Click here for the application with instructions.
Q. What do I need to know about the license?
A. A non-resident temporary license to carry firearms (LTC) fee is $100. The only license a non-resident can apply for is a non-resident temporary LTC for all firearms, rifles or shotguns, please note that the Commonwealth may place restriciton upon your license;
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) and proof of training. 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 all lawful purposes.”
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 (See C.140 § 131). 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?
MGL C.140 § 131G is very clear about this:
“Any person who is not a resident of the commonwealth may carry a pistol or revolver in or through the commonwealth for the purpose of taking part in a pistol or revolver competition or attending any meeting or exhibition of any organized group of firearm collectors or for the purpose of hunting; provided, that such person is a resident of the United States and has a permit or license to carry firearms issued under the laws of any state, district or territory thereof which has licensing requirements which prohibit the issuance of permits or licenses to persons who have been convicted of a felony or who have been convicted of the unlawful use, possession or sale of narcotic or harmful drugs; provided, further, that in the case of a person traveling in or through the commonwealth for the purpose of hunting, he has on his person a hunting or sporting license issued by the commonwealth or by the state of his destination. Police officers and other peace officers of any state, territory or jurisdiction within the United States duly authorized to possess firearms by the laws thereof shall, for the purposes of this section, be deemed to have a permit or license to carry firearms as described in this section.”
*please note “carry” as used in the first sentence means “transport” – for the most part, the only way for a non-resident to legally carry concealed in MA is via a non-resident “All Lawful Purpose” Temporary LTC.
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 direct 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.
Transportation: When transporting large capacity rifles and shotguns, they must be unloaded and contained within a locked trunk, locked case or other secure container. Non large-capacity rifles and shotguns must be transported unloaded and in a case – due to contradictory information in MA law, GOAL recommends that the case is locked.
Non-resident that hold a temporary LTC who are transporting handguns in a vehicle, please note:
C.140 § 131C. no longer states how to transport a handgun not under the direct control of the licensee – GOAL recommends transporting all handguns unloaded in a locked case, locked trunk or other 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.
Warning: Non-residents cannot legally bring any large capacity rifle, shotgun, or feeding device into the state of Massachusetts unless the individual is in possession of a non-resident temporary license to carry firearms (LTC). Please note: All “assault weapons” and feeding devices in MA must be ban-compliant. Please see MGL C.140 § 131M
Chapter 140: § 131G Carrying of firearms by non-residents; conditions
Chapter 140: § 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
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