Dealing with old convictions

A client came to me because he could not renew the Firearms Identification Card (FID) that he has had for over 30 years.

In his youth, he had broken a window. He was charged with Breaking and Entering to commit a larceny. When he went to court, they told him that if he pleaded guilty that he would only have to pay for the window, and nothing else would happen. What they didn’t tell him was that he was pleading guilty to a felony. After five years went by, he was able to get an FID and go hunting. He was an avid hunter for over 30 years.

When Massachusetts changed the gun laws in 2015, they did away with the five year rights restoration for many convictions. Because of this change, my client was unable to renew his FID, and all of his hunting rifles were confiscated by the police.

We brought the case forward and explained to the judge that he had inadequate legal representation when he was arraigned, and that if he had adequate representation, he would not have pleaded guilty to a felony at his first court appearance. The judge agreed and vacated the conviction.

He applied for, and recently received, a License to Carry (LTC)

RE: Denial of Your Firearms Identification Card Application

Many Massachusetts residents have been receiving these letters due to old court cases that were not considered disqualifying crimes before 2015. Since the passage of “An Act Relative to the Reduction of Gun Violence.” in August of 2014, these convictions now prevent people from renewing FID cards that some have had for decades.

If you have been denied the renewal of your FID card, contact Attorney Foley and set up a 30 minute consultation to discuss your options. If you can, please being your iCori report, as well as docket sheets from the courts where your conviction occurred.


Dear Massachusetts Firearms License Applicant:

As required by Massachusetts law, you are hereby notified that your application for a firearms identification card has been denied in accordance with the provisions in M.G.L. c. 140, § 129B.

The reason(s) for this action is/are as follows:

_ you have, in a court of the Commonwealth, been convicted as an adult of adjudicated a youthful offender or delinquent child, both as defined in M.G.L. c. 119, § 52, for the commission of (check all that apply):

_ a felony;

In accordance with M.G.L. c. 140, § 129D, you are required to turn in to the police department in the city/town in which you reside, without delay, your forearms license(s) and all firearms, rifles, shotguns, machine guns, large capacity feeding devices, and ammunition which you have in your possession or which are owned by you. Failure to do so in a criminal offense.

You may transfer any of your firearms, rifles, shotguns, machine guns, large capacity feeding devices, and ammunition to another person who can lawfully take possession of these items, but only after you surrender them to the police department.

Finally, you have the right to appeal this denial within 90 days to the District Court with appropriate jurisdiction.

Please contact us at any time if you have any questions concerning this matter.