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Connecticut Gun Rights

An Overview of Gun Laws in Connecticut

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Constitutional Right to Keep and Bear Arms?

Yes. Every citizen has a right to bear arms in defense of himself and the state. Enacted in 1818.

Concealed Carry

Connecticut is a may-issue state, meaning officials are not required by law to grant carry permits to qualified applicants. However, qualified applicants are generally awarded a permit within eight weeks. Before obtaining a statewide carry permit, gun owners must first obtain a local permit from their local police department. Obtaining a permit requires completion of a handgun safety course and a criminal background check.

States that honor Connecticut’s carry permits include Alaska, Arizona, Connecticut, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont.

Connecticut does not honor carry permits from any state other than its own.

Castle Doctrine

State law in Connecticut adheres to the basic standards of the castle doctrine, though the state has not passed a formal castle doctrine law since the legal nickname has become popular. In Connecticut, deadly force can be used for defense of self or others, while physical force can be used for defense of property. Citizens have a duty to retreat, if possible, except when confronted in their home or office. The statute reads: “A person is justified in using reasonable physical force upon another person when and to the extent that he reasonably believes such to be necessary to prevent an attempt by such other person to commit larceny or criminal mischief involving property, or when and to the extent he reasonably believes such to be necessary to regain property which he reasonably believes to have been acquired by larceny within a reasonable time prior to the use of such force; but he may use deadly physical force under such circumstances only in defense of person as prescribed in section 53a-19.”

Pro-Gun Provisions

Connecticut allows open carry only within one’s home. Even outside the home on one’s property, a permit is required to be in possession of a gun. A permit is also required to transport firearms from place to place, such as from home to a shooting range.

Shooting ranges in Connecticut are protected by law.

Restrictions

Gun bans: Assault weapons are prohibited in Connecticut unless they were grandfathered in when the law took effect in 1994.

Waiting period for gun purchases: A two-week waiting period is in place for purchases of handguns and long guns. However, persons with a handgun eligibility certificate — issued by the state and separate from a carry permit — are exempt from the waiting period for handgun purchases. Persons with a permit or hunting license are exempt from the waiting period for long gun purchases.

License or permit required to purchase guns: Handguns can only be purchased by persons with a carry permit or a handgun eligibility certificate.

Registration of guns required: Assault weapons grandfathered in when the state’s assault weapons ban took effect in 1994 are required to be registered.

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