LICENSE TO CARRY FIREARMS (LTC)
As a result of the 1998 amendments to M.G.L. c140 S131, there are now two classes of license to carry firearms.
CLASS A LTC
A holder of a Class A LTC is entitled to purchase, possess, rent, use, borrow, lease and carry all types of lawful firearms, rifles and shotguns, including Large Capacity weapons and feeding devices and ammunition, for all lawful purposes. Only persons with a Class A LTC will be lawfully entitled to carry such weapon on his or her person in public. Further restrictions on said license may be imposed by the licensing authority.
A violation of any restriction imposed by the licensing authority shall be cause for the suspension or revocation of the license and shall subject the licensee to a $1,000 to $10,000 fine, but the provisions of M.G.L. c269 s10, shall not apply to the violation.
CLASS B LTC
The holder of a Class B LTC is entitled to purchase, possess, rent, use, borrow, lease, and carry non-large capacity firearms and revolvers (with rotating cylinders of less than 10 rounds), as well as any rifle or shotgun, including large capacity rifles and shotguns. Persons issued a Class B LTC are not permitted to carry a loaded concealed weapon in public. Further restrictions on said license may be imposed by the licensing authority.
As with Class A restrictions, a violation of a Class B restriction shall be cause for the suspension or revocation of the license and shall subject the licensee to a $1,000 to $10,000 fine, but the provisions of M.G.L. c269 s10, shall not apply to the violation.
FIREARMS IDENTIFICATION CARD (FID)
An FID Card authorizes the possession and carrying of non-large capacity rifles and shotguns. An FID Card may, at the request of the applicant, be limited to the possession of mace and other incapacitating sprays. Whereas FID Cards had previously been issued for life, they now have a 4 year term.
No person under the age of 15 may be issued an FID Card. No person who is 15 but less than 18 years of age may obtain an FID Card without parental permission.
A person must have a Class A LTC in order to carry or possess a loaded firearm in a concealed manner in a public place or way.
It is unlawful to carry a loaded firearm under a Class A LTC in a vehicle unless the firearm is under the licensee's direct control.
It is unlawful to carry a firearm under a Class B LTC in a vehicle unless it is unloaded and contained in the locked trunk or locked in a secure container.
It is unlawful to possess a large capacity rifle or shotgun under a Class A or Class B LTC in a vehicle unless it is unloaded and contained in the locked trunk or locked in a secure container.
It is unlawful for a licensed person to carry a loaded rifle or shotgun on a public way unless engaged in hunting and in possession of a hunting license.
It is unlawful for a licensed person to carry an unloaded rifle or shotgun on a public was unless engaged in hunting or in possession of a hunting license, or unless the rifle or shotgun is enclosed in a case.
It is unlawful to carry a loaded weapon while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
DISTINCTION BETWEEN FID CARDS AND LICENSE TO CARRY
There are a number of distinctions between an FID cards and Licenses to Carry firearms. First, there are different standards a chief applies in determining whether to issue each of these licenses. With regard to an FID card, a chief may refuse to issue the card only if the person is statutorily disqualified from obtaining it. With regard to a license to carry, whether Class A or Class B, a chief is not required to issue the license - - even if the person is otherwise qualified - - if he concludes that the applicant is not a suitable person or does not have a proper purpose for obtaining one.
Second, the number of statutory disqualification standards are different. Third, there is a difference with respect to what rights are granted under these licensing provisions:
An FID card allows the licensee to possess only non-large capacity rifles and shotguns, as well as mace and other incapacitating chemical sprays. Firearms and large capacity rifles and shotguns may be possessed only under supervision at an appropriately licensed shooting club or range. Large capacity rifles and shotguns may not be possessed in a vehicle unless it is unloaded and locked in the trunk or other secure container.
A Class A License to Carry allows the licensee to purchase, carry and possess large capacity and non-large capacity firearms, rifles and shotguns. A Class A licensee may not carry a loaded firearm in a vehicle unless under his direct control.
Mass General Law c140 s131C .
DEFINITIONS - LARGE CAPACITY WEAPON, FEEDING DEVICE
By incorporating the Federal Ban, the legislation included certain definitions from Federal law such as "Assault Weapon." Since the new law goes further, it provides additional definitions for the following terms: "Large Capacity Weapon" is defines as any semiautomatic weapon equipped with a fixed "Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Device," or is capable of accepting, or is readily modifiable to accept a "Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Device." A Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Device shall mean any belt, drum or magazine that holds more than 10 rounds of ammunition, but shall not include an attached tubular device capable of operating only with .22 caliber ammunition. (See 18 U.S.C. s.921).
Thus, a Large Capacity Weapon could be any rifle or handgun that accepts a clip or magazine of more than 10 rounds, or shotguns capable of accepting more than 5 rounds, which would encompass all assault weapons, as well as most semiautomatic weapons of all shapes and sizes, regardless of the presence of the other bizarre features that qualify a weapon as an "assault weapon" under 18 U.S.C. s. 921 (e.g. bayonet mount, grenade launcher, flash suppresser, etc.).
