How to Sell a Gun in Massachusetts

Map of Massachusetts

If you plan to buy or sell a firearm in Massachusetts, it's important to be aware of the state's strict laws and regulations. This blog provides information to guide you through the process of buying or selling a firearm, including the necessary steps to ensure a safe and legally compliant transaction. Additionally, you'll find advice on how to sell your gun, maintain and assess its condition, and handle the required paperwork. We will discuss state laws for private sales, federal laws, and any applicable additional regulations and exemptions.

Map of Massachusetts
Published On:
June 10, 2023
Updated On:
March 10, 2024
minutes read

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State Laws for Private Sales

Understanding Massachusetts' state laws for private firearm sales is crucial for a smooth and legal transaction. Key elements include obtaining a Firearm Identification Card (FID) for both buyers and sellers, adhering to a comprehensive application process, and reporting gun transfers to the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS). Familiarize yourself with the responsibilities of buyers and sellers for in-state and out-of-state sales and follow best practices to ensure a seamless and compliant experience.

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Firearm Identification Card (FID) Requirements

The Firearm Identification Card (FID) serves as a cornerstone of Massachusetts' gun laws, mandating its possession for legal firearm purchase and ownership. Both gun buyers and sellers need to obtain a valid FID to ensure a lawful transaction, ensuring adherence to the state's stringent firearm regulations.

FID Application Process

FIDs are issued by local police departments after a thorough application process, which includes:

  • Background checks
  • Fingerprinting
  • Gun safety courses

Applicants must complete these steps to obtain an FID, ensuring they are legally allowed to buy, sell, or possess firearms.

Massachusetts Gun Transfer Regulations

Complying with Massachusetts gun transfer regulations is crucial for a successful firearm transaction. While firearm registration is not required, reporting transfers to the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS) is mandatory. Familiarize yourself with the distinct responsibilities for in-state and out-of-state sales, and adhere to best practices, including validating firearm licenses and involving a federal firearms licensed dealer for optimal compliance.

Although Massachusetts law does not require firearm registration, gun transfers must be reported to the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS).

Reporting Transfers to the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS)

In-state and out-of-state gun sales carry different responsibilities for the buyer and seller regarding reporting the transfer of ownership. It is essential to familiarize yourself with these regulations to ensure compliance.

Private Gun Sales Best Practices

When conducting private gun sales in Massachusetts, follow these best practices:

Ensure all parties hold a valid firearm license

Involve a federal firearms licensed dealer for compliance with state regulations

Federal Laws

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In addition to state regulations, federal laws also impact firearm transactions in Massachusetts. Key aspects include federal disqualification categories that restrict ownership, magazine capacity limitations, and assault weapon bans. Be mindful of these factors and the requirement for specific licenses, such as the License to Carry (LTC) or a "machine gun" license, when selling firearms to ensure compliance with both state and federal laws.

Federal Disqualification Categories

Massachusetts has specific restrictions on firearm ownership, including federal disqualification categories that can prevent individuals from owning guns.

Firearm Ownership Restrictions

Firearm ownership restrictions in Massachusetts encompass large-capacity firearms and assault weapons. 

  • The state enforces a magazine capacity limit, barring possession of magazines with over 10 rounds capacity.
  •  Additionally, a ban on assault weapons necessitates securing specific licenses, such as the License to Carry (LTC) or a "machine gun" license, for certain firearms.

 Adhere to these restrictions when selling firearms to ensure a legal and compliant transaction.


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Additional Regulations and Exemptions

When selling a firearm in Massachusetts, it is crucial to consider additional regulations and exemptions that may apply. These include non-citizen permit options, red flag laws, firearm storage requirements, traveler's exemptions, and muzzleloader exemptions. Being aware of these factors ensures a smooth, legal transaction while promoting responsible firearm ownership and safety. Remember, this guide serves as an informational resource and should not replace the advice of a legal expert specializing in firearms law.

Non-Citizen Permit Options

Non-citizens residing in Massachusetts can apply for a permit to possess non-large-capacity rifles and shotguns but are generally not eligible for FID or LTC permits.

Red Flag Laws

Massachusetts has red flag laws in place, which allow for the temporary confiscation of firearms from a person deemed to be a risk to themselves or others. Keep this in mind when selling a firearm to someone who may potentially pose a threat.

