Massachusetts residents 15 years and older who wish to possess, carry, transport firearms, ammunition and feeding devices are required to have a firearms license.
FIREARMS LICENSES ARE ISSUED BY MUNICIPAL POLICE DEPARTMENTS
Contact your local police department to find out what is required for application.
WHICH AGENCIES ARE INVOLVED WITH FIREARMS LICENSING?
Your local police department issues firearms licenses, has the forms and requirements on applications. Contact the police department first for assistance with the requirements and forms needed in applying for a firearms license.
The Office of Public Safety's Firearms Records Bureau is the state agency resource for the public and law enforcement agencies with information regarding the Commonwealth's gun laws and has a website with information on certified firearms instructors.
TYPES OF FIREARMS LICENSES
- CLASS “A” LTC: Permits the purchase, possession and carrying of all ammunition, handguns, rifles, shotguns and feeding devices (both large* and non-large capacity). This is the only license that allows the carrying of concealed handguns-either loaded or unloaded.
- CLASS “B” LTC: Permits the purchase, possession and carrying of all ammunition, non-large capacity handguns, and all rifles and shotguns (large* and non-large capacity).
- FIREARMS IDENTIFICATION CARD (FID): Permits the purchase, possession and carrying of non-large capacity rifles, shotguns and ammunition only. Restricted FIDs are also available
solely for the possession of mace or pepper spray. Applicants for the restricted FID are exempt from the education requirement.
*A large-capacity firearm is a semi-automatic handgun or rifle that is capable of accepting more than ten rounds, OR shotgun capable of accepting more than five shotgun shells, OR if it is an
assault weapon. NOTE: A .22 caliber rifle with a fixed tubular magazine is not large capacity.
APPLICATION PROCESS AND FEES
Your local police department is your firearms license issuing authority and can provide the forms and information needed to apply. Contact your local police department before taking any other actions. The police department will tell you what they require for gun license applications.
New LTC applicants must be 21 years of age or older to obtain a Class “A” or Class “B” permit.
In accordance with MGL Ch. 140, Sec. 131P; (a); First time LTC applicants must complete a MA Certified Firearms Safety Course or a Basic Hunter Education Course “…satisfactory completion of a hunter education course shall serve as a valid substitute for a basic firearms safety certificate required under this section…” In accordance with MGL Ch. 140, Sec. 131(a) & (b); Issuing of LTCs is also “subject to such restrictions relative to the possession, use or carrying of firearms as the licensing authority deems proper”.
Class “A” and “B” LTC licenses cost $100.00 and are valid for 6 years.
New FID applicants must be at least 18 years old (or 15 – 17 years old with parental consent).
In accordance with MGL Ch. 140, Sec. 131P; first time FID applicants must have completed a MA Certified Firearms Safety Course or a Basic Hunter Education Course. Also, in accordance with MGL Ch. 140, Sec. 129B; “The licensing authority may not prescribe any other condition for the issuance of a firearm identification card and shall, within 40 days from the date of application, either approve the application and issue the license or deny the application and notify the applicant of the reason for such denial in writing…”
The fee for an FID card is $100.00 for people >18 years old and $25 for minors. It is valid for 6 years.
FIREARMS LICENSE TRAINING REQUIREMENT
In accordance with MGL Ch. 140, Sec. 131P (a), successful completion of a Firearms Safety Course or a Basic Hunter Education course fulfills the requirements established by Mass. General Law to to apply for a Class A or B License to Carry Firearms, or a Firearms Identification Card with your local police department.
Looking only to apply for a firearms license? Taking a state approved Firearms Safety Course is your best option if you are simply trying to fulfill the training requirement to apply for a MA firearms license.
State approved Firearms Safety Courses are taught by independent instructors certified by the MA Department of State Police and are usually a 1-day class.
Additional training is not required by law for firearms license renewals.
