Laws and Requirements for Conceal Carrying in Massachusetts

Laws and Requirements for Conceal Carrying in Massachusetts

 

Since 1998, access to firearms has been strictly controlled in the State of Massachusetts. In an effort to keep citizens safe from careless or reckless gun use, the Gun Control Act of 1998 allows firearm ownership only to individuals who are clean of certain crimes.

To conceal carry in Massachusetts, an individual must be 21 years of age or older. Gun owners cannot have felony records, violent crime records, or misdemeanors that are punishable by prison for over two years. Also, individuals can qualify for gun ownership only if they have not violated weapons or ammunition laws that are punishable by prison terms.

Taking gun control even further, the Massachusetts Gun Control Act states that gun owners must not have a record of violating controlled-substance laws. Current restraining orders and arrest warrants are also disqualifiers for gun ownership.
Many people who are interested in conceal carrying ask if the Gun Control Act of 1998 allows resident aliens to own a gun. The answer is yes. All permanent green card holders may apply for a License to Carry Firearms or a Firearms Identification Card.

Different Types of Licenses
(Only the LTC Allows Conceal Carrying)
It’s important to note that not all firearms licenses in Massachusetts allow you to conceal carry a firearm. Only the LTC allows you to carry a handgun.

The licenses available in Massachusetts are:

  • License to Carry
  • Firearms Identification Card
  • Firearms Identification Card–Restricted
  • License to Possess a Machine Gun
  • Gun Club License

The following is an explanation of these licenses.
License to Carry Firearms (LTC)

The License to Carry Firearms is the license you should apply for if you want to conceal-carry a firearm. The LTC allows you to buy, own, carry, and transport:

 

  • A handgun
  • A large capacity rife or large capacity shotgun
  • Any firearm allowed by an FID card

 

The fee to apply for a License to Carry is $100. If you’re a Massachusetts resident, your LTC will remain valid for six years before you’ll need to renew it. Non-residents will need to renew their LTC after one year.

 

Firearms Identification Card (FID)
Individuals who want purchase a rifle or a shotgun that’s not a large capacity weapon should apply for the Firearms Identification Card (FID.) The FID doesn’t allow you to carry a handgun or a high-capacity firearm. With an FID, you can buy, own and transport:

  • A non-large capacity rifle or shotgun
  • Ammunition
  • Mace or pepper spray if you are 15-17 years of age

If you’re 18 years old or older, the fee for applying for an FID card is $100. If you’re younger than 18 years old, the application fee is $25. Persons 15-17 holding an FID card do not also need an FID Restricted card for defense sprays. Your FID will remain valid for six years before you’ll need to renew it.
What is a “large capacity” weapon? It’s a semi-automatic weapon with either (a.) a fixed large capacity feeding device, (b.) that can accept a detachable large-capacity feeding device, or (c.) with a rotating cylinder that can accept more than ten rounds or five shotgun shells.

Firearms Identification Card (FID) – Restricted
This is a license for defense sprays (such as pepper spray) rather than for firearms. Individuals over the age of 18 do not need to carry this license to possess defense sprays. The application fee is $25, and it’s valid for six years.

License to Possess a Machine Gun
This license is only for bona fide collectors of firearms or firearms instructors.

 

Gun Club License

This license is issued only to gun clubs. It is given only by the Colonel of the State Police.

 

Conceal Carry Begins With a Basic Firearm Safety Course
To properly protect your family and assure peace of mind for your loved ones, thorough knowledge of your firearm is essential. As a gun owner, it’s your duty to understand safe handling, proper maintenance, and basic shooting skills. That’s why completing a basic firearm safety course is so important.

 

In Massachusetts, you cannot apply for a firearms license unless you have already taken a firearms safety course first. In fact, you’ll be required to submit a copy of your certificate of safety training along with your firearms license application. This requirement applies not only to new gun owners, but also to those who have owned guns in other states besides Massachusetts.
A firearms safety course will instruct you in:

  • Gun laws in the State of Massachusetts
  • The components of your firearm
  • Storing your firearm in accordance to Massachusetts state law
  • Traveling with your firearms in accordance to Massachusetts state law
  • Proper operation of your firearm, including loading and using the safety (if applicable)
  • Shooting your firearm and basic marksmanship skills
  • Ammunition knowledge
  • Proper gun cleaning

 

It’s important to choose a basic firearm safety course that’s thorough, trusted, and certified. Consider asking the course instructor the following questions before you enroll in a course:

  • “Does your course offer live fire training?” (Many towns in Massachusetts require that you fire real guns during your firearm safety course.)
  • “Do you provide a private shooting range?”
  • “Do you offer a Massachusetts state-approved firearm safety course?”
  • “Can I bring a guest as I train?”
  • “Can I get training that’s approved for other states besides Massachusetts?”
  • “Will you give me application assistance for my firearms license?”
  • “Do you provide small class sizes so I can have plenty of opportunity to get the specific help I need?”

