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Massachusetts — Gun Facts, Figures and the Law

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StockpilesGun Numbers

Civilian Guns

Proportion of Adults Living in a Home With a Gun

ChartIn Massachusetts, the percentage of adults living in a household with a firearm is reported to be

2004: 11.0%1
2002: 12.8%2
2001: 12.6%3

Proportion of Households with Firearms

In Massachusetts, the percentage of households with one or more guns is reported to be

2004: 13.08%4

Proportion of Households with Firearms by Decade

ChartIn Massachusetts, the percentage of households with one or more guns is estimated to be

2001/2010: 22.9%5 6
1991/2000: 29.8%
1981/1990: 30.5%

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Total Number of Gun Deaths

ChartIn Massachusetts, annual deaths resulting from firearms total

2014: 2277
2013: 213
2012: 233
2011: 254
2010: 270
2009: 207
2008: 224
2007: 235
2006: 211
2005: 224
2004: 206
2003: 204
2002: 204
2001: 194
2000: 176
1999: 195

Rate of All Gun Deaths per 100,000 People

ChartIn Massachusetts, the annual rate of all gun deaths per 100,000 population is

2014: 3.377
2013: 3.17
2012: 3.50
2011: 3.84
2010: 4.12
2009: 3.18
2008: 3.46
2007: 3.65
2006: 3.29
2005: 3.50
2004: 3.21
2003: 3.18
2002: 3.18
2001: 3.03
2000: 2.77
1999: 3.09

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn Massachusetts, annual homicides by any means total

2013: 1447
2012: 133
2011: 200
2010: 204
2009: 176
2008: 167
2007: 188
2006: 183
2005: 178
2004: 175
2003: 140
2002: 185
2001: 246
2000: 122
1999: 133

Rate of Homicide per 100,000 People (any method)

ChartIn Massachusetts, the annual rate of homicide by any means per 100,000 population is

2013: 2.157
2012: 2.00
2011: 3.03
2010: 3.12
2009: 2.70
2008: 2.58
2007: 2.92
2006: 2.85
2005: 2.78
2004: 2.73
2003: 2.18
2002: 2.88
2001: 3.85
2000: 1.92
1999: 2.11

Gun Homicides

ChartIn Massachusetts, annual firearm homicides total

2013: 847
2012: 73
2011: 128
2010: 126
2009: 110
2008: 98
2007: 115
2006: 105
2005: 108
2004: 106
2003: 78
2002: 94
2001: 80
2000: 67
1999: 71

Rate of Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn Massachusetts, the annual rate of firearm homicide per 100,000 population is

2013: 1.267
2012: 1.10
2011: 1.94
2010: 1.92
2009: 1.69
2008: 1.51
2007: 1.79
2006: 1.64
2005: 1.69
2004: 1.65
2003: 1.21
2002: 1.46
2001: 1.25
2000: 1.06
1999: 1.12

Handgun Homicides

ChartIn Massachusetts, according to figures8 from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), annual handgun homicides total

2013: 359 10
2012: 32
2011: 52
2010: 52
2009: 47
2008: 59
2007: 65
2006: 66
2005: 48
2004: 67
2003: 51
2002: 49
2001: 34
2000: 40
1999: 48
1998: 54
1997: 33
1996: 23
1995: 53

Rate of Handgun Homicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn Massachusetts, according to figures11 from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the annual rate of handgun homicide per 100,000 population is

2013: 0.5212
2012: 0.48
2011: 0.79
2010: 0.79
2009: 0.72
2008: 0.91
2007: 1.01
2006: 1.03
2005: 0.75
2004: 1.04
2003: 0.79
2002: 0.76
2001: 0.53
2000: 0.63
1999: 0.76
1998: 0.86
1997: 0.53
1996: 0.37
1995: 0.86

Handgun Homicides (CDC)

ChartIn Massachusetts, according to figures8 from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), annual handgun homicides total

2013: 0 (suppressed)13 10
2012: 0 (suppressed)
2011: 0 (suppressed)
2010: 0 (suppressed)
2009: 0 (suppressed)
2008: 0 (suppressed)
2007: 0 (suppressed)
2006: 0 (suppressed)
2005: 0 (suppressed)
2004: 0 (suppressed)
2003: 29
2002: 10
2001: 0 (suppressed)
2000: 0 (suppressed)
1999: 0 (suppressed)

