Moderator: Van Canna
ETA: by the way, I've been told by several different LEOs that "under direct control" means within arm's reach of a properly licensed individual...
There is no "sanitary" answer on this. My impression of "under your direct control" has always been that the gun should be located in such a place that you could prevent someone else from touching it.
That having been said, most MA gun lawyers are going to tell you to exceed that standard because of the ambiguities in
For example, one could argue that a center console might be under your direct control because it's usually
right underneath your arm while driving. I can tell you right now though, that a lawyer is going to groan at having to
deal with that. Further, playing "gun juggler" in an MV is a good way of getting spotted by a moonbat, among other
IMHO in MA the best option is always going to be to carry on your person, or to unload the gun and lock it in a secure
container... pick one. If you cannot carry on your person you need to get a different gun or holster to facilitate doing
so... it's literally that simple. The options "in between" those two extremes can expose you to additional legal risk/peril.
There are some situations where I would go with off body carry in an MV, but while in MA I generally stay far far away from
it because of ambiguities in the law here.
MA is a whole different ballgame than NH/VT/ME where standards for this
mode of transport are either nonexistent or extremely relaxed to the point of not having to worry about it.
So the final answer is: One could argue that in a range bag on the seat next to you is under direct control and perfectly legal but one could also argue that it's not. So in order to be 100% sure you are legally correct, keep backing up until you find the answer that everyone agrees on which is locked or in a holster. Anything riskier than that you do at you own risk.
Personally I don't want to risk being in an accident while carrying a gun that is already sticking into me when I carry it - risking severe internal injuries or worse. So I have a holster with a retention strap mounted under my dash by my leg. I consider that in my direct control as it would be just as or more difficult for someone to get it off my body as it would be for them to get it out of that holster with me sitting there. PLUS it's also secure in an accident.
PS I don't LEAVE THAT SEAT until that firearm goes back on my person. As far as LE, I've been pulled over while carrying. I re-holstered the firearm on my person before he even got out of his car just in case there is any room for interpretation...or for some weird reason LE pulled me out of the car it's perceptively safer for everyone that way.
I believe the principle of 'direct control' is to prevent access by others in the vehicle, or who may gain access to the vehicle.
To me, any form of off body carry runs the risk of failing 'direct control' interpretation by LEOs, AGs, etc.
Even the holster on the front of the drivers seat (under your legs) can be a problem. While arguably under your direct control while driving, if you exit the car to pump gas or something, it's no longer under your direct control. If you move it to your body upon exit, you risk being seen and reported.
My simple rules...
On my body is direct control.
Off my body, my gun is unloaded and in a locked container or the trunk.
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