H3264 The Civil Rights and Public Safety Act Legislative Summary

Section 1:

States that towns/cities may not pass or enforce any firearms law that overrides the law of the Commonwealth.

This section also states that the right to keep and bear arms as an individual right shall be presumed to exist unless expressly prohibited by the laws of the Commonwealth.

 

Section 2: Repeals a previous firearms law

 

Section 3:

Definitions are made clear for the following terms:

·Ammunition

· Antique Firearm

· Firearm

· Handgun

· Imitation Firearm

· Length of Barrel

· Local Licensing Agent

· Machinegun

· Non-resident

· Rifle

· Shotgun

· State Licensing Authority

 

Section 4: Repeals a previous firearms law

 

Section 5:

States any applicant or holder who wants to challenge a denial, revocation or suspension of an FID, (unless a hearing has been held pursuant to chapter 209A, a restraining order) can, within 90 days of denial, revocation or suspension or within 90 days of the expiration date the local licensing agent is required to respond to the applicant, obtain a judicial review in the district court of the town the license was issued/applied for. If the justice of the court determines the person eligible, the local licensing agent will provide the petitioner an FID within 10 days.  The local licensing authority cannot appeal the decision of the court to issue the card. If the local licensing authority refuses to issue the card after the ruling, they will be held in contempt of court.

 

Section 6:

· FID issued to anyone who is not a prohibited person.

· Local licensing agent must give applicant receipt when handed an FID application. The Local Licensing Agent must submit application to FRB within 7 days of receipt.  The FRB must advise the Local Licensing Agent in writing if the applicant is a prohibited person within 15 days.  If the information sent by the FRB does not state the applicant is a prohibited person, the Local Licensing Agent must issue the FID within 30 days. If the applicant is a prohibited person, the Local Licensing Agent will issue the applicant with a denial/revocation form submitted by the FRB which will state why the applicant is a prohibited person. and information regarding an appeal as a prohibited person.

· The Local Licensing agent or any government entity may not deny an FID for reasons not listed in this section.

· FID will be revoked/suspended upon the FRB notifying the LLA a holder has become a prohibited person. The LLA takes FID, and the prohibited person must surrender all firearms.  There is no appeal-FID is returned once FRB deems the person is no longer a prohibited person.

· FID should be valid for all lawful purposes, subject to age based conditions for groups: 15-17, 18 and older, 21+

· FID should be the size and shape of a driver’s license with all pertinent information.

· The application for an FID should be a standard from provided by the FRB. Individual cities/towns may no longer ask for letters of reference or additional information not on the standard application.  The applicant has the right to file an amended application if he did not understand the questions asked.  A person shall not be denied because of the need to file an amended application.

· If an applicant deliberately falsifies an application, the fine will be no less than $500, no more than $5,000.

· An FID shall be valid for 6 years from the date of issue.  If a person renewed before the card expires, the card will remain valid until revoked or renewed.

· FRB must send holders a notice of expiration no less than 120 days before card expires along with a renewal form and the penalties if FID is not renewed.

· The fee for an FID shall be $40, and will not be prorated or refunded in the event of denial/revocation. 

· Persons age 70 and older or under the age of 18 obtain a card and renew free of charge.

· Local Licensing Agent will send the Firearms Record Bureau a copy of the approved application and FID card.  The Firearms Record Bureau will then notify the Local Licensing Agent of any disqualifiers or if the holder becomes a prohibited person after card is issued.

· Nothing in this section shall authorize the purchase, possession or transfer of any firearm, ammunition or feeding device that is prohibited by state or federal law.

· Transition.  Any license to carry firearms or firearms identification card in good standing at the time this bill passes, shall be deemed a firearms identification card as described in this section.  Upon the passage of this act, all firearms identifications cards will have no restrictions.

· The Secretary of the Executive Office of Public Safety or his designee may promulgate regulations to carry out the purposes of this section.

 

Section 7:

(Person whose card is expired)

Whoever, not being a prohibited person, who knowingly has in his possession or is under his control in a vehicle, a firearm loaded or unloaded and whose FID is expired, there will be a civil fine of not less than $100, no more than $500.  If the card holder can prove the renewal has been submitted, the fine will be waived.

