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Thread: Confused about open carry in MA

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    Question Confused about open carry in MA

    As a newbie to all this, I find myself confused about the regulations. First, apparently open carry is legal in MA, in public places. Are public places defined as places that have public access -- restaurants, hospitals, and so on? Or, only government places -- schools, libraries, parks, town halls, courts, and so on. If the latter is true, I am very concerned indeed. The idea that we are essentially encouraged to open carry in the government places just seems strange to me. And, also, how to explain the metal detectors in courts, and all that?

    I guess my real concern is that I will be somehow "in trouble", and maybe deep legal trouble, when all I want is to wear my gun in plain sight, which is certainly -- and now confirmed by the courts -- my right. I do have a concealed carry permit for it. The original purpose for getting the gun was for self-defense. I'm getting older now, and the reflexes and sight and all are not so great any more, so I need to keep anyone wishing to harm me at a distance, and the open carry system seems to be just the ticket. If I were attacked, I don't think I could get at a concealed gun in time to defend myself. It needs to be where I can get it right away.

    But, I don't want to spend what is left of my life in jail, especially here in the Birthplace of Liberty. I am not ashamed of the gun, and see no reason to hide it. In fact, I wish all the folks who are ashamed of their weapons had the ...courage to carry it in the open. But that's another issue.

    What are everyone's thoughts on my wish to open carry in MA? Is this just a crazy idea that I will somehow pay for if I give it a try? Like I say, I am getting on, and maybe that will make me less threatening than a young buck trying to be a tough guy.

    spunkyferret

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    Regular Member virginiatuck's Avatar
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    Public Place defined: http://definitions.uslegal.com/p/public-place/

    Different states may define it differently for different circumstances, but the first paragraph of that link is a general definition that fits most states.

    You could search through the MA code to find where they have defined public place. If there is not a definition in the MA code, you could probably default to a common-law or case-law definition.

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    Do you have a LTC? If you open carry and it "scares" someone, be prepared for them to try to yank it from you.

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    Cool

    Also, if you have it in a coat and the coat is blown open for any reason, and someone is frightened. They can pull your license. Its "Creates" a hostile environment.

    Its the people that don't understand that the person that went to the classes, pays for the license, sat down with the local police officers and passed the FBI check, don't comment the crimes its the idiots that don't do that causes the crimes

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    Re: Confused about open carry in MA

    In Massachusetts, literal open carry will get you in trouble unless you are a uniformed law enforcement officer or in some cases a uniformed security guard.

    If you have a Massachusetts License to Carry-Class A, you may carry concealed and loaded (assuming your local chief didn't add any conflicting restrictions to your license). If the firearm becomes visible in any way, or if somebody even thinks that they've seen it, your licensing authority may revoke your license and you could even be charged with criminal assault. Though open carry may not be explicitly illegal, it is not a practical option.

    If you have a Mass LTC-Class B, you can only transport a handgun unloaded and in a locked container (Again, your local chief can apply additional restrictions.). Yes, this is literally concealed, but not concealed carry for the purposes of Massachusetts law.

    Carry in courts and schools and school grounds, concealed or otherwise, is prohibited.

    Carrying in your workplace will likely get you fired - Check your employee handbook if such exists.

    People in Massachusetts have I think a higher likelihood than most to be overly sensitive to the sight of any sort of gun other than on TV and movies. Toy guns, pictures and Crayola drawings of guns and the spoken or printed word "gun," let alone the peaceful display of a real firearm, may trigger an hysterical response. We're not all that way, but one should operate under the assumption that somebody will overreact and ruin your life.

    In Massachusetts, perhaps more so than in most states, understanding the distinction between having a right and the ability to freely exercise that right is of critical importance.

    Bottom line - If you carry for personal protection in Mass, you must carry concealed with an LTC Class-A. Research the various accessories and techniques for concealed carry. Take a course or several in concealed carry for personal defense. And practice.

    I am not a lawyer.

