Connecticut

Connecticut Law

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE FIREARM PROHIBITIONS

Connecticut Domestic Violence Firearm Purchase and Possession Prohibitions

Under Connecticut law, a person may not purchase or receive a handgun unless they have a valid permit to carry a pistol or revolver, a valid eligibility certificate for a pistol or revolver, or a valid permit to sell a pistol or revolver.1 Under Connecticut law, a person may not purchase or receive a long gun unless they have a valid long gun eligibility certificate, a valid permit to carry a pistol or revolver, a valid eligibility certificate for a pistol or revolver, or a valid permit to sell a pistol or revolver.2 No permit to carry a pistol or revolver, eligibility certificate for a pistol or revolver, or long gun eligibility certificate shall be issued to:

  1. Persons convicted of the following misdemeanors regardless of the relationship between the victim and perpetrator:
    1. Assault in the third degree;
    2. Assault of an elderly, blind, disabled, or pregnant person or a person with intellectual disability in the third degree;
    3. Threatening in the second degree;
    4. Reckless endangerment in the first degree;
    5. Unlawful restraint in the second degree;
    6. Stalking in the second degree; or
  2. Persons subject to an ex parte or final restraining or protective order issued by a court in a case involving the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against another person3

No permit to sell a pistol or revolver shall be issued unless such person holds a valid permit to carry a pistol or revolver or a valid eligibility certificate for a pistol or revolver.4 Connecticut prohibits possession of a firearm, pistol, revolver, or ammunition by persons convicted of, among other things, the following misdemeanor offenses regardless of the relationship between the victim and perpetrator:

  1. Assault in the third degree;
  2. Assault of an elderly, blind, disabled, or pregnant person or a person with intellectual disability in the third degree;
  3. Threatening in the second degree;
  4. Reckless endangerment in the first degree;
  5. Unlawful restraint in the second degree; or
  6. Stalking in the second degree.5

Connecticut prohibits possession of a firearm, pistol, revolver, or ammunition by persons who know, pursuant to notice, that they are subject to an ex parte or final restraining or protective order (issued by a Connecticut court or a foreign order of protection) in a case involving the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against another person.6 “Firearm” is defined as “any sawed-off shotgun, machine gun, rifle, shotgun, pistol, revolver, or other weapon, whether loaded or unloaded, from which a shot may be discharged[.]”7 “Long gun” is defined as a “firearm” other than a pistol or revolver.8 “Pistol” and “revolver” are defined as “any firearm having a barrel less than twelve inches in length.”9

CONNECTICUT CIVIL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE RESTRAINING/ PROTECTIVE ORDER FIREARM REMOVAL

Civil Domestic Violence Restraining or Protective Orders that Require Removal

Connecticut requires removal of firearms from persons who are prohibited from possessing firearms.10

Individuals Who May Apply for a Restraining or Protective Order

“Any family or household member … who has been subjected to a continuous threat of present physical pain or physical injury, stalking, or a pattern of threatening … by another family or household member may” petition for an ex parte or final civil domestic violence restraining or protective order.11 “Family or household member” is defined to include any of the following persons regardless of age:

  1. Spouses or former spouses;
  2. Parents or their children;
  3. Persons related by blood or marriage;
  4. Persons who are presently residing together or who have resided together;
  5. Persons who have a child in common regardless or marital status or cohabitation;
  6. Persons in, or who have recently been in, a dating relationship.12

Removal Process

A person subject to a restraining or protective order for which possession of a firearm, pistol, revolver, or ammunition is prohibited shall, within 24 hours of receiving notice of the order:

  1. Sell and transfer any firearm, pistol, revolver, or ammunition which the subject of the order possesses to a federally licensed firearms dealer; or
  2. Surrender any firearm, pistol, revolver, or ammunition which the subject of the order possesses to the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection – provided a local police department may accept such firearms, pistols, revolvers, and ammunition on behalf of the Commissioner.13

Any time, up to one year after surrender of a firearm, pistol, revolver, or ammunition to the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection or a local police department, the subject of a restraining order or a protective order, or such person’s legal representative, may transfer such firearm, pistol, revolver, or ammunition, in accordance with applicable state and federal laws, to any person eligible to possess such firearm, pistol, revolver, or ammunition.14 Upon written notification by the transferee and the person subject to the restraining order or protective order, the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection or a local police department shall, within ten days, deliver the firearm(s), pistol(s), revolver(s), and ammunition to the transferee.15

Return of Firearms to Respondent

A person subject to a restraining or protective order who surrendered a firearm, pistol, revolver, or ammunition to the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection or a local police department may request the return of such firearm, pistol, revolver, or ammunition upon:

  1. The expiration of the restraining order or protective order; or
  2. The issuance of a court order that rescinds the restraining order or protective order.16

A person making such a request shall provide notification of the expiration of the restraining order or protective order or the issuance of a court order rescinding the restraining order or protective order to the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection or a local police department.17 Within five business days of the request for return, the commissioner or a local police department shall review the request and make any firearm, pistol, revolver, and ammunition surrendered to the commissioner or local police department available for retrieval upon confirmation:

  1. That the restraining order or protective order has expired or that a court has issued an order that rescinds the restraining order or protective order;
  2. That the person is not otherwise disqualified from possessing a firearm, pistol, revolver, or ammunition; and
  3. That the person was legally entitled to possess such firearm, pistol, revolver, or ammunition at the time of surrender to the commissioner or local police department.18

Penalties for Violation

Any person subject to a restraining order or protective order who fails to transfer or surrender any firearm(s), pistol(s), revolver(s), or ammunition shall be guilty of a class C felony.19

This page was updated September 4, 2020. Please note that data used are the most recent available data.