(Person who never had a card)

Whoever, not being a prohibited person, who knowingly has in his possession or has under his direct control in a vehicle, a firearm loaded or unloaded without either:

· Being present in/on his legal residence or place of business or

· Having a FID card or

· Having complied with the provisions of section this section, 128, 128A; or

· Being a federally licensed firearm dealer

· shall be subject to a fine no less than $500, no more than $5,000

 

This section includes an extensive list of exempted persons.

No one may sell a rifle or shotgun to persons under 18, or handguns for persons under 21 nor to anyone who does not possess an FID card.

 

Section 8:

If an FID card is revoked or suspended, the holder must surrender all firearms, machineguns and ammunition to the local licensing agent.  Unless a person is arrested and proven guilty of a violent crime, no entity shall revoke or suspend a firearm identification card unless the entity has obtained a court order. If an application for an FID is denied, the applicant must surrender all firearms, machineguns and ammunition they possess to the local licensing agent. Upon surrendering said firearms, machineguns and ammunition, the local licensing agent must give the owner or his legal representative an itemized receipt.  Within one year of the surrender, the owner or his legal representative has the right to request his property be transferred to a federally licensed firearms dealer, or any person legally able to accept such firearms, machineguns or ammunition. Upon written notification from the owner, the local licensing agent must deliver firearms, machineguns or ammunition to the transferee within 10 days.

The local licensing agent may not transfer a firearm or machinegun that was used or suspected to be used in a crime and is evidence in a current or pending criminal case.

If firearms, machineguns or ammunition remain at the police station, the local licensing agent may transfer any firearms or machineguns to a federally licensed dealer for storage purposes, at their cost. However, no entity may enter a citizen into a contract for the storage of guns without that citizens written request. Any dealer that takes possession of such property must issue the owner a receipt with pertinent information, including the condition of the firearm or machine gun.  The dealer must also store and maintain the firearms or machineguns according to the regulations the secretary of the executive office may establish.

If the owner does not request the transfer of any firearms, machineguns or ammunition within one year of delivery or surrender, the Colonel of the state police will sell them at public auction to the highest bidder who is legally permitted to purchase and possess firearms, machineguns or ammunition.  Proceeds from these auctions will go to the state treasurer, who will use these monies to fund the Criminal Firearms and Trafficking Division.

 

Section 9:

Any government agency, building or facility that restricts access to a citizen lawfully carrying a firearm shall provide, free of charge, a means for securely storing any firearms possessed by a holder of a firearms identification card who wishes to enter the building or facility.

 

Section 10:

Any nonresident or person not falling within jurisdiction of a local licensing agent who is not a prohibited person can apply for a firearms identification card through the colonel of the state police.  If they are determined not to be prohibited persons, the colonel of the state police, or a designee, shall issue the firearms identification card at the cost of $40, and the card will be valid for not less than 6 years.

 

Section 11:

Any person who is not a resident of the commonwealth, but is a United States citizen who is able to carry a firearm in their state of residence may carry a firearm in or through the commonwealth for:

· Firearms competitions

· Firearms training

· Attending a meeting or exhibition of an organized group of firearms collectors

· Hunting

 

With no general or special law to the contrary, any lawful citizen may transport or carry firearms through the commonwealth in accordance to federal law.

Any law enforcement or peace officers who are not prohibited persons in any state or jurisdiction in the United States and are duly authorized to possess firearms shall be issued a firearms identification card.

 

Section 12:

Section 128C

After an investigation, the Colonel of the State Police shall issue a machine gun license to a resident of the Commonwealth who is a holder of a firearms identification card and is over the age of 21. 

The machine gun license fee will be $40, good for a term up to six years.  Upon receipt of application, the Colonel of the state police must issue or deny applicant within sixty days.  Any denial shall be in writing and must state the reason why they were not considered a collector of machine guns or considered a prohibited person.  Upon issuance, the Colonel must send written notification to the local licensing agent.  The Colonel can revoke a license as he sees fit, and if revoked, the fee cannot be prorated or refunded.

