90 Days to Appeal LTC & FID Suspension, Revocation, or Denial

If your Massachusetts License to Carry Firearms or Firearms Identification Card has been suspended or revoked, or you were denied such a license, you have ninety (90) days to appeal the adverse action in the District Court having jurisdiction over the Licensing Authority, which is usually the city or town where you reside.

Sometimes Petitions for Judicial Review are not filed in a timely manner, meaning  that they are not filed within the statutory 90 day appeal period. A late filing of a firearms license appeal is fatal to the case and the court has no discretion to grant an extension.  An untimely filing divests the court of subject matter jurisdiction, which means that any order would be unenforceable and the court would not have the power to hear and decide the appeal.

Some aggrieved petitioners and firearms licensing lawyers have attempted to circumvent the 90 day time period by having the petitioner file a new License to Carry Firearms (LTC) or Firearms Identification Card (FID) application, with the goal being to reset the “90 day clock” and allow for the filing of a new appeal.

In a recent case out of Framingham District Court, a license holder failed to file a Petition for Judicial Review within within 90 days of the revocation of his LTC. He applied for a new license and the court ruled as follows: “the Plaintiffs appeal is untimely and the court is without jurisdiction to hear it. The statute provides for no exceptions.” The court further ruled, “It is neither logical or reasonable for an individual who has failed to appeal the denial within the required 90 days to be able to circumvent that requirement by applying for a ‘new’ license prior to the expiration of the period for which his revoked license was to be in effect. This ruling demonstrates the importance of complying with the 90 day filing requirement.

Interestingly, the Judge allowed the petitioner to apply for a new License to Carry Firearms upon the expiration of the prior license, which was revoked. Thus, the court suggests that the LTC revocation is only in effect during the term of the license and thereafter a new application can be filed.