Tips from a Cop: How to Get Your Massachusetts License to Carry

THE MASSACHUSETTS LICENSE TO CARRY PROCESS EXPLAINED

Leave it to our Commonwealth to make the Massachusetts License to Carry process a complicated and confusing mess. The vast majority of the rest of the free world United States has far less restrictive laws and processes in place to ensure the protection of their citizens’ constitutional rights but it is what it is when it comes to Massachusetts.

CLICK THE IMAGE ABOVE TO SEE AVAILABLE CLASSES

My intent here is to explain to you the Massachusetts License to Carry process in simple, easy to understand, devoid of bovine excrement terms that will help you along the path of becoming a gun owner in Massachusetts.

The beauty of this post is you are getting information directly from me… a full time police officer. My partners and I have been in the gun safety course game for over six years now and being active law enforcement, we understand the ins and outs of Massachusetts Gun Laws like the backs of our hands.

So… without further ado… here is my breakdown on how to get your license to carry in Massachusetts:

THE BASIC PROCESS

The down and dirty version of how to get your license to carry is as follows:

  • Decide that you want to exercise your second amendment rights for (insert personal reason here)
  • Select a Basic Firearms Safety Course from the instructor of your choice
  • Attend class, receive certificate
  • Apply at your local police department
  • Stand by to stand by for your background to clear
  • Receive your permit
  • Proceed to get your ‘Merica on

CHOOSING A BASIC FIREARMS SAFETY COURSE

There are over twenty different options to choose from when considering your Basic Firearms Safety Course… some of which will help you get your license to carry, and others will only allow you to apply for your firearms identification card. Depending on where you live, you also may be required by your town or city to attend a live fire training session before they will approve your application

As of now those towns are: Lowell, Weymouth, Quincy (Know of any others? Let us know in the comments.

Gun Safety Courses

Student enjoys live fire at our Foxboro Gun Safety Course

At the very least you will learn the following:

  • Firearms Safety Rules
  • Safe Gun Handling Techniques
  • Firearms Parts and their Function
  • Ammunition and its components
  • Massachusetts Gun Laws surrounding transportation and storage
  • Loading and Unloading of Firearms
  • Fundamentals of Shooting
  • And actual shooting*

*Depends on your instructor and the class you are taking. We shoot REAL guns in all of our classes… NOT simulators

The classes that we offer are either LTC-007 or LTC-017 depending on who is teaching the class as we have instructors who are certified by the MA State Police for either.

After your class you will receive a basic firearms safety course certificate that will show that you have met all of the state requirements for your license to carry. It will look something like this:

basic firearms safety course certificate massachusetts

THE MASSACHUSETTS LICENSE TO CARRY APPLICATION PROCESS

Once your class is complete you can now head down to your local police department and apply for your license to carry! Call your local police department and see what they need you to do to set up an appointment with your licensing officer. Show up, bring a check or money order for $100, apply, and stand by to stand by. In a few weeks to a few months (it depends on how busy the PD is) you will be contacted and you can go pick up your license to carry.

WHAT ABOUT THE FID CARD?

If you want one? sure. Just keep in mind it will certainly restrict you to only non-large capacity rifles and shotguns. Even if you do not intend on carrying a firearm, don’t hold yourself back. Besides… you will need the LTC to purchase any handguns.

Just get the license to carry. It costs the same as the FID card.

OVER 21 YEARS OLD: Apply for the License to Carry, Class A

AGES 15-20: You will be stuck with a FID card, but can upgrade to a License to Carry at age 21.

HOW ABOUT RESTRICTIONS?

Some chiefs of police will restrict your license to carry to target and sporting only… meaning you can’t carry a handgun for personal protection. If your chief does that, you live in what we call a red town.

If you live in a town where you only need to be a resident, have a pulse, be over 21, and not subject to any disqualifications…. you live in a green town.

We cover in the class and the guide above how to deal with that stuff so make sure you opt in for the guide!

