Domestic Violence and Guns in Connecticut
Collateral consequences (effects in addition and indirect to sentences in criminal cases) are always relevant yet not always apparent. One of the best known collateral consequences of felonies (crimes punishable by more than a year in jail) is the loss of the right to possess firearms. The federal government, Connecticut and forty-eight other states have that prohibition. In addition to felons, persons convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence offenses lose their firearm rights under both federal and Connecticut state law. Persons subject to restraining and protective orders, which always accompany criminal charges of domestic violence, also lose their rights to possess firearms while the orders are in effect. It is a felony with two years of mandatory jail time to possess firearms when criminally ineligible. Connecticut and a few other states have an added provision that within a day or two (depending on the subsection) of becoming ineligible to possess firearms, must transfer the weapons to a person who is eligible to possess them, a federally licensed firearms dealer or to the state police or local police for storage. The transferor may request their return upon becoming eligible again.
Another collateral consequence to a domestic violence arrest is the revocation or non-renewal of a pistol permit. Although a permit is not required to possess guns, it is needed to carry or purchase handguns. It is always advisable to have an attorney represent you if you are arrested. You should also contact an attorney if you receive a revocation notice for your pistol permit. You have a right to an appeal but must file the appeal within the time limit.