Massachusetts is a may-issue state with strict firearm laws that require that a person have a Firearm Identification (FID) or LTC to purchase a firearm. The state requires background checks when purchasing a firearm from a private seller, too.
Firearm sales and transfers must be reported to the Department of Criminal Justice Information Services while firearm registration isn’t required.
What Are the Gun Laws in Massachusetts for Concealed Carry?
If you want to open or conceal carry in the state, you must obtain a Class A unrestricted license to carry your firearm. Residents and non-residents are eligible to obtain their license, and firearm training is required.
Massachusetts Concealed Carry Laws and Requirements
You’ll need to apply for your license in one of two places:
Residents – the local police station
Non-residents – State Police Firearms Records Bureau
You’ll need to be a U.S. citizen or legal alien when applying, and you must be at least 21 years of age when applying. Applicants must be considered a “suitable person” for the license to be issued. You must also have a reason to fear injury of your person or property.
You can also obtain a license for any other reason even if you plan on using your gun for target practice only or for sport.
Fees when applying are $100, and each permit is valid for a period of six years. Processing time for the application is 40 days, so it’s a fast application process compared to other states.
The additional requirements that need to be met when applying are:
You must meet all federal law requirements
You must not have:
A dishonorable discharge from the armed forces
A restraining order or temporary order of protection against you
Been committed to a hospital or institution due to a mental illness in the past five-year period
Complete firearms training
You must also have full mental capacity and cannot be a subject of a conservator or guardian for someone that is considered incapacitated.
Non-Resident Permit Information
As a non-resident, you will need to follow the same application process with a few additional requirements that need to be met. The requirements as a non-resident will include issuance through the Massachusetts Instant Record Check System (MIRCS).
The system is a computer-based application system that will handle the entire processes and monitoring of statewide licenses.
But you will need to meet in-person with the state’s Firearms Records Bureau as a first-time applicant and every six years after. Non-resident processing can take up to 90 days to complete, and you will need to renew your LTC annually.
Non-residents are notified by mail when their license is set to expire.
As a first-time applicant, you will also be required to show a certificate proving that you have completed a Massachusetts Basic Firearms Safety Course.
Firearms Training Requirements
Firearm training is required under state law, and this is a requirement for both an FID and LTC license. You will need to go through the Massachusetts Basic Firearms Safety Course provided by a certified instructor.
How to Renew Your Massachusetts Concealed Carry Permit
The renewal process takes place every six years for residents and every one-year for non-residents. Application fees are $100, and the processing time is similar to the original application processing.
You must submit renewal documents before your current license expires.
Non-resident aliens will have their permit expire on December 31 of each year.
When you reapply for your license, you will be required to complete a renewal application along with the application fee. You may also be required to provide the following documentation:
Certificate proving the completion of a Massachusetts Basic Firearms Safety Course
Proof of residency
All of the renewal information is to be submitted to the Department of Criminal Justice Information Services.
You will be notified when your license has been processed. The normal time it takes to process the license is 60 days for residents and 90 days for non-residents. Notification will occur by either mail or telephone, and you may be required to pick your license up in person.
Which States Honor Massachusetts’s Concealed Carry Permit?
Massachusetts has reciprocity with no other state.
But there are a few states which will honor your Massachusetts concealed carry license, including:
It’s worth noting that you will need to meet each state’s laws when carrying your firearm. Carrying is subject to the respective state’s laws and not the laws of Massachusetts.
You may also legally carry in permit-less states.
Other Concealed Carry Massachusetts Rules and Restrictions
There are additional rules and restrictions for all license holders. Law enforcement officials and retired officials in good standing can carry a firearm in any state regardless of local laws.
Where Concealed Carry is Permitted?
You may carry your firearm in the following locations:
Restaurants that serve alcohol
Roadside rest areas
National and state forests
National and state parks
Places of worship (unless signage states otherwise)
Where Concealed Carry is Not Permitted
You may not conceal carry in certain situations. Without a license, you’re not allowed to carry in your vehicle. If a private establishment has signage that restricts firearms, the signage must be followed.
You’re also not allowed to carry at:
Airport security zones
Colleges or universities
Areas prohibited by state or federal law
You are not permitted to carry a firearm in an off-highway vehicle. An off-highway vehicle may include a snowmobile.