In Massachusetts, Licenses to Carry Firearms (LTCs) and Firearms Identification Cards (FIDs) are valid for no more than 6 years from the date of issue. They generally expire on the anniversary of the applicant’s date of birth. Many years ago, FID cards were issued with no expiration dates and the renewal date was listed as “indefinite.” However, those FID cards expired by operation of law when Chapter 180 of the Acts of 1988 was enacted.
There is a ninety (90) day grace period for Licenses to Carry Firearms (LTCs) and FID cards. This means that a LTC or FID is valid for a period of 90 days after the stated expiration date. For members returning from active military duty, FID cards are valid for 90 days after the military member’s release from active duty.
It is not a crime to carry a rifle, shotgun, or firearm on an expired license, even if the license is expired beyond the 90 day grace period, so long as the holder is not disqualified from renewal of the license. It is a civil infraction and not a violation of G.L. c. 269 § 10. Thus, there is no right of arrest. It is only a violation of G.L. c. 269 § 10 and, therefore, “arrestable” only if:
the license was revoked or suspended, or a revocation or suspension is pending, due to something other than a failure to notify of a change of address;
the renewal of the firearms license (LTC or FID) has been denied;
In all cases of a suspended, revoked, or expired firearms license (LTC or FID), police are required to confiscate the weapons and the firearms license, which must be promptly forwarded to the licensing authority which issued the license. Confiscated firearms, rifles and shotguns must returned to their owner upon license renewal.
Carrying on an expired LTC or FID is a civil infraction punished by a civil fine of $500 – $5000. G.L. c. 269 § 10 is not violated unless the license was suspended, revoked, or denied for something other than failure to report a change of address. Thus, there is usually no right of arrest in these situations.