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What Are the Gun Laws in Connecticut?

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Caution: This summary is meant for general purposes only. Firearm laws change frequently and the following may not reflect current laws.

State Requirements

Rifles and Shotguns
  • Permit to purchase rifles and shotguns? No
  • Registration of rifles and shotguns? No
  • Licensing of owners of rifles and shotguns? No
  • Permit to carry rifles and shotguns? No

Handguns
  • Permit to purchase handgun? Yes
  • Registration of handguns? No
  • Licensing of owners of handguns? No
  • Permit to carry handguns? Yes

Purchase:

No state permit is required for the purchase of rifles or shotguns. A permit to carry, permit to sell handguns, or handgun eligibility certificate is required to purchase a pistol or revolver.

No state permit is required for the purchase of rifles or shotguns. A permit to carry, permit to sell handguns, or handgun eligibility certificate is required to purchase a pistol or revolver.

It is unlawful to sell or permanently transfer a handgun to any person who is forbidden to possess a handgun, or to a person under 21.

No person, firm, or corporation shall sell or transfer any pistol or revolver unless an application provided by the Commissioner of Public Safety is filled out. There is a 2 week waiting period from the date of the application.

A handgun eligibility certificate, valid for five years, shall be issued by the Commissioner of Public Safety within 60 days after receipt of the National Criminal History Records check from the FBI to a person who may lawfully possess a handgun, who completes a handgun safety course, is fingerprinted, and pays a fee.

The eligibility certificate entitles a person to purchase, but not to carry, a handgun.

The commissioner must be notified within two business days of an address change.

The waiting period is waived for police and parole officers, holders of a state permit to carry, holders of a permit to sell handguns, or holders of a handgun eligibility certificate.

Holders of a valid Connecticut hunting license and active or reserve members of the armed forces are also exempt from the waiting period on rifles and shotguns. Antique firearms are exempted from both the waiting period and application form requirements.

Possession:

No state permit is required for the possession of rifles or shotguns.

It is unlawful to possess any other firearm by a person who has been convicted of a felony. It is unlawful to possess a handgun if convicted as a delinquent of a serious juvenile offense which includes:

  • Illegal possession of a controlled substance.

  • Negligent homicide.

  • Third degree assault.

  • First degree reckless endangerment.

  • Second degree unlawful restraint, rioting, or second degree stalking.

  • Or discharged from custody within the preceding 20 years after acquittal by reason of mental disease or defect.
  • Confined by court order for mental illness within the preceding 12 months.

  • Subject to a restraining or protective order involving physical force.

  • An illegal alien.

Carrying

  • A permit is required to carry a handgun on or about one’s person, or in a vehicle.

  • The applicant must successfully complete a handgun safety course approved by the commissioner.

  • A permit may be issued if the issuing authority finds that the applicant "intends to make no use of any pistol or revolver which he may be permitted to carry -other than a lawful use, and is a suitable person."
  • Connecticut is in transition from a local permits process to a State Permit Process.

  • A state wide permit to carry is valid (unless revoked for cause) for five years.

  • A permit to carry may be revoked if the issuing authority determines that the permit holder is no longer a "suitable person" to carry a handgun.

No permit to carry is required:
    1. If the person transporting is a peace officer.

    2. While in one’s own home or place of business.

    3. While transporting a handgun from the place of purchase to one’s residence or business if it is contained in the package in which it was originally wrapped at the time of sale.

    4. While moving one’s residence from one place to another.

    5. While transporting a handgun from his residence or place of business to a place of repair and back.

    6. To transport an antique handgun.


A permit to carry is required to carry a handgun outside one’s home (even though one may still be on his own property, i.e. there is no express "curtilage" exception) or in any "place of business" in which one is merely an employee, not an owner or operator.

A permit is also required to transport a handgun back and forth between one’s home and place of business, or to and from a range for target shooting.

It is unlawful to possess a firearm on public or private elementary or secondary school property. This prohibition shall not apply to a person with a firearm carrying permit, with permission from school officials, or while traversing school property with an unloaded firearm for the purpose of gaining access to lands open to hunting or for other lawful purposes, provided entry is not prohibited by school officials.

Miscellaneous Provisions:

  • Loaded shotguns and rifles may not be carried in a vehicle or snowmobile.

  • Muzzle-loading rifles and muzzle-loading shotguns are regarded as "unloaded" even though a charge may be in the bore, provided there is no powder in the flash pan or percussion cap on the nipple.

  • It is unlawful to alter, remove, deface, or obliterate the name of any maker or model or maker’s number or other mark of identification on any firearm. The possession of any firearm with its numbers or other marks altered creates a legal presumption that the possessor committed the offense.

  • Persons convicted of any class A, B, or C felony committed with a firearm (excluding an assault weapon) "shall be sentenced" to five (5) years, which sentence may not be suspended or reduced by the court. The sentence shall be in addition to and consecutive to any imprisonment imposed for the underlying felony.

  • Persons convicted of any class A, B, or C felony committed with an assault weapon shall be sentenced to eight (8) years, which sentence may not be suspended or reduced by the court. The sentence shall be in addition to and consecutive to any imprisonment imposed for the underlying felony.

  • Any person convicted of carrying a firearm without a permit shall be fined not more than $1,000.00 or imprisoned for less than 1 year or both, noting that absent mitigating circumstances, the sentence may not be suspended or reduced by the Court.

  • No person shall keep or store any loaded firearm on any premises under his control if he knows or reasonably should know that a person under 16 is likely to gain access without a parent’s or guardian’s permission, unless it is in a location which a reasonable person would believe to be secured, is carried on the person or within close proximity, or is in a locked container.


See Also:
National Rifle Association of America, Institute for Legislative Action
Connecticut Law About Firearms Law
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