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Reasons Massachusetts Might Deny you a License to Carry (LTC)

Massachusetts has some of the strictest gun laws in the country, which is why its no surprise to hear that many residents with a complicated legal history are denied their LTC. 

There are several reasons why someone may get denied for a License to Carry (LTC) in Massachusetts. The first is that the applicant does not meet the state's minimum requirements for getting an LTC. These requirements include being 21 years of age or older, having a valid state-issued identification, and having a clean criminal record with no felonies or certain misdemeanors. If an applicant does not meet these requirements, they will be denied.  Listed below are several reasons why you may be denied an LTC in massachusetts.

History of Mental Illness 


Another reason an applicant may be denied for an LTC in Massachusetts is if they have been committed to any hospital or institution for mental illness, or alcohol or substance abuse.  "committed" refers to a court order from a judge.  If the applicant voluntarily checked into a hospital or institution for mental illness, or alcohol or substance abuse, they were not "committed". 

If an applicant was "committed" to a hospital or institution for mental illness, or alcohol or substance abuse.  They are still eligible to receive their LTC under conditions (listed below).

" 5 years from the date of the confinement, the applicant submits with the application an affidavit of a licensed physician or clinical psychologist attesting that such physician or psychologist is familiar with the applicant's mental illness, alcohol or substance abuse and that in the physician's or psychologist's opinion the applicant is not disabled by a mental illness, alcohol or substance abuse in a manner that should prevent the applicant from possessing a firearm, rifle or shotgun "

Not Providing a Reason


Lastly, applicants may be denied for an LTC in Massachusetts if they fail to provide sufficient documentation of their need for an LTC. The state requires applicants to demonstrate a “good reason” why they need to carry a firearm. This could range from needing it for self-defense, to using it for hunting or target shooting. If an applicant cannot demonstrate a legitimate need, they will be denied.  A "good reason" doesn't necessarily have to be specific.  Many applicants will write "all lawful purposes" on their application form,

Criminal Offenses

There is a laundry list of criminal convictions that could prevent someone from obtaining their LTC.  Keep in mind that "conviction" refers to a formal declaration that someone is guilty of a criminal offense, made by the verdict of a jury or the decision of a judge in a court of law.  This means that even if the court case resulted in probation or no charges, the declaration of guilt still counts as a "conviction".  If someone received pretrial probation then it would not count as a conviction since there was never a declaration of guilt.  Below is a list of criminal convictions and offenses that would prevent someone from obtaining an LTC.

1. the subject of any pending criminal charges

2. convicted of a felony

3. convicted of the unlawful use, possession, or sale of controlled substances as defined in M.G.L. c. 94C, § 1

4. convicted of a violent crime or a crime of domestic violence

5. convicted as an adult or adjudicated a youthful offender or delinquent child in any state or federal jurisdiction

6. been the subject of a restraining order issued pursuant to M.G.L. c. 209A, or a similar order issued by another jurisdiction

7. currently the subject of any outstanding arrest warrant in any state or federal jurisdiction

Dishonorable Discharge

If someone is dishonorably discharged from the military, it would prevent them from receiving a License to Carry (LTC) in the state of Massachusetts. Massachusetts does not allow individuals with a dishonorable discharge from the military to possess firearms or obtain a firearms license. This includes obtaining an LTC which would allow them to carry a firearm. Additionally, Massachusetts does not accept out of state permits or licenses from individuals who have been dishonorably discharged from the military. This is in place to ensure that only those who have served their country honorably are able to obtain a license to carry firearms in the state.

the subject of an order of the probate court appointing a guardian or conservator

If you are the subject of an order of the Probate Court appointing a guardian or conservator, you cannot receive your LTC in Massachusetts., it is important to consult with an attorney to determine your rights and best course of action.

Consult an Attorney!

If you are having trouble obtaining your License to Carry (LTC), we recommend that you consult a licensed firearms attorney within 90 days of the denial. Here at Bay State Surplus, we understand the complexity of the laws surrounding LTC denials, and emphasize the importance of seeking qualified legal advice as soon as possible. We are not lawyers, and the information on this page is only a reference point to assist you in obtaining your license. We highly recommend you gather your information straight from the M.G.L as to minimize any potential confusion.

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