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Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. 2021 ‘Universal Background Checks in Massachusetts.’ Background Checks. San Francisco, CA: Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. 29 July

Relevant contents

Private Sales in Massachusetts

Massachusetts law prohibits any person from transferring a firearm without possessing a Massachusetts firearms dealer license. This prohibition does not apply to an unlicensed person who transfers a firearm to a state or federally licensed dealer or to a historical society, museum or institutional collection that is open to the public.

State law also exempts from this general prohibition unlicensed persons who transfer "not more than four" firearms in any one calendar year, so long as both the buyer and the seller have the proper cards, permits or licenses to purchase or possess the firearms being transferred, and the seller reports the sale to the state, as required by law…

Massachusetts law requires private sales of firearms to be reported to the Department of Criminal Justice Information Services by both the seller and the purchaser…

With certain exceptions (including for persons who transfer fewer than five handguns a year), Massachusetts law deems it an unfair or deceptive practice to transfer a handgun while failing to comply with any local, state or federal law or regulation intended to protect consumers from unfair and deceptive practices, such as laws or regulations that:

- Forbid sale to juveniles, addicts or the mentally incompetent;
- Require sellers to keep handgun sales records;
- Forbid sellers from delivering or transporting loaded handguns; or
- Forbid the delivery of handguns to minors.

In addition, it is generally an unfair or deceptive practice for a handgun seller to make a material misrepresentation or false certification regarding a handgun offered for transfer…

[Editor's note: The Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence regularly updates its webpages with new data as US gun regulation evolves state by state. For the most up-to-date information on US gun laws, please refer to the Giffords URL below]

ID: Q7417

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