Securing Firearms

Recently, Massachusetts amended Chapter 140 (Firearms Laws) by adding Section 131L. Section 131L makes it unlawful to store or keep any firearm, shotgun or other weapon "in any place" without ensuring first that the weapon is secured in:

  • A locked container
  • A secured with a tamper resistant mechanical lock or other safety device. The safety device must render the weapon inoperable by any person other than the owner or other authorized user.


Violations of this section of law are punishable as follows:

  • Firearm, rifle or shotgun (non large capacity) - Fine of not less than $5,000 or by imprisonment for not more than one year.
  • Large Capacity weapon or machine gun - Fine of not less than $1,000 nor more than $10,000 or by imprisonment for not less than one year nor more than ten years or by both such fine and imprisonment.

Additional penalties are provided for unlawful storage of weapons when they are kept where individuals under the age of eighteen might gain access and who do not possess a valid Firearms Identification Card. This section carries up to ten years imprisonment. Failure to properly secure the weapon in the manner provided by statute shall constitute evidence of wanton or reckless conduct in any civil or criminal proceeding.