In addition, the legislation provides for a definition of "violent crime" for purposes of the issuance or denial of licenses or Permits to Purchase, and enhanced penalties when appropriate.
RATIONALE: The true danger in these weapons is the ability they create for one person to fire multiple rounds in a brief time span, not the high-tech, scary appearance or the generic name of the weapon. Thus, it is more appropriate from the public safety standpoint to target all Large capacity Weapons as opposed to a limited class of "Assault Weapons."
FIREARMS SAFETY COURSE
Chapter 141 Section 131P
(a) Any person making application for the issuance of a firearms identification card under section 129B, a Class A or Class B license to carry firearms under section 131 or 131F, or a permit to purchase under section 131A, who was not licensed under the provisions of this chapter on June 1, 1998, shall in addition to the requirements set forth in said section, 129B, 131, 131A or 131E submit to the licensing authority a basic firearms safety certificate:
CERTIFIED BY DIVISION OF FISHERIES: A certificate issued by the division of fisheries and wildlife pursuant to the provision of section 14 of chapter 131, evidencing satisfactory completion of a hunting safety course, shall serve as a valid substitute for a basic firearms safety certificate required under this section. FID FOR MACE ONLY EXEMPT: Provided further, that any applicant for a firearms identification card for the sole purpose of purchasing or possessing chemical mace, pepper spray or other similarly propelled liquid, gas or powder designed to temporarily incapacitate shall not be required to complete any basic firearms safety course as a prerequisite for receiving such card. FURTHER EXEMPTIONS: Persons lawfully possessing a firearm identification card or license to carry firearms on June 1, 1998 shall be exempt from the provisions of this section upon expiration of such card or license and when applying for licensure as required under this section. ATTACHMENT: No application for the issuance of a firearm identification card or license to carry shall be accepted or processed by the licensing authority without such certificate attached thereto; provided, however, that the provisions of this section shall not apply to
(i) any officer, agent, or employee of the commonwealth or any state of the United States; (ii) any member of the military or other service of any state or of the United States; (iii) any duly authorized law enforcement officer, agent or employee of any municipality of the commonwealth; provided, however, that any such person described in clauses (i) to (iii), inclusive, is authorized by a competent authority to carry or possess the weapon so carried or possessed and is acting within the scope of his duties.
(b) The colonel of the state police shall promulgate rules and regulations governing the issuance and form of basic firearms safety certificates required by this section. CERTIFICATION: Said colonel shall certify certain persons as firearms safety instructors and shall certify safety course curriculum. TEN YEAR CERTIFICATION PERIOD: Such certification shall be for a period of ten years, unless sooner revoked by reason of unsuitability, in the discretion of said colonel. FEES IMPOSED: The department of state police may impose a fee of $50 for initial issuance of such certification to offset the cost of certifying instructors. The fee for certification renewal shall be $10. FIREARMS SAFETY INSTRUCTOR: Firearms safety instructors shall be any person certified by a nationally recognized organization that fosters safety in firearms, or any other person in the discretion of said colonel, to be competent to give instruction in a basic firearms safety course. APPLICANTS NOT EXEMPT: Applicants for certification as instructors under the provisions of this section shall not be exempt from the requirements of this chapter or any other law or regulation of the commonwealth or the United States. CURRICULUM: Upon application to the colonel of state police, said colonel may, in his discretion, certify as a firearms safety instructor any person who operates a firearms safety course or program which provides in its curriculum: (a) the safe use, handling and storage of firearms; (b) methods of securing and childproofing firearms; (c) the applicable laws relating to the possession, transportation and storage of firearms, and; (d) knowledge of operation, potential dangers and basic competency in the ownership and usage of firearms.(e) Any firearms safety instructor certified under this provision may, in his discretion, issue a basic firearms safety certificate to any person who successfully completes the requirements of a basic firearms safety course approved by the colonel. FAILURES: No firearms safety instructor shall issue or cause to be issued any basic firearms safety certificate to any person who fails to meet minimum requirements of the prescribed course of study including, but not limited to, demonstrated competency in the use of firearms. INFO FORWARDED TO STATE POLICE: Instructors certified under the provision of this section shall forward to the department of state police the names of those persons who have received basic firearms safety certificates. LOCAL INQUIRY WITH STATE POLICE: Local licensing authorities, as defined in section 121, shall, upon receipt of an application for a firearm identification card or a Class A or Class B LTC, make inquiry to the department of state police to confirm the issuance to the applicant of a basic safety certificate. (d) Any person applying for a licensure under the provisions of this chapter who knowingly files or submits a basic firearms safety certificate to a licensing authority which contains false information shall be punished by a fine of not less than $1,000 nor more than $5,000 or by imprisonment for not more than 2 years in a house of correction, or both such fine and imprisonment. (e) Any firearms instructor who knowingly issues a basic firearms safety certificate to a person who has not successfully completed a firearms safety course approved by the colonel shall be punished by a fine of not less than $5,000 nor more than $10,000 or by imprisonment for not more than 2 years in a house of correction, or by both such fine and imprisonment.