Bottom line: there are ways to deal with restrictions and we cover those in the class.

WHAT ABOUT DISQUALIFIERS?

Things that will prevent you from getting your license to carry in Massachusetts:

  • You’re a convicted felon
  • You have been convicted of any misdemeanor domestic violence charges
  • Being the subject of a restraining order in ANY state
  • Having been deemed to be “mentally defective” (i.e. you spend some involuntary time in a psychiatric ward and have mental health issues)
  • You were discharged from the military under other than honorable conditions (OTH, Bad Conduct Discharge, Dishonorably Discharged, etc)
  • There is an arrest warrant for you in any state (I have actually seen folks with warrants show up for a gun license appointment… don’t be that guy/gal)
  • You are considered to be a “non-suitable person” by your local police department…. in other words you done messed up a few too many times and are on the radar.

SUMMING IT ALL UP

I hope that it is pretty clear already as to what you need to do but here’s a quick recap:

  • Take the Class
  • Apply For the License
  • Freedom On.

It really is pretty straightforward but like all of the simple things in life… we humans tend to make things complicated. This is also true with the Massachusetts License to Carry process… but we should be good to go now.

Do you have any questions on getting your Massachusetts License to Carry? Leave us a comment below and we will answer them! Don’t forget to share this post on social media and let your friends know what you think!

Robert Curran
rob@tacdynamics.com

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.

56 Comments
  • Ro Cataldo
    Posted at 17:37h, 26 January Reply

    Rob,
    Do you have any sample letters for applying to the chief?
    Thanks
    Ron

    • Rob Curran
      Posted at 12:15h, 27 January Reply

      Ron – I do not but simply explain in reasonable and logical terms why you wish to carry a concealed firearm and you will be good to go. You simply want to make yourself appear to be a reasonable and responsible person.

  • Ross Gomes
    Posted at 21:28h, 26 January Reply

    Do you have to disclose things on your juvenile record and if so does it disqualify you from Ltc

    • Rob Curran
      Posted at 12:13h, 27 January Reply

      Yes. One of the questions that you will have to answer will be if you have EVER been arrested ANYWHERE. Do not omit anything from you past as it will result in a denial. If you have a question about a particular event in your past, ask the licensing officer if it will need to be put down.

  • Stephen p sweeney
    Posted at 07:39h, 28 January Reply

    I was denied .y LTC with my local PD because I was untruthful question for arrest answered yes but didn’t explain I then was told to have Cori check done on Myself & re submit a new applucation with the Cori got my Cori with no sumary on it because my local court house doesn’t have records & I do have arrests what do I do now

    • Rob Curran
      Posted at 14:38h, 30 January Reply

      Hi Stephen, You do need to be truthful and complete the application in its entirety. You should be good to go for the re-application as long as you’re not a disqualified person based on your background.

  • Kevin
    Posted at 16:44h, 22 February Reply

    Do we have an updated green/red town listing. I heard Foxborough changed from red to green? Is that correct?

  • Todd Renner
    Posted at 19:11h, 18 March Reply

    Does a “wet and wreckless” charge in California disqualify me from receiving my LTC-A license in Boston, Massachusetts?

  • Josh Moya
    Posted at 17:46h, 07 July Reply

    Hi!
    My brother in law is trying to get his LTC-a but for the reason he was told not to put “all lawful purposes”. What would be the best reason to
    put down?

  • Walter J Felegi
    Posted at 21:35h, 23 July Reply

    I bought a vacation home in Hyannis. Would I qualify? I have an FID in New Jersey and would like to go shooting in Ma when I come up.

  • James Spencer
    Posted at 09:38h, 25 July Reply

    I’m currently a FL resident, and have my concealed carry permit for the state. I’m moving back to Mass ASAP. I’m a combat vet, with 18 yrs of sevice, honorably discharged. Am I still required to go through these courses.

