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Massachusetts Concealed Carry Reciprocity Map & Gun Laws

Updated: 05/01/2019
Carry allowed with my Massachusetts permit?
Yes
Yes, With Restrictions
Yes, Permitless Carry
Yes, Selected State
No

Summary of Massachusetts Gun Laws

Massachusetts is a may-issue state with Licenses to Carry (LTC) issued at the local police station or, for non-residents, through the State Police Firearms Records Bureau.

A Firearm Identification (FID) card or LTC is required to purchase a firearm. Background checks are required to buy a handgun from a private individual, as the seller must verify the buyer's Firearm Identification Card with the Department of Criminal Justice Information Services. A LTC is also required to buy ammunition.

Open and concealed carry are legal in Massachusetts for individuals who have a Massachusetts Class A unrestricted license to carry firearms (LTC-A). The minimum age is 21 years old, and LTC-As are issued to residents and non-residents. LTCs require a state-approved firearms training course. Some areas are off-limits, including schools and airports. In terms of reciprocity, Massachusetts does not honor permits from any other states.

Massachusetts is a Castle Doctrine state. Massachusetts law states that, “In the prosecution of a person who is an occupant of a dwelling charged with killing or injuring one who was unlawfully in said dwelling, it shall be a defense that the occupant was in his dwelling at the time of the offense and that he acted in the reasonable belief that the person unlawfully in said dwelling was about to inflict great bodily injury or death upon said occupant or upon another person lawfully in said dwelling, and that said occupant used reasonable means to defend himself or such other person lawfully in said dwelling." There is no duty to retreat in a person's dwelling, although there is a duty to retreat outside of one's home.

401k
Permits Issued
6.9M
State Population
5.82%
Permit Percentage
0
States Honored
27
Reciprocating States
21
Minimum Age to CC

Massachusetts Gun Laws at a Glance

Open Carry/ Concealed Carry Basics

Constitutional Carry?

Does Massachusetts allow constitutional carry?

No.

Open Carry Permitted?

Is open carry permitted in Massachusetts?

Yes, for LTC-A permit holders only.

Gun Permit Licensure?

If Massachusetts requires a permit to carry a concealed firearm, how are those permits issued?

May issue.

Minimum Age for Concealed Carry?

What is the minimum age in Massachusetts to get a concealed carry permit?

21

Weapons Other Than Handguns Allowed?

Can you conceal carry weapons other than handguns in Massachusetts with a concealed carry permit (or under permitless carry if applicable)?

Yes.  Stun guns.

Non-Resident Permitting?

Does Massachusetts issue concealed carry permits to non-residents?

Yes. 

Public Access to Concealed Carry Registry?

Does Massachusetts allow the public to access concealed carry registry information through public records law?

No.

Carry Locations

Carry in Vehicle?

Can you carry a concealed firearm in a vehicle in Massachusetts?

Yes, with a Massachusetts Class A LTC only, provided the weapon is under the license holder's direct control. For holders of Massachusetts Class B LTC's, a handgun must be unloaded and secured in a locked trunk or locked container.

[Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 140, § 131]
Carry at Roadside Rest Areas?

Can you carry a concealed firearm at roadside rest areas in Massachusetts?

Yes.

Carry in State/National Parks, State/National Forests and Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs)?

Can you carry a concealed firearm in state/national parks, state/national forests and Wildlife Management Areas in Massachusetts?

Carry in Restaurants That Serve Alcohol?

Can you carry a firearm in restaurants that serve alcohol in Massachusetts?

Yes, unless posted.

Store in a Vehicle in an Employee Parking Lot?

Does Massachusetts have laws relating to storing firearms in private vehicles in an employee parking lot?

Not addressed in Massachusetts state law.

Additional Related State Laws

Must Notify Officer You're Carrying?

Are you required to notify a police officer that you're carrying a concealed firearm in Massachusetts?

Magazine Limits for Handguns?

Does Massachusetts have magazine capacity restrictions for handguns?

>10 rounds.

There is a grandfather clause for devices that were lawfully possessed on September 13, 1994.  Attached tubular devices designed to accept, and capable of operating only with, .22 caliber ammunition are exempt.

[Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 140, § 131M.]
Ammunition Restrictions?

Does Massachusetts have ammunition restrictions?

