The state of Connecticut has some of the strictest gun laws in the United States, and those restrictions were tightened even further by the passage of House Bill 6667, An Act Addressing Gun Violence, in June 2023. Court authorities treat violations of these laws extremely seriously; even first-time offenders may face substantial criminal sanctions upon conviction.
Facing criminal charges related to the improper possession, purchase, sale, or use of firearms can be stressful and confusing. In these situations, contacting a Waterbury gun lawyer should be your top priority. The lawyers at Ruane Attorneys could be your vital allies from start to finish of your legal proceedings. We can ensure your rights are respected and pursue a legal strategy that serves your best interests.
A Brief Overview of Gun Laws in Connecticut
As of June 2023, open carry of firearms is universally prohibited in Connecticut, and concealed carry of handguns is only allowed with a permit provided to applicants who meet certain criteria. Additionally, anyone seeking to purchase a long gun or handgun typically must obtain either a Certificate of Eligibility, a concealed carry permit, or both. This process involves a background check and completing an approved safety course.
Background checks are also required for private sales, following the same standards as other types of sales—namely, through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). In both scenarios, this background check must be performed by the Special Licensing & Firearms Unit within the Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection.
Perhaps most notably, Connecticut has a “red flag law” which allows law enforcement authorities to seize firearms from anyone who poses an imminent risk of harming themselves or others if the authorities establish probable cause through a lawful investigation. Our Waterbury attorneys could further explain these laws and protect defendants’ rights when contesting gun-related allegations.
Common Gun-Related Criminal Charges in Waterbury
Most gun-related criminal offenses defined under the Connecticut Penal Code are felonies, meaning a conviction could carry maximum prison terms of one year or longer and hefty fines. For example, criminal possession of a firearm is considered a Class C felony under Connecticut General Statute §53a-217; a person convicted under this statute may face between one and ten years of prison time and a $10,000 fine. The court may not reduce two years and $5,000 of the sentence without an explanation of the decision on the record, as per the statute.
Additionally, criminal negligent storage of a firearm can be prosecuted as a Class D felony under C.G.S. §53a-217a if it directly leads to a minor under 18 obtaining the firearm and then causing injury to themselves or anyone else. Anyone facing these charges should contact a gun lawyer at our firm as soon as possible to begin building an effective defense.
Talk to a Waterbury Gun Attorney Today
Connecticut law is especially harsh on gun owners at the legislative and judicial levels. When you face criminal charges involving a firearm, seeking help from private legal counsel could mean the difference between a favorable case result and a life-altering criminal conviction.
A Waterbury gun lawyer at our firm could discuss your defense options in more detail during a confidential consultation. Schedule yours by calling Ruane Attorneys today.