With its strict gun laws, Massachusetts has one of the lowest gun-related death rates in the country. In 2014, MA tightened its restrictions even more, providing law enforcement with increased discretion to deny gun permits to “unsuitable” individuals. MA also has strict regulations about assault weapons and has long been part of a nationwide effort to prevent individuals who are deemed mentally ill from obtaining guns. In fact, according to Guns & Ammo magazine, MA has the third tightest gun control regime in the nation.
Gun control has been center stage in recent years, with mass shootings occurring across the country annually. A massacre committed by one man with automatic weapons in Las Vegas last year resulted in the death of dozens, and most recently, a deadly school shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida has brought the debate between gun control and gun rights activists to a head.
Statistics show that states with stricter gun laws do have fewer gun deaths. In fact, firearm-related deaths in MA are 70 percent less than the national average. Further, many of the guns used in crimes in MA come from other states, including a significant percentage from Georgia and Florida.
Stiffer Penalties to Come?
Due to the increase in concern about mass shootings in the U.S., punishment for crimes involving guns is likely to keep getting stricter. If you were arrested on a gun charge, it is absolutely essential to obtain highly-skilled legal representation without delay. A Boston gun crimes defense attorney can help you determine how to proceed if you’ve been charged with any type of firearms offense.
Current Penalties for Common Gun Crimes
There are many criminal offenses associated with gun possession. Below are some of the most common charges:
- Carrying a dangerous weapon: If you are found with a firearm in your vehicle but don’t have a permit, you may be charged with this crime. Other offenses that fall under this category include being in possession of a machine gun, sawed-off shotgun, brass knuckles, throwing stars, or nunchucks. The penalty for carrying a dangerous weapon is up to two-and-a-half years in prison.
- Committing a felony while in possession of a firearm: If you have a gun on you while in commission of a felony, there is a mandatory minimum sentence of five years imprisonment for a first offense. For a second or subsequent offense, you will be facing a minimum of 20 years in prison. The mandatory minimum sentence will be in addition to the sentence for the underlying felony.
- Carrying a loaded gun while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs: If you are found to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol while in possession of a loaded firearm, having a permit will not protect you from being charged. The penalty for this offense is up to two-and-a-half years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
A MA criminal defense attorney can help you protect your rights if you’ve been charged with any type of firearms offense.
Altman & Altman, LLP – Top Criminal Defense Law Firm in MA
If you are facing charges for a firearms offense or any other type of crime, the skilled legal team at Altman & Altman, LLP can help. We have been protecting the rights of individuals charged with crimes for more than 50 years. Our experienced, knowledgeable attorneys will fight tirelessly to keep you out of jail and to keep your record clean. We will thoroughly analyze the details of your case to determine the most appropriate strategy, and position you for the best possible outcome. At Altman & Altman, LLP, our attorneys have extensive experience defending individuals against charges for gun crimes. We understand that people make mistakes, don’t make another one by hiring the wrong attorney. Contact Altman & Altman, LLP today for a free and confidential consultation about your case.