Navigating the intricate legal landscape of firearm ownership in Massachusetts can be quite perplexing, especially when it comes to one of the most talked-about handguns today, the Glock. With a unique set of regulations that govern the acquisition and ownership of these firearms, it's important to understand exactly what's permissible and what isn't. In this extensive guide, we'll debunk common myths, clarify the legalities, and explore all potential avenues for Glock enthusiasts in Massachusetts to acquire the handgun of their choice. Whether you’re wondering "Can I build a Glock in Massachusetts?" or asking "How to get a Glock in Massachusetts," this article has you covered.
Massachusetts Glock Laws Explained
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is known for its stringent gun laws, which include the famed Approved Handgun Roster. Established in 1998, this list signifies the firearms that FFL (Federal Firearms License) dealers can sell within the state. While Glocks are indeed featured on the approved roster, they don't align with all of the attorney general's criteria for dealer sales to Massachusetts residents, mainly due to their lack of compliant loaded chamber indicators.
Its critical to understand that while these laws mean dealers cannot sell new Glocks, it has nothing to do with the rights to possess a Glock, the approved handgun roster & AG's required tests do not impinge upon one's legal right to possess Glocks certain handguns.
So If a Dealer Can't Sell Them, How Do You Get Them?
Here are 5 different legal methods to acquire a Glock in Massachusetts, despite the restrictions:
1. Buy a "Pre-Ban/Pre-Roster" Glock
Dealers in Massachusetts may not sell new Glocks, but they are authorized to sell models manufactured before the effective date of the Approved Handgun Roster (October 12, 1998). This encompasses select Gen 3s, Gen 2s, and Gen 1s. These older Glocks retain their value and have seen minimal design changes, making them a viable choice for those invested in owning a Glock.
At Bay State Surplus, we often stock Gen 2's and sometimes Gen 3's in like new condition. Click the button below to view our current inventory!
2. Private Purchase
Although brand-new Glocks can't be directly purchased from Massachusetts dealers, private purchases offer an alternative route. These firearms often enter the secondary market through police trade-ins or from individuals relocating to Massachusetts with their personally-owned Glocks. Thus, connecting with private sellers could lead to a lawful acquisition.
3. Frame Transfer
A notable Massachusetts legal nuance is that only a complete firearm assembly qualifies as a "firearm" according to state law. This presents an opportunity for dealers to sell Glock frames and slides separately, with the end-user assembling them. While this practice is technically legal, a 2016 advisory from the attorney general criticized it, causing most dealers to avoid new Glock frame transfers. Bay State Surplus does not endorse or participate in this approach.
4. Third Party Custom Build
For those seeking characteristics similar to a Glock, the newly-approved Shadow Systems MR920 Elite might be the answer. This handgun appears on the approved roster and shares many compatibilities with Glock parts. Its features, like a flared mag-well, interchangeable backstraps, and an optics-ready slide, often align with the custom modifications desired by Glock fans, making it an attractive option.
At Bay State Surplus, we have tested this firearm ourselves and were impressed with the results. We are now partnered with Shadow Systems and offer this firearm at our store, if you are interested in getting your hands on one, just click the button below or reach out to us through our website!
5. Can I Build a Glock in Massachusetts? - YES!
While there's a ban on dealers selling new Glocks, there's no prohibition against building one from scratch. 80% frame kits enable enthusiasts to purchase an unfinished frame and complete it with a few final machining steps. Companies like Polymer 80 have leveraged this loophole effectively. Additionally, 3D printing firearm frames is gaining traction, although Bay State Surplus recommends leaving this to professionals for safety reasons.
The demand for Glocks in Massachusetts has intensified precisely because they're challenging to acquire. It's a classic scenario of longing for the forbidden fruit. Before settling for the elusive Glock, it's worthwhile to survey the modern firearm market. While Glocks have retained their essential design for nearly forty years, fresh and innovative models are continually reshaping the gun industry landscape. Perhaps there's a new or alternative handgun waiting to be your perfect match—one that's not only legal in Massachusetts but suits your preferences even better than the much-debated Glock.
Assault Weapon Assessment (Take a short test to see if your prospective firearm purchase is an assault weapon)
Large Capacity Weapon Assessment (Take a short test to see if your prospective firearm purchase is a Large Capacity Weapon)