GOAL Alert – Some Towns Have Begun to Suspend Firearm License Processing Due to Virus Concerns
GOAL has been made aware that some towns in Massachusetts have suspended processing firearm licenses until further notice. The towns in questions have cited concerns over the current virus alerts. GOAL is in contact with the Governor’s office and legislators concerning this issue.
Here are a few things to be aware of while GOAL addresses this issue:
Chapter 140 section 131(i) Expiration and Renewals: “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 nor more than 6 years from the date of issue; provided, however, that, if the licensee applied for renewal before the license expired, the license shall remain valid after its expiration date for all lawful purposes until the application for renewal is approved or denied.
Chapter 140 section 131(m) Expired LTC: “ Notwithstanding the provisions of section 10 of chapter 269, any person in possession of a firearm, rifle or shotgun whose license issued under this section is invalid for the sole reason that it has expired, not including licenses that remain valid under paragraph (i) because the licensee applied for renewal before the license expired, but who shall not be disqualified from renewal upon application therefor pursuant to this section, shall be subject to a civil fine of not less than $100 nor more than $5,000 and the provisions of section 10 of chapter 269 shall not apply (criminal penalties); provided, however, that the exemption from the provisions of said section 10 of said chapter 269 provided herein shall not apply if: (i) such license has been revoked or suspended, unless such revocation or suspension was caused by failure to give notice of a change of address as required under this section;
In layperson terms, the 1st citation means that if your current LTC is in the renewal process and your application/payment was accepted by the issuing authority prior to the expiration date on the license, you are able to lawfully possess, transport, purchase and transfer guns just as you did prior to the renewing of your LTC. By law, your issuing authority was required to issue a receipt at the time your application and payment were accepted.
The 2nd citation means that the LTC holder may lawfully continue to possess their guns up to 90 days after the license has expired even though an application for renewal was not filed or accepted prior to the expiration date on said license. GOAL believes this covers the possession in the home only.
There are similar laws under Chapter 140 section 129B for FID card holders.