It is lawful to hunt birds and mammals in Massachusetts with a pistol or revolver of any caliber (including muzzle-loading pistols) and with a magazine capacity of any size, except:

1. The hunting of deer with a pistol or revolver is prohibited.

2. The hunting of wild turkey with a pistol or revolver is prohibited.

3. The hunting of migratory game birds with a pistol or revolver is prohibited.

4. The hunting of gray squirrel with a pistol or revolver in wildlife management zones 10 through 14 is prohibited.

5. Black bear may be hunted with handguns only during the September portion of the open season. The only handguns lawful for the hunting of black bear are the .357 Magnum revolver using .357 Magnum ammunition, and other revolvers chambered .40 caliber and larger.

6. On Wildlife Management Areas stocked with pheasant or quail, during the pheasant and quail seasons, pistols and revolvers of any caliber are prohibited, except for the use of pistols or revolvers chambered not larger than .38 caliber for the hunting of raccoon and opossum between the hours of 9:00 P.M. to 3:00 A.M.

7. During the period from ½ hour after sunset to ½ hour before sunrise, the use or possession of any pistol or revolver chambered to take larger than .38 caliber ammunition is prohibited.

8. During the exclusive archery season for deer, a person hunting deer shall not use or have in possession a shotgun, rifle or firearm of any kind.

9. Check the firearms statutes pursuant to M.G.L. c. 140 and c. 269 for laws affecting "large capacity" firearms (pistols and revolvers) and feeding devices, as well as those laws pertaining to carrying handguns generally.

This is not the complete law and is subject to change. Refer to provisions of M.G.L. c. 131, §§ 67 and 70, and to several provisions of the Code of Massachusetts Regulations, 321 CMR.

Regulations as of 12-31-04.