To find a firearms safety course near you, call your police department, check out their website, or visit them in person. They should have listings of local classes you can attend. Boston Firearms offers thorough firearms safety courses that meet all requirements in Massachusetts. We provide 100% hands-on training and classes that run seven days a week.

Know Your Police department’s Requirements
Your local police department will be the authority that receives and processes your application for a firearms license. Before completing your application, it’s important to know what items your police department will require along with your application.

 

A copy of your firearms safety training certificate will certainly be one of the items your police department requires. They may also ask you for items such as your birth certificate, a photo of yourself, letters of recommendation from references who aren’t related to you, and other documents.

To find out exactly what will be required, contact your local police department before filling out the application for a firearms license.

 

The Firearms License Application

Once you’ve complete your safety training and determined exactly what documentation your police department will require from you, you can begin the application for a firearm license.

 

  • Go to www.mass.gov. At the top of the page, select “State Forms”
  • Scroll down and select “Firearmsforms and applications”
  • Select Firearms Identification (FID) Card or License to Carry Firearms (LTC) Application”
  • Print and complete the form

 

Although it takes some time to complete your Massachusetts License to Carry, it’s a process that can benefit you for the rest of your life. Conceal carrying brings peace of mind to yourself and your loved ones.
If you’re looking for a basic firearm safety course or have questions about the application process, contact Boston Firearms today. Our seasoned experts will help you every step of the way.

How To Get Your License To Carry Firearms (LTC) In Massachusetts

How To Get Your License To Carry Firearms (LTC) In Massachusetts

To many Massachusetts gun owners, their License to Carry a Firearm (LTC) is just as important as their driver’s license and health insurance card. Together, these items offer freedom, safety, and peace of mind.

In order to purchase, own, or carry a firearm in Massachusetts, you’re required to obtain a firearms license first. Many gun owners find this law strict compared to the gun laws in other states. But the good news is that a Massachusetts LTC not only entitles you to purchase a firearm, but it also allows you to carry.
The Massachusetts License to Carry (LTC)

The License to Carry Firearms enables you to purchase, own, and carry handguns, rifles, or shotguns (including high capacity rifles and shotguns.) The fee for applying for the LTC is $100. If you’re a Massachusetts resident, your License to Carry Firearms is valid for six years before it’s time to renew it.

 

Disqualifications for the Massachusetts LTC

The Massachusetts Gun Control Act of 1988 limited gun ownership. Only those without felonies, violent crimes, or mental illnesses can purchase, own, and carry firearms in Massachusetts. Misdemeanors punishable by 2 or more years in prison also disqualify an individual from gun ownership. Other disqualifying factors include violations of weapons laws, drug or alcohol addictions, arrest warrants, and restraining orders.

 

Note that mental illness can be waived as a disqualifier if the applicant can provide an affidavit from a physician stating that he or she is no longer mentally disabled. Also, drug or alcohol addiction can be waived as a disqualifier if the applicant is deemed cured by a physician.

 

Basic Firearm Safety Course (Required)

If you are interested in obtaining a License to Carry Firearms, you should schedule a basic firearm safety course. The State of Massachusetts requires anybody applying for a gun license to first complete firearm safety training. You’ll need to submit a certificate of completion with your LTC application packet, or you won’t be considered for an LTC.

 

A firearm safety course is necessary because it teaches responsible gun ownership. Topics of instruction include shooting, marksmanship fundamentals, cleaning and storage, ammunition, Massachusetts gun laws, and more.

 

To find a firearm safety course in your area, call your police department or visit them online. If you reside in or near Boston, remember that Boston Firearms offers a Massachusetts state-police certified training course that meets the requirements of all towns in Massachusetts. Our experts give participants the opportunity to train with real firearms, as well as assistance with the LTC application process.

