ANSWERS TO SOME COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT GUN LAWS IN CONNECTICUT
Feb. 9, 2020
Firearms, their acquisition and ownership are regulated by the United States government and individual states and territories. There are Constitutional protections, including the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution and also provisions in state constitutions, such as Article First, Section Fifteen of the Connecticut Constitution, but also many legal restrictions. Connecticut's gun laws are among the strictest in the U.S. That said, you can own, purchase and carry guns in Connecticut. Here are some common questions and answers.
Is a permit required to purchase a gun in Connecticut?
The short answer is yes. Connecticut is one of a few permit-to-purchase states. Individuals must possess either a pistol permit or an eligibility certificate to purchse a firearm. You can purchase any legal firearm with a pistol permit. You can only purchase long guns (rifles and shotguns) with a long gun eligibility cerfificate and handguns with a pistol and revolver eligibility certificate. Background checks and safety courses are required for certificates and permits which are issued by the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP).
How old do you have to be to purchase a firearm in Connecticut?
18 for long guns. 21 for handguns.
Do you need a permit to carry a gun in Connecticut?
You need a pistol permit to carry a handgun. Although you can purchase one with an eligibility certificate, without a permit, you can only legally transport the gun to your home, business or repair shop. A permit is not required to carry a rifle or shotgun.
Is Connecticut and "open carry" or "concealed carry" state?
With a valid permit, an individual can carry either openly or concealed.
Is there a waiting period to purchase a firearm?
Does Connecticut recognize permits from other states?
No. A Connecticut permit is required to carry in Connecticut.
Is it legal to carry or store a firearm in a vehicle?
With a valid permit, you can carry a handgun in a vehicle. A permit is not required to carry a rifle or shotgun, however it cannot be loaded and must also not be readily accessible to the passenger area.
What if you're just traveling through Connecticut?
As long as the person is legally eligible to possess the firearm in the state he or she leaves as well as the state he or she is going to (and Connecticut), a Connecticut permit is not required, but the firearm must be unloaded and not readily accessible to the passenger area.
Are permits/eligibility cerficiates required for private (non-dealer) sales and transfers?
Yes. There is a https://portal.ct.gov/-/media/DESPP/SLFU/GhostGuns/DPS3C-Sale-or-Transfer-of-all-Firearmsdocx.pdf?la=en that must be completed by the buyer and seller and filed with DESPP.
Does Connecticut have a gun storage law?
Yes, the following law took effect in October 2019: https://www.cga.ct.gov/2019/ACT/pa/pdf/2019PA-00005-R00HB-07218-PA.pdf
A firearm, whether loaded or not, must be stored in a locked box or other secure location, or carried on or near the owner, if the owner knows or should know that a child can gain access to it, that a resident of the premises is ineligible to possess a firearm or a resident of the premises poses a risk to him or her self or others. An owner is liable civilly and criminally if an injury or death occurs as a result of improper storage.