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2004: A BIG STEP FORWARD IN LICENSING REFORM
On July 1, 2004, Governor Romney signed into law Chapter 150 of the Acts of 2004. This bill makes several
important reforms to Massachusetts firearms law:
The Firearms Identification Card and the License To Carry a Firearm will become the same size as a
driver’s license.
The Firearms Identification Card and the License To Carry a Firearm will be valid for six years.
There will be a 90 day grace period for both Card and License, if the holder applies for renewal before the
expiration date, and if the application is not denied.
There will be a Firearms Licensing Review Board to review persons currently disqualified by a misdemeanor
record.
A part of the application fees from firearms licenses and cards will be used to pay for the expenses of the
firearms license review board.
When an officer confiscates the guns of a person with an expired license, they must provide a written
inventory and receipt for all guns.
MORE ABOUT THE REVIEW BOARD
Who can apply: A person who is disqualified by a misdemeanor record may file a petition for review of
eligibility with the board, five years after conviction, adjudication, commitment, probation or parole. (A person
determined by the Board to have committed assault or battery on a family member or household member will
not be eligible for review. A person convicted of more than one misdemeanor from a single incident may apply
to have all of them set aside.)
What you also need to know: There will be an application fee. The board will communicate its finding of facts in
writing to the petitioner and to the issuing authority within 60 days of receiving the petition. The Board is
encouraged to hold its hearings in different locations, and is to meet at least every 90 days.
WHAT GUN BAN?
Don’t be confused by the media headlines about so-called “assault weapons.” Our state ban was not
“extended,” either in time or in scope. Our state ban was never set to disappear if the federal law sunsets in
September.
This new law takes existing references to the federal definition of “assault weapons” and added the words “as
appearing in September 1994.” Since that was the original legislative intent of our state’s gun ban, the bill
changes nothing. In fact, by adding the date reference, GOAL protected the list of nearly 700 guns which are
exempt under current federal law.
WHEN WILL THESE CHANGES TAKE EFFECT?
Most of these reforms will take effect 90 days after the governor signs the bill. The firearms licensing review
board must be appointed before they can accept petitions. GOAL is working hard to see that this process
moves along quickly.
Join GOAL as we work to make our firearms laws just and fair!
For an application, call 508-393-5333 or visit our website at www.goal.org
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