Massachusetts Gun Laws

Gun Control Laws in Massachusetts

The gun laws of Massachusetts regulate the possession, use, sale, and transfer of guns and ammunition in the state. The state must license all Massachusetts citizens that want to purchase firearms. You can apply with your local police station, but if unavailable you can contact the state police for a permit. After the local police take all your information, including fingerprints, it is sent to the Massachusetts Criminal History Board for your background check. If approved, your license will come directly from them. Massachusetts is a “May Issue” state for concealed carry and does allow open carry if you have a permit. Massachusetts allows non-residents permits, but the Firearms Records Bureau supplies them. When applying for your License to carry (LTC), you must first take a firearms safety course and pass. Massachusetts does not allow the purchase of rifles that hold more than ten rounds. Machine gun licenses are granted on a “May Issue” basis only to those who need them.

State CCW Quick Facts

  • May Issue State gun policy
  • Yes Open Carry Permitted
  • No Constitutional Carry
  • Yes-In Restaurants That Serve Alcohol Carry In Restaurants
  • No Carry In Vehicle
  • Residents/Non-residents License issued to
  • 24 # of states that honor Massachusetts license
  • 0 # of state licenses that Massachusetts honors
  • 6 Years license is valid
  • 100 $ cost of the license
  • 21 Minimum age for license permit

Massachusetts’s policy is May Issue in practice and its license is issued to residents. You can carry a handgun in: state parks, state and national forests, road side rest areas, vehicle, all areas of the state not listed as forbidden.

MA CCW Reciprocity Map

Reciprocity between states means that each state allows the use of an out-of-state gun permit when crossing state lines. These twenty-four states offer residents of Massachusetts reciprocity

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

These states honor a Massachusetts gun permit for non-residents

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Massachusetts does not offer reciprocity to any other states.

AK AL AR AZ CA CO CT DE FL GA HI IA ID IL IN KS KY LA MA MD ME MI MN MS MO MT NC ND NE NH NJ NM NV NY OH OK OR PA RI SC SD TN TX UT VA VT WA WI WV WY DC
  • Permit honored
  • Permit not honored
  • Issuing state

Massachusetts Concealed Carry Laws and Permit

Massachusetts is a “May Issue” state, and anyone wishing to purchase a firearm must first apply for a License to Carry (LTC). Massachusetts offers them to both residents and non-residents. You can apply at the police station in your town. With your LTC, you can carry in state parks, rest areas, your own vehicle, national forests and all other areas except courthouses, schools, airports, or any federally restricted area. You are not allowed to carry when driving an ATV or snowmobile. It takes roughly 40 days to get your permit. There are no laws in Massachusetts about having to inform an officer if you are carrying and you do not have to abide by “no weapons” signs. With a license, you can open carry, and you can carry in restaurants unless they have “no guns” sign.

CCW Eligibility: Qualify or Pre-Qualify?

To qualify for an LTC, you must be twenty-one years old. You must also pass a firearms training class before applying. You must also be a legal U.S. citizen. When applying you cannot have any felonies, drug charges or violent offenses against you. You cannot have been in prison for two years, have no outstanding warrants or restraining order against you. If you have been in treatment for drug or alcohol abuse, you must wait five years to apply. You cannot have any mental illness, or if you have a past issue, then you need to have your doctor file an affidavit as to your mental wellbeing. You must also follow all federal regulations.

Massachusetts Gun Background Check

Although Massachusetts is not a “point of contact” state, when issuing licenses to carry, they do run a background check. Firearm dealers are required by federal law to contact the FBI and use the NCIS system to run a background check on anyone purchasing a firearm. Because Massachusetts uses an LTC system, the dealers must verify their identity and match them up with their valid license first. Private sales are limited to four guns per year. Private sales are not subject to a background check but the Department of Criminal Justice Information Services created a web portal, and private sellers are required to use that to check the identity and validity of their LTC card before selling to them. The license will cost $100 a year and is valid for six years for residents and one year for non-residents.