A machine gun license entitles a person to purchase, possess, transport, transfer, store and fire a machine gun in accordance with federal law.

No person shall own or have in his possession or under his control a machine gun, except as provided in this section.  It is lawful for:

· A person 18 years of age or over to temporarily hold, handle or fire a machine gun for examination, trial or instruction while under the direct/immediate supervision of a machine gun license holder.

· Military, while on performance of his duty.

· A non-resident over 21 years old to transport a machine gun through the commonwealth as long as they can lawfully possess the machine gun under federal law and the law of their state of residence.  The machine gun must also be unloaded and locked in a trunk or case while being transported.

 

 Section 13:

If there are no laws to the contrary, persons involved in the making of a television show, movie, or stage production may carry or possess a firearm as long as that firearm has been permanently disabled from firing conventional cartridges that discharge a projectile.

 

Section 14:

No loaded rifles or shotguns carried on a public way. Loaded meaning any ammunition in an attached magazine or chamber. For black powder and muzzleloaders, loaded is powder in the flash pan, a percussion cap and shot or ball. A rifle or shotgun loaded with a blank cartridge with no projectile in the cartridge or chamber is not considered loaded. Persons exempt from these provisions include:

· Participants in drills, parades, military enactments, or other commemorative ceremonies

· Federal, state or local law enforcement personnel

· Military; including national guard, reserves and junior reserve officer training corps.

· Any officer, agent or employee of the commonwealth who are acting within the scope of their duties or training.

· A person lawfully engaged in hunting who holds a valid hunting or sporting license.

 

Violations of this section are punishable by a fine of not less than $50, no more than $100.

 

Section 15:

Whoever discharges a firearm within 500 feet of a dwelling or other building in use without permission from the owner or legal occupant thereof, will be fined no less than $50, not more than $100. This does not include the lawful defense of life and property. A list of additional exemptions is listed in this section.

 

Section 16:

Any fines collected as a result of any civil violations will be used to fund the Criminal Firearms and trafficking Division.

 

Section 17: Repeals a previous firearms law

 

Section 18:

Section 85U

No person who committed an act of lawful defense will be held liable for the death or injuries to the assailant.

 

Section 19:

Section 18B

Any person who commits or attempts to commit a crime punishable by imprisonment in state prison and:

· Has a firearm in his possession or under his control, will, in addition to the penalty for the crime, serve an additional five years.  A second offense would be an additional penalty of not less than twenty years.

· Has a machinegun in his possession or under his control, will, in addition to the penalty for the crime, serve an additional ten years.  A second offense would be an additional penalty of not less than twenty five years.

 

Those who are sentenced under this section for second offenses must serve the minimum term before they are eligible for parole, probation, work release or a deduction of his sentence for good behavior. Certain officials may grant temporary release in the custody of an officer for:

· The funeral of a spouse or family member

· A visit to a critically ill spouse or family member

· To receive emergency medical services if unavailable at the institution

 

Prosecutions under this section cannot be continued without a finding or placed on file. Probation does not apply to persons age 17 or over who violate this section.

 

Section 20:

Section 45. Crimes committed with a deceptive weapon device:

Any person who possesses a deceptive weapon (toy gun, air gun, substances carved or fashioned to resemble a weapon, etc.) during the commission of a crime will be considered armed and punished as so.

 

Section 21:

Section 9A. Definitions:

Definitions are made clear for the following terms:

· Ammunition

· Conviction

· Crime of Violence

· Firearm

· Local Licensing Agent

· Machinegun

· Non-Resident

· Prohibited Person

· Sawed off Shotgun

 

Section 22:

Section 9B State firearm crime

The following will be considered State Firearm Crimes, and shall be under the jurisdiction of the Criminal Firearms and Trafficking Division:

· Any crime of violence involving the criminal use of a firearm or machine gun

· Any case of unlawful intrastate trafficking of firearms or machine guns

 

Section 23:

Section 9C. Criminal Firearms and Trafficking Division

A special unit of the state police, known as the Criminal Firearms and Trafficking Division will be attached to the department of the attorney general and will assist that office in investigating and prosecuting all state firearm crimes.  In its investigations, the division shall compile data regarding but not limited to:

· If the suspect would be considered a prohibited person

· If the suspect obtained the firearm illegally and if so, where the suspect obtained it.