Yes. The minimum age to purchase handgun ammuntion is 21 years old and purchases must be conducted face-to-face. To purchase ammunition for a handgun, a firearm identification (FID) card holder must also obtain a permit to purchase a handgun. You must have a firearm license to purchase or possess ammunition. Any person with a license to carry is permitted to purchase, rent, lease, borrow, possess and carry all types of lawful ammunition for these firearms. 

"No Weapons Allowed" Signs Enforced?

Are "No Weapons Allowed" signs enforced in Massachusetts? If yes, violating the sign would be considered to be a crime. If no, violating the sign would not be considered a criminal offense.

No. Not mentioned in state statutes.

Preemption?

Does Massachusetts have [preemption laws](https://www.usconcealedcarry.com/resources/terminology/firearms-and-ammunition/preemption) related to concealed carry (i.e. Does state law supersede local laws regarding the possession of handguns)?

Red Flag Law?

Does Massachusetts have a red flag law?

Yes. An immediate family member of a person or a law enforcement officer may file a petition ordering the immediate suspension and surrender of any license to carry firearms or firearm identification card which the respondent may hold, as well as order the respondent to surrender all firearms, rifles, shotguns, machine guns, weapons or ammunition which the respondent then controls, owns or possesses.

[2018 Session Law Chapter 123]

STATE CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISION
The people have a right to keep and bear arms for the common defense. And as, in time of peace, armies are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be maintained without the consent of the legislature, and the military power shall always be held in an exact subordination to the civil authority, and be governed by it."
Declaration of Rights, Article 17

Massachusetts Concealed Carry Reciprocity With Other States

Which states' permits does Massachusetts honor?

Massachusetts does not honor any other states' permits.


Other States' Reciprocity With Massachusetts

Which states honor permits from Massachusetts?

Note: Firearms must be carried in accordance with the laws of the state you are visiting. Be sure to check the laws of the other state before traveling there with your firearms.


States That Have Restricted Reciprocity with Massachusetts

Which states honor permits from Massachusetts with restrictions?

Michigan (resident permits only)
Wisconsin (Class A permits only)

Permitless Carry States

Anyone who can legally possess a firearm may carry it concealed in permitless carry states without a permit/license. Check each state’s page for more information and any restrictions that may apply.

Alaska (if at least 21 years old)
Arizona (if at least 21 years old)
Arkansas (if at least 21 years old)
Kansas (if at least 21 years old)
Maine (if at least 21 years old)
Mississippi (if at least 21 years old)
Missouri (if at least 19 years old)
New Hampshire (if at least 18 years old)
Vermont (if at least 18 years old)
West Virginia (if at least 21 years old)

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Massachusetts Concealed Carry Permit Information

Requirements:

An applicant must:

  • Be at least 21 years old;
  • Be a U.S. citizen or legal alien;
  • Be a suitable person to be issued such license, and has good reason to fear injury to his person or property, or for any other reason, including the carrying of firearms for use in sport or target practice only;
  • Complete a firearms training course;
  • Not have been convicted or adjudicated a youthful offender or delinquent child;
  • Not have been committed to a hospital or institution for mental illness, alcohol or substance abuse, unless after 5 years the appliants submits an affidavit from a registered physician endorsing his or her ability to possess a firearm;
  • Not be subject to an order of the probate court appointing a guardian or conservator for a incapacitated person on the grounds that the applicant lacks the mental capacity to contract or manage the applicant’s affairs;
  • Not be subject to a temporary or emergency restraining order, or order of protection;
  • Not have any outstanding warrants;
  • Not have been discharged from the armed forces of the United States under dishonorable conditions;
  • Not be a fugitive from justice; and
  • Meet federal law requirements.
Fees:

Initial Permit and Renewals  $100

Valid For:

6 years

Processing Time:

40 days

Application:

Link to Resident LTC/FID application

Non-Resident Concealed Carry Permits:

All new and renewal non-resident temporary licenses to carry (LTC) firearms in Massachusetts are issued through the Massachusetts Instant Record Check System (MIRCS). MIRCS is a computer based application used to manage, process, and monitor firearms licensing statewide. The process is similar to that for residents, although an in-person appearance at the Firearms Records Bureau is necessary for first time applicants and then once every 6 years thereafter. Processing may take up to 90 days. You will still need to renew your LTC annually, however the application will be processed solely by mail until the next required in-person appearance. Non-resident LTCs are valid for only 1 year. Non-residents are notified by mail when firearms license applications have been processed.

