Location:
WEAPONS - FIREARMS; WEAPONS - GUN CONTROL;
Scope:
Connecticut laws/regulations; Federal laws/regulations;

OLR Research Report


February 28, 2013

 

2013-R-0001

(Revised)

SUMMARY OF STATE GUN LAWS

By: Veronica Rose, Chief Analyst

You asked for a summary of Connecticut gun laws. (This report supersedes OLR Report 2007-R-0369.)

SUMMARY

The Connecticut Constitution (Article First, 15) gives every citizen the right to bear arms in defense of himself or herself and the state. For regulatory purposes, state law designates four types of firearms: handguns (pistols and revolvers), long guns (rifles and shotguns), assault weapons, and machine guns. The degree of regulation depends on the type of firearm and, for sales and transfers, whether they are being conducted by federally licensed gun dealers (FFLs) or by private sellers not required to be licensed.

With few exceptions, (1) anyone acquiring a handgun in Connecticut, whether from a federally licensed gun dealer or private seller, must have an eligibility certificate or a permit to sell or carry handguns and (2) anyone carrying a handgun must have a permit to carry handguns. No permit or certificate is required to possess lawfully acquired handguns in one's home or at one's place of business.

Anyone buying or otherwise acquiring a handgun in Connecticut, including at a gun show, or applying for a gun permit or eligibility certificate must follow prescribed procedures and meet certain statutory criteria. This includes (1) passing state and national criminal history record checks and (2) in the case of a carry permit, being deemed suitable to get a permit by the official issuing the permit. The Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP) must authorize all handgun transfers, whether by licensed dealers or private sellers. And applicants for a gun permit or eligibility certificate must pass a DESPP-approved course on handgun safety and use.

Certain categories of people may not legally possess handguns or get credentials to carry them. These include (1) convicted felons, (2) illegal aliens, (3) anyone under a court protective or restraining order for using or attempting or threatening to use force against someone, or (4) anyone discharged into the community in the preceding 20 years after being found not guilty of a crime by reason of mental disease or defect. They also include people who cannot legally possess firearms under federal law because they have been adjudicated as “mental defectives” or been committed to a mental institution, unless their firearm privileges are restored. Federal law contains a court procedure for restoring firearm privileges lost because of a federal commitment or adjudication; state law contains a similar procedure for restoring privileges lost because of a state adjudication or commitment. After the occurrence of any event that makes a person ineligible to continue to possess handguns or the related credentials, he or she must transfer any handguns in his or her possession to an eligible person or surrender them to DESPP.

No permit, certificate, or other credential is required to own, buy, possess, acquire, or carry long guns. But, people buying long guns from licensed gun dealers must follow procedures similar to the handgun procedures and DESPP must authorize the transactions. As is the case of handguns, certain categories of people are barred from possessing long guns, but some people barred from possessing handguns may legally possess long guns. These include people convicted of certain serious misdemeanors.

With limited exceptions, state law bans the sale, use, and possession of assault weapons. People who lawfully owned assault weapons before the ban and duly registered them before October 1, 1994 may continue to possess them subject to certain restrictions. And certain types of assault weapons legally manufactured before September 13, 1994 are exempt from the state transfer and registration requirements. The law also allows possession of certain specified assault weapon models under certain circumstances.

Machine guns are legal if duly registered with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and DESPP. It is illegal to use them for offensive or aggressive purposes, as defined in law, or to transfer them to anyone under age 16.

Gun dealers must be federally licensed and if they sell handguns, they must obtain a local permit to sell them. They must follow specified procedures when selling firearms and meet other criteria in law.

The law, with few exceptions, prohibits carrying firearms at certain locations, such as on school property or in any building where either chamber of the legislature is located or where the legislature is holding a public hearing or meeting.

The law requires people to store loaded firearms in a way that minors under age 16 do not have unauthorized access to them. It prohibits transferring handguns to minors under age 21, except as authorized for temporary use at firing or shooting ranges.

Under limited circumstances and specified procedures, law enforcement officials may get warrants and seize firearms from people posing an imminent risk of harming themselves, someone else, or animals and a court may order the firearms held for up to one year.

Except for banning certain types of .50 caliber ammunition, Connecticut does not regulate ammunition.

In a number of areas, there are related federal laws not discussed in this report.

HANDGUNS

Pistols and revolvers are usually referred to as handguns. The law defines “pistol” and “revolver” as any firearm having a barrel less than 12 inches long (CGS 29-27). The law regulates handgun sales by licensed gun dealers and private sellers, irrespective of where the transaction occurs. The provisions generally do not apply to antique firearms.

Permit Needed to Sell Handguns over Certain Limit

Federal law requires anyone in the business of selling firearms to have a federal firearms license. Under state law, FFLs who sell handguns must also have a local permit (i.e., a dealer's permit) to sell handguns issued by police chiefs (or borough wardens or first selectmen), as must anyone who sells 10 or more handguns in a calendar year (CGS 29-28). To get the permit, the applicant must hold a valid eligibility certificate or carry permit and submit documentation showing that the premises where the handguns will be sold comply with local zoning requirements (CGS 29-28(a)).

