According to data recently released by Massachusetts and the FBI, gun crimes of all kinds are up, these include:
- Murders committed with firearms
- Aggravated assaults involving guns
- Robberies involving guns; and
- Gunshot injuries
Gun owner advocacy groups point to this data as evidence of the lack of efficacy of gun control laws.
Proponents of such controls argue that increasing violent gun crimes are the result of individuals being able to secure weapons more easily in neighboring states. Unlike Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine do not require a permit or license to buy a gun. However, weapons bought at stores that are federally licensed, whatever the state, do require a background check. Additionally, there is increased concern regarding so called “straw man” transactions, whereby an individual lawfully obtains a weapon, only to turn around and sell it to another individual.
Increasing rates of gun related incidents are occuring despite the strict control laws passed in the state since 1998, which are touted as among the nation’s toughest. These laws include a ban on semiautomatic assault weapons, stringent licensing requirements, and a mandate that firearms be stored safely.
Many gun rights advocates feel that these laws are misguided in that they only address the requirements for individuals who procure guns through the proper legal channels. The tragic shooting in Newtown has renewed the debate with fervor as we as a nation attempt to address how to prevent such tragedies from occurring in the future.
Take Gun Charges Seriously
Firearms and weapons charges are taken very seriously in our state, and you should take them seriously as well. A person charged with gun law violation in Massachusetts can expect an aggressive prosecution by government lawyers who are specifically trained in trying firearms violations in a dedicated gun court. This means that the government’s lawyers will try to ensure that they have an airtight case, potentially making it more difficult for a defense attorney to find flaws in things such as evidence collection.
Additionally, conviction for a violation of Massachusetts gun laws can carry a stiff punishment, including a minimum mandatory sentence of 18 months for unlawful possession of a firearm or gun outside the home. A conviction can also have a potentially harmful impact on your future job prospects or other aspirations. A criminal defense attorney can work with you to have the charges lessened, or in some cases dismissed completely. Experience with weapons charges means an attorney knows how best to pursue your case, including what the most common types of mistakes are, by government officials and how to exploit them to your advantage.
Patrick J. Murphy is a Boston Massachusetts criminal defense attorney whose entire practice is dedicated to Massachusetts criminal defense. For nearly 20 years, Attorney Murphy has been devoted to aggressively and zealously defending clients accused of crimes, including weapons charges, and providing representation on a wide range of criminal defense matters. He has successfully represented clients at motions hearings, bench, and jury trials in weapon violation cases.
To schedule a confidential consultation, you can contact us online, or call 617-367-0450 24/7.
More Blog Posts:
New Melanie’s Law Ruling in Massachusetts Helps Repeat OUI Offenders Avoid Lengthy Registry License Suspensions, Boston Criminal Defense Lawyer Blog, published May 18, 2012
Massachusetts Logan Airport Crime: Interference With A Flight Crew or Operation of an Aircraft, Boston Criminal Defense Lawyer Blog, published January 13, 2012