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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
|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|
|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|
|Monday – Friday:||9:00 am - 5:00 pm|
|Address:||Firearms Records Bureau|
200 Arlington St., Suite 2200,
|City:||Chelsea, MA 02150|
1200 Phinney's Lane Hyannis, MA 02601
39 Allen Street Pittsfield, MA 01201
23 Summer St. Taunton, MA 02780
871 Rockdale Ave New Bedford, MA 02740
572 Pleasant St, New Bedford, MA 02740
168 Cove St, New Bedford, MA 02744
799 Ashley Blvd, New Bedford, MA 02745
72 Pease’s Point Way South Edgartown, MA 02539