See our Disarming Prohibited People policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.
For information about Massachusetts’s extreme risk law, see Extreme Risk Protection Orders in Massachusetts.
General Relinquishment Requirements
Under Massachusetts law, local FID card licensing authorities must revoke a person’s FID card following the occurrence of any event that renders the cardholder prohibited from possessing firearms.1 Upon receipt of the written notice of revocation from the licensing authority, the prohibited person must “without delay” deliver or surrender all firearms and ammunition in his or her possession to the licensing authority where he or she resides.2
After taking possession of those firearms, the licensing authority may transfer possession of the weapons to a licensed firearms dealer for storage purposes. The dealer must issue a receipt to the prohibited person, who is liable to the dealer for reasonable storage charges. Through the dealer, the prohibited person may then transfer any relinquished firearms to a person lawfully permitted to purchase or take possession of the weapon. After a year in storage, or 90 days of unpaid storage charges, relinquished firearms must be sold at public auction by the state police. After deduction and payment for storage charges and all costs associated with the surrender and transfer of the firearms, any surplus proceeds must be immediately returned to the prohibited person.3
Since 2014, Massachusetts law has also provided a standard process for law enforcement agencies to petition a court to seek the denial or suspension of a FID card from a person who is “unsuitable” to possess firearms because they are a public safety risk. For more information about this process, see the Massachusetts Licensing of Gun Owners section.
Domestic Violence Protective Orders
For information regarding relinquishment of firearms from abusers subject to domestic violence protective orders in Massachusetts, see the Domestic Violence & Firearms in Massachusetts section.