CCW Permit Information

Requirements

  • Must be at least 21 years old
  • You must be a US citizen or legal alien.
  • Completed a firearms training course.
  • Have no Felony
  • No Drug violations
  • No Violent crimes
  • No misdemeanor punishable by more than two years in prison
  • You must not have any outstanding warrants
  • You must not be subject to a current restraining order
  • It must be more than five years since any treatment for drug or alcohol addiction.
  • If you have been hospitalized for mental illness, you must submit an affidavit from a registered physician endorsing your ability to possess a firearm.
  • Federal law requirements

Application

  1. Download the application from under the FORMS tab.
  2. Resident – Check with your local Police as to what is required, there were some changes in 2017.
  3. Non-Resident – Check with the Firearms Record Bureau as to what is required, there were some changes in 2017.
  4. You will be notified within 40 days by mail if your application has been approved or denied.

Renewal

  • To renew a Resident Firearms License:
  • You must renew your resident firearms license to carry or firearms identification card through your local police department in the town where you reside.
  • You will need to submit: a. A complete resident firearms license application b. The required application fee
  • You may need to submit: A Massachusetts Basic Firearms Safety Course certificate A form of identification Proof of residence
  • To qualify for the grace period, you MUST submit your renewal application prior to the expiration date of your current license.
  • Contact your local firearms licensing officer for specific information on the application process.
  • To renew a Non-Resident License to Carry Firearms or a Resident Alien Permit:
  • You must renew your non-resident license to carry firearms or resident alien permit annually through the Firearms Records Bureau.
  • You will need to submit: a. A complete non-resident firearms license application or resident alien permit application b. The required application fee of $100
  • You may need : A Massachusetts Basic Firearms Safety Court certificate An in-person appearance A visa or copy of your immigration card
  • There is no grace period for non-resident firearms licenses or resident alien permits.
  • Non-resident firearms licenses expire 1 year from the date it was issued.
  • Resident alien permits expire on December 31st in the year of application.

Massachusetts CCW License Fee information

Permit type Fees when getting a new permit Renewal Current license amendment Fingerprint scan fee Fee for firearm classes Additional state fees
Class A license to carry (purchase, possession, and carrying of large capacity guns) $100.00 Fee not specified in statutes Up to $100
Class B license to carry (purchase, possession, and carrying of non-large capacity guns) $100.00 Fee not specified in statutes Up to $100
Firearms identification card (purchase, possession, and carrying of non-large capacity rifles and shotguns only $100 (age 18+), $25.00 (minors)
Fee not specified in statutes

Places Where You Can & Can’t Carry a Gun in Massachusetts

Allowed Forbidden
State parks Courthouses
State and national forests Elementary or secondary school, college or university
Road side rest areas Airports
Vehicle Logan Airport security zone
All areas of the state not listed as Forbidden When using off highway vehicle such as snowmobile
Any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by Federal Law

Massachusetts CCW Contact

Massachusetts Bureau of Firearms

Hours

Monday – Friday: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: Closed

Contact

Address: Firearms Records Bureau
200 Arlington St., Suite 2200,
City: Chelsea, MA 02150
Phone: (617) 660-4782

CCW Licensing Offices in Massachusetts

Barnstable County - Barnstable Police Department

Office Address
1200 Phinney's Lane Hyannis, MA 02601

Phone
(508) 775-0387

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Berkshire County - Pittsfield Police Department

Office Address
39 Allen Street Pittsfield, MA 01201

Phone
(413) 448-9700

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Bristol County - Taunton Police Department

Office Address
23 Summer St. Taunton, MA 02780

Phone
(508) 824-7522

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Bristol County - New Bedford Taunton Police Department, West End (Headquarters)

Office Address
871 Rockdale Ave New Bedford, MA 02740

Phone
(508) 991-6300

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Bristol County - New Bedford Taunton Police Department, Downtown (Station 1)

Office Address
572 Pleasant St, New Bedford, MA 02740

Phone
(508) 991-6340

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Bristol County - New Bedford Taunton Police Department, South End (Station 2)

Office Address
168 Cove St, New Bedford, MA 02744

Phone
(508) 991-6355

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Bristol County - New Bedford Taunton Police Department, North End (Station 3)

Office Address
799 Ashley Blvd, New Bedford, MA 02745

Phone
(508) 991-6360

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Dukes County - Edgartown Police Department

Office Address
72 Pease’s Point Way South Edgartown, MA 02539

Phone
(508) 627-4343

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