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Carry through Massachusetts - one more time

Discussion in 'Carry Issues' started by glock_ME, Mar 2, 2010.

  1. glock_ME

    glock_ME

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    Yes, I know there are many threads on this. (http://glocktalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=941981&highlight=massachusetts for example) I have read most of them and still am not satisfied I know 100% the legal method to carry through MA from and to a place that I have a permit for. Yes, I have read the federal law that supposedly overrules MA law about transporting firearms through the state. I still have yet to see a case that was actually prosecuted and won/lost. I guess I need to see some sort of proof that this holds for MA other than "...well shoot, just don't get pulled over and if you do don't consent to search..."

    I have also tried the pack n go trip planner on carryconcealed.net which is very nice actually and quotes the federal law i see everyone else post:

    "TITLE 18 PART I CHAPTER 44 § 926A. Interstate transportation of firearms

    Notwithstanding any other provision of any law or any rule or regulation of a State or any political subdivision thereof, any person who is not otherwise prohibited by this chapter from transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm shall be entitled to transport a firearm for any lawful purpose from any place where he may lawfully possess and carry such firearm to any other place where he may lawfully possess and carry such firearm if, during such transportation the firearm is unloaded, and neither the firearm nor any ammunition being transported is readily accessible or is directly accessible from the passenger compartment of such transporting vehicle: Provided, That in the case of a vehicle without a compartment separate from the driver’s compartment the firearm or ammunition shall be contained in a locked container other than the glove compartment or console."


    I read this as saying that no state can make carrying a handgun through it completely illegal if the above protocol are followed. True?


    Also, I found this that contradicts the "lock it in your trunk and don't stop" answer that is usually tossed out:

    "Non-residents may obtain temporary licenses to carry through the Firearms Record Bureau in order to possess and transport firearms through the Commonwealth. All non-residents must comply with all Massachusetts laws regarding transportation and storage while in the Commonwealth."

    http://www.sec.state.ma.us/cis/ciswel/WELTOMAS.HTM

    Also, I may contact MA state police and ask them for their interpretation on what is written on their state page and what the federal law states. I am not entirely sure if that is a bad idea or not.

    So, help me beat a dead horse so that I can sleep soundly as I will be driving through MA a lot for as long as I inhabit this earth.
     
  2. Mass10mm

    Mass10mm Armed Yankee

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    As I understand it, it's pretty straightforward. Federal law, which you correctly quote, states that a traveller can transport an unloaded firearm through the Commonwealth of Massachusetts without risk of prosecution. Massachusetts laws state otherwise. If you are caught in Massachusetts by a LEO while transporting a firearm and you lack a permit, you will be arrested and charged. You are free to invoke Federal law at your trial. As far as I know, this has never successfully been used in Massachusetts. On the other hand, if you have broken no laws, have the firearms properly stowed and locked, and YOU DENY GIVING CONSENT TO A SEARCH, a LEO cannot force you to unlock the trunk to allow a search. If he does so, any evidence found is 'forbidden fruit' and cannot be used against you at trial.

    IANAL and YMMV.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2010

  3. 2740dmx

    2740dmx

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    I am not providing you with any facts to support or educate you, and for that I apologize.
    I just wanted to share how I go about my frequent transportation of my sidearm through Mass.
    I have an unloaded handgun in a locked gun case, in the trunk.
    I have my ammo (yes, it is loaded in magazines) in a backpack that is in the passenger area (back seat floor) of my vehicle.

    so, the gun is unloaded and locked, and inaccessable to me.
    the ammo is separate from the gun.

    I do not drink and drive, smoke herb, etc... and insure that all my lights are in working order, etc..

    If i ever got into an accident, maybe that could present some difficulties, but overall....

    I don't see how a judge could ever convict when you are transporting in such a responsible manner.

    (by the way, I have CCW in NH, don't need one in VT (i am resident) and want to obtain my CCW in Mass and Conn.) any insight into the obtaining a permit in Mass/Conn. (don't reply if it is a thread hi-jack)
     
  4. zysus

    zysus

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    I'm next door to you in NH. I have my NH CCW as I live there. Unfortunately, my family lives in DPRMA ( The Democratic People's Republic of MA ) and I like to visit them on weekends.

    I just took the NRA PPiTH class and we discussed what to do about our neighbor to the south.

    The best thing to do is get your MA permit. It's pretty much shall issue to non-residents. You have to write a justification 'essay' (The course instructor provided an example we can copy.) with your application, have a face to face interview in Chelsea, MA, provide a set of digital fingerprints and renew with a similar process every year for the outrageous cost of $100.