· Create a database of all firearms recovered as stolen property

· Create a database of all firearms used in state firearm crimes. Information will include the make, model and serial number on the firearm, fingerprint evidence, ballistic evidence from the crime scene and if criminal use of the firearm was related to gang activity.

 

The division will submit an annual report to the Joint Committee of Public Safety and Homeland Security concerning all of the information gathered during each calendar year concerning the criminal use and criminal trafficking of firearms.

 

Fines collected as a result of convictions in sections 9D through 10F inclusive, of this chapter will fund the Criminal Firearms and Trafficking Division.

 

Section 24:

Section 9D. Prohibited Person in possession of a firearm.

· A prohibited person in possession of a firearm will be fined no less than $500, not more than $5,000 or by imprisonment for not less than one year, nor more than two years or by both such fine and imprisonment. A second or subsequent conviction is punishable by a fine no less than $5,000, not more than $10,000 or by imprisonment for not less than a year, no more than five years or by both such fine and imprisonment.

· A prohibited person in possession of a firearm while in possession of a controlled substance shall be fined no less than $10,000 or by imprisonment for not less than two years, no more than ten years or by both fine and imprisonment.

· A prohibited person in possession of a firearm while trafficking a controlled substance will be fined no less than $10,000 or by imprisonment for not less than five years, no more than ten, or by both fine and imprisonment.

· A prohibited person in possession of a firearm while committing a crime of violence will be fine no less than $10,000, or by imprisonment for not less than five years, no more than ten, or by both fine an imprisonment.

 

Section 25:

Section 9E Unlawful transfer

· It’s unlawful to provide a firearm to a known prohibited person.

· It’s unlawful to provide a firearm to a minor who is not a lawful holder of a firearms identification card.  However, parents may allow an adult with a firearms identification card to supervise the minor’s use of a firearm for hunting, recreation, instruction or organized shooting competition.  With the parent’s consent, an instructor may provide firearms and/or ammunition to his pupils under the age of eighteen.

 

The punishment for violating the above is a fine of not less than $1000, nor more than $10,000, or imprisonment in the state prison for not more than ten years, or imprisonment in a house of correction for not more than two and one-half years or by both fine and imprisonment.

 

Section 26:

Section 9F:

Any person who falsely makes, or assists another to falsely make, forge, alter or counterfeit a firearms identification card, or uses the signature or signature stamp of the local licensing agent without authority, or whoever possesses, or makes use of a falsely made, altered, forged or counterfeit firearms identification card shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than two years, or by a fine of not less than $500, or both fine and imprisonment.

 

Any person who manufactures, offers for sale or sells a firearms identification card that is falsely made, altered, forged or counterfeit will be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not less than two years, nor more than five.

 

Section 27:

Section 9G.  Unlawful Intrastate commerce of firearms.

· Any person who unlawfully transports firearms into the commonwealth to use said firearm to commit a crime will be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not less than five years, nor more than ten.

· Whoever unlawfully transports firearms into the commonwealth to unlawfully distribute, sell or transfer possession of any quantity of firearms to a prohibited person, the term of imprisonment in state prison is not less than ten years, nor more than twenty.

· Any person who unlawfully transports firearms into the commonwealth to unlawfully distribute, sell, or transfer firearms to a prohibited person and that firearm is then used to cause the death of another, the term of imprisonment in the state prison is not less than twenty years.

 

Motor vehicles lawfully owned and operated by persons who are convicted under this section will be confiscated and sold at auction.  Auction proceeds will fund the Criminal Firearms and Trafficking Division.

 

Section 28:

Section 9H:Theft of a Firearm, breaking and entering.

