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Under 527 CMR, 1.00,Board of Fire Prevention Regulations: Licenses, Permits, and Certificates. 1.12.8.39.1.1.4

(e) Exempt quantities of small arms ammo, primers, smokeless propellants and black powder shall be stored in original containers and such containers shall be stored in a locked cabinet, closet or box when Not In Use 

Mark’s NOTE: A firearm, (a gun magazine) certainly is NOT considered an ‘original container’ to lock away with ammo inside it.

BUT, under careful scrutiny, there is nothing in the MGL that says you can not properly store a loaded firearm. The State Police newsletter only says it is “recommended” firearms are stored unloaded. And Mass.gov only states “should” be unloaded when stored, no reference to ‘must’ be…. there is zero case law that would suggest otherwise. You make the distinction/call you feel comfortable with.

Consider though if a loaded firearm became hot enough during a fire event the gun could go off just as if you pulled the trigger yourself, a fireman’s job is dangerous enough without the added danger of inadvertently being shot. 

 It is better to be pro-active and do a little more than what is thought to be required, than to take chances on being charged over misconceptions in vague law. Again, your call.

NOTE: Storage by Permit increases the amounts of ammo, primers, smokeless propellants and black powder in private use that you may have. But be aware that when you apply for and are approved for a permit to store more than quantities listed above you consent to periodic inspections by the Fire Marshall or his designee. The entire code can be viewed under 527 CMR.

Submitted By Mark Shean

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