  • Tom Shea
    Posted at 06:16h, 09 August Reply

    Hey thanks for being able to ask a question .
    Do you think age ,meaning I’m elderly really don’t like that term,I’m sure it applies to some people but not me..
    Could this be a factor I’m 85 physically and mentally active if they gave me a test physical or mental I’d pass it.
    I guess my question is what do you think of my chances .
    I’m a War veteran have my Firearm certificate made an appointment good to go before my “God” the LTC god that is .

  • steve dasilva
    Posted at 19:57h, 20 September Reply

    Any info or tips on Obtaining a LTC unrestricted in New Bedford MA, I do have a letter from my work stating I frequent high crime areas and carry large sums of money from work deposits. I’ve been their for 11 years The application process is by appointment only and mine is Dec 28th. I heard you do not have to write a letter to the chief anymore if your looking for a unrestricted license. I tried to call and ask but after 10 phone calls still have yet to have someone pick up. Thanks

  • jose torres
    Posted at 18:41h, 09 November Reply

    I was arrest twice for a/b over 20 years ago for try to stop my wife when she turn violent after a patty with friend, I dint hit her or fitting never convicted of any crime..do that record put me on the no-no list ?

  • Steve LeVangie
    Posted at 14:18h, 02 February Reply

    Hi Rob,
    My wife and I have taken a few of your classes and really enjoyed them. At the time we were living in Westford, MA and the LTC process was not an easy one. It took 8 months of pestering the Westford PD to get a response and the chef would not return calls. (idk if they normally do) Needless to say, I was denied and deemed unsuitable for items (no felonies) on my record dating back to 2010. Now in my defense, I was an ahole back then and the company I kept was not a good influence on me. I currently live in Worcester and was thinking about applying again because my wife and I really enjoy it and want to join a club/range. If i’m denied again is there some kind of procedure for me to defend my character and speak to my past?

    Thank you,
    Steve

  • Stanley fior jr
    Posted at 19:00h, 05 June Reply

    Ok I applied for my ltc and I was going to go into the army and I put down that I was going to go but never went well I called my town hall and the place I went when I was going to go and they said there is no history at all on me so I never swore into the army and I made the mistake of telling the local pd and they want a letter from the military saying I never went so when I called the vets office they told me to have them call and verify that I never went so I went back to the pd and told them and they keep telling me I need paperwork that doesn’t exist. So what do I do now I never had any record at all in my life I keep to myself and there’s no reason whatsoever to keep it from me but they are and I don’t know what to do.

  • Stanley fior jr
    Posted at 19:02h, 05 June Reply

    Ok I applied for my ltc in uxbridge ma and I was going to go into the army and I put down that I was going to go but never went well I called my town hall and the place I went when I was going to go and they said there is no history at all on me so I never swore into the army and I made the mistake of telling the local pd and they want a letter from the military saying I never went so when I called the vets office they told me to have them call and verify that I never went so I went back to the pd and told them and they keep telling me I need paperwork that doesn’t exist. So what do I do now I never had any record at all in my life I keep to myself and there’s no reason whatsoever to keep it from me but they are and I don’t know what to do.

    • Rob Curran
      Posted at 14:42h, 06 June Reply

      Hi Stanley,

      I would contact your local veteran’s agent in your town and they should be able to help you out with this. If not, I would try to have the recruiter that you went through for the Army write a letter documenting that you never shipped to boot camp. Honestly this is the first time that I have heard of such an issue.

  • Denise Gagnier
    Posted at 20:23h, 21 July Reply

    Hi I just completed my course and am looking over the application, How does a person answer the question to “indicate the reasons you are requesting the license”? I don’t want to make a mistake in my answer!

