Firearms has become a popular topic across the United States, but not everyone knows the laws regarding carrying firearms. In Connecticut, out-of-state carry licenses and permits from any of the other states is not acknowledged. If you live in Connecticut and obtain a firearm permit or are interested in obtaining a permit, here are some of the regulations that you should review and understand. This will help you with carrying firearms safely.
What Permits and Licenses Are Recognized in Connecticut?
You are required to have a “local” or “temporary” permit before receiving a State Permit by contacting your local police chief and filling out an application. Within the eight weeks of applying, you will learn if you have been granted or denied your wish to obtain a carrying license. If you happen to be traveling in Connecticut but reside in a different state, your permit is recognized in the state under certain terms. For example, you must be:
- Participating in a competition.
- Participating in a formal handgun training at a facility.
- Taking your firearm to be fixed.
- Attending a meeting of gun collectors.
In the state of Connecticut, the carry laws protect pistols and revolvers. This refers to any firearm that has a barrel less than a foot long. If you are looking to buy a handgun in Connecticut, there are some regulations that you must follow. You have to be considered a Connecticut resident, no younger than 21 years old, and obtain a permit or eligibility certificate to carry or purchase pistols or revolvers. Similarly, to buy a long gun in Connecticut, you must be at least 18 years old and obtain a valid permit or eligibility certificate. But, to purchase ammunition, the minimum age is 18 years old.
Local Government Regulation on Firearms in Connecticut
The individual cities within the state of Connecticut are allowed to pass their own laws regarding firearms as long as they follow the state laws. You cannot legally carry a firearm without a carrying license.
It is illegal to carry firearms on the grounds of all public or private elementary or secondary school, or at any school event without permission from either the school or the board of education in Connecticut. One of the most important laws pertaining to carrying firearms is that a valid permit does not give you permission to carry firearms where they are prohibited by law. You should always check for the regulations on carrying firearms when you plan to take it with you.
There are many restrictions when it comes to carrying firearms in Connecticut. It is illegal to carry any firearm that is loaded while under the influence or having a BAC higher than .08 if you are over 21 or .02 or higher if you are a minor. You are also prohibited from hunting or carrying firearms and weapons in any state park authorized by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP). Additionally, if you are not wanted on someone’s property and happen to have a firearm in your possession, you are unlawfully carrying weaponry and also committing a criminal trespass.
Connecticut passed a new law regarding firearm safety effective October 1, 2018. The object of this new law is to make illegal any mechanical enhancements that allow for rapid firing. These enhancements can effectively turn a semiautomatic weapon into a machine gun that can be fired at a rate much faster than normal. Some of the recent incidents of domestic terrorism, like the deadly Las Vegas shooting, resulted from use of rapid-fire enhanced guns. You can learn more about the new gun safety law here.
One of the most common forms of enhancements is a bump stock. The stock of a gun is the rear portion of a long firearm, such as a rifle or a shotgun, that rests against the shooter’s shoulder area. Gun stocks are commonly referred to as the “butt” end of the rifle.
Bump stocks are a specific kind of gun stock that harness energy from the recoil of the gun shot and use that energy to prompt repeated firing of the weapon’s shooting mechanism. The effect of this “bump” is to fire the weapon more rapidly than can be done manually. While these enhancements have purposeful application when they are used for military endeavors, there has been a national movement to restrict them from civilian use. In passing this most recent law, Connecticut is following many other states that prohibited the use of bump stocks or other rapid-fire enhancements.
Connecticut’s new law provides that no one, other than a licensed military contractor, can purchase, possess, sell, transfer, manufacture, or use any kind of rate of fire enhancement. Bump stocks, in particular, are defined under the law.
In addition, in 2023, a law was passed prohibiting open carry in Connecticut.
Anyone caught using, or even in possession of, a bump stock or other rapid-fire enhancement, will be arrested and charged with a Class D felony. This could result in a jail sentence of one year to five years and a $5,000.00 fine.
Other states may have different laws concerning use of rapid-fire enhancements. Keep in mind that what may be illegal here in Connecticut, might be fully legal in another state. Connecticut’s new law permits individuals who move to Connecticut from other states a 90-day grace period to remove the enhancement out of our state or to surrender the enhancement to the Department of Public Safety.
If you have any questions regarding your rights in Connecticut pertaining to carrying a firearm, contact our office. We are happy to help you and find a resolution that is fair to you and the state.