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    Open carry with class a LICENSE IS LEGAL IN mASS - STATE POLICE GHAS ADMITTED THIS TO bOSTON gLOBE - ANYONE HEAR OF A LICENSE REVOCATION RECENTLY, LIKE IN THE LAST YEAR FOR OPEN CARRY?

    I suggest you mass folks hold an open carry event somewhere like at a rural coutny park and start to get things moving - yes, you might lose your license, but I think its time to push the envelope in Mass.

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    [QUOTE=Mike;1346142

    I suggest you mass folks hold an open carry event somewhere like at a rural coutny park and start to get things moving - yes, you might lose your license, but I think its time to push the envelope in Mass.[/QUOTE]

    Feel free to get your non-resident Class A LTC and lead the way on the protest. It's quite bold to recommend that Mass residents do something that would cause some of them to lose their license. Until the license is declared a fundamental right, there are many ways a license in Mass can be yanked.

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    If you orginize it and get the permits, then the chances of getting the LTC pulled will be less. Then if the town refuses to sell the permit, contact the every news channel every paper in New England and see what happens

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    Quote Originally Posted by nick2187 View Post
    If you orginize it and get the permits, then the chances of getting the LTC pulled will be less. Then if the town refuses to sell the permit, contact the every news channel every paper in New England and see what happens
    And you've lived in MA how long? For the approximate seven years I lived there I don't recall seeing any media truly "sensitive" to firearms. Now for the Patriots fans, Matt Light is about the only one that has my respect.

    Check with G.O.A.L. if you want further info about things in MA. Jon Green is their primary instructor and is quite informed.

    I can honestly say that I am happy to be out of MA just because of their view on ALL firearms.

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    Regular Member Rich B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rsandman_2000 View Post
    I don't recall seeing any media truly "sensitive" to firearms.

    I have heard the same thing about CT a million times. I can say it is by and large not true.

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    Regular Member Gunslinger's Avatar
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    Having lived in MA for almost 10 years and having three different types of Pistol Permits, I found where you live makes all the difference. My first permit was in Sudbury where the Chief of Police only gave me a permit because I was a recently separated Air Force Officer and Vietnam Veteran who was nuclear weapons qualified. He figured he could "take a chance with me." Permits in Middlesex County were almost impossible to get in those days--mid-70s. It was for 'sporting purposes,' but in those days you could carry concealed with a permit issued for any reason. When I renewed it in Norfolk a few years later, the Chief said carry anyway I like. I often OCd with a loaded .357 Blackhawk while walking my dog down very rural roads in that town. Cops would wave when they drove past as they all knew me.
    When last I was in MA, at Hanscom AFB, the State Police issued me a Class A non-res with no restrictions. (my Air Force job had something to do with it, I have no doubt.) I wasn't aware they had an A and B type PP until then, a change from when I lived there in the '70s-80s.. Norfolk County or Western MA has much different views from the Chiefs than Middlesex or Essex I have no doubt. I'd talk to the Chief who issued to get the straight dope nowadays. OC is technically legal in MA anywhere not prohibited, so long as you have a Class A permit or are going to 'sporting' purposes with a Class B in some instances. But results vary a hell of a lot between Waltham and the Berkshires.
    Last edited by Gunslinger; 12-13-2010 at 05:47 PM.

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    Regular Member Rich B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gunslinger View Post
    I'd talk to the Chief who issued to get the straight dope nowadays.
    1st rule of OC:

    Never ask for legal advice from LEOs.

    2nd rule of OC:

    Never ask for permission for lawful behavior.

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    Regular Member Gunslinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich B View Post
    1st rule of OC:

    Never ask for legal advice from LEOs.

    2nd rule of OC:

    Never ask for permission for lawful behavior.
    As I forgot more about the law than 99.999% of cops will ever know, 1 is unlikely. As to 2, not permission but clarification in MA, as small town Police Chiefs are not like Boston. Even the Chief in Worcester--a good sized town, was very liberal in granting Class A Pistol Permits.

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