The fee to get and renew the dealer's permit is $200 (CGS 29-30). (The law does not specify the validity period. But in practice, it is five years.)

Permit Required to Carry Handguns

With minor exceptions discussed below, anyone carrying handguns in Connecticut must have a gun permit and carry it upon his or her person when carrying a handgun (CGS 29-35). The gun permit is issued under a two part process. The local official (police chief, borough warden, or first selectman) investigates applicants and issues a temporary state permit, after which the State Police conducts state and national criminal history record checks on the applicants and issues the five-year state permit (CGS 29-28, 29-28a, & 29-29). The permit allows a person to carry an unlimited number of handguns statewide (CGS 29-33b). No permit or other credential is required to possess lawfully acquired handguns in one's home or at one's place of business. And, according to the State Police, anyone who lawfully acquired a gun in another state and moves to Connecticut does not need a credential to keep the firearm at his or her home or place of business (see below at Permit or Eligibility Certificate Required to Buy or Get Handguns).

Failure to carry one's permit when carrying a handgun is an infraction punishable by a $35 fine (CGS 29-37(c)). And carrying a handgun without having obtained a permit is punishable by imprisonment for up to five years and a fine of up to $1,000, with a one-year mandatory minimum sentence in the absence of mitigating circumstances. Any handgun found in the violator's possession must be forfeited (CGS 29-37(b)).

The law exempts from the permit requirement Connecticut parole and peace officers; other states' parole or peace officers on official business; federal marshals and law enforcement officers; legally appointed and certified motor vehicle inspectors performing their official duties; U.S. Armed Forces members on, or going to or from, duty; and members of a military organization on parade or going to or from a place of assembly. It also exempts anyone carrying a handgun (1) in its original package from the point of purchase to his or her home or business place, (2) as merchandise, (3) for repair or when moving household goods, (4) to or from a testing range at a firearm permit-issuing authority's request, or (5) to a competition or exhibit under an out-of-state permit (CGS 29-35).

Any nonresident with a valid out-of-state gun permit may apply directly to the DESPP commissioner for a Connecticut gun permit (CGS 29-28(f)). Also, bona fide nonresidents permitted to possess and carry handguns in their home state may transport handguns in Connecticut without a Connecticut permit for the purpose of (1) participating in competitions, (2) participating in formal handgun training at a locally approved or permitted firing range or training facility, (3) taking the firearm for repair, or (4) attending meetings or exhibitions of organized gun collectors (CGS 29-30). And nonresidents may transport handguns without a Connecticut permit through Connecticut for lawful purposes in accordance with federal law if they are not otherwise prohibited from shipping, transporting, receiving, or possessing guns and are transporting them between states where they can legally possess and carry them (CGS 29-38d).

The fee for an initial gun permit is $140, plus sufficient funds to pay for the Federal Bureau of Investigation national criminal history record checks. The permit is valid for five years and renewable for $70 (CGS 29-30).

Permit or Eligibility Certificate Required to Buy or Get Handguns

Except for federal marshals and parole and peace officers, anyone acquiring a handgun in Connecticut must be a state resident (a federal requirement) and present a valid gun dealer's permit, handgun eligibility certificate, or handgun permit (CGS 29-33(b);18 USC 922(a)(3) and (5), 922(b)(3); and 27 CFR 478.29a and 478.30). The eligibility certificate is issued by DESPP and allows an individual to get handguns and keep them at his or her home or business place. It does not authorize the holder to carry handguns upon his or her person.

To get the gun permit or eligibility certificate, an applicant must complete a DESPP-approved handgun safety and use course, pass state and national criminal history record checks, and meet other criteria discussed below (CGS 29-28(b) and 29-36f; see below at People Barred From Possessing Handguns). With regard to the permit, the local official (who issues the temporary state permit) must find that an applicant (1) wants the firearm for lawful purposes and (2) is a suitable person to get a permit. The law does not define suitability. The determination of suitability is left to the official's discretion (CGS 29-28(b)).

The fee to get or renew an eligibility certificate is $35. The certificate is valid for five years (CGS 29-36h).

Confidentiality of Gun Permit and Certificate Information

The name and address of anyone issued a gun permit, gun dealer's permit or eligibility certificate are exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act. The information is disclosable only to (1) law enforcement officials performing their duties, including employees of the U.S. Probation Office carrying out their duties; (2) handgun transferors seeking to verify the validity of gun permits or eligibility certificates, to the extent necessary; and (3) the mental health and addiction services commissioner to carry out specified statutes (CGS 29-28(d), as amended by PA 12-177, & 17a-500).

