Massachusetts Legal Developments Blog

A Quick Guide to Massachusetts Firearm License Laws

At the beginning of September 2021, a road rage victim contacted 911. The victim revealed that the driver of a Ford Focus had pointed a pistol outside of the driver’s vehicle on Route 95. 

This report was subsequently transmitted to all nearby law enforcement. Within a short period, a law enforcement officer was able to locate the vehicle. Fortunately, the officer was able to stop the vehicle without anyone getting hurt. 

Law enforcement promptly informed the driver about the reason for the stop. The driver was then from the vehicle so law enforcement could perform a more thorough search. A frisk of the area where the driver was seated was performed. Law enforcement subsequently located a firearm below the driver’s seat. The driver lacked adequate licensure to carry a firearm. The driver was then placed under arrest. Law enforcement also later determined that the driver lacked a driver’s license. 

Law enforcement was transported for booking. A bail commissioner set the man’s bail at $5,000. The suspect was later scheduled for arraignment at Lowell District court. The driver now faces charges related to possessing the weapon without an FID card as well as operating the vehicle without a license.

Massachusetts Firearm License Laws

To either carry or possess a firearm in Massachusetts, you must first obtain a license to do so. While several types of licenses exist, the most popular types of licenses include: 

  • Firearm identification card (FID)

  • License to carry (LTC)

  • License to possess a machine 

A person can file at their local police department for any of these licenses. To obtain a license, a person will be required to complete a safety course based on the type of license. Unfortunately, some types of criminal offenses can leave a person unable to obtain a firearm license.

Important Details About FID Licenses

FID licenses have several requirements, which include:

  • A person must be 15 years of age or older to apply for a license

  • Individuals under the age of 18 must provide authorities with a letter of permission from their parent or guardian.

  • The applicant must be accompanied by a parent or guardian during the application process 

  • To obtain an FID, a person must complete either a certified firearms safety or hunters safety course and have the certificate during the application process 

  • Be legally qualified to obtain a license

  • Provide two references on the associated application

Defending Against FID License Charges

It is a good idea to speak with your attorney regarding what defenses you might be able to raise in response to a firearm charge. Some of the most common types of defenses include:

  • Law enforcement might have performed a search or seizure that violates your 4th Amendment rights. In these situations, it might be possible to file a Motion to Suppress to argue that your constitutional rights were violated.

  • Some offenses require a person to know where a firearm is. If you were not aware that a firearm offense was around, this might serve as a defense. 

  • Firearms must count as firearms under Massachusetts law. Some weapons that might first look like firearms might not actually fall under this definition. 

Contact an Experienced Firearm Offense Attorney

If you or a loved one has been charged with a firearm offense in Massachusetts, you could end up facing countless serious obstacles. To respond to these charges, one of the best things that you can do is obtain the assistance of an experienced attorney. Contact Attorney Edward R Molari to schedule a free case evaluation.