Massachusetts Firearm Bill of Sale Form
A Massachusetts firearm bill of sale form illustrates the transfer of a weapon from one person to another. It outlines critical information about the gun, such as its type (i.e., revolver, shotgun, pistol, rifle, etc.), make, model, serial number (SN), and caliber or gauge. Buyers and sellers must enter their name, address, phone number, and email, in addition to their signatures, to authenticate the document. They must also provide details about the payment, like the sales price and method.
What is a Massachusetts Gun Bill of Sale?
A Massachusetts gun bill of sale connotes an agreement between two (2) people. It substantiates the buyer’s payment to the seller and, consequently, the firearm’s change in ownership. The previous owner approves of the deal by entering their signature. After this point, they cannot take the gun back legally. Instead, the new owner would need to re-sell it to them using a new bill of sale form.
Private merchants (i.e., non-dealers) can sell up to four (4) guns per calendar year (M.G.L. c. 140 § 128A). Unlike other states, the seller does not need to visit a licensed dealer to conduct a background check on the interested party. Instead, they must request the person’s federal identification (FID) card or license to carry (LTC).
Massachusetts does not accept foreign firearm licenses, meaning they do not have reciprocity with other states. Therefore, a person visiting the state cannot carry or possess a gun, or law enforcement can impose strict penalties. Nonetheless, non-residents can have a weapon safely stowed in their vehicle while driving through the state.
How to Record a Private Firearms Transfer or Sale
After obtaining a firearm, the new owner must report the exchange to the state using the “Gun Transaction Portal” system. Massachusetts requires residents to record each transfer, regardless of whether it happens by purchase, trade, inheritance, or gift (§§ 128A and 128B).
When recording a sale, the new owner must have information about the gun, such as its make, model, serial number, and caliber. Most often, the bill of sale contains these details and can act as a valuable source when reporting the firearm to the state. In addition, they must provide the license information of the buyer and seller.
Residents must create a personal identification number (PIN) to use the online portal. They must input their full name, birthday, and driver’s license for the state to assign them a number.
Once the person completing the form enters the information and closes the website tab, they cannot retrieve it again. Therefore, the state recommends printing and saving the page before exiting. Individuals who incorrectly enter a transaction in the portal must complete and submit a Firearms Transaction Deletion Form (EFA10).
How to Apply for an LTC and FID Card
Per Massachusetts law, residents and non-residents cannot possess guns in public or private spaces without an FID or LTC. This regulation includes individuals’ homes and vehicles (§§ 129B, 131, and 131F).
An LTC allows a person twenty-one (21) years or older to own and purchase a handgun, large capacity weapon, and/or stun gun. An FID card enables a person eighteen (18) years or older to buy and possess a rifle or shotgun.
Restricted FID cards allow individuals under eighteen (18) years of age to possess self-defense spray lawfully. However, teenagers between fourteen (14) and seventeen (17) need parental or guardian permission to apply.
Massachusetts also offers licenses to possess machine guns and gun club licenses to exclusive people. Furthermore, only the Colonel of the State Police holds power to give someone a gun club license.
Step 1 – Prerequisites
Disqualified individuals may not apply for an LTC or FID card (§ 129C). Therefore, interested parties should familiarize themselves with the state’s requirements as they do not issue refunds to denied applicants.
Residents and non-residents applying for a license cannot have felonies on their record, convictions of violent crime, or offenses that led to imprisonment for more than two (2) years. They must not have a recent history of admittance to a hospital or institution for mental illness, alcohol addiction, or substance abuse. If they have a mental health record that dates back five (5) years or longer, they can apply with a licensed physician or clinical psychologist statement.
Individuals twenty-one (21) years or older can apply for either license, whereas a person can only apply for an FID card between eighteen (18) and twenty (20). Parents or guardians must provide a statement for anyone between fourteen (14) and seventeen (17) to apply for an FID card.
Furthermore, the following individuals may not apply: 1) alien without legal permanent residency, 2) arrest warrants in any state, 3) fugitives, and 4) someone who forfeited U.S. citizenship.
Step 2 – Basic Firearms Safety Course
Per state law, individuals interested in an LTC, or FID card, must take an introductory firearms safety course from an accredited source. The Commonwealth provides a list of approved public and independent classes. After passing the education, the student must obtain a signed certification, which they must present to their local police station upon application.
Step 3 – Application
Residents and non-residents can apply for an LTC or FID card by visiting a nearby police station or sending the information through the mail. Each jurisdiction has specific regulations, so individuals should refer to local law for more details.
Most offices take the applicant’s fingerprints and photos during the appointment and charge them at that time. Retired law enforcement officers and FID restricted applicants under eighteen (18) years old may qualify for discounted rates.
Individuals who live in Massachusetts full-time must submit an application, gun safety course certification, a state- or government-issued identification (ID), and fees. They may also have to provide additional paperwork to the licensing officer, such as documents proving residency.
Non-Residents / Resident Alien
Non-residents must visit a firearms records bureau (FRB) for the first issuance of a license to carry (LTC) and every six (6) years after that. The registering office sends them an appointment date and time by mail, which they must follow.
Per state requirements, they must complete a non-resident or resident alien permit application, depending on their status. In addition, they must provide a safety class certification and pay the required fees. Immigrants must submit their visa or a copy of their immigration card.
Step 4 – Processing
The state takes sixty (60) days to process resident applications and ninety (90) days for non-residents and resident aliens. Residents must pick up their license at their registering office once the state notifies them. Non-residents and resident aliens receive their permits by mail.
Processing includes a state, federal, and fingerprint-based background check and Department of Mental Health records review. Depending on local law, a registering office can also impose other restrictions or regulations.
Applicants can check their license status by calling (617) 660-4722. They can obtain general information by contacting the firearms records bureau at (617) 660-4782.
Step 5 – Renewal
Resident LTC and FID cards last for six (6) years at a time. Upon renewal, they must complete the renewal application and the affidavit on the last page. The individual must also provide their ID, pay the required fees, and submit other office-specific forms. Per state law, they do not need to retake a safety course during each renewal period unless they let their license expire. In this case, they would need to apply as a new applicant.
Non-residents must renew their license annually as it expires one (1) year from the issuance date. Since the state does not grant a grace period, individuals should reapply as soon as possible. They can begin sending in their information ninety (90) days before the expiration date. Resident alien licenses last until December 31st of the application year.
Non-residents and resident aliens only need to visit the registering office every six (6) years, meaning they can otherwise renew without being physically present. However, they must take a new gun safety course each year and provide proof of completion.
|Firearms Records Bureau
200 Arlington Street, Suite 2200
Chelsea, MA 02150