QUICK GUIDE: How to Get Your MA Non-Resident License to Carry

QUICK GUIDE: How to get your MA Non-Resident License to Carry

For those folks that live in the states that border Massachusetts and carry a concealed firearm, it is good practice to obtain a MA Non-Resident License to Carry. This is especially true if you wish to pass through the state without issue or make any substantial stops within the state. There have been some recent changes to the process that you need to be aware of so be sure to continue reading.


Just like with the process we outlined in our post on How to Get Your Massachusetts License to Carry the process is pretty straight forward:

  1. Take an Approved Basic Firearms Safety Course, such as our MA Gun Safety Course, from a certified instructor.
  2. Download and complete the application
  3. Send it in to the Firearms Record Bureau and wait to receive notification of your appointment being scheduled
  4. Show up and complete the process.

Like I said… pretty simple. The only real hitch is the fact that you need to renew your MA Non-Resident License to Carry every year… which will cost you $100.

You can get the application here.


Ah yes…. license to carry restrictions. They happen to be the bane of many a gun owner here in Massachusetts.

Some of the restrictions that are possible are: 

  • NONE – the LTC is issued for all lawful purposes with no restrictions. Applicant must show good reason to fear injury to his person or property.
  • EMPLOYMENT – restricts possession to business owner engaged in business activities or to an employee while engaged in work related activities, and maintaining proficiency, where the employer requires carry of a firearm (i.e. armored car, security guard, etc.). Includes travel to and from activity location.
  • TARGET & HUNTING – restricts possession to the purpose of lawful recreational shooting or competition; for 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
  • SPORTING – restricts possession to the purpose of lawful recreational shooting or competition; for use in the lawful pursuit of game animals and birds; for personal protection in the home; for the purpose of collecting (other than machine guns); and for outdoor recreational activities such as hiking, camping, cross country skiing, or similar activities. Includes travel to and from activity location.
  • NO CARRY OUTSIDE RESTRICTION – allows possession of a firearm in MA provided the firearm is unloaded and locked in a container; licensee may possess and use firearm during restricted activity (employment, target, hunting, sporting) and during travel to and from activity location.

So what can be done?

There are really two solutions to this:

  1. Be able to show a good reason to fear for your life or property
  2. Have a license to carry in your home state.

Let’s break in to this a bit.

  1. If you have a concealed carry permit in your home state you more likely than not have already been vetted to the N’th power regarding your suitability to lawfully carry a firearm. That being said… it is highly unlikely that the MA Firearms Records Bureau will deny or restrict your MA Non-Resident License to Carry. This is due to the fact that they would have to argue that somehow you’re incapable of carrying a firearm in Massachusetts, but can do so within your home state.
  2. Be able to show a good reason! Have you been the victim of a violent crime? Do you carry large sums of cash or expensive equipment? Do you work as a firearms instructor? Do you own a business in Massachusetts.

Either of these reasons are helpful in getting your MA Non-Resident License to Carry. The bottom line is you do need to show a need or otherwise position yourself as there being zero reason for being denied the license.


It will cost you $100 to for your initial application. As a non-resident, you will have to renew your license to carry every year as well… which will cost you $100. The good news is you will be able to renew this license by mail for the next four years after your initial application. The sixth year will require you to apply in person again to renew.

Pain in the ass? Yep. But… you will be able to carry your concealed firearm in Massachusetts which will be worth its cost.


You will have your own reasons to get your MA Non-Resident License to Carry. The bottom line is you will not be able to get the process going until you decide to make the commitment to get it. Is it a process… but if you need help, let us know and we will guide you along!

Any Questions?

Do you have questions about getting your MA Non-Resident License to Carry? Leave your questions in the comment box below and we will answer them! Also don’t forget to share!

Robert Curran

Rob is co-owner of Tactical Dynamics Firearms Training and is a USMC veteran and active Law Enforcement Officer. Rob is a Sig Sauer Master Rated Firearms Instructor and holds several other ratings from various institutions.

  • Rick
    Posted at 17:18h, 02 February Reply

    “Have a license to carry in your home state.”

