On August 13, 2014, the Governor signed House Bill 4376, “An Act Relative to the Reduction of Gun Violence.”  The full text of H4376 is available at: https://malegislature.gov/Laws/SessionLaws/Acts/2014/Chapter284.

The law:

  • Requires Massachusetts to submit more data to the federal National Instant Check System (NICS), including state commitments for alcohol and/or substance abuse, commitments for mental illness or as dangerous persons, and convictions for domestic violence cases;
  • Allows an individual who has been committed for certain mental health reasons, for an alcohol use disorder ,substance use disorder, or guardianship appointment to petition the court 5 years from the date of commitment requesting that his/her ability to possess a firearms, rifle, or shotgun be restored;
  • Requires all Massachusetts licensed gun dealers to run criminal offender record information (CORI) checks on current and new employees;
  • Requires all Massachusetts licensed gun dealers to post information about suicide awareness and prevention;
  • Eliminates the requirement to obtain a firearms identification card or license to carry to purchase or possess self-defense spray, unless under the age of 18 or otherwise disqualified by law;
  • Requires personal sales/transfers of all firearms, rifles, and shotguns to be completed through the Massachusetts Gun Transaction Portal;
  • Expands the eligibility disqualification for firearms identification cards and licenses to carry;
  • Allows licensing authorities to petition the district court to deny, suspend, or revoke firearms identification cards on the grounds of unsuitability;
  • Requires that a licensing authority provide each applicant with a receipt indicating that either a new or renewal firearms license application has been received;
  • Provides an indefinite grace period if an applicant submits a renewal application prior to the expiration of his/her current license;
  • Eliminates the Class B license to carry firearms, though current Class B licenses to carry will remain valid until the said expiration of the license;
  • Exempts active duty military personnel from the requirement to take a Basic Firearms Safety Course before obtaining an FID or LTC;
  • Reduces the firearms application fee to $25 for retired law enforcement officers;
  • Exempts law enforcement officers from the assault weapon and large capacity feeding device ban;
  • Changes the definition and some punishments relative to firearms trafficking crimes;
  • Creates several new crimes involving the use of firearms, including assault and battery with a firearm and disarming a law enforcement officer;
  • Requires all licensing authorities to trace and collect specific data on any firearm used in a crime within its jurisdiction.

Please call your local licensing authority or the Firearms Records Bureau (617.660.4782) should you have any questions.