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  • Acts
  • 2004
  • Chapter 150 AN ACT FURTHER REGULATING CERTAIN WEAPONS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

SECTION 1. Section 121 of chapter 140 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2002 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting after the figure "(30)", in line 11, the following words:- as appearing in such section on September 13, 1994.

SECTION 2. Said section 121 of said chapter 140, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by inserting after the figure "922", in line 21, the following words:- as appearing in such appendix on September 13, 1994.

SECTION 3. Said section 121 of said chapter 140, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by inserting after the figure "(31)", in line 58, the following words:- as appearing in such section on September 13, 1994.

SECTION 4. Section 129B of said chapter 140, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the word "board", in line 148, the following words:- in a size and shape equivalent to that of a license to operate motor vehicles issued by the registry of motor vehicles pursuant to section 8 of chapter 90.

SECTION 5. The first sentence of clause (9) of said section 129B of said chapter 140, as most recently amended by section 34 of chapter 140 of the acts of 2003, is hereby amended by striking out the figure "4" and inserting in place thereof the following figure:- 6.

SECTION 6. Said first sentence of said clause (9) of said section 129B of said chapter 140, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the word "issue" the following words:- , except that if the cardholder applied for renewal before the card expired, the card shall remain valid for a period of 90 days after the stated expiration date on the card, unless the application for renewal is denied.

SECTION 7. Clause (12) of said section 129B of said chapter 140, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the word "expired", in line 201 the following words:- , meaning after 90 days beyond the stated expiration date on the card.

SECTION 8. Said clause (12) of said section 129B of said chapter 140, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by striking out, in line 215, the words "expired on" and inserting in place thereof the following words:- expired, meaning after 90 days beyond the stated expiration date on the card, or.

SECTION 9. Said chapter 140 is hereby further amended by inserting after section 130 the following section:-

Section 130B. (a) There shall be a firearm licensing review board, established within the criminal history systems board, in this section called the board, comprised of 7 members, 1 of whom shall be a member of the criminal history systems board appointed by the executive director and who shall be the chair, 1 of whom shall be the secretary of public safety or his designee, 1 of whom shall be the colonel of state police or his designee, 1 of whom shall be appointed by the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association, 1 of whom shall be the attorney general or his designee, 1 whom shall be an attorney with litigation experience in firearm licensing cases and appointed by the governor from a list of qualified persons submitted to the governor by the Massachusetts Bar Association, and 1 of whom shall be a retired member of the judiciary and appointed by the governor.

(b) An applicant for a firearm identification card or license to carry who has been convicted of or adjudicated a delinquent child or youthful offender by reason of an offense or offenses punishable by 2 1/2 years imprisonment or less when committed under the laws of the commonwealth which was not: (a) an assault or battery on a family member or household member, as defined by section 1 of chapter 209A, except that the determination to be made under clause (e) of said section 1 of said chapter 209A shall be made by the review board, may, after the passage of 5 years from conviction, adjudication as a youthful offender or a delinquent child or release from confinement, commitment, probation or parole supervision for such conviction or adjudication, whichever is last occurring, file a petition for review of eligibility with the firearm licensing review board.

(c) The petitioner shall provide to the board a copy of a completed firearm identification card or license to carry application, which application shall have previously been submitted to the licensing authority or be submitted to the licensing authority contemporaneously with the petition filed with the board. The petitioner shall have the burden to prove his suitability to receive a firearm identification card or a license to carry by clear and convincing evidence. The board shall set a reasonable filing fee to file the petition.

