Frequently Asked Questions
What training is required to obtain a firearms license?
A Massachusetts approved Firearm Safety Course is required for all residents of Massachusetts who wish to obtain the FID or LTC Class A Licenses (LTC Class B Firearms license no longer exist 1/1/2015). Anyone is eligible to take the safety course provided they are 15 years old and eligible to obtain a firearms license. In order to obtain a license, in general (and additional circumstances may apply), your record must be free of felonies and domestic abuse orders (209A). Also if you have been convicted of drunk driving from 1994 to the present, you will only be eligible to apply for a FID license 5 years after you have served out the sentence you were given.
BTS Firearms Training offers several Massachusetts approved Firearm Safety Courses. Goto the Courses page and select the course for the firearms license you desire.
What is a Firearms Identification card(FID)?
The Class C FID permits the purchasing and possision of non-large capacity rifles and shotguns, but no ownership of handguns.
This is the only firearms license that is available to residents between the ages of 15 and 21. Between the ages of 15 and 18 this license con only be obtained with parents permission.
The cost of the FID is $100 unless you are of 70 years of age. Over 70 and the cost is free. Under 18 years of age the cost is $25. The license is valid for 6 years.
The Class D FID License no longer exists. Chemical mace, pepper spray or other similarly propelled liquid, gas or powder; designed to temporarily incapacitate can be possessed by those that are not prohibited persons (felons etc.) and are 18 years or older.
What is a License To Carry (LTC)?
The License To Carry firearms card is one license, Class A.
Class A- permits the purchase and possession of large capacity handguns, rifles, shotguns, and feeding devices. Without restrictions, this is the ONLY license that permits the carring of loaded handguns on a public way.
The legal definition of the Massachusetts LTC can be found in Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 140, Section 131.
The cost of the LTC is $100 unless you are of 70 years of age. Over 70 and the cost is free. The license is valid for 6 years.
What is required for the License To Carry (LTC)?
It's not like it used to be. In the old days (prior to 1998) you could get a license to carry firearms by simply filling out the application and waiting a few days for the police department to approve it. License renewal was just as easy and straight forward.
Since 1998 when the Gun Control Act became law, LTC applicants face increased scrutiny. In a lot of cities and towns, it's difficult to get a license to carry firearms, particularly if you want a an unrestricted Class A license.
If you are uncertain whether or not you can get a License To Carry (LTC), you might consult an attorney to avoid any possible pitfalls.
Also if you have an LTC that is restricted, and want to upgrade to Class A unrestricted working with an attorney that specializes in firearms legal work could be beneficial.
Where can I get a Firearms Permit (FID or LTC) Application?
You should always contact your local police department (phone or web site) and inquire first. They control your permit and may has additional requirements. However if you need the Massachusetts state application it can be found HERE.
How do I get a Firearms Permit if I am not a resident of Massachusetts?
If you are not a resident of Massachusetts you can get what is called a temporary License To Carry (LTC). It differs from the resident permit in that it is valid for only one year and you must appear, by appointment, before the Firearms Record Bureau in Chelsea, Massachusetts. Go HERE for instructions and the application.
Note that just like Massachusetts residents you are required to have completed a Massachusetts approved Firearm Safety Course. BTS Firearms offers two Massachusetts approved Firearm Safety Courses. Goto the Courses page for more information.
How do I get a Firearms Permit if I am a non-citizen resident of Massachusetts?
If you are a alien resident of Massachusetts (green card holder) you can apply for an LTC or FID. Instructions and the application are available HERE.
As with all Massachusetts firearms permit applicants, you are required to have completed a Massachusetts approved Firearm Safety Course. Goto the Courses page for more information on the courses BTS Firearms offers
Home Firearms safety Course or Basic Pistol Course?
The NRA Home Firearms Safety Course (LTC-007) is suited for very experienced shooters seeking an LTC, those who have little interest in shooting, such as spouses of gun owners who only wish to be more comfortable around guns, those under 21 years of age seeking a FID or those who only want an FID.
If you plan to practice shooting handguns often, have little experience shooting handguns and want the LTC, or want practical experience shooting handguns through structured exercises then the NRA Basic Pistol Course (LTC-002) may be better suited for you.
What must I do if I move after getting my LTC or FID?
Your are required to notify the town you're leaving, the town you're moving to and the Firearms Record Bureau within 30 days of the change of address. If you do not you will be in violation of M.G.L 140 Section 129B and 131(I). Chances are very good that if you do not follow this procedure you will NOT be able to renew your firearms license. Go HERE for instructions and the notification form.
As a side note, do not hand deliver this form. Send it to all parties certified mail, return receipt requested.
What must I do if I buy or sell a firearm in Massachusetts?
You must file an FA-10 form to report the sel, transfer of ownership or loss of firearms within seven (7) days.
The official three part FA-10 form is available from your local police station. The on-line FA-10 system will be required to be used instead of the paper form in the very near future. If you cannot find the paper forms the on-line system is available HERE. Make sure you keep a paper copy for yourself.
You as an individual are limited to selling four (4) firearms per year. Additional firearms transactions must occur through a federally licensed firearms dealer.
What is the time limit in which I must report the purchase, sale, transfer or loss of a firearm?
The transaction must be reported on a Form FA-10 within seven (7) days. Available at your local police station or the electronic FA-10 is available HERE. Make sure you keep a paper copy for yourself.
What must I do if I buy or sell a firearm outside of Massachusetts?
The firearms transaction must be reported within seven (7) days once you return to Massachusetts. The FA-10 form is available at your local police station or the electronic FA-10 is available HERE. Make sure you keep a paper copy for yourself.
