See our Minimum Age to Purchase / Possess Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.
In Massachusetts, generally no one under 18 years of age may purchase a firearm or ammunition, and no one under 21 years of age may purchase a handgun, large capacity weapon or large capacity feeding device.1 Any person selling or furnishing a rifle, shotgun, machine gun or ammunition to any person under age 18 is criminally liable for a felony, as is any person selling or furnishing a handgun or large capacity rifle or shotgun or ammunition for those firearms to anyone under age 21.2
Under certain circumstances, however, minors may possess weapons. Persons “more than 14 but less than 18 years of age” may apply for a Firearm Identification Card (“FID”) if the applicant submits a certificate from his or her parent or guardian granting the applicant permission to apply for a FID. A FID will not issue to a minor until he or she reaches 15 years of age. This exception allows persons 15 years of age and older to possess rifles and shotguns.3
In addition, a 2014 law allows someone to furnish a weapon to a minor for hunting, recreation, instruction and participation in shooting sports if the minor is supervised by a someone with a valid FID or license to carry, provided the minor’s parent or guardian has consented.4 Applicants for a license to carry a handgun must be at least 21 years of age.5
- Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 140, §§ 130, 131E(a).
- Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 140, § 130.
- Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 140, § 129B.
- Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 140, § 130 1/2.
- Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 140, § 131.