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Connecticut Background Check and Gun Laws

Subject/Law
Long guns
Handguns
Relevant Statutes
Notes
State Permit to Purchase? No Yes CGS 29-36(f),
CGS 29-36(g)
Certificate of Eligibility for Pistol or Revolver required to purchase handguns. Applicants must complete an approved handgun safety course, and pass a NICS background check prior to issuance of certificate. Certificate of Eligibility valid for five years. There is a 14-day waiting period for the purchase of handguns, with exceptions for peace officers and Active-Duty military members.
Firearm registration? No* No* CGS 53-202 Registration required for assault weapons purchased before October 1, 1993.
“Assault weapon” law? Yes Yes CGS 53-202 Partial ban (selective fire weapons with the ability to fire either semautomatic or fully automatic and some .50 BMG variants)
No restrictions on magazine capacity.
Owner license required? No No    
Carry permits issued? No Yes CGS 29-28 Permit needed to carry open or concealed. Exceptions for peace officers and Active-Duty military members.
State Preemption of local restrictions? Yes Yes CGS 29-28  
NFA weapons restricted? Partial Partial CGS 53-202(c) Selective fire assault weapons prohibited, unless purchased before October 1, 1993.
Peaceable Journey laws? No No CGS 29-38 Federal rules observed.

Connecticut is a Shall Issue state. “Every citizen has a right to bear arms in defense of himself and the state.” Article 1, Section 15.
 
Permits in Connecticut are first issued by the town police department, which conducts the background checks and fingerprinting. Each town is different in its willingness to approve permits, and some towns create their own requirements that go well beyond the State requirements. Some towns will automatically issue a permit (as long as the individual does not meet any statutory criteria that would disqualify him or her from holding such a permit), while in other towns the issuance of permits is limited to politically-connected individuals. 
 
Meeting these town-specified requests (such as letters of reference, pictures, or an essay on why you want to have a permit to carry) does not have to be accomplished in order to get a permit. The town has 8 weeks to approve the permit. If it doesn’t, the resident can appeal the ruling to the Connecticut Board of Firearms Permit Examiners, who must grant the permit unless there is a specific reason the individual should be denied. These include:
 
  • Criminal possession of a narcotic substance
  • Criminally negligent homicide
  • Assault in the third degree
  • Reckless endangerment in the first degree
  • Unlawful restraint in the second degree
  • Riot in the first degree
  • Stalking in the second degree
  • Has not been convicted as a delinquent for the commission of a serious juvenile offense
  • Has not been discharged from custody within the preceding twenty years after having been found not guilty of a crime by reason of mental disease or defect
  • Is not subject to a restraining or protective order issued by a court in a case involving the use, attempted use or threatened use of physical force against another person
  • Is not subject to a firearms seizure order issued for posing a risk of personal injury to self or others after a hearing (source: Morris King Hodge legal services); or
  • Is not prohibited from possessing a firearm for having been adjudicated as a mentally incompetent under federal law.

Applicants may appeal an unfavorable ruling by the Board of firearms Permit Examiners through the state courts.
 
Connecticut Residents are issued a “permit to carry pistols and revolvers”, which permits both open and concealed carry. Although open carry is not restricted by state law, the Connecticut Board of Firearms Permit Examiners suggests 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.”
 
Residents of other states who hold a concealed weapons permit may apply for a non-resident Connecticut permit through the mail.
 
Connecticut has bans on defined ‘assault weapons,’ which includes selective-fire firearms (unless purchased before October 1, 1993), and a limited list of semiautomatic AR, AK, and SKS variants. However, it does not restrict magazine capacity.
 
Connecticut allows all NFA firearms except for selective fire machineguns. Selective fire machineguns existing in Connecticut before they were banned are grandfathered. Selective fire means that a machine gun can fire semi or fully automatic. A machine gun that can only fire fully automatic is legal in Connecticut.
 
Connecticut also has a provision in the statute that if a carry permit holder loses a firearm and does not report it, they may lose the permit.
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