For the purpose of this post, I am, of course, talking about legal firearms. In the state of Massachusetts, even with an LTC (license to carry), there are guns that are illegal.

My wife had her LTC. Sadly, she passed away from breast cancer two years ago. Although I had taken the course to obtain my LTC, I never followed through.

Unbeknownst to me, however, I was possessing her firearm in our house illegally! It was properly stored and unloaded and that goes for the ammunition as well, but I was breaking the law and didn't even realize it.

While I realize my situation was sort or rare or unique, that is the reason for this post. Yes, it's illegal, but is it a felony?


Is Possession Of An Unlicensed Firearm In Your Home A Felony In Massachusetts?

Possession of an unlicensed firearm in your home or business is a misdemeanor in Massachusetts (MGL ch. 269, s. 10(h)(1)). It can be punished by up to two years in the House of Corrections (jail) and a $500 fine. For a second offense, the maximum fine increases to $1,000. This section also applies to illegal possession of ammunition.

There are different types of licenses based on the type of firearms to be possessed:

  • License to Carry (LTC): Permits the purchase, possession, transportation, and carrying of all large- and non-large-capacity handguns, rifles, shotguns, and feeding devices, as well as ammunition. This is the only license that allows the carrying of concealed handguns-either loaded or unloaded.
  • Firearms Identification Card (FID): Permits the purchase, possession, and transportation of non-large-capacity rifles, shotguns, and ammunition.

large-capacity firearm is defined as a semi-automatic handgun or rifle that is capable of accepting more than ten rounds, OR is a semi-automatic shotgun capable of accepting more than five shotgun shells, OR is an assault weapon. A rifle with a fixed tubular magazine designed to accept, and capable of operating only with, .22 caliber ammunition is not a large-capacity firearm.

Laws surrounding firearms are extremely important to know. I hope you found this post informative.

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