C.269 § 12D Carrying Rifle or Shotgun in Public

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C.269 § 12D Carrying Rifle or Shotgun in Public

 (a) Except as exempted or provided by law, no person shall carry on his person on any public way a loaded rifle or shotgun having cartridges or shells in either the magazine or chamber thereof. For purposes of this section, “loaded shotgun or loaded rifle” shall mean any shotgun or rifle having ammunition in either the magazine or chamber thereof, such ammunition including a live cartridge, primer (igniter), bullet or propellant powder designed for use in any firearm, rifle or shotgun and, in the case of a muzzle loading or black powder shotgun or rifle, containing powder in the flash pan, a percussion cap and shot or ball; but the term “loaded shotgun or loaded rifle” shall not include a shotgun or rifle loaded with a blank cartridge, which contains no projectile within such blank or within the bore or chamber of such shotgun or rifle.

(Exemption: This section prior to chapter 180 of the Acts of 1998 allowed being on a public way while engaged in hunting. The purpose of the “engaged in hunting” language then as now was to allow a person who was hunting on one side of a public way to cross to the other side without unloading. A person is not engaged in hunting from the moment he leaves the front door of his home to go hunting. Therefore, a person going on a hunting trip cannot walk from a residential area to the woods without having the rifle or shotgun in a case.)

.Loaded Non-Large Capacity Rifle or Shotgun

Classification: Misdemeanor

Penalty: Up to 2 in HOC or $500 to $5000 fine or both fine and imprisonment

Right of Arrest: Yes (statutory)

Loaded Large Capacity Rifle or Shotgun

Classification: Felony

Penalty: 1 to 10 years imprisonment or $1000 to $10,000 fine or both fine and imprisonment

Right of Arrest: Yes (statutory)

 (b) Except as exempted or provided by law, no person shall carry on his person on any public way an unloaded rifle or shotgun, unless such rifle or shotgun is enclosed in a case. (Can be in an inexpensive soft case)

Unloaded Non-Large Capacity Rifle or Shotgun

Classification: Misdemeanor

Penalty: $100 to $1000 fine

Right of Arrest: Yes (statutory)

Unloaded Large Capacity Rifle or Shotgun

Classification: Felony

Penalty: 1 to 10 years imprisonment or $1000 to $10,000 fine or both fine and imprisonment

Right of Arrest: Yes (statutory)

This subsection shall not apply to drills, parades, military reenactments or other commemorative ceremonies, color guards or memorial service firing squads, so-called, as permitted by law. Sworn Law Enforcement is exempt.

Stay Prepared, Stay Safe

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