Massachusetts Legal Developments Blog

What to Do if You are Stopped by the Police While Carrying a Firearm


A Massachusetts State Police officer recently arrested a man after they found firearms in his vehicle during a routine traffic stop. The man was arrested and charged with various offenses including four counts of illegal possession of a large capacity weapon in commission of a felony, counts related to unlawful ammunition possession, possessing a firearm while committing a felony, possessing a class B drug while having the intent to distribute, and various other motor vehicle charges. 

Law enforcement was observing traffic when the man’s vehicle was spotted driving through a work zone that was clearly marked with lights as well as cones and signs. While law enforcement followed the vehicle they noticed that its registration expired in January 2020. 

After the vehicle was stopped, law enforcement spotted a rifle inside. The driver, who lacks a firearm license, claimed that the gun was an air rifle. Following a quick inspection, however, law enforcement discovered that the rifle was actually a firearm loaded with a round in the chamber and ready to fire. Law enforcement then located other firearms on the floor of the passenger side. All four of the firearms lacked serial numbers.

Following the driver’s arrest, another assault weapon was found while searching the vehicle. Law enforcement also discovered various ammunition, shell casings, a large quantity of prescription medications, and almost $5,000 in cash. 

The driver was subsequently booked on a bail of $10,000 and scheduled for arraignment. 

What to do When You are Being Pulled Over

After you notice police lights and sirens behind your vehicle, take the following steps:

  • Put on your flashers

  • Pull over to a safe location at the side of the road

  • Put your vehicle in park

  • Lower your front windows

  • If you can easily access your identification, do so

  • Avoid using humor while interacting with law enforcement officers

  • Remember that sarcasm will do little to improve your situation

  • Avoid arguing about the initial reason why you were stopped 

Massachusetts Law Prohibits Firearm Usage

Each state has unique laws addressing carrying firearms in motor vehicles. Some of the Massachusetts laws that you should understand if you are carrying a firearm in a vehicle include:

  • Massachusetts prohibits the possession of firearms in a vehicle, whether loaded or unloaded, unless the possessor is at their residence or place of business. Another exception to this regulation exists if the individual possesses the proper licensure. 

  • An individual with a license to carry may carry a loaded firearm in a vehicle only if the weapon is under that individual’s direct control. 

Contact a Firearm Crime Defense Lawyer Today

If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime involving possession of a firearm, you should not hesitate to speak with an experienced attorney. Contact attorney Edward R. Molari today to schedule a free case evaluation today.