1.  What types of gun permits are there and how much do they cost? (Permits are referred to as Firearms Identification Cards or FID's and License to Carry or LTC).

There are 4 types of permits. They are all issued for a period of six years.

  • Restricted Firearms Identification card for chemical sprays - Cost $25.00
  • Firearms Identification card - Cost $100.00
  • LTC Class B- Cost $100.00
    (restricted to non-large capacity firearms and large and non-large capacity rifles and shotguns. Cannot carry loaded and concealed in public place)
  • LTC Class A - Cost $100.00 (Large and non-large capacity rifles, shotguns and firearms)

There is no charge for permits issued to any resident who is 70 years of age or older.  All fees must be paid in cash and the payment is non-refundable. 

2.  How old must you be to obtain an FID or LTC? 
You must be 21 to obtain a LTC. You may obtain an FID card if you have reached the age 15, provided the child has a letter from their parent allowing the child to obtain a permit.

3.  Do I have to take a firearms safety course?

Yes. All applicants must successfully complete a Massachusetts Firearms Safety course or a Hunter Safety Course. The course is required for first time applicants. Those seeking renewals are not required to retake the safety course. If you were licensed in another state or are in the military, you will still need to complete a Firearms Safety course.

4.   Where can I take a Firearms Safety Course?

Some local places that offer approved Firearms Safety courses are: Northampton Revolver Club 413-586-7821, Holyoke Revolver Club 413-539-9345 or through the Massachusetts Wildlife Hunter Education Course 1-617-727-3623.

5.  If I live in another town or city, can I still get a permit in Northampton?

Generally, no. However, if you own a business in Northampton you may be eligible to obtain a permit from Northampton.

6.  How do I get a permit?

Pick up an application, fill it out and then call 413-587-1141 and leave a message. A firearms records clerk will contact you to make an appointment.

7.  What happens once I file my application?

When you arrive at the station at the pre-arranged time you will have your photograph taken, you will be fingerprinted and the applicable fee will be collected from you. A criminal check will then determine if you have any criminal matters that would disqualify you from obtaining a permit. Additionally, if you have ever been confined for treatment of a mental illness it could be a reason for denial of your permit.

8.  Once I file my application, how long does it take to receive my FID or LTC?

Generally it takes 30-45 days to process a permit. Some permits may take longer if the applicant has a record that is sealed or on microfilm.

9.  Once I am licensed, how do I store my weapons?

It is mandatory that all weapons must be stored in a locked container or equipped with a tamper-resistant mechanical lock or other safety device so as to render the weapon inoperable by any person other than the owner or lawfully authorized person.

The Chief of Police in each city and town in the Commonwealth has the responsibility of reviewing and processing applications for Firearms Identification Cards (FID) and License to Carry (LTC) permits.  Firearms laws vary by state, but in Massachusetts an LTC permits the purchase, possession, transportation, and carrying of all large and non-large capacity handguns, rifles, shotguns, feeding devices, and ammunition.  This is the only license that allows the carrying of a concealed loaded or non-loaded handgun.  A person must be 21 or older to obtain an LTC.  An FID permits the purchase, possession, and transportation of non-large capacity rifles, shotguns, and ammunition.  A person must be 18 years or older (or 14-17 with parental consent) to obtain an FID.  Both LTC permits and FID cards are valid for six years.  Dealer and machine gun licenses are valid for three years.  A machine gun license may be issued to certain individuals who qualify as either a certified Municipal Police Training Committee (MPTC) instructor or who are deemed "bonafide collectors."  

It is important to note that this table is not reflective of the number of firearms that exist within our community.  This table simply illustrates the number of licenses issued by NPD.  A licensed person may have no firearms or may have 50 (or more).  Further, licenses may be issued to "any person residing or having a place of business within the jurisdiction of the licensing authority or any law enforcement officer employed by the licensing authority."  Therefore, some licenses may be issued to non-residents who fall into these categories.

Finally, because FIDs and LTCs expire every six years, this table includes six years of licensing so that the viewer can develop a general idea of about how many active licenses exist in our community.  The totals for machine gun and dealer licenses are not included because they expire every three years.

  2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
FID 24 31 13 12 13 19 11 19 13
LTC 239 402 236 102 195 214 245 283 251
Machine Gun 1 1 0 1 3 2 0 1 5
Dealer 1 1 0 1 1 0 0 2 0
TOTAL 265 435 249 116 212 235 256 305 269