Carrying a Firearm Under the Influence
Licensed gun owners have an awesome responsibility when it comes to ensuring that they keep their firearms safe and that they act in an appropriate manner while they are exercising their right to carry. Massachusetts Laws pertaining to guns and firearms are some of the most regulated and strict laws that exist today in the United States. Massachusetts Law requires firearm owners to be licensed through their local Police Department or the Massachusetts State Police if no local licensing authority is available. The safety of its citizens is a well-recognized objective in Massachusetts, and thus the Commonwealth requires an individual to have passed a State approved firearm safety course before applying for a license. Also in an effort to ensure safety of gun owners and the community at large, the Commonwealth makes it is a crime to carry a firearm while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This law applies whether you are an ordinary citizen or a police officer, and even if you are licensed to carry the weapon. On the other hand, this provision does not prohibit a licensed individual under the influence from transporting an unloaded firearm in the locked trunk of his or her motor vehicle, unless the individual is over the legal limit of 0.08%, in which case it is against the law to operate a motor vehicle with or without the existence of a firearm. Unlike the law regarding operating under the influence (OUI), this charge does not contain a provision defining "under the influence.” Massachusetts laws governing OUI dictate that a person must register a 0.08% or higher when tested for blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to be charged with operating under the influence. If you or someone you know has been charged with a firearm offense such as Carrying a Firearm Under the Influence, it is essential that you speak to a qualified Massachusetts firearms defense attorney that is prepared to vigorously enforce your constitutional gun rights. While this crime is a misdemeanor, a conviction can have serious unwanted repercussions including loss of your gun license, probation, fines and even imprisonment. There may be many defenses available depending on the facts of your case and Attorney Patrick Murphy will be able to assess your case and formulate the appropriate legal response to successfully defend the charges.
M.G.L. c. 269, § 10(h) dictates that any individual who carries on his person, or has under his control in a vehicle, a loaded firearm while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, marijuana, narcotic drugs, depressants, stimulant substances, or the vapors of glue shall be held in violation of this law. A conviction for this offense is punishable by the following:
- A fine of not more than $5,000 or
- Imprisonment in the house of correction for not more than 2.5 years, or
- Both such fine and imprisonment.
The right to bear arms is an enumerated right protected by the Second Amendment of the United States. However, laws pertaining to the carrying of such weapons are very strict and aggressively policed. If you have been charged with a crime such as Carrying a Firearm Under the Influence, you need a Massachusetts gun rights attorney with the specialized knowledge of gun laws in Massachusetts. As this area of the law is very complex, fraught with negative collateral consequences and laws vary state-by-state, only a relentless Massachusetts criminal gun rights defense attorney will have the skill and resources to help you understand and fight the weapons violations charges against you. The Law Office of Patrick J. Murphy is a well-known and respected gun rights criminal defense firm which has been offering legal services to the greater Boston area for over 18 years. Attorney Patrick J. Murphy has the tactical skills and courtroom know-how to construct the most aggressive defense for your Carrying a Firearm Under the Influence case or Massachusetts firearm law violation case. To contact Attorney Murphy for a free and confidential discussion of your case, please call (617) 367-0450 or email him directly using our online contact form.