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Connecticut Gun Control Laws

After the tragedy at Sandy Hook, Connecticut enacted bans on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines. The law made its way through court challenges, focusing on both the popularity and the lethality of AR-15 style rifles and large-capacity ammunition magazines.

Connecticut also passed sweeping gun control legislation that expanded the definition of an assault weapon to include the Bushmaster semiautomatic rifle modeled after the M16, a modern military weapon. The law also imposed a 10-round limit on magazine size.

The following table has details on Connecticut gun control laws.

Relevant Statutes (Laws)

Illegal Arms

The following firearms are illegal to own in Connecticut

  • Assault weapons unless the weapon was legally possessed before July 1, 1994
  • A part or combination of parts designed or intended to convert a firearm into an assault weapon
  • Certain semi-automatic centerfire rifles
  • Certain semiautomatic pistols and shotguns

Waiting Period

There is no waiting period to purchase a firearm in Connecticut.

Who May Not Own

You can't own a firearm if you:
  • Have a felony or a violent misdemeanor conviction
  • Have been convicted as a delinquent for a serious offense
  • Are less than 21 years old
  • Have been admitted to a mental institution by an order of a court in the past year
  • Are subject to a restraining or protective order
  • Are subject to a firearm seize order
  • Were voluntarily admitted to a psychiatric care hospital within the past six months except for drug or alcohol dependency
  • Are in the United States illegally (For handguns only)

License Required?

Yes, you need a license to purchase a firearm in Connecticut.

Concealed Carry License Required?

Yes, you need a license to carry a concealed firearm in Connecticut.

Open Carried Allowed?

You need a permit to open carry in Connecticut.

Eligibility for a Concealed Carry License

You can get a concealed carry license unless you:
  • Are under 21 years of age
  • Are illegally present in the U.S.
  • Have a felony or certain violent misdemeanor convictions
  • Were convicted as a delinquent for committing a serious offense
  • Were committed to a mental hospital within the past 60 months by an order of a court
  • Are subject to a protective or restraining order
  • Are subject to a firearm seizure order because you pose an imminent risk to yourself or others
  • Were voluntarily admitted to a psychiatric care hospital within the past six months except for drug or alcohol dependency
  • Did not complete an approved firearm training course

Machine Gun Laws

  • You can't possess a machine gun for offensive or aggressive purposes.
  • You can't transfer, sell, or give a machine gun to a person who is under 16 years old.
  • You must register any machine gun at the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection within 24 hours of purchase.

Penalties for Illegal Firearm Possession

  • It is a Class C felony for a prohibited person to possess a firearm. This offense is punishable by a minimum of 2 years in prison and a minimum $5,000 fine. The maximum penalties are 10 years imprisonment and a $10,000 fine.
  • Possession of a prohibited weapon is a class D felony punishable by a minimum of 1 year in prison and a fine up to $500. The maximum penalties are 5 years imprisonment and a $5,000 fine.

Penalties for Illegal Possession on or Near School Grounds

Possession of a firearm on school grounds is a class D felony punishable by a minimum of 1 year in prison and a maximum of 5 years in prison. The maximum fine is $5,000.

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Connecticut Criminal Laws: Related Resources

Legal Questions About Connecticut's Gun Laws

If you would like to know more about firearm ownership or need help to determine which firearms are legal to own, there are many attorneys throughout Connecticut with criminal law experience who may be able to help.

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