Changes in the gun laws as of 8-13-2014;
H.4376 Highlights Breakdown:
H.4376 Accomplished many positive things for Ma. gun owners including Juniors:
Critical Training language correction for juniors, this now allows trainers to provide firearms to junior shooters and hunters with parental consent. Allows juniors to apply for their FID card a year early,(age 14) and receive their card at 15, price $25. NOTE: Age 15 up to 18, The fee for FID is $25, as stated in the MA General Law (Chapter 140, section 129B)(9C) Except as provided in clause (9B), the fee for an application for a firearm identification card for any person under the age of 18 shall be $25, which shall be payable to the licensing authority and shall not be prorated or refunded in the case of revocation or denial. The licensing authority shall retain 50 per cent of the fee and the remaining portion shall be deposited into the General Fund. Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, licensing authorities shall deposit quarterly that portion of the firearm identification card application fee which is to be deposited into the General Fund, not later than January 1, April 1, July 1 and October 1 of each year.
Pepper Spray: Persons over the age of 18 will no longer need an FID card to buy pepper spray. 15-17 year old persons can still possess pepper spray but must have an FID card or class D license.
FID: Chiefs must FIRST petition the court to deny someone his/her FID card. Because it is in the courts, it will give GOAL and Com2A the ability to track what chiefs are up to.
NOTE: In Ma. courts will probably err with the chief as the courts here are not very gun friendly as we all know. So this still could allow abuse from certain chiefs that frown on mere civilians having firearms. The courts should override chiefs in frivolous cases if there were actual justice in play, time will tell.
Both licenses: The term ‘prohibited person’ will now be used for both licenses, FID and LTC, instead of ‘unsuitable’. This change in language provides a much needed change in the framework around who may be denied
The former ’90’ day ‘Grace Period’ is now GONE. Gun owners will now receive a receipt upon renewal which makes their old license valid until the state gets off its thumbs and sends to you your new license. With that receipt and your expired license you may still buy guns and ammo. NOTE: Don’t lose that receipt, ALWAYS make copies of ANYTHING gun related and file it!
Mental Health: Added language so that people who voluntarily seek mental health care WILL NOT be listed as a prohibited person through the NICS. NOTE: This information is/has been private and confidential between you and your doctor anyway if the courts were never involved its not in your record……
Olympic style handguns: There will now be exemptions for the sale of Olympic style handguns in Ma. They were previously not legal to transfer by licensed dealers in Ma. NOTE: It finally dawned over Marble Head that criminals have never committed any crimes with Olympic handguns……..
Curios and Relic Collectors: Collectors can now purchase handguns and other firearms that once did not comply with the so-called ‘approved firearms roster’. NOTE: Antique bolt action ‘assault’ rifles, break open revolvers and such……
Online Portal: Newly created online portal for face to face E-FA-10 transfers, preserving private sales. Go to the Ma. State Police website or Gun Sense #36, hopefully it will be working. NOTE: Remember, you can only sell up to 4 firearms in a linear year on your LTC.
LTC: The class A+B Licenses were eliminated, going forward there will be only one License to Carry (LTC) in Ma. If you already have a class B license it will remain in effect until it expires. NOTE: Please read Gun Sense #39.
Chiefs now have to put denials in writing for the LTC within 40 days of you applying, (the police have been known to violate this 40 day law, if this happens please read Gun Sense #13). For the first time, gun owners can appeal their LTC restrictions in District Court, NOW the burden of proof is on the police chief to defend the denial or restriction in the District Court, in writing. NOTE: We should have never been guilty until proven innocent in the first place! This may burden some chiefs from arbitrarily denying people offhand as some of them were infamous for doing in the past…..
Confiscation: If your firearms get confiscated the licensing authority, (the police) shall at that time inform the person(s) in writing of their ability to transfer their firearms to an independently licensed individual. NOTE: This one is curious, you always could do this, they just did not tell you outright, so I made it a point to tell people in my class of their right to do this. Please see Gun Sense #46
Lost or Stolen Firearm(s): A person, who in good faith, reports their firearm lost or stolen, in a timely manner, (when you discover it is missing) shall NOT make the police consider him/her a ‘prohibited person’. NOTE: There is a new requirement when renewing your license that you write an affidavit stating that: “No guns were lost or stolen from me within the last six years”. Obviously if there had been you would have reported it anyway…..gee.
Military Personnel: The time for an active duty military member to renew their license has gone from 90 days to 180 days. Active duty military members are now exempted from having to take the ‘mandatory’ gun safety training classes. NOTE: In my opinion this sets them up for failure, not knowing the state gun laws is a recipe for felony charges. I suggest strongly that you read these following articles from my Gun Sense series so your not blindsided by the laws, I’m sure that you have better things to do with your money and time than to be in court: #13, #14, #19, #20, #22, #26, #27, #33, #34, #35, #36, #37, #38, #39, +#43, These will not take long to read, thank you for your service to our country!
Recap: Police Chiefs gain discretion over the issuance of FID cards, however they must petition the District Court in order to deny an FID card for any non-statutory reason.
Court ordered commitments (and relief) relative to mental illness, alcohol, and substance abuse will now be reported to the Federal National Instant Check System, (NICS).
Suitability is better defined.
Improved opportunities to appeal suspended, revoked, denied, or restricted licenses to carry.
Expired licenses remain valid indefinitely if the renewal process has been started prior to your license expiring. NOTE: Contact the police by email at least 3 months before your license expires, save that email as proof you started the renewal process, don’t lose that email!
Reduced penalties for failing to renew a license. NOTE: If you decide that you no longer want a gun license, legally get rid of your guns,(E-FA-10/ or gun dealer) prior to your license expiring. Now your off the radar because you never go back to renew anyway. OK? See Gun Sense #36
License renewals now require an affidavit stating that: “The licensee, (you) has not had any firearms lost or stolen since their last license was issued”.
Increased penalties for carrying on school grounds, improper storage, and failure to report a lost or stolen firearm.
Elimination of the Class B license to carry-GONE!
Elimination of the licensing requirement to posses or buy pepper spray for anyone 18 or older, but age 15-17 still need an FID or class D license to buy pepper spray.
Requirement to report face to face firearm(s) transfers in ‘real time’ E-FA-10 form, See Gun Sense #36.
Is this new legislation great? No, but it’s better than it was with more room for improvement. If you stop putting the same people in office over and over maybe things will improve more…..
by Mark Shean, www.mafirearmsafety.com