The Licensing Unit of the Boston Police Department receives many inquiries from the public regarding the procedures involved in obtaining licenses for firearms and chemical propellant (mace). Because of the serious safety concerns inherent in the possession firearms and mace, it is recommended that the decision to obtain these licenses be carefully considered and that a licensee receive training in the safety and uses these weapons. Licensees must become familiar with all laws and regulations relating to firearm and mace ownership.
Applications are available at the:
Boston Police Headquarters
Licensing Unit, 1st floor
1 Schroeder Plaza, Boston
Customer Service Hours:
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday 8:30am-4:00pm
All firearms and chemical propellant licenses require:
a copy of a Birth Certificate;
a Massachusetts Driver's License or Identification Card with a Boston address;
a Criminal Offender Records Information background check;
a Department of Mental Health check;
and verification of fingerprint through the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
Additional requirements also apply, depending on the card and/or license you are applying for: FID-C, FID-D, or a License to Carry (Class A or B). Firearm and chemical licenses typically take months to complete.
The Boston Police Department does not advocate for or against citizens carrying mace or pepper spray, but reminds citizens to note:
Individuals may not carry pepper spray or mace without the proper license;
Individuals should carefully follow the manufacturer's instructions of how to properly use and care for the chemical spray;
Individuals should keep in mind that the pepper spray or mace could be potentially used against them.
Pepper Spray is made of a chemical compound containing capsaicin that irritates the eyes to cause tears, pain, and even temporary blindness.
Mace is a tear gas in the form of an aerosol spray that induces very similar effects.
Although considered non-lethal agents, they may be deadly in rare cases. Both can be used as forms riot and crowd control by law enforcement agents and as a method of self-defense for civilians.