Summary

M.G.L. c. 140, § 131P requires that every persons applying for a license to carry firearms, or firearms identification card attend a Basic Firearms Safety Course, or in the alternative to have received a certificate issued by the division of fisheries and wildlife pursuant to the provisions of section 14 of chapter 131, evidencing satisfactory completion of a hunting safety course.


The Following Persons Are Exempted for the Provisions M.G.L. c. 140, § 131P:

*Also, refer to regulations 515 CMR 3.05(1) for further clarification on this issue.

Persons lawfully possessing a firearm identification card or license to carry firearms on June 1, 1998 shall be exempt from the provisions of this section upon expiration of such card or license and when applying for licensure as required under this chapter. Also applicants for a firearm identification card for the sole purpose of purchasing or possessing chemical mace, pepper spray or other similarly propelled liquid, gas or powder designed to temporarily incapacitate shall not be required to complete any basic firearms safety course as a prerequisite for receiving such card.


Full Text

Section 131P.
(a) Any person making application for the issuance of a firearms identification card under section 129B, a Class A or Class B license to carry firearms under section 131 or 131F, or a permit to purchase under section 131A, who was not licensed under the provisions of this chapter on June 1, 1998, shall, in addition to the requirements set forth in said sections 129B, 131, 131A or 131F submit to the licensing authority a basic firearms safety certificate; provided, however, that a certificate issued by the division of fisheries and wildlife pursuant to the provisions of section 14 of chapter 131, evidencing satisfactory completion of a hunting safety course, shall serve as a valid substitute for a basic firearms safety certificate required under this section; and provided further, that any applicant for a firearm identification card for the sole purpose of purchasing or possessing chemical mace, pepper spray or other similarly propelled liquid, gas or powder designed to temporarily incapacitate shall not be required to complete any basic firearms safety course as a prerequisite for receiving such card. Persons lawfully possessing a firearm identification card or license to carry firearms on June 1, 1998 shall be exempt from the provisions of this section upon expiration of such card or license and when applying for licensure as required under this chapter. No application for the issuance of a firearm identification card or license to carry shall be accepted or processed by the licensing authority without such certificate attached thereto; provided, however, that the provisions of this section shall not apply to (i) any officer, agent or employee of the commonwealth or any state of the United States; (ii) any member of the military or other service of any state or of the United States; (iii) any duly authorized law enforcement officer, agent or employee of any municipality of the commonwealth; provided, however, that any such person described in clauses (i) to (iii), inclusive, is authorized by a competent authority to carry or possess the weapon so carried or possessed and is acting within the scope of his duties.

(b) The colonel of state police shall promulgate rules and regulations governing the issuance and form of basic firearms safety certificates required by this section. Said colonel shall certify certain persons as firearms safety instructors and shall certify safety course curriculum. Such certification shall be for a period of ten years, unless sooner revoked by reason of unsuitability, in the discretion of said colonel. The department of state police may impose a fee of $50 for initial issuance of such certification to offset the cost of certifying instructors. The fee for certification renewal shall be $10. Firearms safety instructors shall be any person certified by a nationally recognized organization that fosters safety in firearms, or any other person in the discretion of said colonel, to be competent to give instruction in a basic firearms safety course. Applicants for certification as instructors under the provisions of this section shall not be exempt from the requirements of this chapter or any other law or regulation of the commonwealth or the United States. Upon application to the colonel of state police, said colonel may, in his discretion, certify as a firearms safety instructor any person who operates a firearms safety course or program which provides in its curriculum: (a) the safe use, handling and storage of firearms; (b)methods for securing and childproofing firearms; (c) the applicable laws relating to the possession, transportation and storage of firearms; and (d) knowledge of operation, potential dangers and basic competency in the ownership and usage of firearms.

(c) Any firearms safety instructor certified under the provisions of this section may, in his discretion, issue a basic firearms safety certificate to any person who successfully completes the requirements of a basic firearms safety course approved by the colonel. No firearms safety instructor shall issue or cause to be issued any basic firearms safety certificate to any person who fails to meet minimum requirements of the prescribed course of study including, but not limited to, demonstrated competency in the use of firearms. Instructors certified under the provisions of this section shall forward to the department of state police the names of those persons who have received basic firearms safety certificates. Local licensing authorities, as defined in section 121, shall, upon receipt of an application for a firearm identification card or a Class A or Class B license to carry firearms, make inquiry to the department of state police to confirm the issuance to the applicant of a basic firearms safety certificate.

(d) Any person applying for licensure under the provisions of this chapter who knowingly files or submits a basic firearms safety certificate to a licensing authority which contains false information shall be punished by a fine of not less that $1,000 nor more than $5,000 or by imprisonment for not more than two years in a house of correction, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

(e) Any firearms safety instructor who knowingly issues a basic firearms safety certificate to a person who has not successfully completed a firearms safety course approved by the colonel shall be punished by a fine of not less than $5,000 nor more than $10,000 or by imprisonment for not more than two years in a house of correction, or by both such fine and imprisonment.