FIND GUN LAWS BY STATE

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR Bryan L. Ciyou is a trial and appellate attorney at the Indianapolis law firm of Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. He earned his BA with distinction and graduated through the honors program, along with his JD,... Read More

Connecticut Gun Laws

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Introduction

A point of much debate with professionals in the industry and individuals with CCPs is whether concealed carry should be the standard. The rationale behind this is two-fold. First, some tactical advantage may be lost in self-defense if the handgun is observed in advance by a would-be criminal.

Secondly, the question is whether this disturbs the public generally. An official firearms board in Connecticut has taken the position a firearm should be carried in a way to ensure it is concealed to avoid alarming the people who would see it. This statement of official policy is more or less a custom in many states.  Even still, open carry is legal in Connecticut with a valid license to carry.

Despite its tiny size, Connecticut has a dense population of 3,600,400 people. It borders Long Island Sound on the south. On the west, Connecticut borders New York State. To the north it borders Massachusetts, with Rhode Island to the east.

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A. State Constitution

Regarding the right to bear arms, the Connecticut Constitution states:

“Every citizen has a right to bear arms in defense of himself and the state.”

[http://gunla.ws/ct1]

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B. Scope of Preemption

Connecticut state statutes preempt local firearm regulation in two areas: firearm sales and hunting regulation.  Connecticut Courts have not considered whether the legislature has demonstrated the intent to occupy areas of firearm regulation in other areas.  CGS §§ 29-28 to -32; State v. Brennan (3 Conn. Cir. Ct. 413, 216 A.2d 294 (1965)) and Kaluszka v. East Hartford (60 Conn. App. 749 (2000)). [http://gunla.ws/ct2]

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C. Reciprocal Carry

By statute, Connecticut does not honor any other state’s carry permit, but instead requires holders of out of state carry permits to apply for a permit to carry in Connecticut:

“Any bona fide resident of the United States having no bona fide residence or place of business within the jurisdiction of any local authority in the state, but who has a permit or license to carry a pistol or revolver issued by the authority of another state or subdivision of the United States, may apply directly to the Commissioner of Public Safety for a permit to carry a pistol or revolver in this state.”  28-29(f).

Connecticut’s most current reciprocity information may be referenced online. [http://gunla.ws/ct3]

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D. Duty to Inform Officers

Connecticut does not require individuals to inform a LEO of a permit or license to carry but if an Officer asks about a weapon, by law, an answer must be supplied. You must carry Your permit, together with valid photo identification, at all times that you are in actual possession of a concealed handgun. You must produce both documents upon demand by a LEO. [http://gunla.ws/i8vo]

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E. Self-defense Laws

Connecticut has a Castle Doctrine law but no SYG law.  There is no duty to retreat when attacked on any property You own, control, or have permission to be on, and You may use deadly force in self-defense if You reasonably believe it is imminently necessary to prevent death or SBI, kidnapping, an attempt by the intruder to commit arson or another violent crime, or to the extent necessary stop the unlawful & forcible entry into the property.

[http://gunla.ws/ct4]

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F. Criminal Provisions

To obtain a firearm in Connecticut a person must be a Connecticut resident of at least 21 years of age and a background check is now required whether purchase is online, in person, or at a gun show. A license to carry a handgun does not permit carry in any of the following places or circumstances:

  • On school grounds, including the real property of a private or public elementary or secondary school, or a school-sponsored event
  • Some federal properties and buildings with fixed security checkpoints such as courthouses.
  • SBR, SBS, destructive devices, and suppressors are prohibited unless they were purchased before 10/1/93, or comply with the state assault weapons ban
  • MGs are prohibited unless purchased and registered with the state before 1/1/14

For a list of places where carrying firearms is prohibited, see:

[http://gunla.ws/ct5]

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G. Permit required to purchase Firearms and Ammunition