  • Mark Hayes
    Posted at 03:00h, 05 August Reply

    In 2009 I came back from Iraq and was a little messed up and started drinking too much. I of course then got an OUI I was offered a CWOF but with no license was unable to attend the classses so I pled guilty.. It was the 1 and only time I was arrested,. Is there any way to somehow get my LTC back. I was a former Police Officer on 2 Departments and always had a Class A Large Capacity LTC. Any suggestions. Please

  • Victoria Rivera
    Posted at 09:55h, 11 September Reply

    Hi i will like to know 1 1/2yrs ago i had a case of domestic violence with my ex step sister but the case was dismissed because she never went to the court days she never show up will that stop me from getting the license? I went and took the classes in 2013 too and pass but never went to the police station to get my license and i know its been 6years of that do i have to go get the classes again?

  • Karlos K.
    Posted at 17:37h, 18 September Reply

    My town requires 2 letters of recommendation. Can you offer any suggestions for things they should or should not say in their recommendation? I am planning to speak with someone at the PD in my town about what they may be looking for, but was wondering if you had any ideas.

  • Paul Caldwell
    Posted at 20:15h, 04 December Reply

    My son attends college in Massachusetts but is a resident of another state. He recently submitted his completed paperwork to the local MA PD for processing. They accepted his paperwork, but told him he needed to get a MA driver license or he would be subject to arrest even with the MA LTC permit. That seems questionable to me. I would appreciate your opinion on that issue.

    • Jeff
      Posted at 10:03h, 13 December Reply

      My opinion on this would be for him to apply for an out-of-state license, rather than try for an actual resident license. I don’t know that he could even obtain a MA driver’s license since he’s not a MA resident. If he applies for out=of=state, then he shouldn’t need to worry about the driver’s license part.

      FWIW, it’s unlikely his college would allow him to store or carry on campus grounds. In fact, if it’s a public university, it is illegal to have a firearm on school grounds.

  • Maurice Champagne
    Posted at 20:22h, 07 January Reply

    I used to have my fid witch i got after having my record sealed , since the laws passed i did not keep up with it and now it has since expired. My question is since i was a convicted felon for possession of marijuana with intent to distribute over 35 years ago and had my record sealed and was approved for an fid afterwards would i stand a chance in getting my ltc now.

    • Jeff - TacDyn Instructor
      Posted at 10:25h, 08 January Reply

      Hello. Since you will basically be applying for a fresh license, the fact that you used to have an FID won’t mean much. In this case, your best bet would be to contact your local police department and speak to either the chief or the officer processing firearms license applications. Depending on the circumstance of the conviction, you may still be able to get a license, but it is up to that department. They will still see the case when they run your background, even with a sealed record. So check first and go from there. Good luck.

  • R Freitas
    Posted at 14:46h, 28 January Reply

    Hi I put In my application for my LTC renewal in August 21 2019 it’s now January 28 2020 and I’m still waiting … what should I do should I be talking to a lawyer at this point .. no return phone call from local police and when I walk in on Tuesday or Thursday when applicants. Should be applying at police station no one there to help lol any help would be great in which direction I should be head

    • Jeff - TacDyn Instructor
      Posted at 12:08h, 30 January Reply

      Hello. Unfortunately the application process takes as long as it takes. The only thing I can recommend is keep attempting to contact the PD. Perhaps see if you can be directed to the Chief. If you want to involve a lawyer, you can, but I cannot tell you if it is necessary at this point.

  • Lynda Fafard
    Posted at 13:15h, 15 February Reply

    After many years of not being able to get my ltc (EX HUSBAND GOT MY CT LICENSE RENEWAL AND THREW IT OUT). I am now in Mass, I filled out the application wrong because i did have something on my record . the lawyer i had then said i didnt need to worry because everything was dismissed with no finding. So after going through the class , we moved to where i am now. When i filled out the app, on the question about arrests i answered no because “to the best of my knowledge” i believed i was able to say no. I was denied and am now well over the 90 days. This is very upsetting to me. Can i reapply?
    Thank you
    Lyn

    • Jeff - TacDyn Instructor
      Posted at 12:48h, 17 February Reply

      Hello Lyn. You could try, but since you have previously been denied they may decide that you are unsuitable for a license. I would have your lawyer go through the paperwork and make sure it is being filled out correctly. You can also contact your local police department and speak to them regarding the issues you’ve been having. As long as you approach them reasonably, they should work with you. If you get denied again, you could go through the appeal process which will involve taking the local PD to court over the licensing. Good luck!