First time applicants must submit a copy of a certificate showing completion of a Massachusetts Basic Firearms Safety Course. This course must have been taken with an instructor who is certified by the Colonel of the Massachusetts State Police. 

Link to Non-resident LTC application

Enhanced Application:

A Class A license entitles the holder to purchase, rent, lease, borrow, possess and carry:

  • Firearms, including large capacity firearms, and feeding devices and ammunition, for all lawful purposes, subject to such restrictions the licensing authority deems proper; and
  • Rifles and shotguns, including large capacity weapons, and feeding devices and ammunition, for all lawful purposes; provided, however, that the licensing authority may impose restrictions as it deems proper.

A Class B license entitles a holder thereof to purchase, rent, lease, borrow, possess and carry:

  • Non-large capacity firearms and feeding devices and ammunition, for all lawful purposes, subject to such restrictions the licensing authority deems proper; provided, (a Class B license shall not entitle the holder to carry or possess 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); and
  • Rifles and shotguns, including large capacity rifles and shotguns, and feeding devices and ammunition, for all lawful purposes; provided, however, that the licensing authority may impose such restrictions as it deems proper. 
Name/Address Changes:

Complete and mail a copy of the Change of Address Form to all of the following:

  • The licensing authority that issued your firearms license;
  • The Chief of Police of the city or town that you moved to; and
  • The Department of Criminal Justice Information Services.

There is also a Firearms License Address Change Hotline at (617) 660-4722.

Lost/Stolen Permits:

Contact your issuing authority.


Massachusetts Concealed Carry Permit Application Process

How to Apply for a Massachusetts Concealed Carry Permit

Step 1:

Take an approved basic firearms safety course.

Step 2:

Download the application.

Step 3:

Contact your local firearms licensing office for their specific requirements. You will likely need the following documents:

  • Completed application;
  • Firearms safety course certificate;
  • Fingerprint cards;
  • A form of ID;
  • Proof of residency, if required; and
  • Application fee.
Step 4:

You will be notified by your local licensing authority when your firearms license application has been processed, either by telephone or by mail. You may need to pick up your firearms license in person.

Massachusetts is a “may-issue” state for the issuance of licenses to carry firearms, meaning that the local licensing authority has discretion in determining whether or not to issue either license type to an applicant. It may deny the application or renewal of an applicant, or suspend or revoke a license, if in the “reasonable exercise of discretion,” the licensing authority determines that the applicant or licensee is unsuitable to carry a firearm. A determination of unsuitability must be based on reliable and credible information that the individual has exhibited or engaged in behavior that he or she poses a risk to public safety.

A license to carry entitles the possessor to purchase, possess, rent, borrow, lease and carry all types of lawful firearms, including handguns and large capacity firearms, and feeding devices and ammunition for these firearms.


Firearms Training Requirements in Massachusetts

Persons applying for an FID or LTC must successfully complete a basic firearms safety course. A course used as a prerequisite for an FID shall use rifles and/or shotguns as the primary subject matter of the curriculum. A course used as a prerequisite for an LTC shall use pistols and/or revolvers as the primary subject matter of the curriculum. Course curriculums that do not contain a firearms-related law component can meet Department of State Police curriculum criteria by utilizing guest speakers familiar with firearms laws or by utilizing or distributing to its students written informational pamphlets/books/videos by an entity/individual familiar with firearms laws to cover that portion of the course.

Find A USCCA class near you


Massachusetts Concealed Carry Permit Renewal Process

How to Renew a Massachusetts Concealed Carry Permit

Step 1:

You must renew your resident firearms license to carry or firearms identification card through your local police department in the town where you reside. You must submit your renewal application prior to the expiration date of your current license.

Non-resident firearms licenses expire 1 year from the issue date. Resident alien permits expire on December 31st in the year of application. Non-resident licenses to carry firearms or resident alien permits must be renewed annually through the Firearms Records Bureau. There is no grace period for non-resident firearms licenses or resident alien permits.

Step 2:

You will need to submit:

You may need to submit:

  • A Massachusetts Basic Firearms Safety Course certificate
  • A form of identification
  • Proof of residence

Residents must mail the complete renewal package to your local licensing authority.

Non-Residents and Resident Aliens must mail the  complete renewal package to the Firearms Records Bureau at:

Department of Criminal Justice Information Services
Firearms Records Bureau
200 Arlington Street, Suite 2200
Chelsea, MA 02150

Step 3:

You will be notified within 60 days (90 days for Non-Residents and Resident Aliens) when your firearms license application has been processed, either by telephone or by mail. You may need to pick up your firearms license in person.


