Massachusetts gun lock law makes self-defense harder

On behalf of Brian D. Roman, Attorney at Law on Friday, April 3, 2015.

Owning a firearm is a constitutionally protected right. Many people own firearms because they enjoy hunting. Others own them because they like to shoot skeet or target practice. However, there is also segment of the population who own firearms because they want the ability to protect themselves and their families from would be burglars or carjackers.

Regardless of which category best describes you, the Bay state currently has some of the strictest gun ownership laws throughout the nation. Arguably, one of the most controversial of these laws is the requirement that gun owners secure their weapons under lock when not in use. In particular, gun owners are required to keep their weapons in locked containers or render them inoperable using tamper-resistant mechanical locks.

Obviously, this can prove problematic when a gun owner needs to quickly access his or her weapon. For some gun owners, their commitment to protecting themselves and their families means that they may not always observe Massachusetts' gun lock laws to the letter. However, the penalties for not properly securing a firearm are severe. Avid readers of our online blog may recall a previous article involving a college student who was brought up on several gun charges. Those charges also included one related to allowing a person under 18 to have access to firearms. The young man in that case happened to store his weapons in a bedroom that he also shared with a 6-year-old.

There are a few things you should know if you are currently facing weapons charges related to improper firearms storage. A consultation with a Massachusetts criminal defense attorney can help you to understand your legal options at this point. Depending on the circumstances of your case, your attorney may wish to challenge the evidence against you. Just because the police have made an arrest does not necessarily mean that the prosecutors will be able to prove the charges against you. Alternatively, your attorney may examine the facts of your case and determine that a plea bargain for a reduction in charges may be the best available outcome.

Based in Attleboro, our law firm is home to a criminal defense attorney with over 20 years of experience practicing law in Massachusetts. Our attorney has worked both sides of the aisle, both as a prosecutor and as a criminal defense lawyer. Knowing how prosecutors will likely handle your case may prove invaluable towards your defense.