Massachusetts Instant Record Check System
The Massachusetts Instant Record Check System (MIRCS) is a two-part system introduced by the state this year for the purposes of issuing a License to Carry a firearm.
The first part is the local police department, which is responsible for granting a License to Carry Firearms.
The MIRCS program is a dedicated computer system that completes all of the required background checks through one application. It will shorten the amount of time a citizen will have to wait between the application for a firearms license and the granting of a license. The system also offers more safeguards for the public by doing a more through background check to prevent non-qualified persons from obtaining licenses.
The system allows the police departments to see if the applicant has previously held a firearms license of any kind. It will display all of the available information about the applicant’s current address and demographics as well as a summary of the applicant’s license history.
The system allows for the applicant’s photo to be captured digitally. Also a single fingerprint is taken digitally of one of the applicant’s fingers. In the future this single print will be check again electronically by firearms dealers.
Upon successful completion of the application process a new License to Carry will be issued by the state and will be similar to the driver’s licenses issued by the state. This photo ID will be mailed back to the issuing police department. The applicant will be contacted and at the time he/she arrives to pick up the license the individuals fingerprints will be checked again.
The second part of the MIRCS program applies to the retail gun dealers. When a person wants to purchase a firearm, he or she must produce a valid License to Carry a Firearm.
Under the MIRCS program, the purchaser will have to have his/her fingerprint checked to verify his/her identity and license status.
Any time a person’s License to Carry is revoked or suspended, the revocation or suspension is immediate, and all gun dealers will know immediately, any potential sale of a firearm will not proceed.
Because of the reduction of paperwork and a speedier application process, the Lynn Police Department has expanded the hours available to apply for, or renew, a License to Carry Firearms.
Prior to the introduction of the MIRCS program, firearms licenses were only processed on Wednesday. Under the new expanded hours the applications are done by appointment only.
First-time applications will be done by appointments on a Wednesday, and a full set of fingerprints will be taken. Applicants no longer have to bring a set of photos with their application.
All renewals will be done by appointments Monday – Friday, 9AM to 3 PM.
Appointments can be made by calling the Lynn Police Department business line 781.595.2000, Monday – Friday, 9AM to 3:30 PM.
Categories of Licenses To Carry Firearms are:
Class A - Allows the holder to possess large capacity firearms, rifles, shotguns and ammunition. Only Class A holders may carry a concealed weapon in public.
Class B - Allows the holder to possess non-large capacity firearms (handguns) as well as large capacity rifles, shotguns and ammunition. Class B holders MAY NOT carry a concealed weapon in public.
Categories of Firearms Identification Cards are:
Class C - Allows the holder to possess non-large capacity rifles, shotguns and ammunition. Weapons must be transported unloaded and in locked trunk or otherwise encased in a locked/secured container.
Class D - For possession of chemical spray only
Recently, Massachusetts amended MGL Chapter 140 (Firearms Laws) by adding Section 131L.
Section 131L makes it unlawful to store or keep any firearm, shotgun or other weapon "in any place" without ensuring first that the weapon is secured in :
1.) A locked container, or
2.) Secured with a tamper resistant mechanical lock or other safety device
The safety device must render the weapon inoperable by any person other than the owner or other authorized user.
Violations of this section of law are punishable as follows:
Firearm, rifle or shotgun (non large capacity) - Fine of not less than $5000 or by imprisonment for not more than one year.
Large Capacity weapon or machine gun - Fine of not less than $1000 nor more than $10,000 or by imprisonment for not less than one year nor more than ten years or by both such fine and imprisonment.
Additional penalties are provided for unlawful storage of weapons when they are kept where individuals under the age of eighteen might gain access and who do not possess a valid Firearms Identification Card. This section carries up to ten years imprisonment.
Failure to properly secure the weapon in the manner provided by statute shall constitute evidence of wanton or reckless conduct in any civil or criminal proceeding.