Rate of Handgun Homicide per 100,000 People (CDC)

ChartIn Massachusetts, according to figures11 from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the annual rate of handgun homicide per 100,000 population is

2013: 0.00 (unreliable)13 10
2012: 0.00 (unreliable)
2011: 0.00 (unreliable)
2010: 0.00 (unreliable)
2009: 0.00 (unreliable)
2008: 0.00 (unreliable)
2007: 0.00 (unreliable)
2006: 0.00 (unreliable)
2005: 0.00 (unreliable)
2004: 0.00 (unreliable)
2003: 0.45
2002: 0.00 (unreliable)
2001: 0.00 (unreliable)
2000: 0.00 (unreliable)
1999: 0.00 (unreliable)

Long Gun Homicides

ChartIn Massachusetts, according to figures14 from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), annual long gun homicides total

2013: 29 10
2012: 1
2011: 1
2010: 1
2009: 3
2008: 2
2007: 4
2006: 5
2005: 2
2004: 4
2003: 0
2002: 3
2001: 3
2000: 3
1999: 4
1998: 3
1997: 6
1996: 9
1995: 3

Rate of Long Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn Massachusetts, according to figures15 from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the annual rate of long gun homicide per 100,000 population is

2013: 0.0312
2012: 0.02
2011: 0.02
2010: 0.02
2009: 0.05
2008: 0.03
2007: 0.06
2006: 0.08
2005: 0.03
2004: 0.06
2003: 0.00
2002: 0.05
2001: 0.05
2000: 0.05
1999: 0.06
1998: 0.05
1997: 0.10
1996: 0.15
1995: 0.05

Long Gun Homicides (CDC)

ChartIn Massachusetts, according to figures14 from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), annual long gun homicides total

2013: 0 (suppressed)13 10
2012: 0 (suppressed)
2011: 0 (suppressed)
2010: 0 (suppressed)
2009: 0 (suppressed)
2008: 0 (suppressed)
2007: 0 (suppressed)
2006: 0 (suppressed)
2005: 0 (suppressed)
2004: 0 (suppressed)
2003: 0 (suppressed)
2002: 0 (suppressed)
2001: 0 (suppressed)
2000: 0 (suppressed)
1999: 0 (suppressed)

Rate of Long Gun Homicide per 100,000 People (CDC)

ChartIn Massachusetts, according to figures15 from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the annual rate of long gun homicide per 100,000 population is

2013: 0.00 (unreliable)13 10
2012: 0.00 (unreliable)
2011: 0.00 (unreliable)
2010: 0.00 (unreliable)
2009: 0.00 (unreliable)
2008: 0.00 (unreliable)
2007: 0.00 (unreliable)
2006: 0.00 (unreliable)
2005: 0.00 (unreliable)
2004: 0.00 (unreliable)
2003: 0.00 (unreliable)
2002: 0.00 (unreliable)
2001: 0.00 (unreliable)
2000: 0.00 (unreliable)
1999: 0.00 (unreliable)

Gun Homicides (Other)

ChartIn Massachusetts, according to figures16 from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), annual firearm homicides (other) total

2013: 419 10
2012: 37
2011: 69
2010: 65
2009: 43
2008: 28
2007: 45
2006: 40
2005: 44
2004: 26
2003: 22
2002: 28
2001: 35
2000: 13
1999: 14
1998: 8
1997: 21
1996: 43
1995: 53

Rate of Gun Homicide (Other) per 100,000 People

ChartIn Massachusetts, according to figures17 from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the annual rate of firearm homicide (other) per 100,000 population is

2013: 0.6112
2012: 0.56
2011: 1.04
2010: 0.99
2009: 0.66
2008: 0.43
2007: 0.70
2006: 0.62
2005: 0.69
2004: 0.41
2003: 0.34
2002: 0.44
2001: 0.55
2000: 0.20
1999: 0.22
1998: 0.13
1997: 0.34
1996: 0.70
1995: 0.86

Gun Homicides (Other) (CDC)

ChartIn Massachusetts, according to figures16 from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), annual firearm homicides (other) total

2013: 8313 10
2012: 73
2011: 125
2010: 122
2009: 105
2008: 97
2007: 106
2006: 101
2005: 107
2004: 104
2003: 48
2002: 80
2001: 73
2000: 58
1999: 60

Rate of Gun Homicide (Other) per 100,000 People (CDC)

