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Massachusetts’s safe storage law generally requires that when a firearm is not being carried by or under the control of the owner or other lawfully authorized user, the firearm must be kept stored or secured in a locked container, or equipped with a tamper-resistant mechanical lock or other safety device, properly engaged so as to render the weapon inoperable by any person other than the owner or other lawfully authorized user.1

Massachusetts law specifies different penalties for violations of this requirement, depending on the type of firearm, and also depending on whether the firearm was kept or stored in a place where a minor could foreseeably gain unlawful access to the firearm. The law provides stiffer penalties for violating the safe storage requirement if the firearm was stored or kept in a place where a person under 18 (who does not possess a valid Firearm Identification Card in the case of a rifle or shotgun that is not a large capacity weapon) may have access to the firearm without committing an unforeseeable trespass.2

For additional laws related to safely securing and storing firearms, please see the Locking Devices section.

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  1. Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 140, § 131L(a).[]
  2. Ch. 140, § 131L(c); 131L(d).[]