 

The LTC Application Process

Your police department will process your LTC application. Before you begin the application process, you should take the time to call your local police department and ask them about their specific LTC application requirements.

When submitting your application, your police department will definitely ask you for your certificate of firearms safety training. Other items might include a photo (some police departments take a picture of you, and others require you to provide one,) birth certificate, and utility bills with your address. Also, you may be required to provide letters of recommendation, as well as a letter stating why you want an LTC.

 

Once you know exactly which items your police department will require with your application, you can begin the application process as follows:


Step One: Find the Application Online
If you’re a resident of Massachusetts, go to www.mass.gov.

 

  • Select “State Forms” at the top of the page
  • Scroll down to the “F” section and select “Firearms forms and applications”
  • Choose “Firearms Identification (FID) Card or License to Carry Firearms (LTC) Application” and print the form

If you’re not a resident of Massachusetts, go to www.mass.gov.

 

  • Select “State Forms” at the top of the page
  • Scroll down to the “F” section and select “Firearms forms and applications”
  • Choose “Non-Resident LTC Application”and print the form

 

The following instructions apply to the Firearms Identification (FID) Card or License to Carry Firearms (LTC) Application.

Step Two: New Applicant vs Renewal

Select “New Applicant” if you’ve never held an LTC in the past.

 

Step Three: Select “License to Carry”

Several license choices are listed on the application, including Firearms Identification Card, License to Carry, License to Possess a Machine Gun, and Gun Club License. Select “License to Carry” to apply for the Massachusetts LTC.

 

Step Four: Complete the Personal Information Section

This section asks you to provide information such as your name, address, date of birth, height, weight, hair color, etc.

Step Five: Complete the Background Questions

This section asks you to provide information such as your current citizenship, pending criminal charges, drug addictions, alcohol addictions, mental illnesses, discharge from the armed forces, etc.

Step 6: Provide References

The application asks you for the names of two people who can serve as references for you. As part of your application process, your police department might also require letters of recommendation from these references.

 

Step 7: Reasons for Applying

This section asks you about your reasons for applying for a firearms license. If you’re applying for an LTC, select “Unrestricted.” You also have the opportunity to provide a written response.
Step 8: Sign Your Application
Your application will be disregarded without your signature, so don’t forget to sign and date it.

 

From beginning to end, the process of obtaining your LTC can seem daunting. But as every gun-carrying resident of Massachusetts will tell you, you’ll thank yourself once you’ve received your license. If you’d like expert assistance, we at Boston Firearms are here to help you every step of the way. Contact us at any time to schedule a basic firearm safety course, or to ask any questions about the Massachusetts LTC.

Obtaining Your Massachusetts Firearms Identification Card

Obtaining Your Massachusetts Firearms Identification Card

Many states in the US allow you to purchase a gun without a firearm license. Massachusetts, however, is not one of those states.

Massachusetts requires a license to purchase, own, or carry a firearm. Although there’s sometimes confusion regarding the difference between a “permit” and a “license,” these words refer to the same thing.

There are several types of firearms licenses you can apply for, including:

  • Firearms Identification Card (FID)
  • Firearms Identification Card (FID)-Restricted
  • License to Carry Firearms
  • Machine Gun License
  • Gun Club License

In this article, we’ll highlight the FID card and the FID-Restricted card.

What is the Massachusetts Firearms Identification (FID) Card?

The FID card is for those who want to own a rifle or shotgun rather than a handgun. A different license (the LTC) is required for owning handguns and high-capacity rifles or shotguns.

The FID card allows you to:

  • Purchase and own rifles or shotguns (except for large-capacity rifles and shotguns)
  • Purchase and own ammunition
  • Purchase and own pepper spray (for minors)

Firearms That Are Not Allowed with an FID Card

The FID card does not allow you to purchase or own handguns, nor does it allow you to purchase or own large capacity rifles and shotguns. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts defines a large capacity weapon as any firearm, rifle or shotgun:

  • That is semiautomatic with a fixed large capacity feeding device
  • That is semiautomatic and capable of accepting, or readily modifiable to accept, any detachable large capacity feeding device
  • That employs a rotating cylinder capable of accepting more than ten rounds of ammunition in a rifle or firearm and more than five shotgun shells in the case of a shotgun or firearm; or
  • That is an assault weapon

What is the Massachusetts “FID-Restricted” Card?

