How to Buy a Gun in Massachusetts (2022 UPDATED)

How To Buy A Gun In Massachusetts
Alfred Mendoza

Massachusetts is a state known for taking gun violence seriously. However, gun laws are constantly changing, so keeping track of those that might affect your gun ownership application can be confusing. 

Fortunately, our team gathered everything you should know about buying a gun in Massachusetts to help you decide better.

6 Steps in Buying A Gun in Massachusetts

1. Meet The Age Requirement

To get a permit to purchase, you must first meet the age requirement of the State Law for firearms safety. 

You must be above 18 years of age for a shotgun or rifle and not be under 21 to purchase a handgun [1]. A handgun dealer or owner selling a weapon to the minor can be criminally liable for the charge of Felony. Any large capacity weapon or feeding device should only be sold to those above 21 years old.  

2. Obtain A Permit To Purchase

Massachusetts regulates the sale, possession, and use of firearms. In many cases, states like Massachusetts can be considerable and less restrictive than Federal Law. You will need to provide your proof of residency, the reason for purchasing a weapon, and contact for two personal references. 

If you are from Boston, the Boston Police Commissioner will grant your license. However, if you are from Massachusetts, the Colonel of the Massachusetts Police will grant your permit. However, the permit to purchase an assault weapon is highly regulated.

3. Undergo An Interview

As you file a permit to purchase, you have to undergo an interview at the Local Police Department.

Weapon violence is one of America’s biggest problems, and Massachusetts’ solution is to strongly enforce the law and undergo an actual interview.

The interview is not challenging to answer since the officers mostly assess how you answer. In addition, the interview questions mainly revolve around your intention.

Undergo An Interview

4. Pass A Background Check

The Local Police Department will do background checks within Massachusetts and other states with the information you provided. 

Background Checks with the FBI’s NICS will ensure that an individual who would like to buy a weapon is not on the “prohibited person” list from Federal Law.

5. Go To The Store & Purchase The Gun

After giving all the necessary paperwork and passing the interview and background checks, you have to wait for the release of your permit to purchase. Once the permit is released, you can now go to the store and present your permit to the dealer. 

Massachusetts offers a wide variety of firearms choices. If you prefer to buy privately, you can skip the five steps. But for legal advice, you have to get firearms licenses even if the guns were given to you by your relative since using unregistered firearms can be punishable by law.

Go To The Store & Purchase The Gun

6. Register Your Gun In Massachusetts Gun Transactions Portal

After you purchase the weapon, you have to register it in the Massachusetts Transaction Portal. Unlike other states, the registration of individual firearms is required by the state. The purchase must be recorded in the Transaction Portal.

For private sales, you still have to go through the Massachusetts Transaction Portal for record-keeping within seven days after the transaction.

With the Transaction Portal, it would be easier for the Police to enforce a warrant if the weapon is used for violence or crime. The Registry will allow the Law Enforcers to identify who owns the weapon.

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Firearms License Class Categories

Firearms License Class Categories

Firearms Identification Card (FIC)

An FI Card is a Firearms license issued to those who want to own or buy rifles or shotguns. FIC is also required for owners of long guns or non-large capacity rifles and shotguns for home or business defense. However, the state highly regulated any assault weapon, large capacity rifle, or threaded barrel designed for a flash suppressor.

To acquire a Firearm Identification Card, you need to successfully complete a training requirement such as a firearms safety course from an NRA Certified Instructor or basic hunter education course before applying to the Police Department. It can be applied by a citizen aged 18 and above, but 14-17 years old can apply with parental consent. 

The Firearms Identification (FID Card) can now be used to purchase non-large capacity rifles and shotguns and can be a supporting document like a valid hunting license. 

License to Carry (LTC)

License to Carry is a license that allows you to buy and carry concealed handguns or open carry. The Colonel of the State Police has the jurisdiction to approve or deny your request for your LTC application. 

With LTC, transporting firearms locked in a secure container or locked case is permitted. The firearm unloaded with a trigger lock, tamper-resistant mechanical lock, or another safety device can be transported. 

In addition, an LTC owner can transport a loaded or unloaded handgun or non-large capacity rifle in a locked container or rear storage compartment in a motor vehicle but under his direct control.

Who Are Prohibited From Owning A Gun in Massachusetts

Who Are Prohibited From Owning A Gun
  • People who have past criminal convictions like Felonies or any violent crime. 
  • People who are admitted to a mental institution for mental illness or substance abuse.
  • People who are not able to maintain a lawful permanent residency or are illegal aliens.
  • Military personnel that has been dishonorably discharged from the United States.
  • People who renounced their citizenship
  • People who are fugitives or have an outstanding warrant of arrest in any state.
  • People who do not have a firearms safety course cannot own a weapon or even get a hunting license.


No, there is no waiting period when it comes to buying a handgun in Massachusetts. However, there will be a waiting period for licensing or Registry of your firearm, and it may take up to 60 days.

It may cost you roughly $100 for a handgun license in Massachusetts. However, the Department can lower the cost of a firearms license application for a retired law enforcement officer

Key Takeaways

Buying a handgun in Massachusetts is different compared to other states in the US. Unlike other states, you have to secure a permit to purchase before going to a store and processing the weapon you want to buy. Regardless of whether you bought the weapon from a gun dealer or in private, you must register your firearm to the Weapon Transactions Portal in Massachusetts. 

Massachusetts Gun Laws teach how to safely handle a weapon, so you are required to get a firearm license for long guns and LTC for concealed carry and open carry. In addition, guns must be transported with trigger locks and any locked case.



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