Monday, July 29, 2013

How do I obtain a gun license in Massachusetts?

In Massachusetts to legally possess firearms you need to have an LTC (License to Carry) or a FID (Firearms Identification Card).  Since the LTC allows you to possess more types of firearms than the FID and obtaining an LTC/A (Class A) will also grant you the rights and privileges that attach under the lesser FID, we recommend that everyone apply for an LTC/A.  You do not need to apply for both licenses.  (See M.G.L. c. 140 §§ 129B and 131).

You will need to apply to the Chief of Police of the Massachusetts town in which you reside, or, if you own a business, the Town in which you reside or own a business.  The official state application for an LTC/A is a three-page form; however some towns have additional requirements, such as additional letters of recommendation, or request that you sign a memorandums on the lawful use of force.

We suggest that you contact the police department in the town you intend to reside, and request their “packet”, which will have all the forms required.  The fee to apply for an LTC/A is $100.00.  (See M.G.L. c. 140 § 131).

Before you can submit your application, you will need to take a firearms safety course approved by the Massachusetts State Police.  There are a number of certified courses available, and you should not have any difficulty obtaining a safety course certificate.  Most instructors charge between $60.00 and $100.00 for the basic firearms safety course, and the course generally runs four (4) hours.  When signing up for the course, be sure to confirm beforehand that the course is sufficient to obtain your LTC.

Even once you have your LTC/A there are many restrictions on the types of firearms you can own in Massachusetts and on how you must store and otherwise maintain them.  Given the intricacies of Massachusetts firearms laws and the unique legal issues facing firearms owners in the Commonwealth, it is advisable to have an attorney who understands and practices in firearms law, criminal law and civil litigation.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Can I Expunge a Criminal Conviction in Massachusetts?

Unlike some other states, Massachusetts does not have an Expungement statute.  It is not possible to expunge a conviction in Massachusetts.  In fact, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court recently ruled again in Commonwealth v. Moe 463 Mass. 370 (2012) that the Court lacks the authority to order a record expunged, even where the resulting record is the result of fraud on the Court.

It is sometimes possible to reopen a trial and undo a conviction, but this can only be done in very specific circumstances, and the arrest will still appear on your record.  Attorney Trask was successful in one case in reopening a juvenile conviction from almost thirty years earlier and thereafter having the charges dismissed based on the client's clean record since.  While the original conviction is no longer on the record, the charge is not expunged.

It is sometimes possible to seal a record, so that access to the record is prevented from certain requests.  For more information on that possibility read our previous post entitled: Can I Seal My Criminal Record in Massachusetts?

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