Massachusetts Legal Developments Blog

Three Things to Know About Massachusetts Firearm Charges

Law enforcement in Boston arrested nine individuals in September during five unrelated firearm incidents within one 24-hour period. One arrest occurred when law enforcement spotted a Jeep Cherokee that was reported as a stolen vehicle. After the Jeep crashed into the parked vehicle, three individuals ran from the vehicle. Two of these individuals were arrested while a third was identified and released. One of the individuals is facing several charges including carrying a dangerous weapon. The other four incidents occurred within three hours.  

The first incident occurred when law enforcement pulled a vehicle over and discovered a firearm with 10 live rounds of ammunition in a passenger’s pocket. This resulted in illegal weapon charges. 20 minutes later, law enforcement responded to calls about a shooting in Roxbury. After arriving at the scene, law enforcement saw a large crowd fighting outside a restaurant. Among the group was one man holding a gun in his hand. This man was arrested after he tried to run from the scene. Soon after, law enforcement arrested two more individuals and recovered a firearm at a traffic stop close to Dorchester’s Bowdoin Street and Adam Street. The fifth and last arrest occurred when law enforcement pulled over a vehicle. After discovering that this driver had only a learner’s permit and the passenger did not have a valid license, law enforcement discovered two guns.

If you were pulled over and arrested for unlawful possession of ammunition or a firearm, it is important to understand this serious offense can result in jail time if you are convicted. The following reviews some important things to understand about firearm charges in Massachusetts.

Massachusetts Has Some of the Most Serious Firearm Penalties

Firearm as well as ammunition charges in Massachusetts are classified as some of the most stringent laws in the state. Under Massachusetts law, possessing a firearm or ammunition if you are not licensed to do so is classified as a criminal offense that can result in several years in prison as well as hundreds of dollars in fines. It is critical to act quickly and retain the assistance of legal counsel if you are charged with a firearm or ammunition related offense.

Recognize the Elements Associated With These Offenses

To be charged with an unlawful firearm or ammunition offense in Massachusetts, the prosecution must establish several elements to satisfy the charge beyond a reasonable doubt. These elements include:

  • The person being charged had possession of the item.

  • The ammunition or firearm satisfies the state’s definition.

  • The person being charged was aware that the item was in his or her possession.

Massachusetts License Laws Apply to Ammunition and Firearms

Massachusetts license requirements apply to both firearms and ammunition. Licenses must be obtained through the appropriate police department. The state acknowledges several types of licenses that dictate what types of firearms a person can own and carry as well as the amount of ammunition a person can carry on them at any one time.

Speak With a Massachusetts Criminal Defense Attorney

Law enforcement in Massachusetts takes firearm offenses seriously. As a result, if you or a loved one is charged with an ammunition or firearm-related offense, it is in your best interest to promptly retain the assistance of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Contact attorney Edward R. Molari today to schedule a free case evaluation.