(d) If the board determines, by 2/3rds vote, that: (i) the sole disqualifier for the petitioner is any conviction or adjudication as a youthful offender or a delinquent child for an offense or offenses punishable by 2 1/2 years imprisonment or less when committed under the laws of the commonwealth, arising out of a single incident and which does not otherwise disqualify the petitioner under subclauses (a), (d) or (e) of clause (i) or clauses (ii) to (ix), inclusive, of paragraph (1) of section 129B or subclauses (a), (d) or (e) of clause (i) or clauses (ii) to (vii), inclusive, of paragraph (d) of section 131, and which was not an assault or battery on a family member or household members, as defined by section 1 of chapter 209A, except that the determination to be made under clause (e) of said section 1 of said chapter 209A shall be made by the board; (ii) 5 years has passed since such conviction or adjudication or release from confinement, commitment, probation or parole supervision for such conviction or adjudication, whichever is last occurring; and (iii) by clear and convincing evidence, that the petitioner is a suitable person to be a firearm identification card or license to carry holder, the board shall determine that the petitioner's right or ability to possess a firearm is fully restored in the commonwealth with respect to such conviction or adjudication and that such conviction or adjudication shall not prohibit such petitioner from applying to a licensing authority for a firearm identification card or license to carry. The board shall make a determination on a petition within 60 days after receipt of the petition.

(e) The board shall hold hearings at such times and places as in its discretion it reasonably determines to be required, but not less than once every 90 days, and shall give reasonable notice of the time and place of the hearing to the petitioner. The board shall have the power to compel attendance of witnesses at hearings.

(f) All hearings shall be conducted in an informal manner, but otherwise according to the rules of evidence, and all witnesses shall be sworn by the chair. If requested by the petitioner and payment for stenographic services, as determined by the board, accompanies such request, the board shall cause a verbatim transcript of the hearing to be made. The board's decisions and findings of facts therefore shall be communicated in writing to the petitioner and to the licensing authority to whom the petitioner has applied or intends to apply within 20 days of rendering a decision.

(g) Members of the board shall serve without compensation, but shall be entitled to reasonable subsistence and travel allowances in the performance of their duties.

SECTION 10. Section 131 of said chapter 140, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the word "board", in line 210, the following words:- in a size and shape equivalent to that of a license to operate motor vehicles issued by the registry of motor vehicles pursuant to section 8 of chapter 90.

SECTION 11. The first paragraph of subsection (i) of said section 131 of said chapter 140, as most recently amended by section 103 of chapter 46 of the acts of 2003, is hereby further amended by striking out the first 2 sentences and inserting in place thereof the following 2 sentences:- A license to carry or possess firearms shall be valid, unless revoked or suspended, for a period of not more than 6 years from the date of issue and shall expire on the anniversary of the licensee's date of birth occurring not less than 5 years but not more than 6 years from the date of issue, except that if the licensee applied for renewal before the license expired, the license shall remain valid for a period of 90 days beyond the stated expiration date on the license, unless the application for renewal is denied. Any renewal thereof shall expire on the anniversary of the licensee's date of birth occurring not less than 5 years but not more than 6 years from the effective date of such license.

SECTION 12. The fifth sentence of subsection (i) of said section 131 of said chapter 140, inserted by section 429 of chapter 26 of the acts of 2003, is hereby amended by inserting after the word "commonwealth" the following words:- and not less than $50,000 of the funds deposited into the General Fund shall be allocated to the Firearm Licensing Review Board, established in section 130B, for its operations and that any funds not expended by said board for its operations shall revert back to the General Fund.

SECTION 13. Said first paragraph of said subsection (i) of said section 131 of said chapter 140, as most recently amended by section 103 of chapter 46 of the acts of 2003, is hereby further amended by adding the following sentence:- For the purposes of section 10 of chapter 269, an expired license to carry firearms shall be deemed to be valid for a period not to exceed 90 days beyond the stated date of expiration, unless such license to carry firearms has been revoked.

SECTION 14. Said section 131 of said chapter 140, as appearing in the 2002 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting after the figure "70", in line 243, the following words:- and any law enforcement officer applying for a license to carry firearms through his employing agency.

SECTION 15. Said section 131 of said chapter 140, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by inserting after the word "expired", in lines 280 and 293, the following words:- , meaning after 90 days beyond the stated expiration date on the license.

SECTION 16. Subsection (m) of said section 131 of said chapter 140, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the second sentence the following sentence:- The officer shall, at the time of confiscation, provide to the person whose firearm, rifle or shotgun has been confiscated, a written inventory and receipt for all firearms, rifles or shotguns confiscated and the officer and his employer shall exercise due care in the handling, holding and storage of these items.

SECTION 17. Section 18C of chapter 265 of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out the second, third, fourth and fifth sentences.

Approved July 1, 2004.