    That did not seem to come into play at my interview. Nor did the other permits that I have, that I had a MA LTC for 401 years, and the training that I had.

    It was emphasized that the “need” would have to be “current”. although historical events would be taken into account.

    After 3 1/2 months, I got my unrestricted non-res LTC. Yay!

  • Rick
    Posted at 17:19h, 02 February Reply

    Sorry, That should have been “41 years”, not “401 years”.

  • Daniel R Vossler
    Posted at 08:37h, 05 February Reply

    Hi Rob,
    Glad to see you guys are doing well with Tac Dyn, I was a student of your from previous years. Mostly from when King 33 was open. Last February I took the NRA Instructors course as well as the MA course and have yet to do anything with getting my MA LTC. Is there a time limit from when i take the course to when i apply.? Do i have to take the MA course again.?

    • Rob Curran
      Posted at 09:45h, 05 February Reply

      Hi Dan,

      You should be good to go. Let me know if you need any assistance with your certificate.


      • Daniel R Vossler
        Posted at 19:10h, 05 February Reply

        Awesome, Yes, i will if needed. I’m hoping with warmer weather around the corner i will have more time for training. Stay in the fight.

  • Neil Laudon
    Posted at 15:46h, 05 February Reply

    I have LTC in my home state that is unrestricted however Ma only issued me a large capacity with sporting restriction.
    I also have full LTC in Ct Ut. NH. RI.

    • Rob Curran
      Posted at 15:13h, 07 February Reply

      When did you apply and receive your Non-Resident?

  • Mike lemnon
    Posted at 08:00h, 23 March Reply

    I had a f.id. for over 20 years. I went for the up grade to a l.t.c. took the course and applied. Took about 12 months to get it . But it’s restricted to sporting . Now it’s 6 years later and I want to remove restrictions, but need a real good resin. Don’t know what to say. It’s a trap . They think you want the up grade because your going to kill some one. And the same when you buy a gun . .
    What should I do . ???

  • Paul
    Posted at 23:06h, 10 May Reply

    Have an RI CCW and live in RI but work in Mass… I’m going to try to get my non-resident carry license if I get it can I carry my gun that is legal to carry in RI but is banned In Mass? My EDC has an 11 round capacity.

    • Jeff S
      Posted at 22:10h, 21 January Reply

      Hi Paul, At this time there are no handgun’s I’m aware of that are inherently “banned” in MA with the exception of certain pistols as defined in various “assault weapons” definitions. So even if you have a brand-new Glock you can still carry it in MA provided you have an unrestriced non-resident LTC even though a MA resident can not – generally speaking – purchase one in the state. That being said, magazine capacity limits still apply, so the question I have would be is when you reference 11 rounds, are we talking 10+1 (ten in the mag and one in the pipe), or 11 in the magazine itself? If the magazine itself holds more than 10 rounds you would be in violation of MA law.

  • Denise Doucette
    Posted at 13:43h, 27 May Reply

    Asking for my boyfriend…he owns a business in mass, but lives and has a concealed carry in N.H. is there an expidtied process for business owners at all? And we heard it takes about 6 months to get a mass concealed carry.. and does he need to take any classes as a requirement?

  • Devin S
    Posted at 20:50h, 10 October Reply


    I applied for my Non-Resident LTC May 2018 and had an interview in July but I am still waiting for something, anything to come in the mail. I have called them only 2 times during this whole process and the only thing I am told is it will take 90 days and my application is in Review status. My main reason for wanting my LTC is for work purposes which I have provided a letter from my employer stating the need. As far as I am concerned there is nothing that would disqualify me. Is it normal to take this long? Or should I take another step? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you to anyone who responds to this.

  • Juan Colon
    Posted at 19:58h, 14 February Reply

    I need guidance on how to buy, have, own, carry hidden. I have read about the LEOSA law but I have doubts. please help…..I’m State Police Officer in Puerto Rico and my family live in Massachusetts. I travel frequently to this state.

  • Dutch H
    Posted at 23:21h, 28 February Reply

    I own a home in MA but I am not an MA resident (not intending to become one either). I want to bring my double barrel coach gun, one I allready own, with me for home defense. Is there a process for that.