  • Stephen A Munroe
    Posted at 19:05h, 24 February Reply

    On the application it lists reasons for applying as unrestricted, target and hunting, sporting, and employment.
    Do I assume that unrestricted means all of these categories?

    • Jeff - TacDyn Instructor
      Posted at 08:39h, 25 February Reply

      Hello Stephen. Unrestricted includes all those categories, as well as concealed carry. If you are filling out the application, it is always best to go for the unrestricted license.

  • Stephen A Munroe
    Posted at 19:07h, 25 February Reply

    Thanks Jeff!

  • Richard Machado
    Posted at 10:45h, 21 March Reply

    Hello
    This is a very informative page. I am a Massachusetts resident since 2001. I have two questions: 1 I took and completed a firearms safety course 12/2018. I never proceeded to finish the application process…Is my course completion still valid at this time 3/2020 to apply for my LTC? 2 I have an Drunk Driving charge in 1993 California will that charge prevent me from obtaining a LTC? Thank you

    • Jeff - TacDyn Instructor
      Posted at 10:35h, 24 March Reply

      Hello Richard. The certificate should still be good even if the class was in 2018. Just contact your local PD and make sure they don’t have an issue with the certificate being a bit old.

      You will likely run into trouble regarding the DUI charge. In MA, a guilty conviction on a DUI is a dis-qualifier when you apply for the license. You could try going through a lawyer, but it is likely you will denied with that charge in your background. If it wasn’t a guilty, you have some chance, but it will be tough. Good luck!

  • Patty DeMarco
    Posted at 11:40h, 18 April Reply

    Hi there! I took LTC course August 2019. Is there a time limit for applying from date of earning course certificate?

    • Jeff - TacDyn Instructor
      Posted at 10:27h, 20 April Reply

      Hello Patty. There shouldn’t be any issue with using a certificate dated in 2019. As long as the instructor credentials are still valid on the actual cert, the PD shouldn’t have any issue with it. If you took the course with us, and need a replacement certificate or class, just reach out to us directly and we’ll get you squared away. Thanks.

  • Richard Machado
    Posted at 09:14h, 19 April Reply

    Hello
    Does this cite have a green list of towns for Massachusetts? Thank you

  • J S
    Posted at 18:23h, 26 May Reply

    Hello Rob,
    Great article. I am relocating to the area (from a state where I currently have a CCW permit) for a job. The job will be located in Natick, MA. Do you know a recent list of “green” towns or a few towns near Natick that I could live and qualify for an LTC for personal protection? Exercising my second amendment right and carrying for personal protection is very important to me and I want to ensure that the town I live in does not deny that. Thank you for your time.
    Respectfully,
    J.

  • John
    Posted at 23:38h, 03 June Reply

    Hi! I am an active duty service member currently stationed in Chicopee. I will only be here for another year… is it worth attempting to apply for LTC? If so, do I need the Basic Course given I am a SM? Also, will I be considered resident or non-resident?

    Thank you in advance.

    • Jeff - TacDyn Instructor
      Posted at 16:49h, 04 June Reply

      Hello. Since you are active you can use your DD-214 to apply in Chicopee. You don’t have to do the basic safety course, but we recommend it so that you can learn and abide by MA gun laws. The license will be considered a resident license while you are on orders. Hope this helps and thank you for your service!

  • james richard
    Posted at 15:24h, 19 June Reply

    Good Afternoon.
    I have a question about a specific felony where I was not incarcerated but got probation and plead guilty. Would an insurance fraud conviction disqualify me for my ltc if it has been long enough to have it sealed? I live in Spencer MA, Thank you
    J R

    • Jeff - TacDyn Instructor
      Posted at 09:13h, 22 June Reply

      Hello. Unfortunately any felony conviction is an automatic disqualification from licensing. It is actually illegal for you to even touch a firearm with the guilty conviction on your record.

