“Every citizen has a right to bear arms in defense of himself and the state.”
*NOTE: Thanks to the Supreme Court’s decision on NYSRPA v. Bruen, “May Issue” states must affirm the right to bear arms in public, marking the end of these subjective and unconstitutional permitting schemes. Now these states are scrambling to figure out how to curtail the decision by passing new laws to effectively make it difficult, or even outright illegal, to conceal carry in public. For that reason, things are moving too fast to keep these specific states updated. Please be vigilant in staying updated with your state laws.
AT A GLANCE
Connecticut is a may-issue, with limited discretion, state. To purchase a handgun, a buyer must have a Connecticut Pistol Permit (CTPP) or obtain a Certificate of Eligibility. A background check is required to buy a handgun from a private individual. Open carry and concealed carry are legal in Connecticut with a CTPP. The minimum age is 21. The Castle Doctrine is incorporated into Connecticut law. Although there is no duty to retreat in a person’s home, there is a duty to retreat outside of one’s home.
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.”
Duty To Notify Police Officer
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.
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.
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.
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.
Carry In Restaurants That Serve Alcohol
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.
Do “No Gun Signs” Have The Force Of Law?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Theft of a lawfully possessed assault weapon must be reported within 72 hours by the person who possesses the title.
DISCLAIMER: The Gun Laws by State Guide (GLBSG) was created to provide its readers with a general educational resource tool to explore the pertinent gun laws in Your jurisdiction.
However, the GLBSG was not researched and/or written by attorneys as a specific legal guide to rely upon. Instead, it is a starting point for your own research. In addition, all laws are always subject to reasonable, but different, legal interpretation as to meaning and application.
As such, the GLBSG is not intended to supplant, nor limit, Your need for independent verification of any and all material contained herein and consultation with competent counsel of choice regarding any specific issues.
This type of specific legal analysis is necessarily beyond the general educational objective of the GLBSG and for which a bar-admitted attorney in the particular state(s) is needed and required. The content of this GLBSG is a general restatement of the law.
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