See our Assault Weapons policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.
No person in Massachusetts may sell, offer for sale, transfer or possess an assault weapon (or large capacity feeding device, see the Large Capacity Ammunition Magazines section) that was not otherwise lawfully possessed on September 13, 1994.1 Firearms dealers are also specifically prohibited from selling, leasing, renting, transferring, delivering, or offering for sale, lease, rent, transfer or delivery, any assault weapon or large capacity feeding device not otherwise lawfully possessed on September 13, 1994.2
Massachusetts defines “assault weapon” by referring to the definition of semi-automatic assault weapon contained in federal law as it appeared on September 13, 1994 (that federal statute expired on September 13, 2004).3 The definition includes a list of named weapons and copies of those weapons; semi-automatic rifles and pistols that have the ability to accept a detachable magazine and have at least two specified characteristics; and semi-automatic shotguns that have at least two specified characteristics.
- Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 140, § 131M.
- Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 140, § 123 (Sixteenth).
- Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 140, § 121 (referring to the federal Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act, former 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(30) ).