Firearms Licensing, Hunting & Chemical Spray

Firearms Licensing
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Licensing Authority: Mark D. Segalla, Chief of Police
Licensing Officer: Patrick Dawley
Licensing Desk: (781) 942-6766
Licensing Email:


Recent statutory changes have extended the 90-day grace period indefinitely so long as you begin the renewal process prior to the expiration of your current license. The Reading Police Department will issue you a signed receipt in person or by mail when you drop off a renewal application. Please, keep this receipt with your expired license at all times.

Please attempt to make contact with the Licensing Officer, or to schedule an appointment with the Licensing Officer to check on the status of your application before coming to the station. The preferred method of contact is email, as it can be readily addressed. 

Applying for an FID Card, Restricted FID Card, Licence to Carry a Firearm, or License to Possess a Machine Gun

In order to apply for one of the above-listed licenses you must complete and submit an application in person to the front dispatch window of the Reading Police Department. This applies to new applications and renewals. Please note, there remains a significant waiting period in firearms license processing times. The processing time from the date of your appointment to when you physically receive your license varies with each applicant. The application is available for pickup at the station or by clicking here.

How Does the Process Work?

In order to apply for a License to Carry a Firearm, FID Card, Restricted FID Card, or License to Possess a Machine Gun you must fill out the above application completely, honestly, and accurately and drop it off at the station marked to the attention of "Firearms Licensing Officer." Applications that are not completely filled out or that are missing required documents will not be processed. You will be contacted to arrange for an appointment to come in. Please include your cell phone number to assist in getting in touch with you. Many times the largest delay in the process is caused by inability to reach applicants in a timely fashion.  During your appointment, you will have your photographs and fingerprints taken as well as have a final application uploaded into the state's MIRCS licensing system. As stated above, renewal applicants will be granted an indefinitely long grace period so long as the renewal process is initiated prior to the expiration of their current license. We will provide you a signed receipt as required by law and we ask that you keep this with your expired license at all times.

Once uploaded into the MIRCS system, a background check is completed which consists of a fingerprint record check conducted by the State Police and the FBI, a mental health check conducted by DMH, and a suitability and criminal records check conducted by the Reading Police Department. The background investigation has no definitive timeline and are treated at a case-by-case basis. Obtaining court documents, reports and other items can increase the timeline of the investigation.  Based on the findings, applicants are either denied or approved and are formally notified of the outcome by mail. Applicants will not hear from the Licensing Officer after the scheduled appointment unless there is something that needs to be addressed in the application. 

We strongly reccomend all renewals schedule an appointment several months in advance of their current expiration date.

When Are Appointments Conducted?

Appointments are generally conducted Tuesdays or Thursdays from 9:00AM until 3:00PM. We are currently booking about 2-3 months out, but times vary.

Change of Address Notification

Massachusetts General Law Chapter 140, sections 129B and 131 states "a cardholder shall notify the licensing authority that issued such firearms license, the chief of police into whose jurisdiction such cardholder moves, and the commissioner of the Department of Criminal Justice Information Services of any change of address within 30 days of its occurrence. Failure to notify any of these entities shall be cause for revocation or suspension of the license." You can download the offical change of address notification form by clicking here.

Hunting Licenses & Information About Hunting

The agency that regulates hunting in Massachusetts is the Division of Fisheries & Wildlife. The Division headquarters is located at 251 Causeway Street, Suite 400 in Boston and may be reached by telephone at (617) 626-1590. General questions regarding hunting licenes, technical hunting information, wildlife management areas, etc. should be directed at the Division. Be advised, the state has now implemented an online system for hunting and fishing licenses, which can be accessed by clicking here.

The Massachusetts Enviornmental Police is the lead law enforcement agency relative to hunting and wild game and may be reached at (800) 632-8075. Emergencies or calls requiring immediate resolution should still be processed through the 911 system and a Reading police officer will respond.

Resources for Applicants & Licensees

  1. To complete private transfers and gun registration online, click here.
  2. To retrieve your license PIN number, call (617) 660-4722.
  3. For a listing of Basic Safety Course Instructors, click here.
  4. To petition the Firearms Licensing Review Board to review misdemeanor charges affecting your suitability for an LTC, download and submit the required paperwork (read carefully), by clicking here.