GOAL Massachusetts

Non Resident License Information.

Click here for the application with instructions.

Q. Can a non-resident obtain a handgun license for use in Massachusetts?
A. Yes. Non-residents can apply for a “Temporary License to Carry Firearms” from the Firearms Records Bureau by calling (617) 660-4780.

Q. What do I need to know about the license?
A. The fee for a non-resident one- year license is $100. There are two classes:

  • Class A license for all firearms, rifles or shotguns;
  • Class B for “non- high capacity firearms” and large capacity long guns.

Certain professions, such as persons in the employ of a bank, public utility, a private detective or members of the armed services can obtain a two-year license.

Q. What does the application procedure consist of?
A. The procedure requires all applicants to make an appointment, then appear in person on the day of the appointment at the Dept. of Criminal Justice in Chelsea MA. The paperwork required includes a completed application form, a copy of your license from your home state (if your state issues them), a copy of a background check from your own state, proof of training, a set of fingerprints, and a letter from a local law enforcement official testifying in his opinion there is no problem with you obtaining the license. Once the DCJIS receives your application (be sure to fill it out correctly) and other required paperwork they will notify you to appear in Chelsea for an appointment on the day of their choosing. On that day you will be interviewed, fingerprinted etc.. but will not receive the license. That can take up to an additional 6 months. Also, note: this same process is required for renewal of same license on a yearly basis!

Q.What about a “concealed carry” license?
A. To carry a firearm (handgun) concealed and loaded, apply for a Class A, and seek one issued “for all lawful purposes.” Never use “open carry” in Massachusetts.

Q. What is meant by “all lawful purposes”?
A. In Massachusetts, licenses to carry firearms are issued for a specific purpose, and the law allows for undefined “restrictions” to be placed on its use. Carrying for a reason different from your purpose can result in a civil fine of $1,000 to $10,000. If applying for a license for “all lawful purposes,” you will be required to state, in writing, why you have “reason to fear injury to your person or property.” This could include working in high risk professions, routinely carrying large sums of money or valuable items, threats against the person, working in high-risk areas or at those times. Try to move beyond a generalized fear of crime, and be as specific as possible.

Q.When do I not need a non-resident License to Carry?
A. The only time a non-resident may bring a handgun into Massachusetts without a license is for a pistol or revolver competition – in general, provided you are a US resident and have a pistol license issued under similar conditions to Massachusetts - or if a law enforcement person on official duty. You can not come into the state to practice with your handgun without a License to Carry. See C. 140 § 131G

Massachusetts general law Chapter 140, §129C provides many exemptions from licensing requirements for non-residents coming into the state with rifles, shotguns and ammunition therefor. Briefly, these are

(1) hunters with valid nonresident hunting licenses,

(2) possession on a firing or shooting range,

(3) possession while traveling in or through the commonwealth with rifles or shotguns unloaded and enclosed in a case,

(4) possession while at a firearms show or display organized by a gun collectors club or association or

(5) carrying by nonresidents who meet the requirements for such carrying or possession in the state in which they reside.

Q.Are there any other Massachusetts rules I should be aware of?
A. The law now requires guns to be stored when not under the control of the authorized user. All guns, with the exception of primitive firearms, must be stored or kept in a “locked container” or with a “tamper resistant mechanical locking device” to prevent unauthorized use. When transporting large capacity rifles and shotguns, or handguns (if carried on a class B license) in a vehicle, they must be unloaded and locked in a trunk (or secure container).

State law also prohibits carrying guns loaded or unloaded on any school grounds without prior written permission of the board or officer in charge. It should also be noted that, Chapter 140, §123 generally prohibits Massachusetts firearms dealers from selling ammunition to non-residents.

More information;
Chapter 140: Section 131G Carrying of firearms by non-residents; conditions

Chapter 140: Section 129C Application of sec. 129B; ownership or possession of firearms or ammunition; transfers; report to executive director; exemptions; exhibiting license to carry, etc. on demand

Click here for a downloadable PDF with this information


*This page is made possible by the membership of GOAL and their generous donations. If you found this page helpful please Donate - Support - Join GOAL.




Mass Gun Law Reform.com Home

Help us make Massachusetts a safer place.

Follow Us: twitter logo FB Logo GOAL News RSS Feed Youtube Friday News Join GOAL Direction to GOAL

GOAL is the Official State Association of the National Rifle Association


  All contents © 2014 Gun Owners' Action League 361 W. Main St./ PO Box 567  Northboro MA. 01532   Tel 508-393-5333  Fax 508-393-5222.