Topsfield Police Department

Firearms Law as of 1998

Class A License

Authorizes the possession and carrying of large capacity firearms, rifles, shotguns, and feeding devices. (A weapon is large capacity if it is a semiautomatic and has or is able to accept a feeding device of more than 10 rounds of ammunition or more than 5 shotgun shells or is an assault weapon.) A class a license in required in order to carry any loaded firearm in a concealed manner in a public way or place.

Class B License

Authorizes the possession and carrying of a non-large capacity firearm as well as large and non-large capacity rifle and shotgun. Class A & B licenses have a 4-year term.

Firearms Identification Cards (FID)

Authorizes the possession and carrying of non-large capacity rifles and shotguns. An FID card may, at the request of the applicant, be limited to the possession of mace or pepper sprays. Where as FID cards had previously been issued for life they also have a 4-year term. No person under the age of 15 may be issued a FID card. No person who is 15 but less than 18 may obtain a FID card without parental permission.

Permit to Purchase

An FID card holder may apply for and may be granted a “Permit to Purchase” subject to stricter LTC criteria and discretion of the licensing authority (typically the local Police Chief). The PTP allows a one-time purchase of a handgun by an FID holder solely for home protections. The applicant may not carry the handgun outside the home for any purpose.

Disqualifying Factors

The circumstances under which a person shall be disqualified from obtaining a Class A, B, and FID card have been expanded. A person is now disqualified if he or she:

  • Has been convicted of a felony, a misdemeanor punishable by more than 2 years imprisonment, a violent crime, or a weapons or drug offense.
  • Confined to a hospital or institution for mental illness.
  • Treatment for or confinement for drug addiction or habitual drunkenness.
  • Is an alien.
  • Is subject to an outstanding arrest warrant.
  • Is subject to a suspension or surrender order or a protection order issued pursuant to MGL C. 209A (Restraining order).

With respect to FID cards but not to LTC’s the disqualification for criminal convictions do not apply after 5 years from the date of conviction or release, except that there is a lifetime disqualification for violent crimes involving the trafficking of drugs. Upon the occurrence of a disqualifying event, the license or permit that has been issued shall be revoked or suspended.

Common misdemeanor conviction disqualifier for FID’s and LTC’s

Crimes against the person:
  • Assault
  • Assault & Battery
  • Assault & Battery on a public employee
  • Permitting injury to a child
  • Assault and Battery/Property damage to intimidate
  • Resisting arrest
Crimes against property:
  • Larceny from a common carrier/business
  • Larceny over $250 from elderly/disabled person
  • Shoplifting over $100
  • Receiving stolen property over $250
  • False statements to m/v insurer
  • Wanton destruction of property over $250
  • Destruction church/school property
  • Destruction of jail property
Motor vehicle offenses:
  • Operating after suspension for Operating Under the Influence (OUI)/MVH
  • OUIL
  • M/V H While OUI
  • OUI with serious bodily injury
  • OUI vessel offenses

Carrying Firearms in a Motor Vehicle

Class A

- No person shall carry a loaded firearm in a vehicle unless such firearm is under direct control of such person. $500 fine.

Class B

- No person carrying a firearm shall possess the same in a vehicle unless such weapon is:

  • Unloaded and contained within the locked truck of such vehicle or
  • In a locked case or
  • Other secured container

No person possessing a large capacity rifle or shotgun under a Class A or B license shall possess the same in a vehicle unless the weapon is:

  • Unloaded and contained within the truck of such vehicle
  • Or in a locked case
  • Or any other secured container

Fine $500 – not more than $5000

This provision shall not apply to:

  • Any officer, agent or employee of the Commonwealth or any State of the U.S.
  • Any member of the military or other services of any State of the U.S.
  • Any duly authorized law enforcement officer, agent or employee of any municipality of the Commonwealth; providing, however that any such person described above is authorized to carry or posses the weapon so carried or possessed and is acting within the scope of his duties.

Weapon/Firearms Security - MGL. Ch. 140-Sec. 131L

It shall be unlawful to store or keep any firearm, rifle or shotgun including but not limited to, large capacity weapons, or machine guns in any place unless such weapon is secured in a locked container or equipped with a tamper-resistant mechanical lock or other safety device, properly engaged so as to render such weapon inoperable by any person other than the owner or other lawfully authorized user.

Violations of this law depend whether or not the weapon is a large capacity or non-large capacity and other circumstances.

Fines and punishment range from $500 to $10,000 and imprisonment for 1 to 10 years depending on the circumstances.

Licensing Fees

Both LTC’s and FID cards are now valid for 4 years. The fee for a LTC or FID is $100 which is payable in cash or check made out to the “Town of Topsfield.” The fee for FID cards, requested specifically for the limited possession of Mace or Pepper spray only is $25.

There is no renewal for persons over the age of 70 or for the renewal of a FID card issued solely for the purchase of mace.

Applicants for class A or Class B LTC’s, FID cards, or permit to purchase, who were not licensed on June 1, 1998, are required to submit a certificate of completion of a basic firearms safety course.

Photographs and fingerprints are required for FID cards as well as


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