See our Ammunition Regulation policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.
Massachusetts law does not regulate or prohibit any types of unreasonably dangerous ammunition. Massachusetts does, however, do each of the following things, as described below:
- Require a license for the purchase or possession of ammunition;
- Impose a minimum age to purchase or possess ammunition; and
- Require a license to sell ammunition.
Licensing of Ammunition Purchasers and Possessors
Massachusetts requires a firearm license to purchase or possess ammunition. Any person with a license to carry is permitted to purchase, rent, lease, borrow, possess and carry all types of lawful firearms, including both large and non-large capacity handguns, rifles, shotguns, and feeding devices and ammunition for these firearms.1
Alternatively, in Massachusetts, any person may purchase and possess rifles, shotguns and “non large capacity” feeding devices and ammunition for rifles and shotguns with a valid firearm identification (FID) card.2 To purchase a handgun and ammunition for a handgun, a FID card holder must also obtain a permit to purchase a handgun.3 Massachusetts law penalizes anyone who sells ammunition to a person who does not have the required license(s). For detailed information on licensing requirements for firearm owners in Massachusetts, see the section on Licensing of Gun Owners & Purchasers.
Minimum Age to Purchase / Possess Ammunition
Massachusetts law prohibits selling or furnishing long gun ammunition to anyone under age 18, and ammunition for a handgun, large capacity weapon, or large capacity feeding device to a person under age 21.4
Ammunition Seller Licensing
Massachusetts requires any person who sells ammunition to obtain a license. The chief of police or the board or officer having control of the police in a city or town may grant a license after a criminal history check, to anyone who is not:
- An alien;
- A minor;
- A person who has been adjudicated a youthful offender, including those who have not received an adult sentence; or
- A person who has been convicted of a felony in any state or federal jurisdiction, or of the unlawful use, possession or sale of narcotic or harmful drugs.
The license must specify the street and number, if any, of the building where the business is to be carried on. The Department of Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) conducts the background check, and the local issuing authority must send CJIS a copy of the license.5
Alternatively, a sporting or shooting club may obtain a license to sell or supply ammunition for regulated shooting on the premises.6
Ammunition seller licenses are valid for three years.7
- Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 140, § 131(a).
- Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 140, § 129C.
- Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 140, §§ 131A, 131E.
- Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 140, §§ 130, 131E.
- Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 140, § 122B.
- Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 140, § 124.