Connecticut Gun Laws
Friday, November 7, 2014
STATE CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISION - Article 1, Section 15.
“Every citizen has a right to bear arms in defense of himself and the state.”
Gun Laws Overview
|RIFLES & SHOTGUNS||HANDGUNS|
|Licensing of Owners||Yes**||Yes|
|Permit to Carry||No||Yes|
|Permit to Purchase||Yes*||Yes|
|Registration of Firearms||Yes**||No|
* After April 1. 2014 a long gun "eligibility certificate" is required.
|Right To Carry Laws||Discretionary/Reasonable Issue|
|Right to Carry Confidentiality||Provisions Enacted|
|Right to Carry in Restaurants||Legal|
|Right To Carry Reciprocity and Recognition||None|
|Right to Keep & Bear Arms State Constitutional Provisions||With Provisions|
Laws on Purchase, Possession and Carrying of Firearms
Prior to April 1, 2014 no sale, delivery, or other transfer of any long gun shall be made until the expiration of two weeks from the date of the application. Current exceptions include federal marshals, parole officers, or peace officers.MORE
Beginning on and after April 1, 2014 no person may purchase a long gun unless such person holds a valid long gun eligibility certificate, a valid permit to carry a pistol or revolver, a valid permit to sell at retail a pistol or revolver, or a valid eligibility certificate for a pistol or revolver, or is a federal marshal, parole officer, or peace officer.
No person, firm, or corporation may deliver, sell, or otherwise transfer any firearm defined as a “long gun” to any person unless such person makes application on a form prescribed and furnished by the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection. No sale, delivery, or any other transfer of any long gun shall be made until the person, firm, or corporation making such sale, delivery, or transfer has ensured that such application has been completed properly and has obtained an authorization number from the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection for such sale, delivery, or transfer.
If the applicant is ineligible to receive such firearm, then the Commissioner of Emergency Service and Public Protection shall immediately notify the person, firm, or corporation to whom such application was made and no such firearm shall be sold, delivered, or transferred by such person, firm, or corporation to the applicant. When any firearm is delivered in connection with any sale, delivery, or transfer the firearm shall be enclosed in a package, the paper or wrapping of which shall be securely fastened, and no such item when delivered on any sale or purchase shall be loaded or contain any gunpowder or other explosive or any bullet, ball or shell.
Upon the sale, delivery, or other transfer of a firearm, the transferee shall sign in triplicate a receipt for such firearm, which shall contain the name, address, date and place of birth, date of sale, delivery, or transfer, the caliber, make, model, and manufacturers number and general description thereof. Then the transferor (vendor) shall within 24 hours of the sale, delivery, or transfer shall send by first class mail or electronically transfer one receipt to the chief of police, where there is no chief of police, the warden of the borough or the first selectman, of the town in which the purchaser resides. The vendor shall also retain 1 receipt with the original application for at least 5 years.
No sale, delivery, or other transfer of any long gun shall be made by a person who is not a federally-licensed firearm manufacturer, importer, or dealer to a person who is not a federally-licensed firearm manufacturer, importer, or dealer unless:
Effective July 1, 2013
Any person who is 18 years of age or older may apply to the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection for a long gun eligibility certificate. The Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection shall issue a long gun eligibility certificate unless the Commissioner finds that the applicant is disqualified under section 2(b). Anyone issued a long gun eligibility certificate must notify the Commissioner with 2 business days of a change in address. The initial fee/renewal fee associated with the long gun eligibility certificate is $35.00. Long gun eligibility certificates are valid for a period of 5 years.
Any revocation of certificate shall be made in writing to holder of such certificate. The holder of a revoked certificate must surrender certificate within 5 days or face legal action. Appeals can be made within 90 days of any refusal to issue a certificate or permit.
The Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection can conduct a national criminal history records check and issue an ammunition certificate costing $35.00 and is valid for 5 years.
A permit to carry a handgun, a permit to sell handguns, or a handgun eligibility certificate is required to purchase a pistol or revolver. Any person, firm or corporation who sells or otherwise transfers a handgun must contact the Connecticut State Police to verify the validity of the permit to carry handguns or the handgun eligibility certificate.
Any person who is twenty-one years of age or older may apply to the Commissioner of Public Safety for an eligibility certificate for a pistol or revolver. The Commissioner must issue this certificate if the applicant may lawfully possess a handgun under state and federal law, and has successfully completed an approved handgun safety or training course. The applicant must be fingerprinted and pay all appropriate fees ($35). The certificate is valid for 5 years. The Commissioner of Public Safety must be notified within 2 business days of an address change. A certificate of eligibility for a handgun does not authorize an individual to carry a pistol or revolver.
It is unlawful to sell or transfer a handgun to any person who is forbidden to possess a firearm under state or federal law, or to a person under 21. However, a handgun may be temporarily transferred to a person under 21 for target shooting under the immediate supervision of a person eligible to possess a handgun and such use is otherwise permitted by law. No person, firm or corporation shall sell, deliver or otherwise transfer any pistol or revolver at retail unless such pistol or revolver is equipped with a reusable trigger lock, gun lock or gun locking device.