  • CW Vandal
    Posted at 00:41h, 26 May Reply

    I am a CT resident with a CT Permit to Carry. I own a business with multiple location in Massachusetts that I travel in between on a regular basis. I also carry significant amounts of cash from these businesses. What would you suggest for a reason for requesting an non restricted non-resident LTC?

  • Michael Yacovino Sr
    Posted at 08:29h, 09 July Reply

    Resident of Florida with a concealed carry permit. Want to know what I have to do to carry,passing through Mass.

  • Raymond Quackenbush
    Posted at 21:39h, 11 July Reply

    I am a NYS firearms instructor for a law enforcement agency. I’m also an instructor for a private company which gives Fla/Utah ccw. I want to know where I can take the Instructors course to become a Mass. instructor

  • Keith maxwell
    Posted at 09:58h, 18 July Reply

    I live in Texas I took a mass handgun training course 5 or 6 year ago I still have the paper does it expire? I have a license to carry Texas but may be moving back to ma and would like to get a Ma chl

  • Mike DiBiasio
    Posted at 13:24h, 09 August Reply

    I am an NRA Certified Firearms Instructor with a permit to carry concealed in RI. Is there an exemption for me not to have to take the MA firearms course?

  • German Pereira
    Posted at 22:52h, 10 August Reply

    So I do have a LTC from Massachusetts I did moved and became a Virginia resident. Can I still carry in Massachusetts if I go there?

  • William Arsenault
    Posted at 20:48h, 02 September Reply

    I am 66 years old and have a LTC permit in NH but NH is a constitutional Carry state. I have applied for a Unrestricted Mass LTC permit and have a appointment scheduled in 3 weeks for my interview.. I don’t have anything in my background that would be a problem. I have been employed by a major supermarket for 47 years, I was a grocery manager for them for 35 years and I’m now semiretired still working part time for them. I have been happily married to my high school sweetheart for the last 45 years and we have a 34 year old son. I got 2 signed character references from 2 separate people to show my character and my even tempered demeanor and that I don’t do drugs or never drink to excess. I have written some detailed notes on what I want to say for reasons to get a LTC. I have had a good amount of gun safety training and have taken 5 full courses in gun use,, gun safety, and concealed carry training. I have been carrying concealed in NH where I live and work for past year and a half . I have a membership at a local Gun Range where I practice using my Handgun to improve my marksmanship. The main reason for wanting a Mass LTC permit is for personal protection because of my age and smaller physical condition , being in a vulnerable population and I have fear for my life. I don’t want my wife or me to be victims of a deadly assault. I am my only defender, no one is coming to save me. The police can’t help me in time. I travel back and forth from the NH border where I live and into Mass where my wife and I still have many friends and family living there and go to visit as well as lots of restaurants and places in Mass that we like to go to but because of our age ,we don’t feel safe. While I don’t have any specific reason for wanting to obtain a Mass LTC other than the reasons I’ve just stated above, is there anything else I can say that will help me in the interview . I really want my Mass unrestricted LTC to be able to travel to and from Mass and be in compliance with the laws. Thank you

    • Stewart Renkowitz
      Posted at 08:59h, 11 February Reply

      Did you ever get the Mass LTC? If so was it unrestricted? How long did the whole process take? Thanks.

      • Michael DiBiasio
        Posted at 07:00h, 12 February Reply

        I did, it took a couple of months to schedule the interview. A couple of hours to drive to Chelsea. The interviewer was pleasant and gracious. He took my photos and asked some questions. He granted me the unrestricted permit which took about 6 weeks to get by mail.

        • Stewart Renkowitz
          Posted at 08:22h, 12 February Reply

          That is GREAT news! Congrats. My interview is scheduled for March 3rd and I will be 66 on March 5th. I live in Vermont and my property boarders the Mass state line and I work in Massachusetts. A good interview sure would be a nice birthday present.

      • Michael DiBiasio
        Posted at 09:53h, 12 February Reply

        I do think your chances of success lie with the attitude of the interviewer towards firearms in general. Some are very pro gun, others are very anti-gun and some are middle of the road.