  • James
    Posted at 16:34h, 22 June Reply

    Now another question I served probation and was not incarcerated would that make a difference because it was not a violence, oui, or drug offense

  • James
    Posted at 16:52h, 22 June Reply

    Oh I forgot to mention my probation that I served was over almost 10 years ago and I have had no trouble since

    • Jeff - TacDyn Instructor
      Posted at 09:30h, 23 June Reply

      Hello. Your initial question indicated that you plead guilty. That is the disqualification criteria, not that you only served probation. If you want to discuss this further, you should contact James Wise at james@tacdynamics.com. Thanks.

  • Roger Pare
    Posted at 09:13h, 29 June Reply

    Good morning. I was wondering if there is an updated Red Green Town list? I have had a large capacity, LTC for six and a half years now, as a resident of Acushnet. I am looking into buying a home in another town on the south coast but I am concerned about running into a town that is opposed to carrying. I’m good for quite a few more years as I just renewed my LTC this year but eventually it’ll be up for Renewal again and I don’t want to find out that I bought a house in a town that is difficult. I’ve never had an issue whatsoever with the law nor with my LTC and I take pride in being a responsible gun owner. Any information about Which towns are green versus red would be greatly appreciated.

  • Kathy
    Posted at 18:07h, 20 July Reply

    I have taken my firearms safety class and got some shooting in before applying for my LTC. I will be having the interview this week and I have a question regarding “mental illness”. On the application, I didn’t even think about it but it was brought to my attention that I did have a bout of depression once over 25 years ago. It was a situational incident and was resolved rather quickly. 25 years have passed and I have not had any problems. I do not drink, smoke, or use drugs. I am a nurse by trade, who graduated at the top of my class. I was a security officer for 10 years after high school. I have never been arrested, had any run-ins with the law, etc.

    I guess I just want to be sure that I am providing truthful information. If you were to ask me if I have a history of mental illness, I would say NO without even thinking about it because it was so long ago. I am not on any prescription medications and don’t have any medical/health issues, except for hearing loss, which is corrected with hearing aids.

    Any recommendations in case this comes up at the interview? I doubt that there are any medical records in existence today, since the practice has since closed, but I don’t want to be accused of lying or trying to hide anything, either.

    Thanks.

    • Jeff - TacDyn Instructor
      Posted at 09:17h, 21 July Reply

      Hello. It is unlikely that any question would come up regarding this, provided there were no arrests or anything during the incident. MA doesn’t hold a history of mental illness against you unless treatment was involuntary, i.e. court ordered. If it were to come up for any reason, I would just say that you had an incident 25 years ago, sought treatment of your own accord, and have been well since.

  • Albert Valiquet
    Posted at 17:43h, 24 July Reply

    Hi, I will be completing a Massachusetts Basic Firearms Safety Coarse August 1st. I am a NH resident and have my NH Concealed Carry Permit. I also Had my Utah Multi-State concealed carry permit but let it lapse so I am taking this class again with the Mass Basic class. What are the steps for a Non-Resident Application? What Police Department would I apply at for the Massachusetts CC permit?

    Thanks,

  • James McCloskey
    Posted at 13:28h, 07 August Reply

    If my town (Hudson) won’t let me say For All Lawful Purposes on unrestricted, what do I say – I’m looking for self defense

    • Jeff - TacDyn Instructor
      Posted at 09:43h, 10 August Reply

      You can use something like: “I am a law abiding citizen and desire to carry a firearm for personal protection.” Pretty reasonable reason, plus it says up front that you are looking for an unrestricted license. Other good reasons might include that you work with large sums of money or expensive equipment, you are in-and-out of high-crime areas frequently, you live in a high-crime area, etc. These reasons will only work if they apply for you, or course. Good luck.

Post A Comment