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Licensing information for Gun Owners moving to Massachusetts

Licensing: Massachusetts requires all firearm owners to be licensed. There are three types of licenses based on the type of firearms to be possessed.

  • Firearms Identification Card (FID)
  • License to Carry Firearms (LTC A)
  • Permit to own Full Automatic Firearms (Class 3)

There is no license needed to purchase a primitive firearm such as a black powder rifle or shotgun or replica that does not use modern ammunition. 

Firearms Identification Card (FID): This is a shall issue photo and fingerprint card, renewable every six years at the cost of $100. This card covers the purchase, possession, or transportation of non-large capacity rifles or shotguns, ammunition therefore, and if an individual is 15-17 years old, self defense spray. (No license is required for self defense spray if an individual is 18+ years old)

License to Carry Firearms (LTC A): This is a may issue photo and fingerprint card, renewable every six years at the cost of $100. Class “A” LTC will cover purchase, possession or transportation and carrying of all handguns, rifles and shotguns. Loaded firearms must be under the direct control while in a vehicle.

Class 3 Machine Gun License. This is a may issue photo and fingerprint card, renewable every six years at the cost of $100. This license will cover the purchase, possession, and transportaion of all firearms classified by the ATF as machineguns.

New Residents: The laws exempts move in and possession in the home for new residents for sixty (60) days. It does not exempt the possession of large capacity rifles and shotguns, assault weapons and large capacity magazines. Until you receive the proper license do not transport any guns and/or ammunition. GOAL recommends getting the required training and application in to the police department immediately as it may take forty-five 40+ days to process your application for licensure.

Moving here with your firearms?

Please note: MA continues to recognize the expired federal AWB. “Assault Weapons”, which are lawful to purchase in 44 states are NOT legal in MA.

Please note: Legal rifle and pistol magazine capacity is limited to 10 rounds, legal shotgun magazine capacity is limted to 5 rounds UNLESS the magazine was manufactured on or before September 13, 1994. You cannot legally possess magazines that hold more than 10 rounds that were manufactured after that date. See link above for more information

Please note: There are strict requirements for the transportation of guns in MA. 

Registration: The transfer of any resident’s handgun, shotgun or rifle, whether through a dealer or between licensed individuals must be reported to the state via the FA- 10 form.

There is no law specifying that you must report to the state or the local licensing authority what firearms you already possess, i.e. filling out an FA-10 for your current collection or submitting a list to the local police.


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