Law Enforcement Officers (LEO)/Retired LEOs

Law enforcement officers (LEOs) and Retired LEOs (RLEOs) may choose to carry under the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA), often referred to as HR 218. Under 18 U.S. Code §§ 926B & 926C, qualified LEOs and qualified retired LEOs, or those separated from service in good standing, can carry a concealed firearm in any jurisdiction in the United States, regardless of state or local laws, with some exceptions. For details check out our Federal Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA) page.

515 CMR 6:00 establishes rules and regulations governing the certification of qualified retired law enforcement officers and instructors for the purpose of complying with LEOSA qualification standards and instructor certification. 501 CMR 13:00 establishes the standards for ID cards for RLEOs. Any LEOSA instructor certified by the Massachusetts Department of State Police may conduct the annual certification.


Massachusetts Location Restrictions

Where Can I Carry a Concealed Firearm in Massachusetts?

  • Carry in restaurants that serve alcohol? Yes.
  • Carry in my vehicle without a permit/license? No.
  • Carry in roadside rest areas? Yes.
  • Carry in state/national parks, state/national forests, and WMAs? Yes.
  • Carry in places of worship? There is no State statute prohibiting concealed carry in places of worship. However, since places of worship are private property, they may post signs prohibiting firearms.
Where Can't I Carry a Concealed Firearm in Massachusetts?

Places off-limits even with a permit/license


FAQ: Massachusetts Concealed Carry Questions

Do firearms need to be registered in Massachusetts?

No. However, transfers of firearms ownership are required to be recorded with the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS).

Is a permit required to purchase a gun in Massachusetts?

Yes. A Firearm Identification (FID) card or License to Carry (LTC) is required.

Are background checks required for private gun sales in Massachusetts?

Yes. The seller must verify the buyer's FID with the Department of Criminal Justice Information Services.

Is there a waiting period after purchasing a firearm in Massachusetts?

No. However, an FID or LTC is required in order to make a purchase, and these may take up to 60 days to process.

What are the knife laws in Massachusetts?

Stilettos, daggers, dirks, double-edged knives, ballistic knives, knives with knuckles and automatic knives are forbidden from carry unless you have a Class A LTC. There are no limits to what types of knives you can own.

What are the laws regarding carrying a firearm while using alcohol or prescription medication in MA?

Not while under the influence, per Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 269, § 10H.
As a responsibly armed American, regardless of the laws in your state, it is unwise to carry while under the influence of any substance that could impair your judgement, slow your reaction times, or impact your decision-making abilities. Any decision you make while carrying a firearm could have life-altering consequences.


Related Information & Links for Massachusetts Gun Laws


Massachusetts Gun Laws Updates:

Date Details
05/01/2019

Added permit renewal and name/address change info

04/18/2019

Links checked

03/28/2019

Added info on state implementation of Law Enforcement Officer Safety Act (LEOSA)

02/20/2019

Added info and a link to vehicle carry in At A Glance table

02/15/2019

Added pages for Federal Gun Laws, Traveling with Firearms & Terminology

02/09/2019

Added ammunition restrictions to At A Glance table

02/07/2019

Added red flag law info to At A Glance table

01/30/2019

Stun guns added in At A Glance table as a permitted weapon

01/25/2019

Added church info to location restrictions section

01/25/2019

Links checked

01/24/2019

Added FAQ about alcohol or prescription medication

01/10/2019

Mag limit added to At A Glance table

11/30/2018

Added parking lot info to At A Glance table

11/26/2018

Added links

10/22/2018

Added initial CCW law and reciprocity information for Massachusetts


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Permit numbers were obtained from the Crime Prevention Resource Center’s publication entitled, "Concealed Carry Permit Holders Across the United States: 2018.” Numbers include resident and non-resident permits for those states that issue both.

The information contained on this website is provided as a service to USCCA, Inc. Members and the concealed carry community, and does not constitute legal advice. Although we attempt to address all areas of concealed carry laws in all states, we make no claims, representations, warranties, promises or guarantees as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information disclosed. Legal advice must always be tailored to the individual facts and circumstances of each individual case. Laws are constantly changing, and as such, nothing contained on this website should be used as a substitute for the advice of a lawyer.

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