Firearm Storage Requirements

Firearms must be stored securely, either in a locked container or with a safety device, unless carried or under the control of the owner. Ensure that the buyer is aware of these requirements.

Photo of a rifle in a case

Traveler's Exemption

Travelers are exempt from Massachusetts firearms laws if they comply with the Firearm Owners Protection Act's traveler's exemption. This exemption can be useful for gun owners who are temporarily in the state.

Muzzleloader Exemptions

Muzzleloaders are considered primitive arms and are exempt from permitting requirements. Be aware of this exemption if you plan to sell a muzzleloader in Massachusetts.

Photo of an antique rifle with cleaning equipment

Selling a gun in Massachusetts requires a thorough understanding of state and federal laws, as well as additional regulations and exemptions that may apply. By familiarizing yourself with these rules and following best practices, you can ensure a smooth and legal transaction. 

By adhering to Massachusetts' strict gun laws and regulations, you can help promote responsible firearm ownership and safety within the state. Selling a firearm is a significant responsibility, and following these guidelines will help you navigate the process legally and confidently. Always prioritize safety and compliance with the law when selling a gun in Massachusetts to ensure a positive experience for both the buyer and the seller.

Remember, this guide is intended to provide general information about selling a gun in Massachusetts and should not be considered legal advice. If you have specific questions or concerns about the process or your individual situation, it is always best to consult with a knowledgeable attorney or legal expert who specializes in firearms law.


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Tips for a successful firearm sale to get the best price

Ensure your gun is well-maintained, clean, and in good working order. Offer a detailed description of the firearm, covering its make, model, caliber, and any accessories. Provide a thorough bill of sale and incorporate relevant documents such as receipts and warranty information. Lastly, adhere to all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations when completing the sale and transferring ownership.

Proper Cleaning and Maintenance:

Before selling your firearm, make certain it's in good working condition and thoroughly cleaned, which can enhance its value.

Cleaning a rifle, scope

Detailed Description:

For a smooth private sale, provide an accurate and detailed description of the firearm, including its make, model, caliber, and any accompanying accessories.


Prepare a comprehensive bill of sale that safeguards both parties in case of disputes. Include the sale date, buyer and seller information, and firearm details such as make model, and serial number. Also, attach any relevant paperwork like purchase receipts and warranty information.

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Finalizing the Sale and Ownership Transfer:

Once you've identified a legal buyer, complete the sale and transfer firearm ownership in a legally compliant way by abiding by all federal, state, and local laws and regulations, including background checks and necessary permits or licenses.


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Selling Your Guns with Cash for Arms:

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Cash for Arms is a secure and safe option for selling your handgun, rifle, shotgun, your gun collection, and even your NFA class III Guns. By opting for a reputable buyer, you'll ensure a seamless, legal transaction while obtaining the best market value for your firearm.

Cash for Arms provides multiple selling options to accommodate your needs, including outright sales or cash consignment.

General Questions & Answers

Can you buy a gun in Massachusetts without a license?

No, you can’t. Massachusetts residents 15 years and older who wish to possess, carry, and transport firearms, ammunition, and feeding devices are required to have a firearms license. Firearms licenses are issued by municipal police departments.

How much is a handgun permit in Massachusetts?

The fees for firearms-related licenses in this jurisdiction are as follows: $100 for a License to Carry Firearms and a Firearms Identification Card, with reduced fees of $25 for retired law enforcement officers and applicants under 18 years old.

Do you need a federally-issued ID to buy a gun in Massachusetts?

Yes, you need a government-issued ID to buy a gun.

What do you need to sell firearms in Massachusetts?

An individual may sell rifle, or shotgun to a person (other than a licensed dealer) who is properly licensed. The resident must report the sale to the Executive Director of the Criminal Justice Information Services via use of the Massachusetts Gun Transaction Portal (also known as an e-FA10.)

What is the process to buy a gun in Massachusetts?

To purchase a firearm in Massachusetts, you must first obtain a Firearm Identification Card (FID) or License to Carry (LTC) from your local police department. Complete a state-approved firearm safety course and submit an application with personal details and references. A comprehensive background check and in-person interview with the police are required. There is a mandatory 10-day waiting period before purchasing the firearm from a licensed dealer. Private sales must involve a licensed dealer for background checks.