 

Fines/imprisonment for the following crimes:

· Breaking and entering during the daytime or nighttime and enters a building, ship, vessel or vehicle to steal a firearm

· Breaking and entering during the daytime or nighttime and enters a building, ship, vessel or vehicle to steal a firearm to distribute to a prohibited person

· Breaking and entering during the daytime or nighttime and enters a building, ship, vessel or vehicle to steal a firearm and in the process causes harm to another.

Any motor vehicle lawfully owned or operated by a person convicted under this section shall be forfeited and auctioned by the colonel of the state police.  All proceeds from this auction go to fund the Criminal Firearms and Trafficking Division.

 

Section 29:

Section 10.

 

· Any person who possesses a loaded or unloaded firearm or is under his direct control in a vehicle during commission of a felony that is not an act of self defense will be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not less than two and one-half years, nor more than five.

· Prohibited persons who possess a loaded or unloaded firearm or is under his direct control in a vehicle during the commission of a felony will be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not less than five years, nor more than ten.  A second or subsequent offense shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not less than ten years nor more than twenty.

· Any person who is both a prohibited person and an illegal alien in the United States who possesses a loaded or unloaded firearm or is under his direct control in a vehicle during the commission of a felony shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not less than ten years, nor more than twenty.

· Any prohibited person who possesses a loaded or unloaded firearm or is under his direct control in a vehicle while in possession of a controlled substance he intends to distribute shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not less than ten years, nor more than twenty.

If the court feels it is in the public’s best interest, a child between the ages of fourteen to seventeen, and persons seventeen or older may be tried as adults.

· Any person who illegally possesses a machinegun, or who owns or possesses, or carries on his person, or carries on his person or under a direct control in a vehicle a sawed off shotgun shall be imprisoned in state prison for life or a term of years that is at least the minimum in paragraph (c).

· Any person convicted under paragraphs (b), (c), (d) and (e) cannot have their sentences suspended, be eligible for probation or have time deducted from the sentence for good behavior.

· Any person convicted under paragraphs (b), (c), (d) and (e) who were in possession of a stolen firearm shall serve an additional term of not less than five years to be served consecutively.

· Upon conviction of violating this section, the firearm or other article shall be confiscated by the commonwealth, unless otherwise ordered by the court.  These items will be forwarded to the colonel of the state police.  If no lawful owner can be found, firearms which can be lawfully owned in the commonwealth will be sold at public auction. Firearms that cannot be lawfully sold in the commonwealth will be destroyed and the colonel of the state police will keep a permanent record of those destroyed. All proceeds from public auction will fund the Criminal Firearms and Trafficking Division.

· If the firearm or other article was lost or stolen from the person lawfully in possession of it, the court shall return it to such person.

· Any person who leaves a firearm unattended with the intent of having a prohibited person retrieve it for the purpose of committing a crime or concealing a crime shall be imprisoned in a house of correction for not more than two and one-half years, or in state prison for not more than five years.

· Failing to deliver or surrender a revoked firearms identification card, firearms, or machineguns, unless an appeal is pending will be punished by imprisonment in a jail or house of correction for not more than two and one-half years or by a fine of not more than $1,000

· In this section, the word “loaded” shall mean ammunition is contained in the weapon or within the feeding device attached thereto.

 

Section 30:

Section 10E:

Any person, except those as provided by law, that distributes, sells or transfers any of the following quantities of firearms, machine guns, or any combination of the two in a single transaction or multiple transactions within a twelve month period will face the following punishments:

1) Three or more, but less than ten is punishable by imprisonment in state prison for not more than ten years. Mandatory minimum imprisonment is three years, and a fine of not more than $50,000 can be added, but not cannot replace the mandatory minimum sentence of three years.

2) Ten or more, but less than twenty is punishable by imprisonment in state prison for not more than ten years.  Mandatory minimum imprisonment is five years, and a fine of not more than $100,000 can be added, but cannot replace the mandatory minimum of five years.

3) Twenty or more is punishable by imprisonment in state prison for not less than ten years up to life.  Mandatory minimum imprisonment is ten years, and a fine of not more than $150,000 can be added, but cannot replace the mandatory minimum of ten years.

