Legal Information: Massachusetts

State Gun Laws

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November 28, 2016

I have an abuse prevention order against the abuser. Can s/he keep a gun or buy a new gun?

Under Massachusetts state law, a person cannot get a license to carry or possess a firearm if s/he is subject to an "order for suspension and surrender of firearms license" as part of a temporary or ex parte abuse prevention order or is subject to a final abuse prevention order issued in Massachusetts or another state.*  An "order for suspension and surrender of firearms license" is supposed to be issued as part of a temporary abuse prevention order if if the judge thinks there is a substantial likelihood that you are in immediate danger of abuse.**

Also, according to federal law, if you have an abuse prevention order that was issued by a state civil court against the abuser and meets federal law requirements, the abuser cannot have a gun in his/her possession or buy a new gun.***  Note: This law may not apply to law enforcement officials, military personnel, and other government employees who use guns while performing official duties.****  If the abuser is a police officer, member of the military, or someone else who uses a gun for his/her job, talk to your local domestic violence program about your options.  To find a shelter or an advocate at a local program, please visit the MA Advocates and Shelters page.

* Mass. Gen. Laws 140 § 131(d)(vi)

** Mass. Gen. Laws 209A § 3B

*** 18 USC § 922(g)(8)

**** 18 USC § 925(a)(1)