This card is for people under the age of 18 who want to purchase and own mace or pepper spray. It’s not for those who want to own firearms of any kind.

What Does the Massachusetts FID Card Cost?

If you’re 18 years old or older, the fee for applying for an FID card is $100. If you’re younger than 18 years old, the FID application fee is $25. The fee for the FID-Restricted license is also $25.

What Steps Should I Take Before Applying for an FID Card?

Applying for your Firearms Identification Card is a multi-step process that can be complex. There are three things you need to do before beginning your application process: 

  1. Make Sure You Qualify for a Firearms Identification Card

The Gun Control Act of 1998 prohibits you from holding an FID Card if certain disqualifying factors apply to you. Some of these factors include conviction of a felony, violent crime convictions, and institutionalization for mental illness. Other disqualifying factors include misdemeanors punishable by two or more years in prison, arrest warrants, and restraining orders.

  1. Complete a Basic Firearm Safety Course

To apply for an FID Card, you must first complete a Basic Firearm Safety Course. You will be required to submit a certificate of successful firearm-safety completion with your FID application. This course is an important step in responsible gun ownership because it provides training in proper firearms operation, storage, and cleaning. It also instructs you about important Massachusetts firearm laws.
Contact your local police department to find a firearm safety course near you. Also, remember that not all firearm safety courses are created equal. Some courses offer live-fire training with real firearms, and some do not. Boston Firearms provides live-fire training and NRA certified instruction that meets the requirements of all towns in Massachusetts.

  1. Learn Your Police Department’s FID Application Requirements
    The authority in charge of your FID application is your local police department. They will process your application once you complete it and submit it to them.

    Different police departments throughout Massachusetts have different application requirements. You’ll want to contact your police department to find out what you should submit with the FID application itself.

    In all police departments, you’ll be required to submit your certificate of basic firearms training. Other items they may require include a photo of yourself, your birth certificate, letters of recommendation from references, utility bills that prove your residence, and a letter explaining your reasons for applying for an FID.

 

What Is the FID Card Application Process?

After taking the basic safety course and gathering the information required by your local police department, you can now begin the Massachusetts Resident LTC/FID/Machine Gun Application. You’ll find it online at www.mass.gov.

Complete the following seven sections of the application:

  1. New Applicant vs Renewal
    If you’ve never been licensed to carry a firearm in the past, check “New Applicant.”
  1. Select “Firearms Identification Card”
  1. Complete the Personal Information Section

This section includes basics such as your name, address, date of birth, height and weight, and your hair and eye color.

  1. Complete the Background Questions
    This section asks you for information such as your age, citizenship, past criminal charges, drug or alcohol addictions, and others. Be careful as you answer these questions. False information could subject you to criminal charges.
  1. Provide References

Provide the names of two people who aren’t related to you, as well as their addresses.

  1. Provide Your Reason for Applying for an FID
    Note that while “Unrestricted” is one of your choices in this section, this option is not for an FID. (‘Unrestricted” is for people applying for an LTC license.) You should either choose Target & Hunting, Sporting, or Employment.
  2. Signature and Date

For the application to be processed, your signature is required.

The process of applying for your Massachusetts FID can be long and detailed, but it’s worth it. Remember, we at Boston Firearms are here to help you with your firearms training and the completion of your FID application. To get started on your road to an FID Card, contact us today.

The Massachusetts Basic Firearms Safety Course

The Massachusetts Basic Firearm Safety Course

Step One in Obtaining Your Massachusetts Firearms License

Gun ownership is a duty and right of US citizens. It’s also your duty to handle firearms safely and responsibly.

To obtain a firearms license in the state of Massachusetts, you’ll first need to successfully complete a firearms safety course. This course is required in Massachusetts even if you’re an experienced gun owner. While taking the course, you’ll receive instruction in handling, transporting, and storing firearms.

What Does a Basic Firearm Safety Course Teach?

