Sealed Records & Mass. Firearms Licensing

There was considerable controversy regarding the use of a Sealed Juvenile Record to disqualify someone from being issued a License to Carry Firearms in Massachusetts.  This controversy ended on May 4, 2012, with the enactment of CORI reform. This legislation made it possible to seal most misdemeanor offenses after a 5 year waiting period and most felony offenses after a 10 year waiting period.

In addition to making it easier to seal records, the new Massachusetts sealed records law change the way that waiting periods are calculated. Previously, they were calculated from the offender’s supervision (e.g. probation or parole) termination date. Now, the waiting period commences from the date the offender was convicted or released from incarceration, whichever is later. However, each and every time a person is convicted of new offense or incarcerated, the sealing clock resets.  The waiting period to seal most juvenile offenses is 3 years.

The downside of the new Massachusetts Criminal Record Offender Information (CORI) law is that law enforcement now has statutory access to sealed records, both adult and juvenile. A licensing authority can use the contents of these records to determine that a firearms license applicant is unsuitable to hold such a license or to determine that the applicant is statutorily disqualified from holding a License to Carry Firearms. In such a case, where a person is statutorily disqualified from being issued or renewing a LTC, other remedies exist such as vacating the disqualifying conviction through a Motion for New Trial or obtaining a pardon. Attorney Jesse Cohen’s office is thoroughly experienced with respect to both of these remedies.

If you have an issue with your CORI or if you have been denied a License to Carry Firearms in Massachusetts, contact Attorney Jesse C. Cohen at 508-656-0562 for a free consultation and review of your denial. You may be able to get a license to carry, even though you have been initially denied.