Obtaining a License to Carry Firearms (LTC)

A person over the age of 21 may apply for a license to possess, carry, transport firearms, ammunition and feeding devices under Massachusetts laws regarding the License to Carry. When you are trying to obtain a license to carry a firearm in Massachusetts, you should be aware that there are two different classes: Class A and B licenses.

A Class A LTC allows the license holder to purchase, rent, lease, borrow, possess and carry: 1) Firearms, including large capacity firearms(semi-automatic handgun or rifle capable of firing more than ten rounds, or a shotgun capable of accepting more than five shotgun shells), ammunition and feeding devices for the ammunition, for any lawful purpose and 2) Rifles and shotguns—including large capacity weapons, ammunition and feed devices for the ammunition. Both forms of firearms can be subject to restrictions relative to the possession, use or carrying of firearms as the licensing authority deems proper. If someone violates one of the imposed restrictions, they can be fined between $1,000-$10,000. Class A licenses are also issued to individuals that own and operate a shooting range or gallery where large capacity weapons will be used.

A Class B license allows the person to purchase, rent, lease, borrow, possess and carry non-large capacity firearms and feeding devices for ammunition for the firearm. Class B licenses do not allow a person to carry a large capacity firearm (unless they are in a location that holds a valid Class A license) or carry any loaded firearm in a concealed manner in public. A violation of any Class B restrictions will also result in a fine between $1,000-$10,000.

Both Class A and B licenses allow a person to own, possess, purchase or transfer any non-large capacity rifles and shotguns, and also to purchase or possess chemical mace, pepper spray or any other propelled liquid, gas or powder which is designed to temporarily incapacitate.

In order to obtain a Class A or B license, an applicant must reside or have a place of business within the jurisdiction of the licensing authority and submit the application to the licensing authority or to the colonel of the state police. The license will be granted if the applicant is a suitable person and the person has either a 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. An applicant must complete a Firearms Safety Course or a Basic Hunter Education course in order to fulfill the training requirement for Massachusetts. The license is valid for 6 years and costs $100.00.

A person’s application will be denied if he or she is an alien, under 21 years of age, or the LTC applicant has any statutory disqualifiers such active warrants, a criminal record containing disqualifying offenses, a record showing confinement or treatment for mental illness drug addiction, or drunkenness.

Seven days after receiving the LTC application, the Chief of Police or his designee is required to conduct a fingerprint check with the Mass. State Police. Within 30 days thereafter, the MSP is required to advice the local police of anything on the applicant’s criminal record which would disqualify the applicant or give the licensing officer a reason to believe that the LTC application should be denied.

The law states that the Chief of Police or licensing official authority is supposed to render a decision on a firearms license application within 40 days from the filing date. If a license is denied, the licensing authority is supposed to provide a written denial notice.