If I wish to carry my gun whilst tarrying in Massachusetts, the first thing I need is an Massachusetts License to Carry (LTC). To wrangle one of those from Bay State bureaucrats, I must take a Massachusetts firearms safety class. Afterwards, I have to submit an application to the PTB with a copy of my home state’s carry permit, all the usual bona fides, a $100 fee (no personal checks) and a compelling reason why I need to carry a concealed firearm in Massachusetts (no personal safety stuff). If they like the cut of my jib, I have to travel to Adams Massachusetts for a personal interview. Even if I get an LTC . . .

I still can’t carry the magazine on the left in my Springfield XD(m) .45. It’s not a pre-ban, “high-capacity” mag. I would argue that it’s a standard capacity magazine, but who’s listening?

Not Massachusetts, which classifies a legal “high capacity” magazine as any magazine that holds more than 10 cartridges that was hanging out in Massachusetts on or before September 13, 1994. Any magazine manufactured after that date that holds more than 10 rounds is illegal.

Again, the 13-round magazine on the left is verboten. The 10-round magazine on the right is good to stow.

At the risk of pointing out the blindingly obvious, the only difference between the two magazines is . . . three bullets. Three bullets separate a law-abiding citizen carrying a gun for self-defense and a psycho killer looking to take out as many innocent people as possible without wasting the two seconds swapping magazines would require.

I guess.

Anyway, as I cross the border from RI to MA—something we Rhode Islanders do on a regular basis—I have to swap out magazines. Wait! No. I have to make the switch before I leave the house and cross the border. I have to leave home without them. I can’t carry high capacity magazines in Mass. even if they’re locked away in an approved container.

And if I get caught with those three extra bullets in that stainless steel magazine? I’m in trouble, and ehow:

A person who carries a weapon over a public way, like a street, with ammunition in the chamber or in a magazine is subject to fines and imprisonment under Chapter 269.12(D)(a) of the Massachusetts Statutes. Possessing a small capacity weapon with ammunition carries a fine from $500 to $5,000 and a possible sentence of two years in a local prison, while a large capacity weapon with ammunition has a fine range of $1,000 to $10,000 and a maximum jail sentence of 10 years.

Does any of this make sense?

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23 Responses to The Truth About High Capacity Magazines and Me

  1. That’s why all gun owners and lovers of personal freedom in the Bay State should join GOAL (Gun Owners Action League) as well as the NRA and stay informed and active. This can be a great place to live; we just have to get a few (several) things straightened out is all.

  2. We have unfortunately allowed the liberal dweebs to set the narrative on this issue(they do own the national press). My Sig P226 was designed to use 15 round magazines. These are not high capacity mags, they are the standard capacity mags. We must correctly call the 10 rounders Reduced Capacity magazines as that is what they are.
    Perhaps we can equate this to the government banning all gas tanks with over 10 gallon capacity and requiring us to replace our original equipment tanks with the 10 gallon variety while labeling the original designs as High Capacity. Sadly liberal and weenie hysteria knows no bounds.

  3. All you have to do is look at the photo you posted. The mag on the left has ‘mass murder’ written all over it. It’s clearly much more of a threat than the innocent-looking one on the right.

  4. I asked my wife which magazine, she thought, would be the mass murderer one.
    She said both. According to her a mass murder doesn’t care about large or small magazines, he (or she) would bring as many bullets (and magazines) as needed for the task.

    • Which brings us to the very point of the matter and the wall against which this discussion invariably runs; it’s about the intent of the operator, not the features of the gun!

      A madman bent on carnage is just that… A madman BENT ON CARNAGE. To worry about his preferred means of attaining that end is to miss the point at the expense of lives and liberties. Take the madness out of the man or that man off the streets and keep the rounds in the magazine where they belong.

  5. I am also a RI resident. If I want to shoot at the American Firearms school in Attleborough, MA, it is illegal for me to take my Beretta 92A1 with empty 17 round magazines across the border?

    • Yes. And no. Yes if you’re passing through. No if you’re not. The only other way it’s legal: if you’re taking the gun to a competition.

      • So, let’s assume the following scenario: I want to take my gun to AFS to shoot it, then return home to RI. Since I only have 17-round magazines, my act of traveling to the range with these magazines are illegal? I’m not technically passing through, because my destination is in Massachusetts.

        Love the site, BTW. Keep up the great work.

        • Correct. As far as I know. Of course, you might have a competition at AFS mightn’t you? Head-to-head perhaps. In any case, I would certainly keep an eye on my speedometer if I were you. Which I almost am.

        • As much as everyone in MA does it anyway, I defy you to find the competition exception to the ban on “high capacity feeding devices”. There is no such exception. They’re always a felony if you actually get caught and do something such that they bother to enforce the law.

          The only competition exception is for licensing, not for “assault weapons” or “assault clips”.

          FOPA will protect you if you’re passing through, but going to AFS? Don’t get caught.

      • A nice side effect of all these byways in the law is that you may get pulled over by an officer who doesn’t know ALL of them (not that I blame them) and get arrested even though you fell under one of the aforementioned exemptions.

        I’ve asked the same questions of multiple cops and gotten different answers, opinions and interpretations of the laws. All of them vehmently backed up by each respective officer.

        Has it happened, I dunno. Could it happen, seems resonable to say yes.

  6. Robert, you seem to forget that anything that happens in MA never has to make sense. They just make up any law they want and if you don’t like it, you’d better have a good lawyer.

  7. “Does any of this make sense?”

    Massatwoshits, the “Cornhole State,” is where the alcoholic scumbag Ted “Swim Coach” Kennedy was elected to 700 terms in the Senate and Mitt “Hot Shit” Romney backed the AWB. If you want sense, look elsewhere.

  8. Don’t have plans to travel to Mass, actually have plans to avoid going there except being dragged kicking and screaming. I would never admit to a police officer that my destination was in their state, aren’t you really on your way to Maine?

    • All high capacity mags manufactured after September 13th 1994 are required to have a date code stamped on the case in a manner which it can not be removed.

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