ChartIn Massachusetts, according to figures17 from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the annual rate of firearm homicide (other) per 100,000 population is

2013: 1.2413 10
2012: 1.10
2011: 1.90
2010: 1.86
2009: 1.61
2008: 1.50
2007: 1.65
2006: 1.58
2005: 1.67
2004: 1.62
2003: 0.75
2002: 1.25
2001: 1.14
2000: 0.91
1999: 0.95

Suicides (any method)

ChartIn Massachusetts, annual suicides by any means total

2013: 5727
2012: 604
2011: 585
2010: 598
2009: 530
2008: 509
2007: 516
2006: 450
2005: 480
2004: 425
2003: 433
2002: 436
2001: 426
2000: 387
1999: 431

Rate of Suicide per 100,000 People (any method)

ChartIn Massachusetts, the annual rate of suicide by any means per 100,000 population is

2013: 8.557
2012: 9.09
2011: 8.86
2010: 9.13
2009: 8.13
2008: 7.87
2007: 8.02
2006: 7.02
2005: 7.50
2004: 6.63
2003: 6.74
2002: 6.79
2001: 6.66
2000: 6.10
1999: 6.82

Gun Suicides

ChartIn Massachusetts, annual firearm suicides total

2013: 1127
2012: 151
2011: 116
2010: 138
2009: 89
2008: 118
2007: 114
2006: 101
2005: 111
2004: 95
2003: 122
2002: 99
2001: 107
2000: 105
1999: 118

Rate of Gun Suicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn Massachusetts, the annual rate of firearm suicide per 100,000 population is

2013: 1.677
2012: 2.27
2011: 1.76
2010: 2.11
2009: 1.37
2008: 1.82
2007: 1.77
2006: 1.58
2005: 1.73
2004: 1.48
2003: 1.90
2002: 1.54
2001: 1.67
2000: 1.65
1999: 1.87

Handgun Suicides

ChartIn Massachusetts, annual handgun suicides total

2013: 1013
2012: 0 (suppressed)
2011: 0 (suppressed)
2010: 0 (suppressed)
2009: 0 (suppressed)
2008: 0 (suppressed)
2007: 0 (suppressed)
2006: 0 (suppressed)
2005: 0 (suppressed)
2004: 0 (suppressed)
2003: 40
2002: 10
2001: 0 (suppressed)
2000: 12
1999: 16

Rate of Handgun Suicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn Massachusetts, the annual rate of handgun suicide per 100,000 population is

2013: 0.00 (unreliable)13
2012: 0.00 (unreliable)
2011: 0.00 (unreliable)
2010: 0.00 (unreliable)
2009: 0.00 (unreliable)
2008: 0.00 (unreliable)
2007: 0.00 (unreliable)
2006: 0.00 (unreliable)
2005: 0.00 (unreliable)
2004: 0.00 (unreliable)
2003: 0.62
2002: 0.00 (unreliable)
2001: 0.00 (unreliable)
2000: 0.00 (unreliable)
1999: 0.00 (unreliable)

Long Gun Suicides

ChartIn Massachusetts, the number of long gun suicides is

2013: 1613
2012: 19
2011: 18
2010: 16
2009: 18
2008: 15
2007: 0 (suppressed)
2006: 17
2005: 17
2004: 12
2003: 15
2002: 19
2001: 28
2000: 26
1999: 29

Rate of Long Gun Suicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn Massachusetts, the annual rate of long gun suicide per 100,000 population is

2013: 0.00 (unreliable)13
2012: 0.00 (unreliable)
2011: 0.00 (unreliable)
2010: 0.00 (unreliable)
2009: 0.00 (unreliable)
2008: 0.00 (unreliable)
2007: 0.00 (unreliable)
2006: 0.00 (unreliable)
2005: 0.00 (unreliable)
2004: 0.00 (unreliable)
2003: 0.00 (unreliable)
2002: 0.00 (unreliable)
2001: 0.44
2000: 0.41
1999: 0.46

Gun Suicides (Other)

ChartIn Massachusetts, annual gun suicides (other) total

2013: 8613
2012: 124
2011: 94
2010: 118
2009: 71
2008: 97
2007: 105
2006: 83
2005: 92
2004: 81
2003: 67
2002: 70
2001: 74
2000: 67
1999: 73

Rate of Gun Suicide (Other) per 100,000 People

ChartIn Massachusetts, the annual rate of gun suicide (other) per 100,000 population is

