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Massachusetts Gun Laws: Can Towns and Cities Make Local Rules?

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By    |   Sunday, 07 Dec 2014 06:30 PM

Massachusetts has some of the strictest gun laws in the nation; however, Massachusetts grants regulation authority to individual towns and cities via the Home Rule Amendment. The amendment states that any actions taken by municipalities are valid as long as they are consistent with state laws.

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According to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, this amendment provides municipalities with broad regulatory power, stating:
It is the intention of this article to reaffirm the customary and traditional liberties of the people with respect to the conduct of their local government, and to grant and confirm to the people of every city and town the right of self-government in local matters, subject to the provisions of this article and to such standards and requirements as the general court may establish by law in accordance with the provisions of this article.
Furthermore, the amendment authorizes cities and towns with broad regulatory power:
Any city or town may, by the adoption, amendment, or repeal of local ordinances or by-laws, exercise any power or function which the general court has power to confer upon it, which is not inconsistent with the constitution or laws enacted by the general court in conformity with powers reserved to the general court by [Const. amend. art. II, § 8], and which is not denied, either expressly or by clear implication, to the city or town by its charter. This section shall apply to every city and town, whether or not it has adopted a charter pursuant to [Const. amend. art. II, § 3].
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court established guidelines to determine whether or not a proposed ordinance is consistent with state law.

Specifically, municipalities may enact ordinances “[f]or directing and managing their prudential affairs, preserving peace and good order, and maintaining their internal police.”

This article does not constitute legal advice. Check the current gun laws before purchasing or traveling with a firearm.

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Massachusetts has some of the strictest gun laws in the nation; however, Massachusetts grants regulation authority to individual towns and cities via the Home Rule Amendment.
massachusetts, gun, laws, cities, local, rules
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2014-30-07
Sunday, 07 Dec 2014 06:30 PM
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