Massachusetts Legal Developments Blog

Advice on Carrying a Loaded During Law Enforcement Interaction


During a gathering for a homicide victim in Massachusetts, law enforcement prevented a potential future tragedy by arresting two teenagers with a loaded weapon. The arrest came after law enforcement officers acting on a tip stopped one vehicle and recovered an AK-47 loaded with a 30 round magazine. Both the driver and passenger of the vehicle now face firearm charges. 

If you are stopped by law enforcement while carrying a loaded weapon, there is more reason than normal to be nervous about how the encounter and the charges that might result. While the encounters can occur in many ways, most often result from law enforcement stopping vehicles. One factor that makes these interactions complex is that Massachusetts is a concealed carry state, but if stopped, you still must disclose to law enforcement that you are carrying a weapon.

To minimize the negative consequences of these stops, it helps to remember some critical safety precautions and strategies, some of which will be reviewed in this article. 

Remain Calm

Law enforcement stops are often surprising. One moment, you are driving around and the next, you are being questioned by a law enforcement officer. 

During this confusing time, it is critical to remain calm. After spotting the approaching lights of a law enforcement vehicles, you should make sure to safely pull over your vehicle which means putting on your emergency flashers, pulling into a well-lit location, putting your car into park, and if they are easily accessible locating your identification as well as your motor vehicle insurance information. 

As the law enforcement officer gets out of his or her vehicles and approaches, it is a good idea to take some deep breaths and remain calm.

Utilize The Right Approach

You should strive to answer law enforcement during these interrogations in an as polite and informative way as possible. There are also other manners in which people try to respond to law enforcement, which frequently do not lead to positive results. For example, many people attempt to utilize humor in these situations, which often indirectly communicates to the officer that you are not taking the situation seriously enough. 

On a similar note, it is critical to realize that being sarcastic is not charming and will not have the effect of building rapport. Also, people should avoid arguing about the merits of the stop. Instead, it is not a good idea to let your attorney create a strong argument to these charges at a later date. Instead, it is best to directly and immediately inform the law enforcement that you are carrying a firearm.

Know How to Approach the Situation

After informing a law enforcement officer that you have a firearm, there are often three ways that the situation will resolve. First, law enforcement sometimes allows people to keep a firearm. Second, the officer might remove the firearm. In these situations, you should make sure to follow the instructions provided by the police officer. Third, the law enforcement officer might order you to hand them the firearm. In these situations, you should listen carefully to the law enforcement officer’s instructions, repeat these instructions back, and narrate your actions as you respond. 

Speak with a Knowledgeable Criminal Defense Lawyer

Being charged with firearm offenses in Massachusetts can result in serious penalties. This is why it is critical to construct a strong legal strategy to respond to these charges. Contact attorney Edward R Molari today to schedule a free case evaluation.