A good firearms-safety course will instruct you in the following important topics:

  • Gun components
  • Proper gun storage
  • Properly transporting and traveling with guns
  • Gun operation
  • The basics of shooting firearms, including live firing
  • Ammunition
  • Important marksmanship basics
  • Firearm cleaning and maintenance
  • Gun laws in the State of Massachusetts
  • Assistance with your Massachusetts firearms license application

It’s important to know that in many towns, shooting a real firearm is a training requirement before obtaining a Massachusetts firearms license. These towns include Boston, Brookline, Braintree, Sharon and Chicopee. While not all firearms safety courses offer live-fire training with a real firearm, it’s offered at Boston Firearms. 

Am I Eligible for a Gun Safety Course in Massachusetts?

Before the late 1980s, it was relatively easy to take a firearm safety course and purchase a gun. But that changed with the Massachusetts Gun Control Act of 1988. In an effort to reduce the number of guns falling into the hands of irresponsible or dangerous individuals, this law limits how easy it is to obtain firearms. In fact, the Massachusetts Gun Control Act eventually earned the reputation of being the most limiting gun-control law in the US.

The Gun Control Act of 1998 prohibits individuals with any of the following disqualifying factors from gun ownership:

  • Violent crime convictions or felony convictions
  • Misdemeanors punishable by more than two years’ imprisonment
  • Violations of weapons laws which are punishable by a prison term
  • Controlled-substances violations
  • Hospitalization due to mental illness
  • Confinement for drug or alcohol addictions
  • Arrest warrants in Massachusetts or any other state
  • Restraining orders
  • Any person who is younger than 21 years of age

What Licenses Can I Obtain Once I take a Firearm Safety Course?

There are a few different Massachusetts firearms licenses you can apply for once you’ve successfully completed your firearm safety course. 

License to Carry Firearms (LTC)
In Massachusetts, the LTC is the most common gun license. This license enables you to purchase, own and carry a handgun. You can also purchase a rifle or shotgun, as well as a large-capacity rifle or a large-capacity shotgun. A large-capacity rifle or shotgun is a semi-automatic firearm:

  • With a fixed large capacity feeding device, or
  • That accepts a detachable large-capacity feeding device, or
  • With a rotating cylinder that accepts over 10 rounds or over 5 shotgun shells

The cost for applying for a License to Carry Firearms in Massachusetts is $100. The license is valid for six years, at which time you can renew it.

Firearms Identification Card (FID)

This license is for those who plan to own a non-large capacity shotgun or rifle rather than a handgun. Minors can also possess defense sprays with this license.

The cost for applying for a Firearms Identification Card is $100 if you’re over 18 years of age, and $25 if you’re younger than 18 years old. As with the LTC, the Firearms Identification Card is valid for six years.

Firearms Identification Card (FID) – Restricted

This license type is for minors who want to carry defense sprays (i.e., pepper spray.) The FID-Restricted does not enable someone to buy or carry firearms. The cost to apply for this license is $25, and it’s only required for those under 18 years old. 

Where Can I Find a Firearm Safety Course?
To find a basic firearm safety course near your location in Massachusetts, contact your local police department.

Boston Firearms offers everything you need in a Massachusetts firearm safety course. We provide NRA-certified instruction that includes 100% hands-on training and live firing to meet the requirements in all towns. Our course is usually completed within four hours, and we’ll also help you with the Massachusetts firearms license application process.  

What Happens After I Take the Course?

Upon completion of the basic firearms safety course, you will be given a certificate of participation. You’ll need to include this certificate with your Massachusetts firearms license application.

What’s the Massachusetts Firearms License Application Process Like?

Applying for your Massachusetts firearms license is a multi-step process with several components. Your police department will be in charge of the application process. The first step in the process is to find the Massachusetts Resident LTC/FID/Machine Gun Application online at www.mass.gov, and print it out.

There are several items you should gather before submitting your application to your police department. Different police departments have different requirements, but some of the more common items to submit with your application include:

  • A photo of yourself
  • One or more letters of recommendation
  • Identification such as your birth certificate
  • Utility bills that prove your residence

Call or visit the police department in your city to inquire about your local application requirements.

The application itself is not difficult, but there are several parts to it. You’ll be asked personal information and background information, as well as your reasons for applying for a firearms license.

Help Is Available!

At Boston Firearms, we want you to protect yourself, your family and your loved ones safely and responsibly. We’re here to help you with any questions you have about safety, firearms, ammunition, Massachusetts gun laws, training, and more.

The process of training and applying for gun ownership can seem daunting, but you’ll find that it’s well worth it. It all starts with a firearm safety course, so schedule yours today.