2013: 1.2813
2012: 1.87
2011: 1.43
2010: 1.80
2009: 1.09
2008: 1.50
2007: 1.63
2006: 1.29
2005: 1.44
2004: 1.26
2003: 1.04
2002: 1.09
2001: 1.16
2000: 1.06
1999: 1.16

Unintentional Gun Deaths

ChartIn Massachusetts, annual unintentional shooting deaths total

2013: 0 (suppressed)7
2012: 0 (suppressed)
2011: 0 (suppressed)
2010: 0 (suppressed)
2009: 0 (suppressed)
2008: 0 (suppressed)
2007: 3
2006: 1
2005: 4
2004: 3
2003: 1
2002: 5
2001: 4
2000: 2
1999: 0 (suppressed)

Rate of Unintentional Gun Death per 100,000 People

ChartIn Massachusetts, the annual rate of unintentional shooting death per 100,000 population is

2013: 0.00 (unreliable)7
2012: 0.00 (unreliable)
2011: 0.00 (unreliable)
2010: 0.00 (unreliable)
2009: 0.00 (unreliable)
2008: 0.00 (unreliable)
2007: 0.05
2006: 0.02
2005: 0.06
2004: 0.05
2003: 0.02
2002: 0.08
2001: 0.06
2000: 0.03
1999: 0.00 (unreliable)

Unintentional Handgun Deaths

ChartIn Massachusetts, annual unintentional shooting deaths by handgun total

2013: 0 (suppressed)13
2012: 0 (suppressed)
2011: 0 (suppressed)
2010: 0 (suppressed)
2009: 0 (suppressed)
2008: 0 (suppressed)
2007: 0 (suppressed)
2006: 0 (suppressed)
2005: 0 (suppressed)
2004: 0 (suppressed)
2003: 0 (suppressed)
2002: 0 (suppressed)
2001: 0 (suppressed)
2000: 0 (suppressed)
1999: 0 (suppressed)

Rate of Unintentional Handgun Death per 100,000 People

ChartIn Massachusetts, the annual rate of unintentional shooting death by handgun per 100,000 population is

2013: 0.00 (unreliable)13
2012: 0.00 (unreliable)
2011: 0.00 (unreliable)
2010: 0.00 (unreliable)
2009: 0.00 (unreliable)
2008: 0.00 (unreliable)
2007: 0.00 (unreliable)
2006: 0.00 (unreliable)
2005: 0.00 (unreliable)
2004: 0.00 (unreliable)
2003: 0.00 (unreliable)
2002: 0.00 (unreliable)
2001: 0.00 (unreliable)
2000: 0.00 (unreliable)
1999: 0.00 (unreliable)

Unintentional Long Gun Deaths

ChartIn Massachusetts, annual unintentional shooting deaths by long gun total

2013: 0 (suppressed)13
2012: 0 (suppressed)
2011: 0 (suppressed)
2010: 0 (suppressed)
2009: 0 (suppressed)
2008: 0 (suppressed)
2007: 0 (suppressed)
2006: 0 (suppressed)
2005: 0 (suppressed)
2004: 0 (suppressed)
2003: 0 (suppressed)
2002: 0 (suppressed)
2001: 0 (suppressed)
2000: 0 (suppressed)
1999: 0 (suppressed)

Rate of Unintentional Long Gun Death per 100,000 People

ChartIn Massachusetts, the annual rate of unintentional shooting death by long gun per 100,000 population is

2013: 0.00 (unreliable)13
2012: 0.00 (unreliable)
2011: 0.00 (unreliable)
2010: 0.00 (unreliable)
2009: 0.00 (unreliable)
2008: 0.00 (unreliable)
2007: 0.00 (unreliable)
2006: 0.00 (unreliable)
2005: 0.00 (unreliable)
2004: 0.00 (unreliable)
2003: 0.00 (unreliable)
2002: 0.00 (unreliable)
2001: 0.00 (unreliable)
2000: 0.00 (unreliable)
1999: 0.00 (unreliable)

Unintentional Gun Deaths (Other)

ChartIn Massachusetts, annual unintentional shooting deaths by firearm (other) total