You must obtain a permit in order to purchase firearms or ammunition in Connecticut. Separate permits are required to purchase handguns, long guns, and ammunition. Applicants must complete a safety training course, pass a background check, and have clean mental health records in order to obtain a permit to purchase. Purchase permits are valid for five years, and there is no limit to the number of firearms or ammunition that may be purchased by valid permit holders. Background checks are required for all firearm sales. You must be at least 18 years old to apply for a long gun or ammunition purchase permit, and 21 years old to apply for a handgun purchase permit. [http://gunla.ws/ksnm]

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H. Waiting Period

Connecticut does not impose a waiting period on firearm purchases or transfers. However, a purchaser or transferee must obtain a permit or certificate prior to receiving a firearm. [http://gunla.ws/in8v]

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I. High Capacity Magazine Ban

High-capacity magazines are defined as magazines capable of holding more than ten (10) rounds. There are two exceptions to this: tube/helical magazines for .22 firearms (even if detachable) and internal tube/helical magazines for lever action guns aren’t considered “large capacity” magazines even if they can hold >10 rounds, and are therefore legal. The transfer, sale, and possession of high-capacity magazines within the state is prohibited, subject to the following exception.

High-capacity magazines that were lawfully possessed before 4/4/13 were grandfathered in as long as their owners registered them with the state before 1/1/14. People who registered high-capacity magazines prior to 1/1/14 may continue to possess them, but may not sell or transfer them within the state.  In addition, it is illegal to possess a high-capacity magazine (even if registered) that is loaded with more than 10 rounds, except at the owners’ residence or at a licensed shooting range. Even if one possesses a permit to carry and has registered magazines, it is illegal to have them loaded with more than 10 rounds in public. [http://gunla.ws/ju7t]

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J. Assault Weapons Ban

It is illegal to possess an assault weapon, unless it was possessed before October 1, 1993 or the individual received a certificate of possession from the Connecticut State Police prior to July of 1994. Assault weapons may not be sold or transferred to any person other than a licensed gun dealer or any individual who is going to relinquish it to the police. [http://gunla.ws/4gu3]

Theft of a lawfully possessed assault weapon must be reported within 72 hours by the person who possesses the title:

“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.” [http://gunla.ws/7gcr]

The definition and list of assault weapons may be found at:

[http://gunla.ws/ct6]

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K. Carrying Firearms in Vehicles

It is generally illegal to transport a firearm in a vehicle in Connecticut without a carry permit. The exception is that an unloaded handgun may be transported, provided the firearm (and ammunition) is inside a locked container or not accessible from the passenger compartment, and You must be transporting the gun: to Your home or place of business, to or from a repair shop, to or from a competition, or when transporting Your household goods from one place to another. [http://gunla.ws/ct7]

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L. NFA Items

Connecticut permits ownership of all NFA items provided they are legally obtained pursuant to federal law, but imposes additional regulations. Select-fire MGs are prohibited, meaning they must only be capable of fully-automatic fire and not semi-automatic, (can be set only to “safe” or “auto”, not “semi” or “burst”). Non-selective fire MGs may be transferred to another resident within Connecticut. MGs are legal if purchased and registered with the state before January 1, 2014. NFA items must comply with the state assault weapons ban, unless they were owned prior to 8/1/93. Hunting with suppressors is legal. [http://gunla.ws/ufky]

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M. Carry in Restaurants That Serve Alcohol

Yes. There is no law stating it is illegal. You can carry in a restaurant that serves alcohol. Places like Fridays or Chili’s unless they have a “No Gun Sign,” then You are prohibited from carrying into the establishment. This does not include a bar or the bar area of a restaurant. You can carry your firearm into a restaurant that serves alcohol, but you are prohibited from consuming alcohol while carrying a firearm.

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N. Do “No Gun Signs” Have the Force of Law?

Yes. If a property or establishment has a “No Guns” sign or the person in lawful possession communicates to you that guns are not allowed, you are prohibited from carrying on the property or into the establishment. Failure to obey such signs or verbal warnings constitutes trespass. [http://gunla.ws/0ts7]

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FIND GUN LAWS BY STATE

Table of Contents

About the author
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Bryan L. Ciyou is a trial and appellate attorney at the Indianapolis law firm of Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. He earned his BA with distinction and graduated through the honors program, along with his JD,... Read More