SUMMARY OF HD 4420
An Act Modernizing Firearm Laws
Licensing of Firearms
Sections 4, 6, 14, 25, 26, 27, 29, 31, 33-37, 39, 40, 43, 46-48, 52-56, 57 (technical updates in sections 53, 54, 56, 61-63, 67-70)
Consolidates and reorganizes current firearms licensing sections into a single unified process with consistent standards and procedures for all firearms licensing, including licenses to sell. Removes semi-automatic rifles or shotguns from the newly created long gun permit for 18- to 21-year-olds while still preserving their rights to own and possess rifles and shotguns. Increases penalties for failure to report firearm loss or theft. Moves dealer inspection responsibilities and oversight to the Massachusetts State Police to ensure uniformity of inspections. Clarifies and standardizes rules on firearm transport and carry to comport with constitutional requirements and allows carry on recreational vehicles. Removes contradictory, confusing, duplicative and unconstitutional language from definitions and references, nonresident and temporary licenses, self-defense spray permits, and exemptions.
Violence Prevention Commission
Creates special legislative commission to examine the existing government funding structure for violence prevention services in the Commonwealth, including funding sources, initiatives and programs utilized, specific services funded, and communities served, and submit a report of its findings and recommendations.
Assault-Style Firearms & Large Capacity Magazines
Sections 26, 32, 60
Updates General Laws to reflect Attorney General’s opinion regarding look-alike assault weapons, updates definition with contemporary categorization tests and list of firearms, restricts use and transfer of pre-ban large capacity magazines
Firearm Control Advisory Board; Rosters
Sections 58, 59
Adds appointees from Attorney General, Speaker, Senate President, House and Senate Minority leaders, Massachusetts State Police. Adds assault-style firearms roster and tasks board with conducting regular reviews. Requires EOPSS to update rosters for large capacity firearms, large capacity feeding devices, assault-style firearms and firearms approved for sale and use in the commonwealth at least 3 times a year.
Prohibits all firearm possession in government administration buildings, polling locations, educational institutions and on all private property without the consent of the property owner.
Firearm Data Reports
Sections 2, 11, 50
Expands data compilation and reporting requirements for the Department of Criminal Justice Information Services and creates a publicly accessible online dashboard of anonymized aggregate firearm data to further firearms research and transparency.
Serialization & Ban of Untraceable “Ghost Guns’
Sections 25, 30, 37, 39, 45, 26, 31, 44, 49, 202, 203, 204, 205, 206, 207, 208, 209, 210, 29, 30, 45, 60
Expands the definition of “firearm” to include its frame (or receiver) and its barrel in order to monitor and penalize the illegal purchase and manufacture of firearms. Requires the serialization of all firearms including any privately made firearms. Criminalizes the possession, creation and transfer of all untraceable firearms. Updates and expands definitions of undetectable and covert firearms.
Registration, Reporting and Tracing
Sections 48, 51, 53,47
Updates existing registration requirements for firearms and firearm transactions into one state database maintained by the Department of Criminal Justice Information Services, including all privately made firearms and firearms imported by new residents of the Commonwealth. Criminalizes any failure to register firearms. Requires law enforcement to upload crime gun data to the state database which will automatically populate the Federal ATF system for interstate tracing purposes. Clarifies process around surrendering a firearm to law enforcement
Updates the minimum training curriculum required for a license to carry to include injury prevention and harm reduction education, active shooter and emergency response training, applicable laws relating to the use of force, and de-escalation and disengagement tactics. Requires all applicants for a license to carry to complete live firearm training and pass a uniform written exam created by the State Police.Requires local licensing authorities attend trainings on their licensing and reporting responsibilities created by EOPSS.
Harassment Prevention Order (HPO) and Extreme Risk Protective Order (ERPO) Enhancements
Sections 71, 72, 73, 39, 64, 65, 66
Updates HPO’s under c. 258E to be consistent with abuse prevention orders under 209A and allow courts to order dispossession of licenses, permits and firearms contemporaneously with the issuance of an HPO. Enables family members, law enforcement, school administrators, healthcare providers and employers to petition courts for an ERPO. Clarifies due process issuance of warrants to assist law enforcement in the collection of a respondent’s firearms upon the issuance of an ERPO.
Establishes a special legislative commission to study emerging firearm technology, including smart gun and microstamping technologies, and to submit a report with its findings and recommendations.
Sections 26, 45, 60
Criminalizes both the act of turning any firearm into an automatic firearm as well as the possession of parts which facilitate such a modification. Updates already banned trigger modifications.
Punishments for Negligent Firearm Discharge
Sections 213, 216
Updates and strengthens criminalization of discharge of a firearm within 500 feet of a dwelling without the consent of owner. Criminalizes intentional discharge of a firearm which strikes a dwelling or building in use.
Intoxicated Firearm Carry
Sections 21, 22, 195
Aligns standards for intoxication while hunting and carrying a firearm with OUI (0.08% BAC standard). Increases and aligns penalties for both crimes.