Long guns have to be registered in Massachusetts

On behalf of Brian D. Roman, Attorney at Law on Wednesday, November 11, 2015.

If you're moving to Massachusetts from another state, you must know the differences regarding some common gun laws in this state. Not understanding and abiding by these laws could lead to weapons charges, even if you didn't realize that what you did broke the law.

For example, most states do not ask people to register their long guns, but Massachusetts does. These include rifles, shotguns and the like. In fact, while 43 states don't make people register these weapons, only seven do. This makes it uncommon and surprising to some new residents, who may be very used to buying any hunting weapons that they want without having to fill out paperwork at the local police station.

In many other states, handguns do have to be registered. New residents simply need to know that the process for handguns and long guns is similar in Massachusetts.

Another similarity is that permits are needed to buy the long guns in the first place. Forty-two states don't ask for permits, while only eight do, and Massachusetts is one of them. While other states—like Michigan—ask for background checks to be run at the time of purchase, Massachusetts requires the buyer to go through this screening process well in advance, apply for a permit, and then go out to purchase the long gun.

Part of the reason for these laws is the violent crime rate in Massachusetts. While the rates in the rest of New England are stagnant or falling, they are rising in Massachusetts, and the strict gun laws are an attempt to curb this trend, if possible.

Source: WeaponsMan, "Massachusetts Bill Extends ‘May Issue’ to Hunting Rifles, Shotguns," accessed Nov. 11, 2015