Possession of Ammunition in Massachusetts is a regulatory offense, meaning that you must comply with the regulations in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to possess ammunition or else you will get charged with a crime. It is very important to understand the regulations, which can be very complicated.
If you are charged with Possession of Ammunition, it can have tough consequences. You face the possibility of a misdemeanor conviction, potential jail sentence, potential fines and fees, and/or probation. This is why it is important to have an experienced Massachusetts criminal defense firearms lawyer by your side to help you with your charges. Attorney David Ellison has represented many defendants on charges of Possession of Ammunition throughout his career.
What is the Definition of Ammunition in Massachusetts?
The definition of a "ammunition" comes from Massachusetts General Laws c. 140, § 121. It states the following: ''Ammunition'', cartridges or cartridge cases, primers (igniter), bullets or propellant powder designed for use in any firearm, rifle or shotgun. The term ''ammunition'' shall also mean tear gas cartridges
What are the Elements for Possession of Ammunition in Massachusetts?
- That you possessed an item;
- That the item meets the legal definition of “ammunition”;
- That you knew that you possessed that ammunition;
- That you did not have a valid firearm ID card;
- That you did not qualify for one of the exemptions in the law that are a substitute for having a valid firearm ID card.
What are the Penalties for Possession of Ammunition in Massachusetts?
Misdemeanor criminal conviction
Up to 2 years jail in the House of Correction
Up to $500 Fine and other additional fees
Ammunition can be ordered forfeited
What are Some Laws for Possession of Ammunition in Massachusetts?
The law for possession of ammunition in Massachusetts comes from Massachusetts General Laws c. 269, § 10(h), which states the following:
"(h)(1) Whoever owns, possesses or transfers a firearm, rifle, shotgun or ammunition without complying with the provisions of section 129C of chapter 140 shall be punished by imprisonment in a jail or house of correction for not more than 2 years or by a fine of not more than $500. Whoever commits a second or subsequent violation of this paragraph shall be punished by imprisonment in a house of correction for not more than 2 years or by a fine of not more than $1,000, or both. Any officer authorized to make arrests may arrest without a warrant any person whom the officer has probable cause to believe has violated this paragraph."
Duplicative convictions. A conviction for unlawful possession of ammunition is duplicative of a conviction for unlawful possession of a loaded firearm where all of the ammunition is loaded in the firearm. Commonwealth v. Johnson, 461 Mass. 44, 53-54 (2011) (separate sentences for each crime violated the double jeopardy clause because the defendant was punished twice for possession of the same ammunition). This is distinguishable from situations where ammunition is found loaded in a firearm and also found elsewhere in the possession of the defendant as the jury can be instructed to distinguish among the ammunition. Id. at 53.
If you or a loved one is charged with Possession of Ammunition in Massachusetts, do not hesitate to contact Massachusetts Possession of Ammunition Lawyer David Ellison today at 401-230-5520.