  • Patrick Harden
    Posted at 19:51h, 24 September Reply

    I am a Florida resident with a ccw in Fl.. I work in Mass and I just got my non resident License to carry. Can I buy a new gun in Mass?

    • Jeff - TacDyn Instructor
      Posted at 10:14h, 13 December Reply

      Hello Patrick. Sorry it has taken so long to respond. Here’s what I got off the Mass.gov website. I think you should contact the numbers below regarding this question. I wouldn’t want to give you bad information, specifically because I don’ t know what they are referring to as “authorization.”

      Non-residents may not purchase guns or ammunition in Massachusetts without authorization. To obtain a non-resident License To Carry or a non-resident permit to possess handguns, contact the Criminal History Systems Board (CHSB ) Firearms Support Services (617) 660-4780.

  • John Russo
    Posted at 10:08h, 04 December Reply

    Can anyone tell me if the NRA Basic Pistol Course (which includes live fire qualification) is an acceptable training course to apply for a MA CCW permit? Or must you take a course in MA? Thank you.

  • Michael DiBiasio
    Posted at 19:48h, 04 December Reply

    It is but it must be administered by an instructor that is certified by the state of Massachusetts. I live in Rhode Island and have been (and currently am) an NRA Certified Pistol Instructor for over 40 years.. Massachusetts would not recognize this and I was required to take the exact same course I teach from an instructor who was certified by Massachusetts to obtain my Massachusetts permit to carry. My instructor lives in RI (he/she does not have to be a Massachusetts resident to teach the course).

  • Brian Amaral
    Posted at 10:29h, 07 January Reply

    I did have a MA. CWP I moved to SC. I do have A SC .permit and a Utah
    I also have My HR218.
    SEEING THAT Mass. Is near a communist state now will they honor an HR218?

    • Jeff - TacDyn Instructor
      Posted at 11:02h, 08 January Reply

      Hello. You are covered under LEOSA in all states, including MA.

  • David Rossborough
    Posted at 18:52h, 12 February Reply

    Hi Rob
    I am currently living in Ma and have an LTC but I also have a house in Florida and am thinking of becoming a Florida resident for income and estate tax benefits. I am going to keep my residence in Ma as well
    My question is do I need to change my Ma LTC to a non resident if I become a legal resident of FLORIDA
    Thanks Dave

    • Jeff - TacDyn Instructor
      Posted at 12:53h, 17 February Reply

      Yes you will. The MA LTC is only for full-time MA residents.

  • Tony Fernandes
    Posted at 22:02h, 15 March Reply

    I have a FL ltc and FL driver license . I snowbird and still own a house in Massachusetts where I also have a FID from before I became a FL resident how do I apply for a LTC in Massachusetts as a resident? Or as a nonresident? Being that I still have a home in Massachusetts. Thank you

    • Jeff - TacDyn Instructor
      Posted at 14:04h, 17 March Reply

      Hello Tony. Wherever you live 51% of the time is your primary residence. Most people go off of what they carry for a driver’s license. We know that plenty of people who live in FL and only part-time in MA have applied and gotten a MA permit, but it could cause some issues. If you have a MA driver’s license, you can try for the permit. Otherwise you might have to go get a non-resident MA LTC. If want to talk it over, you can give our Director of Training James Wise a call at 781-492-7446. Thanks.

  • Jorge
    Posted at 21:48h, 31 March Reply

    I recently applied for my CT LTC where I used to live. Currently I live in Springfield, i am a veteran and I want to know what I can do to get the LTC here being that I’ll be going through ct and Mass a lot. And what will you recommend I get permit wise

    • Jeff - TacDyn Instructor
      Posted at 13:17h, 02 April Reply

      So if your current residence is in Springfield, you can apply with Springfield PD for your license. You should contact them first as you might be able to present your DD14 papers as proof of instruction. If they accept them you should be good to go. If not, you’ll have to take some MA gun safety course from a licensed instructor. As far as the CT license, you will likely have to go through the out-of-state license process for them since your primary residence is in MA.

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