Does HK USP .45C meet Mass law


December 25, 2002, 03:08 AM
I think that the HK USP .45C meets all the criteria to be sold/possessed in Mass. However it is not on the approved firearms list. On the other hand some firearms that are on the list do not meet the criteria. So is the USP .45c good to go in Mass or what?

Another question I have is Colt 1991 are on the approved list. Does this mean that a Kimber or other such clone of the same type of gun be legit if it met all the criteria set forth by the list?

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Swamp Yankee
December 25, 2002, 04:09 PM

If it's about Mass. gun laws, you can usually find an answer or link there.
As to what's on the list, IIRC the manufacturer has to submit samples and a considerable amount of $ to go through the approval process with no guaranty of acceptance. I believe some mfg.'s couldn't justify the time or expense for the small amount of additional business.
Take Care

December 26, 2002, 11:14 AM

In short, no you cannot currently buy a new HK USP of any variety in MA. Nor can you buy a 1911 of any variety (Colt or Kimber, etc.). Details are below:
There are two sets of regulations that a handgun must meet to be sold in MA -- 1) the Attorney General's "consumer protection" requirements and 2) the statutory requirements that were passed in Chapter 180 of the 1998 laws (which can be found in MGL Ch. 140 S. 123). These two sets of requirements are somewhat different. Both must be met for a new handgun to be sold in MA. The statutory requirements are implemented by the Executive Office of Public Safety (EOPS).

You can find the AGs regs here:

The statutory requirements are here:

EOPS "approved handgun roster" is here:

Based on your question, it appears to me that you are somewhat confused with the process of getting handgun approved for sale in MA (which is not all that surprising, considering how much of a mess it is). Just because a handgun has all the necessary stuff on it does not mean that it can be sold in MA. The HK USPc has a manual safety, a chamber-loaded indicator (a bit of paint on top of the extractor), and a firing pin block. I don't know if it has the serial number in a second, secret location. But before it can be approved in MA, HK must submit it for testing to an independent lab, and then submit the test results to EOPS. Testing isn't free, it costs money. Presuming it passes the tests (and I'm sure it would), then the Gun Control Advisory Board would recommend to EOPS that the gun be approved. EOPS will then take a while before they add it to the roster of approved guns.

That's the easy part. The hard part is that the Attorney General is playing a game of gotcha and won't tell a manufacturer whether their gun meets the AGs regs. The AG does not issue any kind of roster of approved guns. The AG just tells manufacturers to read his regulations and that if their gun does not, in the AG's opinion, meet those regulations, then the AG will see them in court. And the AG's staff will not answer any questions about the regulations.

As a result of the uncertainty (and thus risk) around the AGs regulations, many manufacturers have refused to submit their guns for approval for sale in MA. EOPS cannot approve a gun unless the manufacturer pays to have the gun tested and then submits the tests to EOPS. HK, Kimber, and Colt have refused to have their guns tested for sale in MA.

Could the HK USPc be made so that it would pass all the requirements? Certainly, all it needs is the serial number stamped in a second place. Could the Colt 1991 and Kimber II be made to pass all the requirements? Sure. They'd just need a cut in the barrel hood so that it can be a "chamber-loaded indicator." But HK, Colt, and Kimber would have to decide to spend the money to do it and accept the risk of the AGs wrath. They have all declined to do so, despite a fair bit of pleading.

Smith & Wesson has started manufacturing a gun that is pretty close to a 1911. It has a Swartz type drop safety which is similar to the Kimber II, but rumored to be better designed. It also has an external extractor that can be easily made into a chamber-loaded indicator with the addition of some red paint. S&W has submitted the gun for testing to be sold in MA, but it will likely be several months before testing is complete, the GCAB recommends its approval, and EOPS acts to approve it. Here's the link to the new SW 1911:


December 26, 2002, 03:14 PM

Here another question then. Can a firearm not on the approved list be carried in Mass if you have are a Non-resident with a permit and bring teh firearms from out of state or if the firearms was bought before the regulation?

Do the AG rules only apply to sale of or do they apply to actually possessing also?