4) Any person convicted under paragraphs 1, 2 or 3 who were found in possession of a stolen firearm must serve an additional five years in state prison to be served consecutively.

Prosecutions under this section cannot be filed or continued without a finding.  All sentences imposed must be the mandatory minimum term.  Until the mandatory minimum is served, the person is not eligible for probation, parole, furlough, work release or get time deducted of his sentence for good behavior.  Persons in charge of the correctional institution may grant temporary release for the funeral of a relative, to visit a sick relative or to obtain emergency medical or psychiatric treatment not provided at the facility.

Persons age seventeen or over, or any child between the ages of fourteen to seventeen that are charged with a violation of this section can be tried as an adult, if the court feels it is in the public’s best interest.

 

Section 31:

Section 10F: Breaking and Entering of a Firearm Retailer, Wholesaler, or Manufacturer:

· Whoever in the nighttime or the daytime breaks and enters any building in which a firearm retailer, wholesaler or manufacturer conducts business shall be subject to a fine of not less than $5,000, nor more than $10,000, or by imprisonment for not less than five years nor more than ten years or by both such fine and imprisonment.

· Whoever in the nighttime or the daytime breaks and enters any building in which a firearm retailer, wholesaler or manufacturer conducts business to unlawfully obtain a firearm, rifle, shotgun, machine gun or ammunition shall be subject to a fine of not less than $5,000, nor more than $10,000, or by imprisonment for not less than five years nor more than ten years or by both such fine and imprisonment.

· Whoever in the nighttime or the daytime breaks and enters any building in which a firearm retailer, wholesaler or manufacturer conducts business and who unlawfully distributes said firearm, rifle, shotgun, machine gun or ammunition shall be subject to a fine of not less than $10,000 or by imprisonment for not less than ten years nor more than twenty years or by both such fine and imprisonment.

 

Section 32:

Section 11A

For the purposes of this section and sections 11B, 11C, and 11E, the following words shall have the following meanings:

“Firearm”, any device which will, is designed to, or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of a propellant powder. This term includes a rifle, shotgun, handgun or machine gun.  This term does not apply to antique firearms, bb guns or other air guns.

“Serial number”, the number stamped or placed upon a firearm by the manufacturer in the original process of manufacture.

 

Section 33:

Section 11E

All newly manufactured firearms, whether manufactured or delivered to any federally licensed firearms dealer within the commonwealth must have permanently inscribed serial numbers on a visible metal area on the firearm.  Manufacturers must keep records of the serial numbers and to which dealer, distributor or person to which it was sold or delivered. Federally licensed manufacturers cannot deliver or manufacture firearms in the commonwealth with no serial numbers, and federally licensed firearms dealers may not order for delivery or sell such firearms. Federally licensed manufacturers who sell firearms with no serial numbers within the United States shall be punished by a five of $500.  Each violation shall constitute a separate offense.

 

Section 34:

Section 12E  Prohibiting the confiscation of legally owned firearms.

No government official or any person acting on behalf of the commonwealth shall order the confiscation of, or cause the confiscation of lawfully carried or lawfully owned firearms.

No law enforcement officer, person acting as a law enforcement officer or other public official shall confiscate or attempt to confiscate lawfully carried or lawfully owned firearms.

Violation of this section are subject to a civil fine of not less than $500, nor more than $5,000 for each firearm unlawfully confiscated or by imprisonment in state prison for not more than two and one-half years.

Nothing in this section shall prohibit the confiscation of firearms from any person who;

a) Has been lawfully placed under arrest;

b) Is the subject of a protective order

c) Has had their firearms identification card revoked or suspended or;

d) Is or has become a prohibited person

 

Section 35:

Section 8A

It is a lawful defense if a person in their home or a place they have a right to be, used deadly or less than deadly force, if he or she acted on the belief that the assailant was about to inflict great injury or death on themselves or someone else who had a right to be at that location. There shall be no duty to retreat from a place they have the right to be. This act of lawful defense shall not be cause for arrest or prosecution, or revocation of a firearms identification card.