164 Andover St.
Lowell, MA 01852
Voice Line: (978) 452-8450
Voice Line in Massachusetts: (800) 984-4867

Basic Pistol Certification

Instructor: Greg Danas

Tuition:  $125.00 (Sign up on-line and save $15, your cost: $110.00!)

This page describes the Basic Pistol Certification program offered here at Instructional Shooting, Inc (ISI). As of October 21, 1998, successful completion of a Basic Pistol Certification program is now a requirement for all Pistol Permit applicants in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

The Basic Pistol Certification program, as well as our other programs in Advanced and Combat firearms instruction, are offered to law enforcement and the general public through ISI directly, as well as through four colleges and universities in Eastern Massachusetts. Typical class size for Basic Pistol is 12 to 20 students, and is taught on Saturdays. See the schedule page for course dates and locations.

The Basic Pistol Certification program covers the following topics:

  • Massachusetts State Laws, as well as Federal and Interstate Transportation Law

  • Pistol Parts, Operation and Mechanics

  • Proper and Safe Gun Handling Technique

  • Range Procedures

  • Marksmanship Skills with Both Semi-Automatic Pistol and the Revolver

  • Discussion of Ammunition and Calibers

  • Discussion of Alternatives to Firearms

  • Selected Short Videos

  • Benefits of NRA Membership

Prospective students are required to choose a class date and to register/pay in advance. Each student will receive a packet of information in the mail, which includes the directions to the facility, and other paperwork. This packet is self-explanatory. However, should questions arise, please feel free to call.

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Effective June 1, 1998, all new firearm license applicants must complete a certified firearms safety course or Basic Hunter Education Course

The new law creates two types of licenses to carry (LTC):

CLASS .A. LTC:  Permits the purchase, possession and carrying of all ammunition, handguns, rifles, shotguns and feeding devices (both large and non-large capacity). This is the only license that allows the carrying of concealed handguns-either loaded or unloaded.

CLASS .B. LTC:  Permits the purchase, possession and carrying of all ammunition, non-large capacity handguns, and all rifles and shotguns ( large and non-large capacity).


A weapon is large capacity if it is a semi-automatic handgun or rifle that is capable of accepting (or readily modifiable to accept) any detachable large capacity feeding device that holds more than ten rounds, OR if it is a shotgun capable of accepting more than five shotgun shells, OR if it is an assault weapon.

NOTE:  A .22 caliber rifle with a fixed tubular magazine is not considered large capacity.


Your current LTC will be valid until its stated expiration date.  New applicants must be 21 years of age or older to obtain a Class .A. or Class .B. permit.  New applicants must complete a Mass. certified firearms safety course or a BASIC HUNTER EDUCATION COURSE.  Class .A. and .B. LTC cost $100.00 and are valid for 4 years.


The new FID card permits the purchase, possession and carrying of NON-LARGE CAPACITY RIFLES, SHOTGUNS and AMMUNITION ONLY.  You must be at least 18 years old (or 15 . 17 years old with parental consent) to apply for an FID card.  The fee for an FID card is $25.00 and it is valid for 4 years.  Your current FID card will expire on your birthday in 1999 if you were born between July 1 and December 31.  It will expire in the year 2000 if your birthday falls between January 1 and June 30.  New applicants must complete a Mass. certified firearms safety course or a BASIC HUNTER EDUCATION COURSE.  A restricted FID card is available solely for the possession of mace or pepper spray.  Applicants for the restricted FID are exempt from the education requirement.


CLASS .A. LTC:  Allows the holder to transport a loaded or unloaded handgun on his person or in a motor vehicle if the handgun is under their direct control.  Handgun does not have to be in a locked case or container.

CLASS .B. LTC:  Allows the holder to transport a non-large capacity handgun.  Handgun must be unloaded and secured in a locked trunk or locked container.

LARGE-CAPACITY RIFLES AND SHOTGUNS:  No person possessing a large-capacity rifle or shotgun under a Class .A. or Class .B. permit shall possess said rifle or shotgun in a motor vehicle unless unloaded and contained within a locked trunk or in a locked case or other secure container. 

NOTE:  All rifles and shotguns must be unloaded when in or on a motor vehicle, but only large-capacity rifles and shotguns are subject to the storage requirement.  This also applies to Muzzleloading or other Black Powder arms.


You can carry a loaded or unloaded rifle or shotgun upon or across a public way if you are engaged in hunting and hold a valid hunting license.  You do not need a trigger lock or case on the rifle or shotgun provided you are engaged in hunting with a valid hunting license.

NOTE:  You shall not possess a loaded rifle or shotgun nor discharge same within 500 feet of a building or dwelling in use without the owners or occupants permission.  Also, you shall not discharge same upon or across any state or hard surfaced highway nor within 150 feet of such highway.


All handguns, rifles , and shotguns must be stored in a locked container or equipped with a tamper-resistant mechanical lock or other safety device.  Such weapon shall not be deemed stored or kept if carried by or under the control of the owner or other lawfully authorized user. Primitive firearms are exempt from this storage requirement.


May possess and carry non-large capacity rifles and shotguns for hunting as long as they have a valid non-resident hunting license and are legally authorized to possess and carry same in their state of origin.  All shotguns and rifles must be unloaded and encased.  For handguns and large capacity rifles and shotguns, contact the Department of Public Safety.


Permit required to possess/carry handguns, rifles, and shotguns.  Apply to the Department of Public Safety.
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