2013: 0 (suppressed)13
2012: 0 (suppressed)
2011: 0 (suppressed)
2010: 0 (suppressed)
2009: 0 (suppressed)
2008: 0 (suppressed)
2007: 0 (suppressed)
2006: 0 (suppressed)
2005: 0 (suppressed)
2004: 0 (suppressed)
2003: 0 (suppressed)
2002: 0 (suppressed)
2001: 0 (suppressed)
2000: 0 (suppressed)
1999: 0 (suppressed)

Rate of Unintentional Gun Death (Other) per 100,000 People

ChartIn Massachusetts, the annual rate of unintentional shooting death by firearm (other) per 100,000 population is

2013: 0.00 (unreliable)13
2012: 0.00 (unreliable)
2011: 0.00 (unreliable)
2010: 0.00 (unreliable)
2009: 0.00 (unreliable)
2008: 0.00 (unreliable)
2007: 0.00 (unreliable)
2006: 0.00 (unreliable)
2005: 0.00 (unreliable)
2004: 0.00 (unreliable)
2003: 0.00 (unreliable)
2002: 0.00 (unreliable)
2001: 0.00 (unreliable)
2000: 0.00 (unreliable)
1999: 0.00 (unreliable)

Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

ChartIn Massachusetts, annual shooting deaths in which the cause remains undecided total

2013: 0 (suppressed)7
2012: 0 (suppressed)
2011: 0 (suppressed)
2010: 0 (suppressed)
2009: 0 (suppressed)
2008: 0 (suppressed)
2007: 0 (suppressed)
2006: 0 (suppressed)
2005: 0
2004: 1
2003: 2
2002: 2
2001: 3
2000: 1
1999: 4

Rate of Gun Death from Undetermined Cause per 100,000 People

ChartIn Massachusetts, the annual rate of unknown-cause shooting deaths per 100,000 population is

2013: 0.00 (unreliable)7
2012: 0.00 (unreliable)
2011: 0.00 (unreliable)
2010: 0.00 (unreliable)
2008: 0.00 (unreliable)
2007: 0.00 (unreliable)
2006: 0.00 (unreliable)
2005: 0.00 (unreliable)
2004: 0.02
2003: 0.03
2002: 0.03
2001: 0.05
2000: 0.02
1999: 0.06

Handgun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

ChartIn Massachusetts, annual deaths by handgun in which the cause remains undecided total

2013: 0 (suppressed)13
2012: 0 (suppressed)
2011: 0 (suppressed)
2010: 0 (suppressed)
2009: 0 (suppressed)
2008: 0 (suppressed)
2007: 0 (suppressed)
2006: 0 (suppressed)
2005: 0 (suppressed)
2004: 0 (suppressed)
2003: 0 (suppressed)
2002: 0 (suppressed)
2001: 0 (suppressed)
2000: 0 (suppressed)
1999: 0 (suppressed)

Rate of Handgun Death from Undetermined Cause per 100,000 People

ChartIn Massachusetts, the annual rate of unknown-cause handgun deaths per 100,000 population is

2013: 0.00 (unreliable)13
2012: 0.00 (unreliable)
2011: 0.00 (unreliable)
2010: 0.00 (unreliable)
2009: 0.00 (unreliable)
2008: 0.00 (unreliable)
2007: 0.00 (unreliable)
2006: 0.00 (unreliable)
2005: 0.00 (unreliable)
2004: 0.00 (unreliable)
2003: 0.00 (unreliable)
2002: 0.00 (unreliable)
2001: 0.00 (unreliable)
2000: 0.00 (unreliable)
1999: 0.00 (unreliable)

Long Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

ChartIn Massachusetts, annual deaths by long gun in which the cause remains undecided total

2013: 0 (suppressed)13
2012: 0 (suppressed)
2011: 0 (suppressed)
2010: 0 (suppressed)
2009: 0 (suppressed)
2008: 0 (suppressed)
2007: 0 (suppressed)
2006: 0 (suppressed)
2005: 0 (suppressed)
2004: 0 (suppressed)
2003: 0 (suppressed)
2002: 0 (suppressed)
2001: 0 (suppressed)
2000: 0 (suppressed)
1999: 0 (suppressed)

Rate of Long Gun Death from Undetermined Cause per 100,000 People

ChartIn Massachusetts, the annual rate of unknown-cause long gun deaths per 100,000 population is

