Anthony M. Salerno

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Anthony M. Salerno

Attorney At Law

As nation talks gun laws, let’s talk Massachusetts gun laws

On Behalf of | Jun 18, 2016 | Criminal Defense

The recent mass shooting in Orlando weighs heavily on everyone’s minds and hearts. That tragic case of violence has people from Florida, to Massachusetts, to all over the U.S. and beyond debating gun laws. A nagging question is whether stricter gun laws could have prevented the loss of 49 lives. 

While many U.S. residents are quick and able to identify the second amendment and what it provides, fewer might be able to identify their own state’s specific gun laws. Such laws generally vary widely from state to state — a reality that some gun control advocates believe results in ineffective gun control. 

In case the recent events have you wondering about the gun laws in Massachusetts, here are some basic regulations as they relate to last week’s shooting incident:

  • Our state does not allow the legal purchase and possession of military-style firearms. This is important to know since the assault rifle that the shooter used at Pulse is specifically banned here in the state. Whereas the shooter used a 30-round magazine for ammunition, Massachusetts allows a maximum of a 10-round magazine. 
  • Massachusetts police chiefs have some discretion in deciding who can have a gun permit. Supporters of this regulation argue this helps prevent violent crime committed by those who might have a violent or otherwise unstable (mental health) history that wouldn’t be found through a basic background check. Authorities had enough concerns about the Orlando shooter to have interviewed him more than once. They still didn’t have enough to limit the man from purchasing firearms. 

The above two factors alone are proof that Massachusetts’ gun laws are stricter than Florida’s. This can make the public feel safer here, and it can also land residents as well as travelers in legal trouble.

Strict weapons laws as well as varying regulations from state to state can lead to serious gun charges. Anyone who has questions about their rights in the state or about a potential weapons offense allegation should reach out to a local criminal defense lawyer who can explain how to best serve the best interests of their client and that client’s future freedoms.