Firearms Licensing

Instructions for License to Carry & Firearms Identification (FID) Card Applications
Please read the following instructions and drop off or mail your completed application form (PDF) to South Hadley Police Department. The Chief of Police or his designee will contact each applicant to schedule an appointment for an interview, fingerprints, and pictures. The fee for a License to Carry is $100, with no fee for persons 70 years of age or older. The fee for FID Cards is $100, restricted to Mace Only is $25. There is no renewal fee for persons over the age of 70 or for the renewal of a FID Card issued solely for the purchase or possession of mace.

All fees are payable to “The Town of South Hadley” by Bank Check or Money Order upon initial interview. Personal check and/or cash will not be accepted. Note: Please do not send payment in with your application.   
It shall be the policy of the South Hadley Police Department to issue Licenses to Carry firearms or an FID in such a manner that the safety of the public and the licensee are protected. In order to insure such safety, the department shall issue said permits in strict accordance with Massachusetts general Laws, Chapter 140, section 131.

Pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 140, Section 131

License To Carry Applicants
An applicant for a Class A or Class B License to Carry, or renewal of same, is any person residing or having a place of business within the jurisdiction of the South Hadley Police Department.

Class A
The holder of a Class A License To Carry is entitled to purchase, possess, and carry firearms, rifles and shotguns, including large capacity weapons and feeding devices and ammunition, for all lawful purposes, subject to such restrictions relative to the possession, use, and carrying as the licensing authority deems proper.

Class B
The holder of a Class B License To Carry is entitled to purchase, possess, and carry non-large capacity firearms, including non-large capacity weapons and feeding devices and ammunition therefore, and rifles and shotguns, including large capacity rifles and shotguns and feeding devices and ammunition therefore, for all lawful purposes, subject to such restrictions relative to the possession, use, and carrying as the licensing authority deems proper.

A holder of a Class B License To Carry is not entitled to carry or possess a loaded firearm in a concealed manner in any public way or place. Additionally, the holder of a Class B License To Carry is not entitled to possess a large capacity firearm, except under a Class A club license or under the direct supervision of a holder of a valid Class A license at an incorporated shooting club.

FID Applicants
An FID Card 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 and other incapacitating sprays. Whereas FID Cards had previously been issued for life, they now have a 6 year term.
  • A person must be 18 years of age or older, or 15 to 18 years of age with parental consent to apply for an FID Card.
  • No FID Card may be issued unless the Colonel of the State Police certifies in writing that the information available to him does not indicate that the applicant is disqualified.
All persons who have qualified under any of the Proper Purposes For Carrying A Firearm requirements under the department’s policy shall comply with the following procedures when applying for such a permit:
  • Applicant must fill out the form entitled, "Application for New / Renewal of a Firearms Identification Card or License to Carry Firearms (PDF)";
  • Applicant must demonstrate that he / she is a suitable person to possess a firearm and that he / she has a proper purpose for carrying a firearm;
  • All “New Applicants” must demonstrate his / her knowledge in the care and proper handling of firearms. In order to satisfy this requirement, the applicant must submit a letter / certificate from a Certified Instructor, who has been approved by the issuing authority, with his / her application certifying the applicant’s qualifications. Such letter / certificate shall attest to the applicant’s completion of a course on firearms use and safety. Such course must have been completed within 6 months prior to the date of application.
  • Applicant must submit written references of 2 parties, who are either known to or otherwise found satisfactory by this Department, stating that the applicant is of sound mind and character and is believed by the reference to have demonstrated responsibility for the safe possession of a firearm. Each reference must be neat and legible and must contain the Full Name, Home Address, and Home Telephone Number of the reference. Each reference must state how he/she has known the applicant, the specific basis for his / her opinion that the applicant is of sound character and is responsible, and must indicate his or her willingness to be interviewed by telephone and in confidence by this department. No references will be accepted from any police officer or from any elected official.
Application Processing
Once the applicant has completed the initial steps required of him / her, the department shall process the application as follows:
  1. The application shall be given to the Chief of Police, or his designee, for processing;
  2. The application shall be checked for accuracy and completeness;
  3. The Chief of Police, or his designee, shall conduct a personal interview with all applicants prior to the issuance or denial of any license. The purpose of this interview is to clarify any matters still in doubt, to determine if there is an actual need for the carrying of a firearm, and in general to assist in the determination if the applicant shall be granted a license to carry a firearm.
  4. Within 7 days of the receipt of a completed application and a personal interview for a License to Carry / FID, or renewal of same, the South Hadley Police Department shall forward a copy of the applicant’s fingerprints to the colonel of state police, who shall within 30 days advise the South Hadley Police Department, in writing, of any disqualifying criminal record of the applicant arising from within or without the commonwealth and whether there is reason to believe that the applicant is disqualified for any of the reasons listed in this statute;
  5. The department shall be sure that all forms, letters, and certificates required are attached to the application;
  6. The Chief of Police, or his designee, shall then make a determination of whether a person is suitable to possess a firearm based on the facts of the particular application. Not withstanding the foregoing, the following persons are considered to be unsuitable to carry a firearm under M.G.L., Chapter 140, Section 131, and shall be denied a license:
    • Anyone who has been convicted (or adjudicated delinquent or as a youthful offender) of a felony, a misdemeanor punishable by more than 2 years imprisonment, a violent crime, or a weapons or drug offense;
    • Anyone who has been confined to a hospital or institution for mental illness, unless he / she has an affidavit from a physician stating he is not disabled by such illness in a manner that prevents him / her from possessing a firearm;
    • Anyone who is or has been under treatment for or confinement for drug addiction or habitual drunkenness, unless deemed cured by a physician;
    • Anyone who is an alien;
    • Anyone who is subject to an outstanding arrest warrant;
    • Anyone who is subject to a suspension or surrender order or a protection order issued pursuant to M.G.L. Chapter 209A.
With respect to Firearm Identification Cards, but not License to Carry Firearms, the disqualification for criminal convictions do not apply after 5 years from the date of conviction or release from incarceration or supervision, except that there is a lifetime disqualification for violent crimes or crimes involving the trafficking in drugs

All applications will be approved or disapproved within the sound discretion of the Chief of Police, or his designee, subject to the policy and procedures of this department as outlined above. Further, upon the occurrence of a disqualifying event, a license or permit which had been issued shall be revoked or suspended.

Any applicant or holder aggrieved by a denial, revocation, or suspension of a license, unless a hearing has previously been held pursuant to chapter 209A, may, within either 90 days after receiving notice of such denial, revocation, or suspension or within 90 days after the expiration of the time limit during which the South Hadley Police Department is required to respond to the applicant, file a petition to obtain judicial review in the District Court of Hampshire County having jurisdiction in the Town of South Hadley wherein the applicant filed for, or was issued, such license. A justice of such court, after a hearing, may direct that a license be issued or reinstated to the petitioner if such justice finds that there was no reasonable ground for denying, suspending or revoking such license and that the petitioner is not prohibited by law from possessing same.