2013: 0.00 (unreliable)13
2012: 0.00 (unreliable)
2011: 0.00 (unreliable)
2010: 0.00 (unreliable)
2009: 0.00 (unreliable)
2008: 0.00 (unreliable)
2007: 0.00 (unreliable)
2006: 0.00 (unreliable)
2005: 0.00 (unreliable)
2004: 0.00 (unreliable)
2003: 0.00 (unreliable)
2002: 0.00 (unreliable)
2001: 0.00 (unreliable)
2000: 0.00 (unreliable)
1999: 0.00 (unreliable)

Gun Deaths (Other) from Undetermined Cause

ChartIn Massachusetts, annual deaths by firearm (other) in which the cause remains undecided total

2013: 0 (suppressed)13
2012: 0 (suppressed)
2011: 0 (suppressed)
2010: 0 (suppressed)
2009: 0 (suppressed)
2008: 0 (suppressed)
2007: 0 (suppressed)
2006: 0 (suppressed)
2005: 0 (suppressed)
2004: 0 (suppressed)
2003: 0 (suppressed)
2002: 0 (suppressed)
2001: 0 (suppressed)
2000: 0 (suppressed)
1999: 0 (suppressed)

Rate of Gun Death (Other) from Undetermined Cause per 100,000 People

ChartIn Massachusetts, the annual rate of unknown-cause gun deaths (other) per 100,000 population is

2013: 0.00 (unreliable)13
2012: 0.00 (unreliable)
2011: 0.00 (unreliable)
2010: 0.00 (unreliable)
2009: 0.00 (unreliable)
2008: 0.00 (unreliable)
2007: 0.00 (unreliable)
2006: 0.00 (unreliable)
2005: 0.00 (unreliable)
2004: 0.00 (unreliable)
2003: 0.00 (unreliable)
2002: 0.00 (unreliable)
2001: 0.00 (unreliable)
2000: 0.00 (unreliable)
1999: 0.00 (unreliable)

Justifiable Gun Homicides

ChartIn Massachusetts, annual legal-intervention gun homicides total

2011: 018
2010: 5
2009: 1
2008: 019
2007: 0
2006: 1
2005: 2
2004: 1
2003: 3
2002: 0
2001: 120
2000: 1
1999: 1
1998: 0
1997: 0
1996: 0
1995: 1

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Origin of Crime Guns

Suppliers of Crime Guns to Other US States (Rate)

When crime guns seized in the United States were traced, interstate gun traffickers had sourced their weapons from Massachusetts at a rate of 3.621 per 100,000 inhabitants

Suppliers of Crime Guns to Other US States (Rank)

When crime guns seized in the United States were traced, Massachusetts ranked at No. 4721 out of 51 US jurisdictions as a source of weapons for interstate gun trafficking

MeasuresGun Regulation

Firearm Regulation - Guiding Policy

The regulation of guns in Massachusetts is categorised as restrictive22

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in Massachusetts includes the Massachusetts General Laws and the Constitution of Massachusetts 178023

Firearm Regulation Authority

Guns in Massachusetts are regulated by the local and state governments (as long as local regulations do not conflict with State law)24 25 26

Right to Possess Firearms

In Massachusetts, the right to private gun ownership is conditionally guaranteed by the US Constitution,27 as limited by federal law28 and state law29 25 26

Restricted Firearms and Ammunition

In Massachusetts, civilians are not allowed to possess machine guns with few exceptions,30 assault weapons and large capacity ammunition magazines, unless possessed prior to 13 September 1994,31 32 but civilians are allowed to possess .50 calibre rifles33 25 26

Regulation of Automatic Weapons

In Massachusetts, private possession of fully automatic weapons is prohibited with only narrow exemptions30 34 25 26

Regulation of Semiautomatic Assault Weapons

In Massachusetts, private possession of semi-automatic assault weapons is prohibited with only narrow exemptions31 25 26

Regulation of Handguns

In Massachusetts, private possession of handguns (pistols and revolvers) is permitted with a licence35 36 25 26

Gun Ownership and Possession

In Massachusetts, only licensed gun owners36 35 25 26 may lawfully acquire, possess or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Minimum Age for Firearm Possession

The minimum age for gun ownership in Massachusetts is 18 years, 21 years for handguns37 25 26

Gun Owner Background Checks

An applicant for a firearm licence in Massachusetts must pass a background check which considers criminal, addiction, mental health and domestic violence36 35 25 26 records

Domestic Violence and Firearms

Where a past history, or apprehended likelihood of family violence exists, the law in Massachusetts stipulates38 25 26 that firearm possession should be denied or revoked