    All these details are on the Mass State Police website along with the forms.

    Yes, technically you are protected under Federal Law but it only provides a 'defense'. Basically, you will be arrested, booked, have all your crap taken as evidence and you will have to shell out big $ to a lawyer to get yourself off. So while you likely won't end up at a trial or in prison, you will probably be broke on lawyer's fees and out of a few firearms. (good luck getting back the 'evidence')

    How's that for justice?

    My solution is just to wait until June when SCOTUS rules on McDonald v. Chicago and see what changes. Until then I just don't carry my handguns into MA.

    On some level MA, NY, IL, CA, CT have decided that they want to be places where only criminals and cops have guns. And it's really hard to carry a cop around with you.

    Back to MA:

    Now, certain long guns are OK for non-residents.
    Here is the link to the statute:
    http://www.mass.gov/legis/laws/mgl/140-129c.htm

    Pay close attention to 'exemptions'. The wording is ***-backwards legalize.

    Don't even think about bringing your AR or AK with you, they treat it like a handgun.


     
  5. zysus

    zysus

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    Not to hi-jack the thread... but w.r.t. carrying in MA...

    Not long ago, maybe a few months, the FBI busted some Haji wack-job from my home town (in MA) that had been training w/ Al-Qeda overseas.

    Having dinner with an old grade-school buddy turns out the guy was in our high-school class. (I didn't know him, went to private school).

    Haji's plan was to go shoot up the local mall. Scared the **** out of me b/c my sister works there. AND its such a yuppie town in MA that it's almost certain no civilian would be carrying, esp. given the gun laws in MA (and the cops don't generally hang-out there).

    I figured that by the time the cops showed up, assessed the situation and got organized enough to do something useful about 10 minutes would have passed. That's a lot of dead people.

    I had this discussion w/ my (formerly anti-gun) mother. The argument was this simple: If that happened... everyone would grab their cell phone to call 911. Probably sensible. But I guarantee that I can put a mag worth of JHP into Haji a lot faster than you can even dial 911.

    Really good food for thought about that old saying: "when seconds count, the police are minutes away."

    My claim is: "The only thing for honest people to do is shoot back."

    At the very least I turned my family into a few more pro-gun voters in MA.

    And I tell this story to anyone in MA that will listen. Maybe someday they'll get their heads on straight.
     
  6. DonL

    DonL

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    If I were traveling in interstate commerce with firearms, I would tape this notice on the cases of all firearms on board. And I would have 2 people sign each one as witnesses. If all goes bad,...the case has been set properly from the beginning. I would never say anything to anyone about personal private property that I am transporting....Especially to those folks that get real nosy when they pull you over...Never stutter.

    Notice Of Authority To Transport Firearms In Interstate Commerce Without Seizure.


    I am transporting firearms from my home state of xxxx to the State of xxxx. Whereby it is lawful in both states to possess the types of firearms I am transporting and therefore an illegal act to arrest me or seize any of the aforementioned firearms. I am putting you and all investigating officers of the law on notice that if I am arrested or any of my firearms seized that you, the arresting/seizing officer/officers will be subject to a Title 42, Sec 1983 civil action for deprivation of rights.

    Authoritative Law To Transport Personal Firearms In Interstate Commerce:

    Title 18, Part I, Chapter 44, Sec 926A

    Notwithstanding any other provision of any law or any rule or regulation of a State or any political subdivision thereof, any person who is not otherwise prohibited by this chapter from transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm shall be entitled to transport a firearm for any lawful purpose from any place where he may lawfully possess and carry such firearm to any other place where he may lawfully possess and carry such firearm if, during such transportation the firearm is unloaded, and neither the firearm nor any ammunition being transported is readily accessible or is directly accessible from the passenger compartment of such transporting vehicle: Provided, That in the case of a vehicle without a compartment separate from the driver’s compartment the firearm or ammunition shall be contained in a locked container other than the glove compartment or console.
     
  7. PelhamGMan

    PelhamGMan

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    Your arguement falls apart in the first line of the Title 18. Mass has regulations that prevent an unlicensed person from carrying or transporting a firearm.
     
  8. PelhamGMan

    PelhamGMan

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  9. Gallium

    Gallium CLM

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    Some states have laws against the possession of high cap magazines, and/or hollow point ammo.

