Overview of Massachusetts Firearm Laws
Massachusetts requires all gun owners to be licensed. There are three types of licenses, based on the type of gun to be possessed:
Residents must have an FID in order to purchase, possess, or transport a rifle or shotgun that is not a large-capacity gun; to purchase or possess ammunition or component parts of ammunition; and to purchase or possess defense sprays for anyone age 15-17, a license is not required for 18+
Residents must have a License to Carry Firearms in order to purchase, possess or transport a handgun, large capacity rifle, or large-capacity shotgun. The License to Carry Firearms also authorizes a person to purchase, possess, or transport all guns and materials that would be covered by an FID.
The law exempts new residents from state licensing requirements for 60 days. However, one may not transport any firearm, rifle or shotgun during that 60-day period, as the exemption is only for possession in the home while applying for the necessary license(s). See our new residents info page here.
Since 1968, Massachusetts has had its own registration requirements, in addition to federal requirements. An individual may sell a firearm, rifle or shotgun to a person (other than a licensed dealer) who is properly licensed. The resident must report the sale to the Executive Director of the Criminal Justice Information Services on a special form within seven days, in writing. Any resident who buys or obtains a firearm, rifle, shotgun or machine gun from a source other than from a Massachusetts dealer either in or outside the commonwealth must report the purchase of that gun. To obtain an FA-10 form, call (617) 660-4780.
The registration process only applies to the transfer of firearms to or from Massachusetts residents. Citizens moving into the Commonwealth with previously owned guns need not register them; however, the individual must still obtain the proper firearms license.
The law requires guns to be stored in a specific manner. All guns, including machine guns, must be stored or kept in a "locked container or with a tamper resistant mechanical locking device" to prevent unauthorized use.
TRANSPORTING IN A VEHICLE:
The law specifies how certain types of guns are to be transported.
Failure to so notify these authorities is cause for revocation or suspension of the card or license.
Replacing a lost or stolen FID/LTC card.
Thanks to the hard work of GOAL and our members there is no fee to have a lost or stolen card replaced. Click here to download a pdf with information and instructions.
A license to possess or carry a machine gun may be
issued to a firearm instructor certified by the Criminal Justice Training Council
for the sole purpose of firearm instruction to police personnel, or to a bona
fide collector of firearms upon application or renewal of such license.
A "bona fide collector of firearms," for the purpose of issuance of a machine gun license, shall be defined as an individual who acquires firearms for such lawful purposes as historical significance, display, research, lecturing, demonstration, test firing, investment or other like purpose. For the purpose of issuance of a machine gun license the acquisition of firearms for sporting use or for use as an offensive or defensive weapon shall not qualify an applicant as a bona fide collector of firearms. An individual licensed pursuant to 18 U.S.C. Chapter 44, Sections 921-929 and 27 CFR part 178 shall be deemed a bona fide collector of firearms for the purpose of this regulation.
Massachusetts gun owners are required to report loss, theft or recovery of a gun to the state and local police department. To obtain an FA-10 form, call (617) 660-4780, check with your police department, or clck here for the online version.
Chapter 284 change: GOAL was succesful in adding language which prevents a licensing authority from finding a licensee "unstuitable" upon reporting a lost/stolen firearm. This exemption is only good once. If a licensee loses or has any additional firearms lost/stolen they can be found "unsuitable" by the licensing authority.
Upon renewal of LTC/FID a licensee must also fill out an affidavit confirming that he/she has not lost any firearms since the last renewal.
General InformationMassachusetts requires a state license for firearms dealers.
For information on hunting with guns, contact the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife at (508) 792-7270.
*This page is made possible by the membership of GOAL and their generous donations. If you found this page helpful please Join - Support - Donate to GOAL.