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Unlawful Carrying of a Firearm

Aggressive Criminal Defense Lawyer Represents Clients Across Suffolk County

Massachusetts law imposes strict laws on those who own or possess guns.  Not only are these laws harsh, they are also complex. This can lead to a situation where someone may be violating the law and not even know it. If you were arrested for illegal gun possession, contact the Law Office of Patrick J. Murphy. Attorney Murphy is a veteran criminal defense lawyer with extensive experience representing those charged with unlawfully carrying a firearm in Boston.

Massachusetts Gun Licenses

State law provides for two different gun licenses. The type of license you need depends on what kind of gun you own and whether you plan to carry the weapon.

A Firearm Identification Card (FID) allows you to purchase, possess or transport a shotgun or a rifle that is not considered “large-capacity.”

A License to Carry (LTC) is required to possess any type of handgun as well as “large capacity” rifles and shotguns. A license to carry also allows you to carry a concealed firearm.

In this context, “large capacity” refers to semi-automatic rifles with a capacity of ten rounds or more, semi-automatic shotguns with a capacity of five rounds or more, or any assault weapon.

Who Can Carry a Gun in Massachusetts?

To purchase, own, possess or transport any gun, you must obtain the appropriate license. However, Massachusetts gun licenses are not available to everyone. For example, if any of the following apply, you are ineligible for either an FID or LTC:

  • You have a felony conviction;
  • You have a misdemeanor conviction that was punishable by more than two years;
  • You were convicted of a violent crime;
  • You have a previous gun crime conviction that resulted in your incarceration;
  • You have a drug offense on your record;
  • You were convicted of a domestic violence offense;
  • You have an arrest warrant from any state; or
  • You were dishonorably discharged from the military.
Transporting a Gun in a Vehicle

The laws governing the transportation of firearms and other guns are especially confusing. However, it is imperative that gun owners understand what they can—and cannot—do to avoid picking up a Boston gun charge.

When it comes to non-large-capacity rifles and shotguns, anyone with an FID or LTC can transport a weapon provided it is unloaded. There is no requirement that it is kept in a locked case or kept out of the driver’s reach. However, for large-capacity rifles and shotguns, weapons must be unloaded and kept in a locked case, the truck of the car, or in some other secure container.

To legally carry a handgun in a vehicle, you need an LTC and the firearm must be within your direct control. If the gun is to be left unattended for any period of time, you must unload the gun and place it in a locked container.

Punishments for the Illegal Gun Possession

Illegally carrying any gun without the proper license is a crime. However, the severity of the punishment that comes along with the offense depends on the specific violation. Generally, gun crimes that stem from carrying an unlicensed gun in public are much more serious. For example, possession of an unlicensed gun in your home or business carries a punishment of up to two years in a house of correction. However, illegally carrying a handgun in public (including in a vehicle) can result in a mandatory minimum sentence of 18 months in a house of correction, even for a first offense.

Have You Been Arrested for a Boston Gun Crime?

If the government is charging you with illegal possession of a gun, you must take the situation seriously because you could be facing a mandatory jail sentence. However, just because you were found in possession of an unlicensed firearm does not mean that you will be found guilty. Attorney Patrick J. Murphy is a dedicated Boston criminal defense attorney with decades of experience defending clients facing gun charges and weapons offenses. He takes the time to craft compelling defenses that are individually tailored to each case, ensuring that every client’s rights are upheld throughout the process. Whether he is negotiating with prosecutors to avoid the imposition of a mandatory minimum sentence, arguing to keep evidence out of the jury’s consideration, or litigating your case at trial, Attorney Murphy has what it takes to mount a successful defense to any Boston gun crime. To learn more, and to schedule a free and confidential consultation, call the Law Offices of Patrick J. Murphy at (617) 367-0450 today.

Client Reviews
★★★★★
"Highly Recommended. Attorney Patrick J. Murphy absolutely helped me out in my time of need. When I met him in his Boston office he put me right at ease and explained the criminal process to me in a way I could easily understand and in a manner that gave me complete confidence. I was facing a criminal wanton destruction of property charge in Barnstable District Court. On the day of the case, he was at the courthouse waiting for me and my wife. Mr. Murphy handled the hearing in a very thorough and professional manner putting us through our testimony and making a powerful argument to the decision maker. My case was thrown out and I could not be happier with the service from Attorney Murphy. I highly recommend him to you as a skilled legal advocate!" Rob, Avvo User
★★★★★
"Excellent Criminal Defense Lawyer. From the first consultation I knew Patrick Murphy was the right choice for my criminal defense. He was knowledgeable of the laws and knew how to build up a strong defense for my case. Every phone call and email I made was promptly answered. When it came time for my hearing, Patrick was prepared and able to get the criminal complaint against me dropped without ever becoming charge! Would highly recommend this attorney to anyone seeking a top quality defense attorney to handle their case!" John, Avvo User
★★★★★
"OUI Not Guilty Verdict. Patrick Murphy provided excellent service as council on my case. He worked diligently over a long legal process that spanned over 3 years. He was able to take my case to a Jury Trial and get me a Not Guilty verdict through he expert knowledge of the law and expertise in cross examination of the prosecutions witnesses. He was very professional and available at anytime night or day to answer questions." Chris, Avvo User
★★★★★
"Highly Skilled and Professional Lawyer. Attorney Pat Murphy did a great job guiding me through an A&B charge, and most importantly getting the case dismissed in a very timely manner. He is very professional, returns call promptly, and did a great explaining his strategy and the legal process to me. I was confident throughout the whole process that I was in good hands and would receive the best possible outcome in my case. Would highly recommended Attorney Murphy." Avvo User
★★★★★
"I Felt That I was in Good Hands... and I Was! Mr. Patrick J. Murphy was very quick to respond to my needs. He was always there to answer any questions I had in a timely fashion, and he made me feel very comfortable in an extremely uncomfortable situation. Having Mr. Murphy by my side in the courtroom felt like I was at an advantage. He speaks with confidence. He doesn't stutter or pause while put on the spot. He treated me with respect. He listens. He always greeted me with a warm welcome and never wasted any time." Avvo User