CCW on Massachusetts Ferries (Nantucket, etc.)


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Just want to drop a note about CCW on the ferries to the Islands (Nantucket, Martha's Vineyard.)

Back around 2004 the ferries adopted a policy that you have to check your firearm for transport over to the islands. (My experience so far has only been with Hy-Line from Hyannis to Nantucket. The Steamship Authority also runs ferries.) I think all of this was a requirement from the 2003 Maritime Security Act (federal) - not sure.

The procedure is to mention (discreetly) to the security guys that you have a firearm that has to be checked. During the season, the guys in the little guard shack at luggage drop-off have the paperwork. They make copies of your Mass CCW and driver's license, and you fill out a form. It's a good idea to have a locked container (think airline travel.) They give you your half of a little blue card which you need on the other side to retrieve it. The captain/first office takes it onto the bridge and secures it during the passage. On the other side, you link up on the dock, show the blue card, retrieve your case. Returning from the island, give the case to the office folks (Straight Wharf), show them the blue card. If you left the other one attached to the case - good to go. Retrieve again back in Hyannis (mainland.)

Don't try to sneak - they occasionally have dogs (Barnstable Sheriff's Office) that supposedly sniff for firearms. I read about that just prior to a trip, which was the only way I knew about this. There is also a small mention on the sign posted in the luggage drop off area and another just prior to boarding, but it is cryptic ("Persons licensed under Chapter 140, Section 122, need to inform, etc.) Only exceptions (I was told) are State Police officers. Other LEO not exempt (so they say).

There is a lot of bird hunting in the Fall on Nantucket - so I guess they are used to shotgun cases and stuff like that. I think most hunters take the vehicle ferry - which is the Steamship Authority.

There is also a ferry from Boston to Provincetown. Have no idea how they handle CCW. Better call and check before you show up.

Does the person and Ship captain have a LTC? I would not want to turn over my gun to anybody who is not licensed.

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