Wayland Sees Increase in Large-Capacity Gun Permits

See how many gun permits were issued in Wayland over the past five years.

The Beretta 92 pistol. The SPAS-12 shotgun.

These are examples of the types of large-capacity firearms for which permits have increased 28 percent in Wayland since 2008, according to state records.

"Large-capacity" firearms are defined by the state of Massachusetts as semi-automatic handguns or rifles with the capacity of more than 10 ammunition rounds in their magazines and shotguns capable of having more than five shells.

Ownership permits for smaller-capacity firearms in Wayland have decreased over the same period of time -- from five permits in 2008 to two permits in 2012.

The number of machine gun permits in Wayland has also decreased -- by one -- since 2008. It is important to note that Massachusetts law only allows these permits to be issued to firearms instructors and gun collectors.

The numbers have emerged as state and federal officials have recently proposed new gun restrictions, and imposed others, in the wake of the shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.


Since 2008, the number of gun permits issued to Wayland residents has increased for some types of firearms but remained relatively flat for others, as shown in the chart below. 

Police departments in each Massachusetts community review and issue gun permits to anybody that applies and those statistics are forwarded to the state Executive Office of Public Safety and Security. Patch obtained the records from the EOPSS.







Firearms ID Card






Firearms ID Card (Mace)






Class A, License to Carry Large-Capacity






Class B License to Carry, Non-Large-Capacity

5 5 4 3 2

License to Possess A Machine Gun







CLASS A LICENSE TO CARRY: A class A license allows a person to possess or carry all types of ammunition, handguns, rifles, shotguns and large and non-large-capacity magazines, according to the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries & Wildlife website. Licensees are also allowed to carry their weapon, loaded or unloaded, while concealed.

Applicants must be 21 or older, pay a $100 fee and pass a firearms safety course or hunters course. However, police departments are allowed to impose restrictions on a class A license. The permit lasts for six years.

CLASS B LICENSE TO CARRY: A class B license allows individuals to have or carry non-large capacity rifles, shotguns (large and non-large capacity) and handguns, according to the DFW website. Licensees must be 21 or older, pay the $100 fee and pass either the firearms or hunters course. Class B applicants are not subject to police restrictions and the license is valid for six years.

FIREARMS IDENTIFICATION CARD: An FID card allows individuals to have or carry non-large capacity rifles, shotguns and ammo, but not handguns, according to the DFW website. Applicants must be 18 or older, pay a $100 fee and pass either the firearms or hunters course. Police have 40 days to issue a written response after an application is filed and denials must be issued in writing. Extra conditions cannot be imposed. Also, for a $25 fee, applicants between 15 and 17 may apply, with parental consent.

Gun owners are not required to retake the safety courses to renew their licenses, according to the state website.

LICENSE TO POSSESS A MACHINE GUN: Licenses to carry machine guns (any gun capable of rapid fire shots through one trigger squeeze) are not issued in Massachusetts. Only firearms instructors and gun collectors are allowed to apply for licenses to possess machine guns.

NON-RESIDENTS: Anybody who is not a resident of Massachusetts can legally carry a non-large capacity rifle or shotgun for hunting as long as they are permitted to carry those in their home state, according to the DFW website. Non-residents are prohibited from buying ammunition in Massachusetts.

LEGAL IMMIGRANTS: As of April 30, 2012, legal immigrants can apply for licenses to carry a firearm as well as a firearms identification card, according to the DFW website. 

APPEALS: Anybody denied a gun permit has the right to appeal, according to state law.


In addition to the license rules, Massachusetts has several other regulations, including: (source: Massachusetts state law).

  • Gun dealers are prohibited from selling assault weapons or large-capacity magazines (e.g. a detachable drum magazine) unless they were bought before Sept. 13, 1994. Examples of assault weapons banned: FN/FAL, Steyr-AUG, TEC-9, Uzis, and AR-15s.
  • Individuals convicted of felonies or misdemeanors that included at least a two-year jail sentence may not apply for a gun permit. Also, anybody convicted of prior gun or drug offenses or violent crimes is also prohibited.
  • Individuals who have been sent to mental health hospitals are prohibited from owning guns unless a doctor issues permission.
  • Individuals who have been treated for substance abuse are barred from owning guns unless a doctor declared the person “cured.”
  • Also, anybody against whom restraining orders have been filed against are also prohibited from having guns.