A person must be twenty-one years of age to possess a handgun.MORE
It is unlawful to possess a handgun by a person who has been convicted of a felony; 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; 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; or an illegal alien. It is unlawful to possess any other firearm by a person who has been convicted of a felony.LESS
A permit to carry a pistol or revolver is required to carry a handgun on or about one’s person, either openly or concealed, or in a vehicle. However, the Connecticut Board of Firearms Permit Examiners (which reviews denials and revocations of permits) cautions that "every effort should be made to ensure that no gun is exposed to view or carried in a manner that would tend to alarm people who see it."MORE
A permit to carry is required to carry a handgun outside one’s home (even though one may still be on his own property) 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.
In order to receive a state permit to Carry Pistol and Revolvers, a local permit must be obtained first. Out-of-state residents may apply for a non-resident Connecticut State Pistol Permit, and apply directly to the Connecticut State Police.
The application paperwork may be obtained from a local police department, city or town hall or first selectman's office in the case of a local permit, or any state police barracks in the case of a state pistol permit. An applicant is required to complete a handgun safety course prior to submitting the application. An applicant must also submit to a background investigation, criminal history check and submit photographs in connection with the application.
An applicant may be issued a concealed carry license if the local licensing authority finds that the applicant:
No person shall possess any "assault weapon" unless that person possessed that firearm before October 1, 1993 and received a certificate of possession from the Connecticut State Police prior to July 1994. The commissioner of public safety shall maintain a file of all certificates of transfer at the central office.MORE
No assault weapon may be sold or transferred to any person other than to a licensed gun dealer, or any individual who arranged in advance to relinquish it to a police department or the department of public safety, or by bequest or intestate succession. Any person who obtains title to an assault weapon for which a certificate of possession has been issued by bequest or intestate succession shall, within 90 days of obtaining title, apply to the department of public safety for a certificate of possession, render the weapon inoperable, sell the weapon to a licensed gun dealer, or remove the weapon from the state. Any person who moves into the state in lawful possession of an assault weapon shall, within 90 days, render it permanently inoperable, sell it to a licensed gun dealer, or remove it from the state.
A person who has been issued a certificate of possession of an assault weapon/large capacity magazine may possess it only under the following conditions:
The theft of a lawfully possessed assault weapon must be reported to the police within 72 hours of discovery. Any person who obtains title to an assault weapon/large capacity magazine, for which a certificate of possession has been issued under this section by bequest or intestate secession shall within 90 days apply to the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection for a certificate of possession. Any person who moves into the state has 90 days to submit an application to the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection for the proper certificates. All sales and transfers of such assault weapons or large capacity magazines must be submitted to the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection.
An “Assault Weapon” is defined as: Any selective-fire firearm capable of fully automatic, semiautomatic or burst fire at the option of the user or any of the following specified semiautomatic firearms listed on the Connecticut Commissioner of Service and Public Protection. The term “assault weapon” does not include any firearm modified to render it permanently inoperable.
Large Capacity Magazines
A large capacity magazine is a detachable magazine that can hold more than 10 rounds. Any person who possesses a large capacity magazine on or after January 1, 2014 shall be guilty of a class D felony. Exceptions include members or employees of the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, police departments, the Department of Correction or the military or naval forces of this state or of the United States for use in the discharge of their official duties or when off duty; Employees of a Nuclear Regulatory Commission licensee operating a nuclear power generating facility in this state for the purposes of providing security services at such facility, or any person, firm, corporation, contractor or subcontractor providing security services for this facility; Any person, firm, or corporation engaged in the business of manufacturing large capacity magazines in this state that manufactures or transports large capacity magazines in this state for sale within this state to persons specified in subdivision (1) or (2) of this subsection or for sale outside this state.
Other exemptions to the possession of large capacity magazines include the transfer of a large capacity magazine to a licensed firearm dealer, police department, Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection, the transfer or bequest or interstate succession of a large capacity magazine.LESS
Generally a local government is preempted from regulating a subject matter when a state has demonstrated an intent to occupy the entire field of regulation in that area or when the ordinance at issue irreconcilably conflicts with a state law. Dwyer v. Farrell, 475 A.2d 257, 261 (Conn. 1984). Essentially absent a direct conflict with state law, broad local firearms and ammunitions regulation is possibleMORE
Preemption through judicial ruling of specifically Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 29-28 (1977), which regulates handgun sales. Dwyer v. Farrell, 475 A.2d 257, 261 (Conn. 1984). Municipal ordinance which had the effect of prohibiting the retail of handguns unless the seller was a dealer and unless the sale occurred on premises located in an area zoned as a business district was preempted by § 29-28 regulating handgun sales, where § 29-28 did not prohibit otherwise qualified sellers from making handgun sales even though the sellers were nondealers and lived in residential neighborhoods.LESS
A person must report the loss or theft of any firearm to the local police department within 72 hours of when such person discovered or should have discovered the loss or theft. Any person who fails to make the required report within the required time period shall commit an infraction and be fined not more than $90.00 for a first offense and be guilty of a class D felony for any subsequent offense. A person who violates this law for the first offense does not lose a person's right to hold or obtain any firearm permit.MORE
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 for any person to transport a BB gun unless it is stored in the trunk of the vehicle or other locked container.
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.
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.
It is unlawful to distribute, transport or import, keep or offer for sale, or possess an “assault weapon” except as provided.LESS
Sources: General Statutes of Connecticut, Title 29 et.al. and Title 53, §202, §205, §217.
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