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Improper Storage of a Firearm

Boston Lawyer for Improper Storage of a Firearm

Numerous laws and regulations govern the use of firearms in Boston and other cities in Massachusetts. Potential weapons charges may involve illegal carrying of weapons, possession of a firearm without a license, carrying a loaded firearm while under the influence, and illegal discharge of weapons. As the possessor of firearms, you may know about these charges, and yet still have been unaware that you can be charged with a crime based on the failure to store a weapon properly to protect against its misuse. If you were charged with improper storage of a firearm, you should call the seasoned Boston weapons crimes attorney Ryan P. Sullivan for legal representation. A conviction carry significant consequences, including prison time, and so the outcome of these charges puts your freedom at stake.

Lawyer to Fight Improper Storage of a Firearm Charges

Under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 13 Section 131L, it is illegal to store a firearm, shotgun, or rifle, unless the weapon is kept securely in a locked container or has an engaged mechanical lock or other safety device that is tamper resistant. Firearms are revolvers, pistols, and other weapons, whether or not these weapons are loaded, from which you can discharge a bullet or shot. Under Section 131L, large capacity weapons or machine guns must also be so stored and equipped. Securely locked containers are lock boxes, safes, and cases that can only be unlocked with a combination, key, or other means of that nature.

The purpose of the law is to make sure that someone other than an owner or authorized user of the gun cannot operate it. To establish the charge against you, a prosecutor must show: (1) you had a qualifying weapon stored, (2) you did not have the weapon under your immediate control, and (3) it was not adequately secured.

Penalties for Improper Firearm Storage

It is crucial to talk to an attorney about these charges. Typically, harsh consequences are imposed in Boston and elsewhere in Massachusetts for a conviction of this offense. If you are convicted of improper storage of a firearm, you could face 1.5 years in prison and $1000-$7,500 in fines, assuming the firearm in question is not a large capacity weapon or machine gun. If the weapon for which you are charged was a large capacity weapon or machine gun, you could face 1.5 – 12 years in prison, plus fines of $2,000 nor more than $15,000. Similarly harsh penalties, or even harsher ones, are imposed if you stored a weapon in a place where a minor younger than age 18, without a valid firearm identification card, could get to it without an unforeseeable trespass.

The penalties may be steeper if you are charged with improper storage of a firearm, and you also weren’t licensed to possess the firearms in the first place.


You should never assume a conviction is assured. The government must prove every element of its case beyond a reasonable doubt, and a knowledgeable attorney may be able to investigate and poke holes in the prosecution’s case. It may be appropriate to seek to exclude certain evidence, whether because it was obtained in violation of your rights or for another reason. In some cases, the witnesses the government relies upon are not fully credible—leaving room for us to raise reasonable doubt. There is also an exception for certain types of firearms manufactured in or before the year 1899.

When it seems prudent, Mr. Sullivan may be able to negotiate a plea deal in connection with the charges. Generally, it’s not wise to try to negotiate these yourself, as you may inadvertently compromise your rights. As a criminal defense lawyer with a good reputation, Mr. Sullivan can protect your interests and secure the best available outcome in these sensitive talks.

Consult a Results-Oriented Firearms Lawyer About the Charges Against You

If you were charged improper storage of a firearm, you should call seasoned Boston criminal defense attorney Ryan P. Sullivan. Mr. Sullivan has more than a decade of experience in Boston, Lowell and surrounding areas and will investigate every angle of your case in order to provide you with the best defense possible. Call him today at (617) 997-7597 or get in touch through our online form to schedule your free consultation.

Client Reviews

Great lawyer he has helped my family immensely. Very capable and dedicated. A lawyer who actually cares and an all around good person.


Ryan Sullivan is a very knowledgeable attorney. He is one of my go-to professionals when I am seeking insight on more complicated criminal matters. Without any reservations, he has my vote of confidence.

Ilya Liviz

Attorney Ryan Sullivan is professional, knowledgeable and compassionate.

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My mom was involved in a horrible accident and we eventually found out she needed a lawyer. We had no idea who to contact and a mutual acquaintance recommended Attorney Ryan Sullivan. After our first meeting with Ryan we knew he was the attorney for our case. His communication and knowledge...

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