Basic Hunter Education Courses are administered by the Division of Fisheries & Wildlife and are designed for first-time hunters. Classes are typically 15-16 hours over several evenings or days and are taught throughout the state by DFW trained volunteer instructors. If you are interested in obtaining a hunting license and hunting with a firearm and in need of a firearms license, take the Basic Hunter Education course.
Frequently Asked Questions link to the Firearms Records Bureau: http://www.mass.gov/eopss/firearms-reg-and-laws/frb/frequently-asked-questions.html
Information on Firearms Safety Course Instructors and Firearms Safety Courses:
List of certified Firearms Instructors by town from the Firearms Records Bureau.
Gun Owners Action League (GOAL) website regarding:
- Listing of certified firearms safety instructors across the state: http://www.goal.org/training/instructor_listing.html
TRANSPORTING FIREARMS IN MOTOR VEHICLES
CLASS “A” LTC: Allows the holder to transport a loaded or unloaded handgun on his person or in a motor vehicle if the handgun is under their direct control. If the handgun is not under his direct control, it must be unloaded in a locked case, locked trunk, or other secure container.
CLASS “B” LTC: Allows the holder to transport a non-large capacity handgun. Handgun must be unloaded in a locked case, locked trunk, or other secure container.
LARGE-CAPACITY RIFLES AND SHOTGUNS: All persons transporting large capacity rifles or shotguns under an LTC Class “A” or Class “B” permit must transport them unloaded and in a locked case, locked trunk, or other secure container. Trigger locks do not meet the requirements of securing a large-capacity weapon during transport in a motor vehicle.
NON LARGE-CAPACITY RIFLES AND SHOTGUNS: Non-large capacity rifles and shotguns must be unloaded and are not required to be in a locked case while transporting.
NOTE: All rifles and shotguns must be unloaded when in or on a motor vehicle, but only large capacity rifles and shotguns are subject to the storage requirement. Handguns and large-capacity
firearms left unattended in a vehicle must be unloaded and in a locked case, locked trunk, or other secure container. Muzzleloading or other Black Powder arms must also be unloaded.
CARRYING RIFLES AND SHOTGUNS UPON
PUBLIC WAYS WHILE HUNTING
You can carry a loaded or unloaded rifle or shotgun upon or across a public way if you are engaged in hunting and hold a valid hunting license. You do not need a trigger lock or case on the rifle or shotgun provided you are engaged in hunting with a valid hunting license.
NOTE: You shall not possess a loaded rifle or shotgun nor discharge same within 500 feet of a building or dwelling in use without the owners or occupants permission. Also, you shall not
discharge same upon or across any state or hard surfaced highway nor within 150 feet of such highway.
STORAGE OF FIREARMS
All handguns, rifles and shotguns must be stored in a locked container or equipped with a tamper resistant mechanical lock or other safety device. Primitive firearms are exempt from this storage requirement.
May possess and carry non-large capacity rifles and shotguns for hunting as long as they have a valid non-resident hunting license and are legally authorized to possess and carry same in their
state of origin.
Non-residents may not purchase ammunition in Massachusetts.
All shotguns and rifles must be unloaded and encased. For possessing handguns and large capacity rifles and shotguns in Massachusetts, contact the Department of Public Safety at (617) 660-4780.
Permit required to possess/carry handguns, rifles, and shotguns. As of April 30, 2012 all lawful permanent resident aliens are eligible to apply for a MA resident license to carry or firearms
identification card issued through their local police department.
The above information is provided by the MassWildlife as a public service. No attempt is made to render legal advice. MassWildlife is not liable for errors. Consult legal counsel for current and up-to-date laws pertaining to Chapter 180 and Chapter 358 (Gun Control Act of 1998).
Note: The Massachusetts Division of Fisheries & Wildlife (MassWildlife) provides external links to the websites of entities mentioned on this page as a public service. The Division does not exercise control over the content of these websites. A link's presence here should not be construed as an endorsement of its contents by MassWildlife.