What documents do I need to buy a gun in Massachusetts?

First, you need a gun license.

To obtain a gun license in Massachusetts, you must fulfill certain requirements. These include submitting a complete resident firearms license application along with the required application fee. Additionally, you need to provide a Massachusetts Basic Firearms Safety Course certificate to demonstrate your knowledge of firearm safety. Lastly, a valid form of identification is necessary for the application process. 

What are the rules for gun ownership in Massachusetts?

In Massachusetts, residents must obtain a Firearm Identification Card (FID) or a License to Carry (LTC) from their local police department in order to legally possess firearms. The application process includes a background check, fingerprinting, and a safety training course. 

Are Massachusetts gun laws strict?

Massachusetts has the sixth-strongest gun laws in the U.S.

Does Massachusetts have a gun registry?

Massachusetts requires all sellers of firearms to report firearms sales and transfers to the Department of Criminal Justice Information Services, which maintains comprehensive records of sales and transfers. Massachusetts does not, however, require firearm owners to periodically confirm their continuing ownership of firearms or eligibility to possess firearms.

Who can't own a gun in Massachusetts?

In Massachusetts, individuals who are prohibited from owning firearms include convicted felons, certain misdemeanor offenders, those with active restraining orders, individuals with mental health issues or court-ordered treatment, individuals with drug addiction or controlled substance convictions, and minors under the age of 18 (with exceptions for licensed sporting activities under adult supervision).

How do I dispose of unwanted firearms in Massachusetts?

In Massachusetts, it is possible for any individual to relinquish a firearm to their nearby police department. To surrender a weapon, one should get in touch with the local police department to schedule a time for the handover. The surrender program guarantees complete immunity from prosecution for the possession of the firearm. You also have the option to sell your gun online at, which is considered one of the best solutions for your financial benefit.

How many guns can I sell in Massachusetts?

According to Massachusetts General Law (M.G.L.) Chapter 140, Section 128A, an individual who holds a valid license and is not engaged in firearm dealing can privately transfer ownership of a maximum of four guns within a single calendar year.

Are private gun sales legal in Massachusetts?

Both the seller and the purchaser must report private firearm sales and transfers (excluding those facilitated by licensed gun dealers) to the Department of Criminal Justice Information Services, as per the usual Massachusetts law.

Can you gift a gun in Massachusetts?

Yes, it is permissible to buy a firearm as a gift for someone. However, it is not allowed to buy a firearm for an individual who is ineligible to own one according to the law.



As experienced and knowledgeable gun buyers, Cash for Arms provides the best market value for your firearm, ensuring you get the best possible price.



Cash for Arms adheres to all necessary protocols to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations, preventing the sale of firearms to prohibited individuals.



Cash for Arms pays all costs involved in the transaction, making it a hassle-free and cost-effective option for selling your gun.



We pay within 24 hours of receiving your firearms.



Safe and Secure Transaction: Multiple Selling Options: Cash for Arms offers multiple selling options to suit your needs, including selling outright or cash consignment.



By choosing a reputable buyer like Cash for Arms, you can ensure a safe and secure sale of your firearm, protecting yourself from potential legal complications.

By following the advice and directives outlined in this article, you can effectively manage the process of selling a firearm in Massachusetts. Always remember to abide by federal, state, and local laws to ensure a safe, legal, and financially rewarding transaction.


The content presented on this website is intended for informational purposes only. has made significant efforts in compiling, formulating, and ensuring high-quality information and materials. Nevertheless, we do not affirm or guarantee the complete accuracy, exhaustiveness, appropriateness, or timeliness of the information displayed on or linked to this website. Any reliance upon the information found on this website or through the associated links is done solely at the user’s discretion and risk. The information provided here does not amount to legal advice.  We are not legal professionals specialized in firearm laws, and our content should not be taken as such. Users are fully responsible for adhering to the laws and regulations applicable to their local jurisdiction concerning the buying, selling, and possession of firearms.

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We value your interest in our services. Due to regulatory requirements, we can only accept contact information from individuals 21 years of age or older. However, individuals aged 18 and above are eligible to sell firearms through our platform. If you are between 18 to 21 years old, please exit this pop-up and refrain from providing your phone number. Those under 18 should leave the website. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation in adhering to these guidelines.

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