    Since you are not transporting the ammo or mags as required by 926A, you are liable to arrest and possibly opening yourself to successful prosecution - even in MA.

    'Drew
     
  10. jdodd

    jdodd

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    Have fun calling the Mass Police...I went through the same when I want to verify laws when traveling from CT (resident CCW) to VT (NO CCW Required) for the holidays with my family.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    I ended up making 4 phone calls and being transferred so many times I lost count. I was flat out lied to, questioned and even insulted. <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    In short...the mass police don't want any firearms in / around / going through their state. <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    Im getting angry just writing this and remembering that ordeal. I basically printed off the federal law, locked my unloaded handgun in the trunk, put the mags (still loaded) in the back seat. I was in mass just long enough to pass through that hell hole.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    -J<o:p></o:p>
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2010
  11. jdodd

    jdodd

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    So as I read the law the gun needs to unloaded / locked in the trunk. The ammo / mags should be locked up and placed in another area not easily assessable?

    Sounds like if it was in a case, locked on the floor of the backseat thats about as safe as it gets minus being locked in a glove box?
    <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>

    -J
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2010
  12. DonL

    DonL

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    Read "Notwithstanding" to mean irrespective of or regardless of....and that sentence will make more sense.

    State law doesn't trump federal law on commerce....You are in commerce when traveling between states....Believe it or not. The freedom to travel throughout the country is a done deal. Traveling with your personal property(firearms) per federal law will trump any state law and will rule the day in a US Supreme Court case...An absolute win after McDonald v Chicago comes down from the court.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2010
  13. 2740dmx

    2740dmx

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    I'm with you. I do not believe that, if I am not committing a crime with a firearm or carrying it on my person concealed (and it is locked, unloaded and separate from ammo) I could ever be convicted of illegal possession.

    Anyway, I will continue to do so..... (and will soon attempt to get a non-resident permit to CCW in Fascistchussetts) :supergrin:
     
  14. glock_ME

    glock_ME

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    Thank you all for your replies. Obviously we are all in the same boat.

    I cannot see myself going through the expense and effort to obtain a MA permit (appear in person?!?! No thanks.).

    If I do ever muster the time/energy/finances to consult an attorney about this I will post his/her findings.

    I guess the bottom line is I'm not willing to go through the hassle of being arrested and the expense of defending myself to test these theories out myself. This question will never be answered definitively enough for me to feel comfortable carrying a handgun through MA.

    Overall I have what I need here (and in VT and NH) so I don't really need to travel through MA except to visit family and I'm starting to think meeting in Kittery is a swell idea.
     
  15. BK63

    BK63

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    When I go to visit relatives in Maine I have gone through Mass many times over the past 20 or more years. I always go shooting up there. I keep the guns unloaded in the trunk and the ammo on the back seat floor in a sealed box. Always do the speed limit going through Mass cause those state cops are always out there pulling people over.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2010
  16. glock_ME

    glock_ME

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    I basically do the opposite trip to go see family in CT.

    The question remains what happens when you get pulled over? What do you say when the trooper asks if you have any firearms? I understand not letting them search your vehicle, but what do you answer to the question if you have any guns?

    Also, I can't find a record of a case where someone was arrested for this and then later cleared of all charges.

    The whole situation is painful.
     
  17. DonL

    DonL

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    If you can't say no without stuttering, tell the cop that your attorney told you to never answer any of their questions....Ever....Be persistent. If cop persists in questioning, ask if you were pulled over to do a weapons search...Cop will say no. Then ask what you were pulled over for....After you are told what for....Tell the cop to GIVE you a ticket for that and that you are not going to answer any questions.

    ....And don't say anything about a 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination. It's your 1st Amendment right to free speech....Not to speak.
     
  18. 2740dmx

    2740dmx

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    How many times have any of us been subjected to vehicle searches?

    How many times have you ever been asked to exit the vehicle, and been given a body pat-down?

    How many times have you been pulled over for speeding, or a light out, and an officer actually asked "do you have any weapons in the vehicle?"

    (In my younger, wilder days.... i could answer "several times" to each of those, but now..... clean cut, clean vehicle, don't drink or drug, ex-military..)

    My point is.... none of us WANT to break the law....but personally, I am not willing to give up all of my rights....just because i am traveling through a Fascist state for a total of one hour...

    Sometimes you have to take a risk, if you want to remain true to your values. (and yes, I still WANT to apply for a non-resident CCW in Mass... hope no Mass state troopers are reading this...)