Gun ownership in MA: The number of licenses to carry handguns, rifles & shotguns in the state

BOSTON — A ruling Thursday by the US Supreme Court said Americans have a right to carry guns in public, a major expansion of gun rights.

The court struck down a New York gun law in a ruling expected to directly impact half a dozen other populous states.

The justices’ 6-3 decision is expected to allow more people to legally carry guns on the streets of the nation’s largest cities. It’s the high court’s first major gun decision in more than a decade. Justice Clarence Thomas wrote for the majority that the Constitution protects “an individual’s right to carry a handgun for self-defense outside the home.”

In Massachusetts, state law allows licensed gun owners to carry or possess a gun anywhere, with several exceptions, according to the Gun Owners Action League. Those exceptions include:

-School grounds, without prior written permission from the board or officer in charge, not including guns that are properly stored prior to entering school grounds.

-Virtually all federally controlled buildings and post offices.

-Most areas of airports and some state buildings.

-Courtrooms, if so ordered by the judge

-Any area where the owner or lawful occupant asks you not to


According to the most recent statistics from the Massachusetts Firearms Record Bureau, there are 497,237 people with active licenses to carry in the state as of April 2022.

License to Carry (LTC)

An LTC allows the license holder to carry handguns, large-capacity rifles or shotguns,

-Boston has 11,484 LTCs issued (#1 of all communities)

-Worcester has 8,106 LTCs issued

-Lawrence has 2,482 LTCs issued

-Plymouth has 7,169 LTCs issued

Firearms Identification Card (FID)

An FID allows you to buy NON-large capacity rifles, shotguns and ammunition

There are 24,215 people with an active firearms identification card (FID) in Massachusetts.

-Boston has 586 FIDs issued (#1 of all communities)

-Worcester has 270 FIDs issued

-Lawrence has 24 FIDs issued

-Plymouth has 333 FIDs issued

License to Possess a Machine Gun

There are 1,989 people with an active license to possess a machine gun.

-A license to possess a machine gun requires an LTC and additional federal paperwork, according to the Gun Owners Action League.

-Clinton has 37 (#1 of all communities)

-Boston has 10

-Worcester has 17

-Lawrence has 5

-Plymouth has 0

-Mass State Police have 177

You can check how many LTCs and FID cards have been issued by your local police department that are active in your community by downloading this latest report from Massachusetts Firearms Record Bureau.

Download the FREE Boston 25 News app for breaking news alerts.

Follow Boston 25 News on Facebook and Twitter. | Watch Boston 25 News NOW