In the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting, Gov. Deval Patrick has proposed new rules on guns along with Pres. Barack Obama. Obama has also issued new rules through his executive order powers. 

New Proposed State Gun Rules (Press release from Patrick)

  • Abolishing high-power ammunition.
  • Requiring background checks be performed for gun sales done at gun shows.
  • A limit of one gun purchase per month.
  • Prohibiting anybody under 21 from buying a machine gun.
  • Sharing relevant mental health information with a state database, which would more easily help federal officials perform background checks on prospective gun buyers.
  • Also, Patrick proposed an additional $5 million for increased mental health services.
  • The bill, if passed, would create four new gun crimes, which prosecutors could use to put offenders who use a gun behind bars.
  • New authority would be given to police to arrest individuals without having a warrant if they encounter a dangerous situation.
  • The bill would also increase penalties for having a gun on school grounds.

Obama’s Proposed Gun Regulations (Source: Huffington Post)

New Gun Rules Imposed by Obama (Source: Huffington Post)

  • Modifying health care privacy laws to make more mental health information available for background checks.
  • Authority for police to do background checks before returning a gun seized from its owner.
  • Federal law enforcers must now trace the origins of any gun used in a crime.
  • Increased prosecution of gun crimes.
  • Clarification of the Obama’s health care law to say doctors are allowed to ask patients whether they have a gun in their home.

What are your thoughts on the kind and number of gun permits issues in Wayland? Are you surprised at the jump in permit applications for large-capacity weapons? Let us know in the comments section below.

JRZ January 27, 2013 at 10:39 PM
You're way over the line. You don't even have a rudimentary understanding of firearms (you didn't even know what semiautomatic meant!) and yet you continue to post nonsensical, inflammatory opinions and call for the banning of things you don't understand. You really should educate yourself further. That's exactly what I did. http://liberaltaria.com/?p=7
DHS January 27, 2013 at 10:56 PM
JRZ, I have enough of an understanding to know that the easy access to guns in this country is the greatest danger to our safety and freedom. Compare us to other 'like countries' that have the same violent video games, movies, etc, the same culture of violence and so on, what separates us from them is our easy access to guns. You are right though, I don't know one weapon from the other (and am proud of it) and ultimately if that detracts from my argument, so be it--these guns still have to go. Sadly JRZ, your have a distorted view of reality--yet again, another reason why we have to be certain make sure guns do not fall into the hands of those that are mentally instable. That is at least one thing we can agree on in light of Newtown.
DHS January 27, 2013 at 11:03 PM
One more point JRZ...the link that you posted is so clearly from a person that was a conservative, is one, and will always be. It is usually not a good idea to take at face value the ramblings on a person's personal blog. But I suppose if that is the way you educate yourself, it tells the public all they need to know.
DHS January 27, 2013 at 11:07 PM
Marcoccio, I think we can all agree that this is not a problem that can be pegged to a single issue. You are right that there are many variables that need to be considered, as you presented above. And gun control advocates often ignore the type of research you presented. On the other hand, gun supporters tend to ignore the research and statistics that demonstrate a link between the high rates of gun ownership and the violence and murder rate in our country. I think if each side did not choose to 'ignore' the evidence that does not help their personal argument, some progress could be made. Agree or disagree?
DHS January 27, 2013 at 11:27 PM
One other thing Marcoccio, it is helpful when you make an argument to avoid the paranoid thoughts such as "you and the US press are being controlled by Washington," and that the problem with our government is that it "will do everything it can to continue to nurture its successful support from females and teacher unions." That could give on the impression that you are an angry, white male clutching onto your gun. Last time I checked, it was sentiments like these that cost the Republicans the election back in November. Broadly stating that our government panders to women (over half our population) and teacher unions (as weak as they have ever been) does not help your argument.


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