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Carrying of Firearms-Massachusetts

In Massachusetts, all licenses to carry firearms are designated Class A or Class B, and the issuance and possession of such license is subject to the certain restrictions. [i] Class A license shall entitle a holder to carry firearms, including large capacity firearms for all lawful purposes, subject to such restrictions that the licensing authority deems proper.  Violation of restrictions shall be punishable with suspension or revocation of the permit and by a fine of not less than $1,000 nor more than $10,000.

A Class B license shall entitle a holder to carry non-large capacity firearms for all lawful purposes.  However a Class B license shall not entitle the holder to carry a loaded firearm in a concealed manner in any public way or place or to possess a large capacity firearm, except under a Class A club license or under the direct supervision of a holder of a valid Class A license at an incorporated shooting club or licensed shooting range.

Department of State Police, Firearms Record Bureau is the issuing authority and although permits are technically available for non-residents, they are rarely granted.

Any person residing or having a place of business within the jurisdiction of the licensing authority or any law enforcement officer employed by the licensing authority or any person residing in an area of exclusive federal jurisdiction located within a city or town may submit to the licensing authority or the colonel of state police, an application for a Class A or Class B license to carry firearms.

In order to be eligible for a license, the applicant should not be convicted or adjudicated a youthful offender or delinquent child for the commission of a felony, misdemeanor or a violent crime.  The applicant should not have been confined to any hospital or institution for mental illness or have been under treatment for or confinement for drug addiction or habitual drunkenness.  S/he must have completed 21 years of age and must not be an alien. The applicant should not be the subject of an outstanding arrest warrant in any state or federal jurisdiction at the time of making the application.  The licensing authority will conduct criminal background check.  The licensing authority shall, within 40 days from the date of application, either approve the application and issue the license or deny the application.  “ A license to carry or possess firearms shall be valid, unless revoked or suspended, for a period of not more than 6 years from the date of issue and shall expire on the anniversary of the licensee’s date of birth occurring not less than 5 years but not more than 6 years from the date of issue, except that if the licensee applied for renewal before the license expired, the license shall remain valid for a period of 90 days beyond the stated expiration date on the license, unless the application for renewal is denied.”[ii]

Any person over the age of 70 and any law enforcement officer applying for a license to carry firearms through his employing agency shall be exempt from the requirement of paying a renewal fee for a Class A or Class B license to carry.  Also, no license is required for the carrying a firearm known as a detonator and commonly used on vehicles as a signaling and marking device, when carried or possessed for such signaling or marking purposes.

While the state of Massachusetts does not recognize permits from any other states, states including Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Vermont recognize a Massachusetts permit.

[i] ALM GL ch. 140, § 131

[ii] Id.

Inside Carrying of Firearms-Massachusetts