Massachusetts State Law Summary

Posted on October 3, 2014


In our publication 2013 State Scorecard: Why Gun Laws Matter, the Law Center ranked each state based on a review of state laws in 30 different firearms-related policy areas. Massachusetts ranked 6th out of 50 – having some of the strongest gun violence prevention laws in the country.


Among other things, Massachusetts:

However, Massachusetts does not:

Local governments in Massachusetts retain authority to regulate firearms and ammunition, and the local licensing authority in Massachusetts has discretion in determining whether to issue a license to carry a firearm.

In 2010, Massachusetts had the second lowest number of gun deaths per capita among the states. According to data published by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the national crime gun export rate is almost four times the crime gun export rate in Massachusetts. The portion of crime guns that enter Massachusetts from other states is more than twice the national average. Massachusetts imports 2.9 times as many crime guns as it exports. Massachusetts had the 4th lowest rate of crime gun exports among the states in 2009–meaning that crime guns originally sold in Massachusetts were recovered after being used in crimes in other states at the 4th lowest rate among the states.

Massachusetts Firearms Laws

For details about specific firearms laws in Massachusetts, choose a topic below, or see all of the firearms laws in this state.