation is correct, but when I tried to get clarification from Chief Glidden and Jim Wallace, I ran into a brick wall. Both didn't know and said that their plates were "full" dealing with resident issues and thus no interest in doing the research on this NR issue.
     
  7. ScottS

    ScottS NES Member

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    The problem I have is that you somehow parse this section:
    to mean

    and I just don't see those words there. Section 131G seems (to my uneducated eye) to be pretty clearly worded.
     
  8. Scrivener

    Scrivener Banned

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    Indeed. Unless one has some sort of fixation or agenda.
     
  9. GSG

    GSG

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    Frustrating, isn't it?

    My point is that in the MGL's, "large capacity" handguns/long guns are a different beast than non-"large capacity" handguns/long guns, hence the licensing structure in the state, and the intent of the legislature was obviously to limit the number of those evil "large capacity" guns in the state.

    I'd also rather play it safe and not tell someone something that could be felonious if they do it.

    Are you talking about me or the LEO/DA?
     
  10. GSG

    GSG

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    ScottS, here's something else that leads me to think what I do on the "large capacity" subject.

    MGL 140-129C says near the end:

    So obviously, when they changed the law in 1998, they updated this section of the law to mention "large capacity" guns and feeding devices. But they didn't update the non-resident portions of the law to include that language and list unlicensed non-residents as exempt from "large capacity."

    or

    They also didn't update MGL 140-131G to include that language.
     
  11. ScottS

    ScottS NES Member

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    I'm sorry. This is approaching dead horse territory, but I don't understand how you think that a chapter discussing selling high-capacity rifles or shotguns somehow inserts itself into the clearly-worded competition exemption in Ch 140. I just don't think you're interpretation is shared by anyone else reading the MGL's, and we'll have to agree to disagree.
     
  12. Jose

    Jose Guest

    The issue is that the overwhelming majority of states do not force their citizens to get a license to just possess a handgun.
     
  13. GSG

    GSG

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    I'm pointing out that when writing the GCA of 1998, they took the time to update the parts about selling large capacity stuff, but didn't update the exemptions for non-residents to include the new legal term "large capacity."

    FWIW, jdubois agrees with me on it.

    and

     
  14. Len-2A Training

    Len-2A Training Instructor Instructor NES Life Member NES Member

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    And I don't agree with you or JD. JD and I have had that conversation before, that's why I tried to get a read on it from those that give direction to DAs on what to prosecute. I hit a brick wall.

    Having "been there and seen what happened" when GCA of 1998 was totally re-written and rammed thru without thought (some parts needed immediate amendment, the errors were that gross), I am personally convinced that they never looked at the NR sections under Ch. 269 to see if they left some loose ends dangling. Thus, I conclude that there was no intention to prevent people from bringing in large-cap guns legally into MA to compete.
     
  15. drgrant

    drgrant Moderator NES Member

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    This is true, but basically the deal is that the law is never enforced that way /nobody really cares. There aren't exactly a lot of opportunities where there is a "test" of some sort. What are they going to do, shake down everyone at a shooting event for a permit? (without probable cause?).

    Being pragmatic about it, a shooter that locks their stuff up tucked away in a vehicle, will never get noticed
    in MA unless they do something really, really stupid or severe.

    -Mike
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2010
  16. Scrivener

    Scrivener Banned

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    It isn't as if competitions are awash in criminals. Rather, quite the opposite.

    Which is not to say that such compelling logic would indicate valuable police resources could be better utilized elsewhere to those making such decisions.
     
  17. Dnotarianni

    Dnotarianni

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    Just be smart and leave any mag over 10 rounds home. Lock the guns in a case in the trunk or chain the case to one of the bed tiedowns in the PU. Personally I don't like the exposed case in the truck but if thats all you go so be it. A truck tool box is not that much to find used on Craigslist and eliminated the problem. Mass sucks but it gives me a reason to shoot the 1911 instead of the Tanfoglio.
    Dave
     
  18. Dnotarianni

    Dnotarianni

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  19. AHM

    AHM NES Member

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    Now here's a wallhack:

    Find some town or county out of state,
    in a jurisdiction where the police chief or sheriff is the issuing authority -
    even for non-residents -
    and convince them to pass a feel-good bylaw
    forbidding the chief/sheriff from licensing FPPs.

    Get one of those licenses and Viola!
    It qualifies under the Mass statute.
     
  20. drgrant

    drgrant Moderator NES Member

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    jesus h, 9 year zombie bump? lol
     
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  21. AHM

    AHM NES Member

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  22. Knob Creek

    Knob Creek NES Member

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    I send a email with the following when I run a match and suggest to the shooter that they print it and have it with them. If stopped, they have a copy of the law and also a confirmation that there is a actual match they are going to



    "This email confirms your registration in accordance with Massachusetts general law for this shooting sports event:

    Mass general laws:

    C. 140 § 131G Carrying of Firearms by Non-residents

    Any person who is not a resident of the commonwealth may carry a pistol or revolver in or through the commonwealth for the following purpose of taking part in a pistol or revolver competition or attending any meeting or exhibition of any organized group of firearm collectors or hunting; provided, however, that such person is a resident of the United States, and has a permit or license to carry firearms issued under the laws of any state, district or territory thereof which has licensing requirements which prohibit the issuance of permits or licenses to persons who have been convicted of a felony or who have been convicted of the unlawful use, possession or sale of narcotic or harmful drugs".
     
  23. andrew1220

    andrew1220 NES Member

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    This has been beaten to death over the years and I believe the verdict from resident legal experts like @Len-2A Training, is that no state issues a license/permit that follows those requirements (specifically the drug part)? Therefore there isn’t a competition exemption for non-residents. To stay out of trouble, you need to have a non-resident license.

    Of course you can stay out of trouble if you keep everything locked up and anything gun related out of sight in the event you get pulled over.
     
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  24. AHM

    AHM NES Member

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    Yep, the drug part.
    (Not even Massachusetts qualifies, LOL).

    Still, to the incredibly slight degree that "the best defense is a good offense"
    during a traffic stop where the officer suspects you're in possession of guns
    without a license, that EMail is at least a fig leaf. After all...

    If you can't dazzle them with brilliance,
    baffle them with bullshit.
    -- W. C. Fields​

    However, you're doing the competitors a profound disservice
    if you don't include a separate cover letter that says...

    (^This.)

    ...and do not flash that competition registration letter
    until/unless you're discovered with guns.

    Because when the cop asks "where are you going?"
    when no guns have even been mentioned,
    if they run their mouth about a shooting contest
    because they think your letter gives them have a safe harbor,

    then they're going to wish they'd just leapt from their car
    while reaching for a firearm training card in their wallet,
    while proudly screaming, "I have a gun and I know how to use it!".

    At least in the latter case the cop might put them out of their misery.
    Mentioning that letter in less than the gravest extreme
    is going to dog them for the rest of their lives.

    I wonder whether NES's Mass. firearms attorneys would even want
    a client in that jam to show the letter,
    as opposed to saving it for the defense during trial...
     
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  25. daekken

    daekken NES Member

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    Yep; debunked.
    Non-res LTC is the ointment for the wound.
     
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  26. Len-2A Training

    Len-2A Training Instructor Instructor NES Life Member NES Member

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    And the ONLY ointment for the wound!
     
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