Massachusetts: Whats the difference between an LTC & an FID
A License To Carry (LTC) is a license issued by the state government that allows an individual to carry a concealed handgun within that state. An LTC usually requires the applicant to pass a background check, complete a firearms safety training course, and meet other criteria set by the issuing state. An LTC grants an individual the right to carry a concealed handgun in public, however, it may be subject to restrictions set by the issuing state.
A Firearm Identification (FID) card is a card issued by a state to an individual that allows them to possess and transport firearms or ammunition in that state. An FID card usually requires the applicant to pass a background check, complete a firearms safety training course, and meet other criteria set by the issuing state. An FID card grants the individual the right to possess and transport firearms and ammunition in public, however, it may be subject to restrictions set by the issuing state. Unlike an LTC, an FID does not grant the individual the right to carry a concealed handgun in public.
How do I get my LTC or my FID?
Although the LTC and FID have distinct advantages and disadvantages, the process for acquiring either license is largely similar. Click here to learn the steps involved to get your LTC or FID.
Should you get an FID or an LTC?
Most people in Massachusetts get an LTC (License To Carry) instead of an FID (Firearms Identification Card) because it allows them to carry a loaded handgun in public places. An LTC also allows for a greater variety of firearms, including automatic firearms and assault weapons which are not allowed with an FID. An LTC also allows for the purchase of large capacity firearms and magazines, in addition to allowing for the transportation of firearms in a motor vehicle. Finally, an LTC allows for the purchase of ammunition, which an FID does not allow.
Why would somebody get an FID?
Someone may choose an FID over an LTC due to the age requirements. You must be at least 21 years old to receive an LTC, whereas you can obtain an FID at age 18, or even as young as 15 with parental consent. This is the main basis for many selecting an FID.
Obtaining a firearm in Massachusetts is a more laborious process than in other states, but with the right steps, you can get yours within a months. Below is a comparison chart that can hopefully better illustrate the limitations of either license.