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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Since November I've been trying to get clarification toward what seems to be a totally nonsensical rule I was told by my CCW class instructor as being "law" in MA.

Specifically he'd said that storage of a weapon loaded (be it cocked, locked or just stowed) is unlawful. Additionally he'd said that storage of a magaizine/clip with ammunition in a magazine/clip is unlawful and that said magazine/clip cannot be stored near the otherwise empty firearm.
So in effect the concept of having a home protection firearm be it a loaded shotgun or for those of use with kids a pistol stowed in a locked drawer/safe is unlawful.
Now at the time of class I was stunned to hear this as it's different than most any other state firearm law that I've heard of. But then MA has other firearm laws same similar including the LTC approval processes as well as the fact tht one can in this state carry in bars (the possesor must have a BAC of 0.00), churches, sporting events/stadiums and even state parks with limitiation only being toward K-12 schools & grounds, police stations, courthouses and airports.
The instructor has been doing this for ages, is a retired police detective, worked as the person who reviewed & signed off on MA LTC applications in his town and is currently the lead firearms instructor with S&W where I took my CCW class, which itself was not required of me in specific but I did so just to be 100% crystal clear with the current MA laws. One can never know too much only too little, too late.

So I graduated the class with a perfect test score and moved on thinking okay I know this stuff front & back. I'd have been okay and fine if it weren't for three events that occurred last winter;
1. A friend of my mother in laws who has live in MA his entire life mentioned that he keeps a shotgun loaded & stored in his front foyer closet.
2. Some one from OT commented in a gun related thread last December that ones ammunition by MA law has to be stored locked seperate from the firearm, something that was not in my course notes as distributed nor my own handwritten notes to which I took literally pages of during class. i'm a very good and detailed note taker.
3. At Gunatics I had a thread conversation with Ducman who is a long time MA resident and very knowledgeable with MA firearm laws who stated that what my instructor had stated was incorrect. I told him I was reading direct from my notes as handwritten at that time but would look to confirm as much directly with my insturctor and/or the MGL.

So with that at the time I thought hey this will be easy, just go look up the actual laws via the Mass. General Laws (
I was going to do this anyway after class as I did in in VA and have done with other states that I might visit and who offer reciprocity with VA (nobody reciprocates with MA and they with no one) so as to be completely aware and knowledgeable of the law above and beyond the CCW classes which themselves were comprehensive.
Well it turned out this wasn't so easy at all. I could not find anywhere in the M.G.L. a statement not only toward my specific question but toward storage of ammunition in general. The only item I did find was amongst the fire code toward how much ammunition a citizen may posses without requirement of a waiver and some other generally non applicable to my question crap. I also sent my instructor an e-mail, twice, asking for clarification and citation of the actual law in the M.G.L. toward this item as discussed in class. I got now where with that as of this writing have not receieve a response of any sort. I talked with on different ocassion two different employees at the S&W range asking the exact same question and ironically they both stated back to me the exact same thing I'd learned as fact nearly verbatim. It turns out they too took the same CCW class via the same instructor. I then asked two LEO's I met at the county courthouse while waiting and shooting the ish with them in the hallway as per my own small claims court case. They said that they had never heard of such a rule and one went on to comment that if the rule were in fact a valid law that it is "completely stupid" as otherwise how would a person in their home succesfully defend themselves in the event of a home invasion or a woman being beaten/raped by her BF/husband/father/brother/child. This officer was female and I told her she had a very good and important point. I kept looking.
I've since over the past 4 months checked every website there is including lawyer setup sites toward MA firearm laws and not one makes any note toward this in general or for that matter ammunition storage in general. It's been a very odd mystery, untill today.

Friday evening I called the Mass. 'Criminal History Systems Board' (CHSB) as they are the people who disseminate all information as related to firearms anything _and_ who ultimately process & store LTC information for the sate of Mass. I went to their website ( and dialed the main number in Chelsea, MA to ask for help & direction.
I wound up talking with a gentleman who upon listening to my question and story toward figuring this out assured me that the instructor was 'wrong'.
We talked about a number of items which rounds out as the following;

1. Ammunition does not have to be stored seperate from the firearm.
As long as any ammunition and/or firearm not being carried on ones person or directly under the control of a minimally applicable MA licensed posessor/operator be they in or away from ones own home/residence is stored either locked or disabled so as to prevent unauthorized use by anyone. Ammunition must also be stored in a locked container, be it hard or soft sided. Ones home is not by legal precendent deemed to be a locked container.

2. Ammunition _maybe_ stored inside of a magazine or clip as long as siad combinative items are as detailed above stored in a locked container.
Otherwise the ammunition and/or ammunition within a magazine/clip must be stored directly on ones person and possesed directly.

3. Storage of a loaded magazine/clip may be done and is MA allowed within and/or about that of the applicable firearm. There is _no_ reference in the M.G.L. disallowing as much. The only legal requirement is that as referenced in item 1 above the then 'loaded' fiearm must be stored in a locakble container (singular) or disabled via some means so that the firearm _and_ the ammunition in such a manor so as to make unauthorized access or use impossible (e.g. it's again secured via a lockable container disallowing firearm and/or ammunition access).

4. Storage of a home protection weapon of whatever sort must be stored in such a way that the firearm itself is rendered inoperable (i.e. cable lock) and the ammunition toward it too must be inaccessible to those who are not minimally legally authorized (e.g. posses an FID*) to posses as much.
* For those who do not live in this state possesion of ammunition or even "components" of ammunition new or used (i.e.casings, gun powder, primers, wadding, shot or bullet) require minimally what is in this state refered to as a 'Firearms Identification' card aka 'FID'.

So I thanked the gentleman for all his help and he was ntoonly telling me this stuff off the top of his head but along with me online referencing the M.G.L. Additionally to be surest he offered to take my name & number then talk to his superior to essentially tripley verify the information we had discussed and the asnswers he gave me. I said great and gave him my name & work number. Again that was Friday evening, just around 5PM.
This morning I come to work to find a VM from him asking that I return his call as he'd like to review witth me my questions from Friday.
I returned his call about an hour ago, hit VM, then he called me back like 10 minutes later. He said he'd confirmed with his superior all of the above items (1 through 4) as being factual. He then repeated as much to me question by question (he wrote them down!) and encouraged me to call again if I have any further questions saying he was glad to hear I was so interested in obeying the law and being safe about ownership.


So in the end I wish I would have called him months ago.
All the other information as provided by the intructor in my CCW class checked out against the MGL (I double checked just to be sure) and for most in the course notes & syllabus he'd provided citations if not quoted directly from the MGL. On this one item he was mistaken and frankly I'm glad he was as this now makes my life eaiser/less stressful in regard to ammunition storage as well as that of storing my CCWs which I store in my bedroom under strong hardsided lock & key in addition to individualized firearm disabling keyed locks (SA I.L.S.).

As a lesson learned learn and know your states firearm laws be they in general or specific to CCW, as you individually choose to operate, and take your instructors teachings as being valuable but their word and/or understanding does not superced that of the law current.

CN: You learn something every day and reading is fundamental.

- Janq

"Just tryin' ta live." - Devin

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4,133 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ducman said:
Victory is mine :D

Its amazing what gets spread as law here, Recently someone told me the max round count is 6 in Boston instead of 10
Victory is definitely yours and I wanted to be sure to give you the credit/props.
This turend out to be alot more work than it should have been to learn & confirm.


- Janq

· Premium Member
4,133 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
jamz said:
HA! :D

Knew it. :) I studies those MGLs pretty closely as a MA resident and LTC non-resident, I does. :)

Every week or so when I go to MA I get it into my head to call up a GOAL lawyer and spend a couple bucks on asking him this, but haven't done so yet, now I don't have to.

Now the question is, do you want to inform the instructor or class organizing entity to ensure that this guy does not teach any more misinformation which is possibly dangerous?
I too have studied it start to finish word by word.
There was no reference to as much which just made no sense, against what the instructor taught who otherwise was dead on accurate about everythig else as stated in class.

I've been debating with myself all week whether and how to say something.
I'm not sure what to do or how to go about it without bruising some egos.
Nobody likes being told they're wrong muchless by a student. :\
On the other hand there is a moral responsibility on my part to do something with what I've learned.


- Janq

· Premium Member
4,133 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I decided to keep my mouf shut.
Or rather I didn't decide as much but at the same time I haven't said anything to anyone so it's the same as deciding as much. :\

- Janq
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