Massachusetts residents, take note: Whether you are interested in owning a firearm for hunting, range shooting, or simply for peace of mind, it’s important to know what types of guns are legal to own in your home state.

Springfield Police Department
Springfield Police Department

In The Bay State, you must first qualify and obtain a Firearm Identification Card or a License to Carry as these all-important documents allow you to purchase, possess, or transport your weapon, ammunition, and component materials.


Even with these licenses, there are certain gun types that are illegal to purchase or possess in The Bay State including:

  • Machine guns
  • Sawed-off shotguns
  • Semi-automatic rifles
  • Semi-automatic, defense, and box-fed shotguns
  • Any firearm with a removed or altered serial mark or identification number
  • Assault rifles

There are certain licenses, typically issued to approved firearm instructors or collectors, that might allow you to own antiques, machine guns, or modified shotguns. Because of the dangerous nature of these weapons, extensive requirements are needed to be approved for these licenses by the Colonel of state police or other licensing authority.

Additionally, there are some restrictions on ammunition and accessories and take note that you need to obtain a specialized license:.  

The two most important variables include magazines that exceed a 10-round capacity are prohibited without a specialized license. Silencers and any other device used to muffle the noise of a firearm are prohibited.

What Circumstances Disqualify You from Legal Gun Possession?

  • A felony conviction
  • A dishonorable discharge from the United States armed forces
  • An outstanding arrest warrant in any federal or state jurisdiction
  • Conviction of a violent crime or a misdemeanor punishable by two plus years of imprisonment or incarceration
  • Renounced your U.S. citizenship or are an illegal immigrant
  • Those who received a domestic violence restraining order
  • Substance abuse
  • Involuntarily commitment to a mental institution

Additionally, Massachusetts has specific age restrictions for owning a firearm. Typically, no one under 18 may purchase a gun or ammunition, and those individuals between 18 and 21 years of age could purchase a handgun or large-capacity weapon. However, there are certain instances where a minor may possess a firearm under the guidance and approval of a parent or adult guardian.

pump action shotgun

BOTTOM LINE: There have been constant stories regarding injuries and the loss of life due to gun violence and major steps need to be taken in curbing this rampant problem. For those who properly observe the 2nd Amendment, your rights are protected, but it is necessary to obey all laws that have been implemented as there is one simple solution: Be kind to others and try to work out any differences in a reasonable and amicable way.

(Some information obtained in this article courtesy of

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