December 26, 2002, 08:51 PM
Smiley, if you read both the AGs regs and the law, you'll see that they only apply to FFL transfers. They do not apply to whatever anyone wants to carry in MA, whether they are a non-resident or a resident who owned something not on the list prior to its enaction. If someone moves into MA, they can bring whatever they want with them and carry it as soon as they get an appropriate license. Furthermore, the regulations do not apply to private sales. So, if you can find someone in MA who has a 1911 or an HK USPc and is willing to sell it, you can buy it, provided that you are both properly licensed and you fill out a form FA10 and send it in. That said, supply and demand being what they are, there are few 1911s for sale and the prices are quite high. I haven't seen a USPc for sale since I got the last one a dealer had just before the AGs regs were enforced. If you currently live outside of MA and are going to move in, I strongly suggest that you invest in a bunch of 1911s, USPs, etc. You'll only be able to sell 4 per year in a private sale, but I can almost guarantee that you'll sell each and every one for more than you paid for it.

There have been some folks who have suggested that you might be taking additional legal risk by carrying something that is not on the roster. Their logic is that the plaintiff's attorney in the civil suit following a shooting might try to use the fact that you were carrying an "unsafe" gun against you. In my mind, I don't see how he could make much headway unless it was an accidental shooting where the shooting was likely caused by the gun not having feature X or Y which was required by the regulations. If, on the other hand, you drilled the now ex-perp with 2 to the chest and 1 to head, it's pretty clear that it doesn't matter how "safe" or "unsafe" the gun was -- the gun did exactly what you wanted it to.

Realize, of course, that I'm not an attorney, this isn't legal advice, your mileage may vary, and you should contact competent legal counsel. I am a state police certified firearms instructor (which means I'm an NRA instructor who sent $25 to the MA state police :p)


December 27, 2002, 01:06 AM

Thanks so much for the good info. You really seem to clear up a few things that I was unsure of. I understand that your's is not legal advice but I think you pretty much hit the nail on the head.

Again thank you very much.

January 5, 2003, 11:48 AM
A good resource to turn to is the Four Seasons gun website at

Click on the What's New or the New Handguns (don't recall which) they have a link to the approved guns for the state of Massachusetts. Can't wait to see the 2003 list.:D

January 5, 2003, 02:11 PM

Here's a link to the "Approved Firearms Roster":

Note, however, that (as I explained above), being on the roster is necessary but not sufficient to be legal for sale in MA. The "Roster" lists guns that meet the statutory requirements in Chapter 140 of Mass. General Law. However, a handgun may meet the requiremnets of Chapter 140 but still not meet the Attorney General's Consumer Protection regulations. The "Roster" itself discusses this. The following text is on the roster, in bold, large font, all caps:

The Attorney General confirms this as well, as you can see on his web site here:

which reads, in part:
The Attorney General's handgun sales regulations include three product requirements that are not shared by the Chapter 140 handgun product requirements, and that are not tested for the Approved Firearms Roster:

* child-safety features
940 CMR 16.05(2), (4)
* load indicators and magazine safety disconnects for semi-automatic handguns
940 CMR 16.05(3), (4)
* tamper-resistant serial numbers
940 CMR 16.03

A handgun that is listed on the Approved Firearms Roster might not satisfy these three additional product requirements. If a handgun does not satisfy these three additional requirements, then it is a violation of the regulations for a handgun purveyor to transfer that handgun even if the handgun is listed on the Approved Firearms Roster. As a result, some guns which are on the "Roster" cannot currently be sold new in MA, including Glocks, Kahrs, Rock Island 1911s, etc.

I'd love to see more guns available for sale in MA. But just being on the "Roster" is necessary, but not sufficient.


January 5, 2003, 03:02 PM
I was already aware of that, thanks. The Four Seasons mentions this on their website and include a warning "not to get too excited." :D Don't suppose you know when the new list for this year will be released?

January 5, 2003, 08:54 PM
Don't suppose you know when the new list for this year will be released?Nope, no clue. Since the Secretary for Public Safety has been replaced by Gov. Romney, I wouldn't be surprised if lots of things end up on hold until he gets settled in. In other words, I wouldn't hold my breath if I were you.

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