Firearm Safety Training

In Massachusetts, an understanding of firearm safety and the law, tested in a theoretical and/or practical training course is required39 25 26

Gun Owner Licensing Period

In Massachusetts, gun owners must re-apply and re-qualify for their firearm licence every six years35 25 26

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In Massachusetts, the law requires40 25 26 that a record of the acquisition, possession and transfer of each privately held firearm be retained in an official register

Gun Dealer Record Keeping

In Massachusetts, licensed firearm dealers are required41 25 26 to keep a record of each firearm or ammunition purchase, sale or transfer on behalf of a regulating authority

Gun Sales and Transfers

Regulation of Private Gun Sales

In Massachusetts, the private sale and transfer of firearms is permitted for a maximum of four firearms per year and if registered at the Department of Criminal Justice Information Services42 25 26

Regulation of Dealer Gun Sales

In Massachusetts, dealing in firearms by way of business without a valid gun dealer’s licence is unlawful43 25 26

Background Checks for Private Gun Sales

The buyer of a firearm in a private sale in Massachusetts is obliged44 42 25 26 to pass official background checks before taking possession

Background Checks for Dealer Gun Sales

The buyer of a firearm from a licensed gun dealer in Massachusetts is obliged44 25 26 to pass official background checks before taking possession

Limit on Gun Dealer Sales

In Massachusetts, the number and type of firearms which can be sold by a licensed gun dealer to a single gun owner is not limited45 25 26

Number of Licensed Gun Dealers

ChartThe number of licensed firearm dealers in Massachusetts is reported to be

2015: 4,03946
2014: 3,99347
2013: 3,82648
2012: 3,52449
2011: 3,29050

Waiting Period for Gun Possession

In Massachusetts, the minimum wait for a lawful firearm purchase to be completed is 40 days for a gun owner's licence51 25 26

Regulation of Gun Shows

In Massachusetts, gun shows and temporary firearm dealing events are regulated52 25 26 in law

Storage and Transport of Guns and Ammunition

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Private

Firearm regulations in Massachusetts include53 25 26 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of private guns and ammunition

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Dealer

Firearm regulations in Massachusetts include43 54 25 26 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by licensed arms dealers

Firearm and Ammunition Transport Regulations

Regulations in Massachusetts include53 55 25 26 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition while in transit

Marking and Tracing Guns and Ammunition

Firearm Marking

In Massachusetts, a unique identifying mark on each firearm is required by law56 57 58 59 25 26

Ballistic Record of Firearms and Ammunition

In Massachusetts, the ballistic characteristics of each civilian firearm and its ammunition are not60 25 26 recorded in a register

Carrying Guns

Carrying Guns Openly in Public

In Massachusetts, carrying a firearm in plain view in a public place is allowed, subject to a valid permit61 25 26

Carrying Hidden Handguns in Public

In Massachusetts, carrying a concealed firearm in a public place is allowed, subject to a valid permit39 25 26

Hidden Handgun Permit May, or Shall Be Issued

In Massachusetts, local licensing authorities "may issue", with room for discretion,39 62 25 26 a hidden handgun carry permit to any non-prohibited person who applies

Reciprocity for Hidden Handgun Permit Holders

In Massachusetts, gun owners with a permit to carry hidden handguns issued in another jurisdiction are granted (for firearm competitions, exhibitions, collectors or hunting pruposes only)39 25 26 reciprocal rights

Exempting Hidden Handgun Permit Holders from Background Checks

In Massachusetts, gun owners with a valid permit to carry a hidden handgun are not exempt39 25 26 from background checks when buying from a licensed gun dealer

Gun Free Zones

In Massachusetts, private guns are prohibited in airports, aircraft,63 vehicles (loaded, exposed firearms)55 and schools and universities64 25 26

Grading US State Gun Laws

Gun Law Ranking – LCPGV

In their 'A-F' State Scorecard of US gun laws, the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence ranked Massachusetts as ‘A-’65

Gun Law Ranking – Brady Campaign

ChartIn its annual State Scorecard, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence scored firearm legislation in Massachusetts on a scale of 0 points (weak) to 100 points (strong)

2011: 6566
2010: 6567
2009: 5468
2008: 5469
2007: 5470

Gun Law Ranking – Open Society Institute

In its Comparative Survey of State Firearm Laws, the Open Society Institute ranked Massachusetts at No. 171 among 50 US States


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