Massachusetts Gun Laws and License to Carry (a Weapon)

Anyone with a Class A License to Carry (LTC) in Massachusetts is permitted to possess large capacity weapons. A large capacity weapon is anything capable of firing over ten rounds of ammunition without have to stop and reload.

A Class A LTC includes firearms (handguns), rifles, and shotguns. In Massachusetts a Class A License to Carry Permit is the only license that allows an individual to carry a concealed weapon. On the other hand, anyone with a Class B License to Carry permit  in Massachusetts can possess unconcealed, non-large capacity weapons, including handguns.

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Massachusetts law is very strict when it comes to gun ownership rights. When reviewing an application for a license to carry, Massachusetts has to undertake a two-step inquiry to determine an applicants eligibility.

The first step looks at whether the applicant is suitable to own a gun. There are large class of people Massachusetts automatically considers unsuitable to own guns. Under the statute, large classes of firearm applicants are prevented from possessing firearms. The following is a list of unsuitable people that are not allowed to possess a firearm:

  • anyone who has been convicted or adjudicated a youthful offender or delinquent child;
  • anyone who has been convicted of (1) felony; (2) a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for more than 2 years regardless of whether the court imposed a sentence of less than 2 years; (3) a violent crime; (4) a violation of any law firearm law punishable by prison time; (5) a violation of any law regulating the use, possession or sale of a controlled substance; (6) a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.
  • A person who is currently the subject of an abuse prevention order issued under Chapter 209A is not entitled to the issuance of a firearm identification card
  • anyone under the age of 21;
  • an alien who does not maintain lawful permanent residency
  • anyone with an outstanding federal or state arrest warrant;
  • anyone discharged from the United State military under dishonorable conditions;

How Past Offenses May Impact Your Ability to Obtain a Class A  LTC

The chief of police is allowed access to the sealed criminal records of any gun license applicant and can use the information in a sealed criminal record to deny an application.

There is an unlimited look-back period. As a result, an applicant who pled guilty to a offense, such as possession of marijuana or aggravated assault and battery, over 20 years ago is not allowed a permit to carry a firearm. It does not matter if the gun applicant has been not committed a crime for decades. If an application for a License to Carry a Firearm has been denied because the applicant committed any of the felony crimes listed above than appealing the decision to the Firearms Licensing Review Board may be pointless as the board is unable review felony convictions and can only review some misdemeanor convictions that are more than 5 years old.

However, in some cases it is possible to vacate a old guilty plea. Attorney Patrick J. Noonan has vacated guilty pleas on several occasions.

We have a Proven Track Record of  Helping Firearm Applicants

May 19, 2017
Commonwealth v. V.P.
Orleans District Court

Client Was Found Guilty Of A Felony After A Trial In 1980 But Attorney Patrick J. Noonan Gets The Conviction Vacated And Dismissed.

The Client is a 63-year-old former carpenter from Dennis who remains disabled from a bad work-related accident. In 1980, when the Client was 26 years-old, he was charged with felony larceny for allegedly stealing trees and shrubs from a Nursery in Dennis. The Client went to trial and was found guilty of the felony larceny. The client, an avid hunter, has been a gun owner since he was 17 years-old. He has had a Firearms Identification Card (FID Card) since age 17 and has renewed his FID Card for the past 46 years with no issues. The Client was concerned that his FID Card would be denied for renewal because of the old felony conviction.

Result: Attorney Patrick J. Noonan filed a Motion to Vacate his client’s Conviction arguing that: there was insufficient evidence that the larceny was a felony because the value of the stolen property was not clearly proven, the client had a viable Motion to Dismiss because the stolen property was never recovered despite police executing a search of the client’s home, and trial judge may have committed error in permitting the client to be represented at trial by his co-defendant who was acting pro se. Prior to any hearing on the Motion to Vacate Conviction, Attorney Noonan had a conversation with the District Attorney’s Office who agreed to vacate the client’s conviction and enter a dismissal. Attorney Noonan then filed a new Motion to Vacate Conviction that was agreed to by the parties. The Judge allowed the Motion to Vacate and entered a dismissal, as requested by both parties.

March 8, 2017
Commonwealth v. L.A.
Brockton District Court

Attorney Patrick J. Noonan Convinces A Judge to Vacate An Old Conviction For A Crime Against the Public Justice And Then Successfully Petitions the Commissioner of Probation To Seal It From His Client’s Record.

Client is a 70 year-old accountant, grandmother, and former drug-addict who had an old felony conviction from 1984 for smuggling drugs into a prison. The client had turned her life around but was always haunted by her past. Back in the 1980s, client had a terrible drug addiction. In 1984, she was arrested for attempting to smuggle cocaine into a prison for an inmate. She was convicted of the serious felony offense of Giving a Prisoner a Controlled Substance. That was the last time the client ever had any involvement with police or the court system. She committed herself to treatment and lived a life of sobriety ever since. After, She went back to school and earned a degree in Accounting and graduated at the top of her class with Highest Honors. She has been employed as an Accountant for over 30 years and has held the same job for nearly 15 years. Despite the remarkable turnaround in her life, she was always haunted by her old felony conviction, which was a constant reminder of her past. She petitioned the Commissioner of Probation in Boston to seal the felony conviction from her record. Regrettably, she was informed that the conviction was non-sealable because it was a Crime against the Public Justice. Her only hope was to have the felony conviction vacated, which she believed was impossible. Other attorneys told her that convincing a judge to vacate a conviction for this charge would be very difficult. In a leap of faith, she contacted Attorney Patrick J. Noonan who agreed to take on the case.

ResultAttorney Patrick J. Noonan made a compelling argument to a Judge of the Brockton District Court to vacate his client’s felony conviction. In a rare case, the Judge entered an order and vacated a conviction for a Crime against the Public Justice. With the conviction vacated, the Commissioner of Probation agreed to seal the charge from the client’s record.

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Our Reputation Speaks for Itself – View Our Case Results

Our compassionate and experienced Massachusetts firearm licensing attorneys at The Law Offices of Gerald J. Noonan are can be reached at 508-588-0422 The Law Offices of Gerald J. Noonan are available to assist clients with gun charges throughout all of Southeast Massachusetts, including but not limited to: Plymouth County including Brockton, Plymouth, Bridgewater, Hingham, Wareham, Middleboro; Norfolk County including Quincy, Stoughton, Dedham, Weymouth, Braintree, Randolph, Canton, Sharon, Brookline, Franklin; Bristol County including New Bedford, Fall River, Taunton, Wrentham, Attleboro, Mansfield, Easton, Raynham; and Middlesex County including Cambridge, Lowell, Somerville, Newton, Woburn, Framingham, Malden, Chelsea, Everett, Arlington, Medford and Waltham; Cape Cod, Barnstable, Hyannis, Falmouth and Springfield, Holyoke, Chicopee & Worcester; Essex County including Lynn, Lawrence, Peabody, Haverhill, and Salem; and the Greater Boston area including South Boston, Revere, Dorchester, Brighton and Roxbury.