Are Large Capacity Magazines Illegal in Massachusetts?
The federal Assault Weapons Ban expired September of 2004. For those of us who live in Massachusetts, the state adopted a assault weapons law that maintains some of the same prohibitions and definitions as the expired federal Assault Weapons Ban law did.
Unfortunately the Massachusetts laws makes it unlawful for private citizens to own or possess ban or post-ban large capacity firearms magazines. And, it does not matter whether the magazines are marked "Law Enforcement Only". Only law enforcement officers and active duty military members are exempt from these restrictions.
Definitions to know:
A large capacity magazine is a magazine that can contain more than ten (10) rounds.
A pre-ban large capacity magazine is one that was manufactured before September 1994.
A ban large capacity magazine is one that was manufactured between September 1994 and September 2004.
A post-ban large capacity magazine is one that is any large capacity magazine manufactured after September, 2004.
Don't buy any post-ban (new) high capacity firearms magazines. There are plenty of pre-ban large capacity available on the market in local gun shops or on Internet retail and auction sites like www.gunbroker.com.
Save yourself money and needless legal trouble by NOT purchasing an illegal magazine.
In other words, because of our state firearms laws, as Massachusetts residents, we cannot lawfully possess, any brand new large capacity magazine (defined as ban or post-ban).
Do I need an LTC or FID to purchase and own a BB or pellet gun?
Neither a LTC or FID are required to purchase or own a BB or pellet gun. BB and pellet guns are covered by a separate legal statue. However, some stores, shops and retailers will not sell these items, or the ammo for them, unless you do have an LTC or FID. If you disagree find another retailer who does not have these restrictive sales policies.
What should I do if I move to Massachusetts and I possess firearms?
If you move to Massachusetts with firearms you may possess them in your home for sixty (60) days. DO NOT transport any firearms and/ or ammunition until you have the proper firearms license. And ensure all firearms are properly secured (locked container or tamper-resistant mechanical locking device). As soon as possible get the required firearms safety training and apply to your local police department. Try to do this within the first two weeks of residency because it can take up to forty-five (45) days to process a firearms permit application.
What is the single most important rule to remember while in possession of firearms in Massachusetts?
Massachusetts has very strict firearms storage laws. If you are the lawful owner of a firearm and it is not under your direct control, the firearm(s) must be secured so that it is "inoperable by any person other than the owner or other lawfully authorized user". That means that if you do not have the firearm within arms reach it should be "secured in a locked container or equipped with a tamper-resistant mechanical lock". NEVER leave a firearm unattended unless it is secured in an appropriate container or with an appropriate lock.
The laws for transporting a firearm differ. If you have an unrestricted LTC you may ONLY transport a loaded handgun under your direct control on a public way. If you do not have a unrestricted LTC or if you are transporting rifles or shotguns, all firearms (handguns, rifles and shotguns) MUST be unloaded and in a locked contrainer. A locked trunk or rear storage area (out of reach by the driver and passengers) complies with this rule however, having the firearms in a locked container prevents misunderstanding sthat might occur in the event of a mechanical breakdown or traffic stop by a Law Enforcement Officer. Also, note that having the firearm only secured with tamper-resistant mechanical lock DOES NOT comply with the rule.
For more information, see M.G.L. Chapter 140, Section 131(L) at this link.
The above information is provided by BTS Firearms Training LLC as helpful information pertaining to Massachusetts firearms laws. No attempt is made to render legal advice. BTS Firearms Training LLC nor its owners or operators are 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). For the complete text of the law please refer to Chapter 180 of the Acts of 1998 or view the Firearms Registration and Laws section of the Massachusetts Public Safety website.
NRA Quick Links
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
License to Carry - Firearm Ownership Questions
How do I get a firearms license in Massachusetts? Everything you need to know to apply for your License to Carry
How should I write a letter to my Chief for an LTC application? What you want to say, and don't!
What should I do if I am denied my FID/LTC? Know your rights!
Clarification of Reasons for Denial of an FID Card or LTC The most common disqualifications
How does the licensing process work? See this .pdf flow chart of how your license is processed from initial application to issuance of license.
Handgun Sales and Purchases by Massachusetts Residents What can I purchase, legally own, etc. ?
What do I do if my firearms are confiscated by the police? Read this page and protect your property!
How do I go about replacing a lost or stolen FID/LTC card? Thanks to GOAL, there is no charge to replace your card!
Storage and Transportation Requirements What you need to know before you hit the road!
What should I do if I've moved?/Change of address form Moving within MA? Do this or lose your license!
Information about inheriting firearms Does an inherited gun have to be on the "roster" ? NO!
Traveling to or from MA with a firearm? FOPA protects you from state to state, and some states require no license, you still need to protect yourself, check this page before you leave
Which states will honor my MA License? Some will, MA honors no other state's license!
Where can I find out more about training? Lots of great courses!
Going Hunting This Year? Check this information before you go!
New Resident Info If you are a gun owner and are moving to, or have moved to MA, read this page!
Does Massachusetts have a "Castle Doctrine" Law? Info about it here.
Who are my legislators? Find them by zipcode, address, etc...
How do I register to vote in Massachusetts? Don't miss the next voting day!
How does an idea become law in MA? Great overview courtesy of the state of MA
What is the best way to contact my legislator? How and what to write
Not sure which legislative district you live in? Look it up here on this easy to use interactive map.
Andrew J. Couture, Esq.
J. Steven Foley
Mark G. Morisi
J.D. Morisi & Oâ€™Connell
155 Maple Street, Suite 300
Springfield, MA 01105
T: 413 785-5100 F: 413 733-4024
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