Bail in the amount of $25,000 was set for a former Boston Police Officer accused of unlawful possession of a firearm. At 1:30 a.m. on January 4th of this year Boston Police reponded to a Dorchester bar after a 911 caller claimed to have overheard the defendant stating that he would shoot a cop. Officers arrived to find the defendant outside the Dublin House in Dorchester. The man, 43 year old Isaac Thornton was pat frisked at which time the police found a loaded 9 millimeter handgun. A violent struggle followed after which Thornton was arrested. A total of 30 rounds of ammunition were found on the defendant. Among the charges are unlawful carrying of a gun and possession of ammunition.
So here is what the defendant faces if charged as reported by the article.
Carrying a firearm. This is a violation of Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 269 §10(a). The law prohibits you from carrying a gun whether or not the gun is loaded unless you are properly licensed to do so, or you are in your residence or place of business. A conviction for this offense carries a mandatory minimum 18 month jail sentence.
2. Possession of a firearm. This is also a violation of G.L. c. 269 but under subsection 10(h). This law is similar to 10(a) however there is no minimum mandatory jail sentence.
3. Possession of ammunition. This activity is proscribed by subsection 10(h) as well. There is a maximum sentence of 2 years and a fine of up to $500.
As you can see gun laws in Massachusetts are very tough. There are however many situations where these charges might seem unfair. For example, several years ago a jeweler came into our office after being charged with carrying a firearm. At that time the minimum mandatory sentence was 1 years in jail. Our client had no criminal record and lived in New Hampshire. He legally owned a gun in accordance with New Hampshire law. As a protective measure he carried the gun when he was transferring jewelry to and from his store. He would keep the gun under the seat of his car while driving with his merchandise. One night he drove into Boston to meet with some friends at a nightclub on the waterfront. Before he valet parked his car he removed the gun from underneath the seat so that no one would access it and get hurt. He then attempted to give the gun to a bouncer to store for him while he was at the nightclub. The bouncer immediately called the police and the man was arrested. Fortunately, the man came to our office. We presented the case to the district attorney’s office with appropriate documentation supporting our defense. We were successful in getting the mandatory 10(a) charges dismissed at the request of the prosecution.
Attorney Stephen Neyman has been handling gun, firearm and ammunition cases his entire career. Our office understands the law and what is needed to prevail in a defense against these charges. If you have been charged with a crime involving firearms in Massachusetts you should contact a knowledgeable Massachusetts Firearms Defense Attorney now.
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