In many circumstances simply possessing a firearm can be considered a felony in and of itself, while the use of a firearm during the commission of another felony can greatly enhance the penalties. In Massachusetts, possession without a firearm identification card, or carrying a concealed firearm without a license to carry, result in mandatory jail time if convicted. Federal crackdowns on firearms and firearm offenses have also increased the penalties associated with a multitude of charges.

Types of Firearm Offenses

Massachusetts law establishes that in addition to the penalties for committing a felony act, the use of a firearm kicks in an additional 5 year mandatory minimum prison sentence. Large capacity weapons or machine guns add 10 years to any felony conviction. A second offense involving firearms will add a minimum of 20 years to any felony conviction, while machine guns add 25 years. In addition, these mandatory minimums eliminate the possibility of parole, furlough, or work release until the minimum has been reached.

Other firearm offenses can include the following

  • Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, regardless of the intended use. This also applies to misdemeanor convictions for domestic violence and dishonorable discharges from the military
  • Purchasing a firearm for a felon or other ineligible buyer ("straw purchasing")
  • Removing serial numbers from a firearm, which prevents identification of the weapon

Violations of these and other federal gun laws will generally result in prison sentences of up to 10 years. Possession of a firearm after three previous felony convictions can result in a mandatory minimum of 15 years in prison. The use of a firearm in a violent crime, or a drug-trafficking crime, is a federal offense punishable by up to 20 years in prison, while second offenses, or first offenses with machine guns or silenced weapons, can result in life in prison.

Contact our Law Offices

Gun laws are complicated, and the penalties for a violation are severe. If you stand accused of a firearm offense, our attorneys can help. We will defended clients, in both state and federal courts, against serious charges including a wide range of firearm offenses. Contact a Boston firearms offense attorney today.

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