How Do I Apply for a License to Carry a Firearm?

Pursuant to Massachusetts law, individuals can carry a gun with the appropriate license in their jurisdiction. Keep reading our blog to learn more about the license to carry application, who is ineligible for obtaining a license, and special restrictions on certain licensees.

The License to Carry Application

Those interested in applying for a license to carry (LTC) in the state must be at least 21 years old. Also note that the nonrenewable processing fee for the application is $100, payable by cash; credit cards and checks are not accepted. The license renewal fee will be waived for applicants 70 years of age and older, and applicants must reside or have a place of business in Boston.

To apply for a firearms license in the city, applicants are required to call the Boston Police Licensing Unit to schedule an appointment. Customer services hours are Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from 8:30am-4:00pm, and they can be reached by phone at (617)-343-4425.

On the day of your appointment, the applicant must report to the Boston Police Licensing Unit with the proper documents. Be sure not to bring any weapons, including firearms, to your appointment. You must complete and sign a license to carry firearms application that can be found online, and all applicants will be fingerprinted, photographed, and interviewed by a police officer from the Licensing Unit. You will then be issued a dated receipt to confirm your application. A background investigation and determination of suitability will be conducted on all applicants before determining your final eligibility for a license to carry. Within 2 weeks of the date of the application, you will be required to qualify at the Boston Police Department Firearms Range at Moon Island. Once you receive your LTC, it is valid for up to 6 years and will expire on your birthday.

Note that if a licensee changes their address, they must notify the change in writing to:

  • the issuing licensing authority;
  • the Chief of Police into whose jurisdiction they move; and
  • the Firearm Record Bureau.

The notification must be made within 30 days by certified mail, and failure to do so is cause for suspension or revocation.

Required Documents

Applicants must submit a copy of the following applicable documents with the application form:

  • a Firearm Safety Certificate or Hunting Safety Course Certificate issued by Massachusetts for new applications (not required for active military personnel);
  • a birth certificate, valid US passport, or certificate of citizenship;
  • state driver’s license or ID card with an address in the City of Boston;
  • a business certificate or corporation documents with an address in Boston, if applicable;
  • expiring LTC card, if pursuing renewal;
  • Permanent Resident Alien Card, if applicable;
  • naturalization papers, if applicable.

Statutory Disqualifications

Statutory disqualifications for obtaining a LTC include:

  • felony conviction;
  • misdemeanor conviction punishable by imprisonment for more than 2 years;
  • misdemeanor conviction involving domestic violence;
  • conviction of a violent crime;
  • violation of any law regulating the use, possession, ownership, transfer, purchase, sale, lease, rental, or transportation of weapons or ammunition;
  • violation of any law regulating the use, possession, or sale of controlled substances;
  • commitment to any hospital or institution for mental illness;
  • currently the subject of a MGL 209A order;
  • currently the subject of an outstanding arrest warrant;
  • commitment for drug addiction or habitual drunkenness;

The state licensing authority will determine the suitability of all LTC applicants and active licensees. If the licensing authority determines an applicant or licensee could pose a risk to public safety, they can deny the issuance of a new LTC or suspend or revoke an active LTC.

Special Restrictions on Licenses

Suitable applicants may be issued a LTC subject to specific restrictions of the licensing authority. Two common situational restrictions are:

  • Condition of Employment – restricts possession to business owners engaged in business activities or to an employee while engaged in work-related activities, where the employer requires carrying of a firearm (armored car, security guard, etc.); includes travel to and from activity location; the license must be surrendered to the Licensing Unit when employment is terminated.
  • Target/Hunting – restricts possession to the purpose of lawful recreational shooting or competition (e.g. use in the lawful pursuit of game animals and birds); for personal protection in the home; and for the purpose of collecting (other than machine guns); includes travel to and from activity location.

Any violation of these restrictions on your license may result in suspension or revocation of your LTC.

Questions About Boston’s Gun Laws? Contact Brad Bailey Law.

If you are interested in applying for a license to carry a firearm in Boston, or if you seek to renew your active license, contact an experienced attorney with questions. At Brad Bailey Law, we can help protect your Second Amendment right to bear arms. For legal guidance in the application process, especially if your license to carry might be one subject to restrictions, contact our firm.

Speak with one of our attorneys at Brad Bailey Law today for more information.

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