Massachusetts Anti-Gun Legislation Awaits in 2022

Written by Orchid

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December 10, 2021

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White text atop red background next to photo of Massachusetts legislature chamber
For most, the start of a New Year is full of excitement and optimism. However, for Massachusetts gun owners and FFLs, January marks the beginning of a potential onslaught of anti-gun legislation.

Introduced by state Democrats throughout the year, more than 20 firearms-related bills were discussed in Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security public hearings last month and now await further committee action in 2022. While currently in an informal session, the Massachusetts legislatures will convene again on January 6, 2022, when bills could progress and become law.

With so much on the docket, we reviewed the pending legislation and organized bills by topic to provide a better look at how politicians are targeting the firearms industry.

Legislation Topics:
Administrative Oversight
Gun Ownership
Ghost Guns
Illegal Activity

Administrative Oversight

H2437 – Would solicit proposals for a university or nonprofit to develop a biennial report analyzing firearms trace and non-identifying gun sales transaction data. | Bill Details

H2470 – Would establish an Illegal Gun Task Force to pinpoint where illegal guns are prevalent and where they have the most impact on crime. | Bill Details

H2486 – Would require a “minimum of at least 5 hours of live discharge of firearms, rifles, and shotguns at a license gun club, including the discharge of at least 50 rounds of ammunition” to obtain a firearms instructor license. | Bill Details

H2520 – Would create a multi-agency firearms task force to combat illicit firearm distribution, sales and possession, including identifying where illegal firearms activity is most prevalent and reporting investigative findings to law enforcement. | Bill Details

H2533 – Would require law enforcement report trace data firearms unlawfully possessed, used for an unlawful purpose, recovered from a crime scene, associated with the commission of a crime, or otherwise acquired as an abandoned or discarded weapon, including fingerprint and ballistic evidence. | Bill Details

H3729 – Would require background checks for private gun sales at licensed dealers. | Bill Details

H3847 – Would require all persons attending an incorporated collectors club or a gun show possess a firearm identification card or license to carry firearms, and require all firearms sold or transferred at an incorporated collectors club or a gun show have a unique serial number. | Bill Details

H4236 – Would establish a legislative commission on gun violence to conduct an audit and investigation into gun violence prevention funding in the commonwealth, including funding for youth-at-risk programs. | Bill Details

S1624 – Would establish a task force regarding the addition of live-fire training as part of qualifications for a license to carry or a firearms identification card. | Bill Details

Gun Ownership

H2436 – Would hold gun owners civilly liable for failing to report the loss or theft of a firearm, rifle, shotgun or machine gun within 24 hours that is later used in the commission of a crime. | Bill Details

H2438 ­– Would require holders of a license to carry a firearm to annually verify by written notice that no firearm was lost or stolen from the license holder’s possession since the date of the license holder’s last renewal or issuance. | Bill Details

H2487 – Would require a liability policy, bond or deposit for any person who possess, carries, or owns a firearm, rifle or shotgun. | Bill Details

H2489 – Would require persons to declare possession of large capacity feeding devices and define who can possess, purchase or import such devices. | Bill Details

Ghost Guns

H2439 – Would require a person who completes the manufacturing or assembling of a firearm obtain a unique serial number and the firearm be engraved or affixed with a serial number to conform with requirements of licensed manufacturers and importers. | Bill Details

H2491 – Would require all firearms manufactured or assembled by an individual be engraved with a serial number, prevent any non-licensed manufacturer from 3D printing firearms or firearm parts or components intended to be used in the assembly or manufacturing of a functional firearm, and prevent the distribution of digital instructions that may be used to manufacture or produce a 3D firearm or firearm part of component. | Bill Details

Illegal Activity

H2433 – Would prescribe punishment for the reckless discharge of a firearm that causes a substantial risk of serious bodily injury to another. | Bill Details

H2488 ­– Would prescribe punishment for any licensee under a license or any employee who sells, rents, leases, delivers or offers for sale, rent, lease, transfer or deliver a firearm not listed on the state-approved firearm roster. | Bill Details

H2527 – Would prescribe punishments for the criminal manufacture, transport and possession of firearms. | Bill Details

Pro-Gun Optimism

While a long list, not all legislation was introduced by Democrats nor was anti-gun in nature. With bipartisan support, a few bills present positive opportunities for gun owners and FFLs alike.

H2463 – Would extend expiring or expired licenses during a pandemic or state of emergency until renewals can be fully processed or denied. | Bill Details

H2501 – Would establish a commission to study the state firearms licensing process, including providing recommendations to modernize and improve upon or change the licensure process. | Bill Details

H2522 – Would amend the conditions of firearm licenses relative to the lawful sale of handguns, including the removal of clauses related to reselling firearms with specific characteristics to firearm retailers or consumers. | Bill Details

H3014 – Would provide an income tax deduction for the purchase of a gun safe, up to $2,000. | Bill Details

Despite Democratic control of both state legislative chambers, all bills must be signed by Republican Governor Charles Baker before becoming law. Although Democrats hold a supermajority in the legislature, Republican control of the Executive may give gun owners and FFLs in the Commonwealth a fighting chance against impending legislation.

For questions or concerns regarding Massachusetts and federal firearm regulations and how to stay ATF compliant, contact us for on-call FFL compliance services and learn how Orchid can protect your FFL.

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