Weapons Charges in Massachusetts

Massachusetts regulates the possession and use of concealed weapons, including guns and explosives.

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts restricts who can possess, use, or transfer different types of weapons in different circumstances. The following list of criminal weapons laws represents a small number of the restrictions the state enforces.


It’s illegal for anyone in Massachusetts who is not otherwise authorized by law to sell, use, possess, or give to others any silencer or device intended to muffle the noise made by any firearm. Anyone who violates this law commits a felony offense in Massachusetts.

(Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 269, section 10A)

Carrying a Loaded Firearm While Intoxicated

Anyone who carries a firearm in the state of Massachusetts while under the influence of any intoxicating substance, such as liquor, marijuana, or other narcotics, commits a crime. Even if a person is licensed to carry the firearm in question, doing so while under the influence of intoxicants is illegal.

Carrying a loaded firearm while under the influence of an intoxicant is a felony.

(Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 269, section 10H)

Sale of Arrow Tips to Children

It’s illegal for anyone to sell, or offer to sell, arrowheads designed for hunting purposes to any child under the age of 15 years. The arrowheads subject to this restriction are commonly known as broadheads or razorheads.

Anyone who violates this law commits a misdemeanor.

(Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 269, section 16)

Gun Permits

Anyone in Massachusetts wants to legally purchase, openly carry, or concealed certain types of weapons must obtain the proper permit. For example, to purchase or carry a non-large capacity weapon, a person must have a firearm identification card, commonly known as an FID.

People interested in obtaining a permit must submit an application to their local law-enforcement agency. Applicants must be United States citizens and must complete a firearms safety course. Applicants must also be at least 18 years old, though those between 15 and 18 can apply with parental consent.

However, certain people are prevented from carrying any type of gun within the commonwealth. This includes, but is not limited to, those who are not citizens of the United States, convicted felons, and those who have been confined to a hospital because of a mental illness or drug or alcohol addiction.

For a more detailed explanation of the gun laws in Massachusetts, read  Gun Permit Laws in Massachusetts.

Local Ordinances

In addition to state laws, many cities and other municipalities Massachusetts have also adopted local ordinances that place additional restrictions on weapons. For example, it’s common for cities to make it illegal to discharge any type of firearm within the city limits unless doing so on private land, in a designated shooting facility, or under other allowed circumstances.


Someone convicted of a weapons charge in Massachusetts faces possible penalties that include fines, probation, and incarceration. The severity of the punishment involved differs based on the circumstances of the case and the particular crime committed.

For example, someone convicted of selling prohibited arrowheads to a child faces a $100 fine for a first offense, but a $1,000 fine and up to one year in jail for a third or subsequent offense.

For a more detailed explanation of criminal sentencing laws in Massachusetts, see  Massachusetts Felony Crimes by Class and Sentences, and  Massachusetts Misdemeanor Crimes by Class and Sentences.

Massachusetts Legal Advice

Facing a criminal weapons charge is a serious situation. You should always talk to an experienced criminal defense lawyer if you ever need legal advice about any kind of weapons law. Never make any decision about your case until you have received legal advice from an experienced Massachusetts defense attorney.

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