In Norfolk County, Massachusetts, gun-specific crimes refer to any unlawful dealings with a gun. It covers actions of gun possession, transfer of gun ownership, firearms sale, and other general actions associated with firearms that are done unlawfully or without following the legal procedures required for performing these actions. Some of these gun-specific crimes are provided in the Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 269, Section 10, with their corresponding penalties:
Also, the relevant authorities will confiscate the firearm of an offender under any of the gun-specific offenses. Note that other procedural requirements for dealing with a firearm are contained in other sections across the Massachusetts General Laws (MGL), and failure to abide by them may be an offense. An example is in MGL Chapter 140, Section 128B. It requires a purchaser of a firearm to notify the commissioner of the department of criminal justice information services in writing about the source of the firearm within seven days of purchase. Anyone who violates the provision is liable to a fine between $500 and $1,000 for a first offense and a maximum imprisonment term of ten years for subsequent offenses.
The Massachusetts State Police keeps track of crime trends across the state and publishes them through the CrimeSOLV website. The purpose of the record is to understand the crime trajectory in the state and also keep citizens informed. These crime trends include weapon violation offenses which gun-specific crimes are a part of. Additionally, the crime trends cover instances where a firearm was used in the commission of an offense.
In 2017, there were a total of 136 weapons law violations in Norfolk County. These violations included
One homicide was caused by the use of a handgun, and firearms were used in the commission of 78 aggravated assaults.
To lawfully possess a gun in Norfolk County, an individual must first obtain a license. There are two gun licenses in Norfolk County, and the requirements for obtaining both licenses vary.
An LTC gives grants the legal permission to possess, transport, purchase, and carry both large and non-large capacity shotguns, handguns, rifles, and feeding devices, including their respective ammunition. An LTC also gives its holder legal permission to carry loaded or unloaded concealed handguns. On the other hand, an FID gives legal permission to possess, transport, and purchase non-large-capacity shotguns, rifles, and their respective ammunition.
The gun licensing authority in Norfolk County is the local police department. Visiting a local police department is the first requirement to obtaining a gun license because the police department provides the relevant forms, information, procedures, and further requirements. Typically, to obtain an LTC, the applicant must be 21 years old or older. On the other hand, to obtain an FID, the applicant must be 18 years or older. However, 14 - 17-year-olds can also get an FID with parental consent. 14-year-olds will not be issued the FID card until they are at least 15 years old. The required fee to get an LTC or FID is $100, and both licenses last for six years. Note that the $100 fee for an FID license is only applicable to persons above 18 years of age. For persons below 18, the fee is $25.
Also, first-time applicants for any gun license must complete a Massachusetts Certified Firearm Safety Course or a Basic Hunter Education Course. For further assistance, applicants may inquire from the local police department.
Non-residents do not need a firearm license to carry or possess a shotgun or rifle or their respective ammunitions if they have a valid Massachusetts non-resident hunting license. Also, non-residents do not need a license or permit to go through Massachusetts with a firearm, although the firearm must be unloaded and enclosed in a case.
Individuals licensed to possess firearms in Norfolk County are generally required to keep their firearms safe. However, Massachusetts General Law Chapter 140, Section 129C further requires individuals who may have had their firearm stolen to report to the commissioner of the department of criminal justice information services or the licensing authority in their town of residence. Failure to make such a report within seven days of the theft is a violation of the law which attracts a fine between $500 and $1,000 for a first offense. For a second offense, the fine is between $2,500 and $7,000. The punishment is more severe for third and subsequent offenders. It attracts an imprisonment term between one and five years or a fine between $7,500 and $10,000, or both a fine and imprisonment. Failure to report may also lead to a suspension or permanent revocation of the individual’s firearm license.
For further inquiries on the repercussions of misplacing a gun, interested individuals may visit their local police department for inquiries.
Generally, guns are used by law enforcement agencies in the prevention of crimes and by citizens for self-defense. Statistics help law enforcement in developing better procedures for fighting crimes.
Immigrants who commit any of these offense classified as a deportable offense may be deported on such grounds, depending on their participation and severity of the offense. Accordingly, any firearm violation is under a deportable offense, as provided in 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2)(C). An immigrant convicted of a firearm offense in Massachusetts may be deported. However, MGL Chapter 278, Section 29D provides that courts must inform immigrants in a trial of how a guilty plea may affect their immigration status or lead to deportation.
Norfolk County weapons and firearms violation attorneys primarily defend individuals being prosecuted for a violation of any firearm law. Depending on each case, they typically develop arguments and defenses to defeat the prosecution’s case, or minimize their client’s liability and punishmnet. Norfolk County generally has a good number of weapons and firearms violation attorneys, although Quincy city has a high concentration of such attorneys compared to other cities.
The defenses for a gun charge largely depend on the facts of each case and may include
Defense attorneys may present other unique defenses, depending on the facts of each case.
A gun enhancement charge is an additional charge that prosecutors aim to use in increasing the potential punishment of an accused person. The charge is based on any enhancing factors which may aggravate the offense, such as the commission of another crime with a gun, a previous conviction, or the use of a gun in a residential area. In convincing the court to dismiss such a charge, the defense attorney also develops defenses which include: