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Legal Information: Connecticut

State Gun Laws

January 9, 2017

I am a victim of domestic violence and the abuser has a gun. Is that legal?

Possibly not.  It is illegal under Connecticut state law for a person to possess (have) a firearm or ammunition if any of the following are true:

  1. s/he has been convicted of a felony;
  2. s/he has been convicted of any of the following misdemeanors committed on or after October 1, 2013:
  3. s/he has been convicted as delinquent for a "serious juvenile offense;" 
  4. s/he has been discharged from custody within the past 20 years after having been found not guilty of a crime by reason of mental disease or defect;
  5. s/he has been confined on or after October 1, 2013, in a hospital for persons with psychiatric disabilities within the past 5 years by order of a probate court; (Note: If the person already has a valid permit or certificate to carry firearms, it is unlawful to have a firearm if s/he has been confined in such hospital within the past twelve months);
  6. s/he has been voluntarily admitted on or after October 1, 2013, to a hospital for persons with psychiatric disabilities or within the past six months for care and treatment of a psychiatric disability (for reasons other than - or in addition to - being an alcohol-dependent person or a drug-dependent person); or
  7. s/he has been adjudicated as a "mental defective" or has been committed to a mental institution (and therefore is prohibited from shipping, transporting, possessing or receiving a firearm under the federal law 18 USC 922(g)(4)).*

In addition, a person can be denied a certificate to carry a revolver or pistol if any of the following are true:

  • s/he meets any of the conditions listed in numbers 1-7 above;
  • s/he is under age 21;
  • s/he is an "alien" who is illegally or unlawfully in the United States; or
  • a judge ordered that his/her firearms be seized for the reasons explained in the paragraph below.*1

Under Connecticut law, if a state's attorney or any two police officers believe that a person who possesses one or more firearms poses a risk of immediate personal injury to himself/herself or to others, the state's attorney or police officers can ask a judge to issue a warrant to seize all firearms and ammunition from that person.*2  In determining whether or not to issue this warrant, the judge can consider: (1) recent threats or acts of violence by such person directed toward other persons or toward himself/herself; and (2) recent acts of cruelty to animals.*3  After a hearing (in which the person has a right to defend himself/herself), the judge could order that the guns and ammunition be seized (taken) and held for up to one year.*4  If you have involvement with a police officer or state’s attorney due to an incident with the abuser, you may want to ask him/her about this option.

Also, federal laws, which apply to all states, restrict an abuser's right to have a gun if s/he was convicted of a felony or a domestic violence misdemeanor or if you have a final protection order against him/her that meets certain requirements.  Go to the Federal Gun Laws page to get more information.

* C.G.S.A. § 53a-217(a)
*1 C.G.S.A § 29-36f 
*2 C.G.S.A. § 29-38c(a)
*3 C.G.S.A. § 29-38c(b)
*4 C.G.S.A. § 29-38c(d)