People Barred From Possessing Handguns or Getting Credentials

State law bars certain categories of people from acquiring, possessing, or carrying handguns or getting the credentials to acquire, possess or carry them (CGS 53a-217c, 29-28(b), and 29-36f). It requires gun owners to surrender their handguns to DESPP or transfer them to someone eligible after the occurrence of any event that makes them ineligible to possess handguns or other firearms. People who become ineligible because they are the subject of a restraining or protective order may transfer the firearms only to licensed gun dealers (CGS 29-36k). Illegal possession of a handgun is a class D felony (CGS 53a-217c; see Table 2).

Illegal aliens are prohibited from possessing handguns or getting the credentials, as is anyone:

1. discharged from custody in the preceding 20 years after a finding of not guilty of a crime by reason of mental disease or defect;

2. confined by the probate court to a mental hospital in the 12 months before applying for a permit or certificate;

3. convicted of a serious juvenile offense (CGS 46b-120(10));

4. who knows that he or she is the subject to a firearm seizure order issued after notice and a hearing;

5. prohibited by federal law from possessing or shipping firearms because he or she was adjudicated as a “mental defective” or committed to a mental institution (except in cases where the U.S. Treasury Department grants relief from this disability);

6. under a protective or restraining order for using or threatening to use force and, in the case of possession, he or she knows about the order and if the order was issued in-state, he or she was notified and given a hearing opportunity; or

7. convicted of any felony or specified misdemeanors (CGS 29-28, 29-36f, and 53a-217c).

The disqualifying misdemeanors are:

1. criminally negligent homicide (excluding deaths caused by motor vehicles) (CGS 53a-58);

2. first-degree assault (CGS 53a-61);

3. third-degree assault of a blind, elderly, or pregnant person or person with intellectual disability (CGS 53a-61a);

4. second-degree threatening (CGS 53a-62);

5. first-degree reckless endangerment (CGS 53a-63);

6. second-degree unlawful restraint (CGS 53a-96);

7. first-degree riot (CGS 53a-175);

8. second-degree riot (CGS 53a-176);

9. inciting to riot (CGS 53a-178);

10. second-degree stalking (CGS 53a-181d); and

11. first offenses for possessing (a) controlled or hallucinogenic substances (other than a narcotic substance or marijuana) or (b) more than one-half ounce but less than four ounces of a cannabis-type substance (CGS 21a-279(c)).

Minimum Age for Possessing Handguns or Getting Credentials. State law does not explicitly set a minimum age for possessing handguns. But an age 21 requirement can conceivably be construed from other laws. The law requires applicants for a gun permit or eligibility certificate to be at least age 21 (CGS 29-28(b)(10) and 29-36f(a)). Also, it prohibits transferring handguns to people under age 21, except temporarily at a target shooting or firing range, if otherwise permitted by law and use is under the immediate supervision of a person eligible to possess handguns. A violation is a class D felony, with a one-year mandatory minimum sentence, plus forfeiture of any handguns found in the violator's possession (CGS 29-34(b)).

Restoration of Gun Rights. Federal law prohibits anyone who has been “adjudicated as a mental defective” or “committed to a mental institution” from shipping, transporting, receiving, or possessing firearms or ammunition, unless the person's firearm privileges are restored under a federally approved program.

State law contains a court procedure for restoring such privileges lost because of a state adjudication or commitment. The procedure is similar to the federal procedure governing federal adjudications or commitments. Anyone seeking to regain firearm privileges must petition the probate court for relief. The court must grant relief if it finds by clear and convincing evidence that (1) the petitioner will not likely act in a manner dangerous to public safety and (2) granting relief is not contrary to the public interest. The petitioner or DESPP may appeal the decision to the Superior Court (CGS 45a-100).

Handgun Sale/Transfer Procedures

All handgun sales and transfers, whether by licensed dealers or unlicensed persons, must conform to specified state procedures, except those (1) between FFLs; (2) made to federal marshals, parole officers, or peace officers; or (3) involving antique handguns (CGS 29-33).

Under the procedures, buyers must complete a DESPP firearms purchase application. DESPP must conduct a national instant criminal background check on applicants and either deny the transaction or approve it by issuing an authorization number for it.

Sellers or transferors must, among other things:

1. ensure that they know the person to whom they are providing the firearm or get appropriate identification (e.g., driver's license or passport);

2. ensure that, when transferred, handguns are unloaded and equipped with a reusable trigger lock accessible by key or electronic or mechanical accessory specific to the device to prevent unauthorized removal;

3. document the transaction with State Police and appropriate local officials within 48 hours; and

4. keep the transaction records for law enforcement inspection (application for at least 20 years and receipt for at least five years).

When a buyer takes possession of the handgun, he or she must sign a receipt for it, providing (1) his or her name, address, and occupation; (2) the firearm make, model, serial number, and caliber; (3) the transfer date and authorization number for the transfer; and (4) his or her permit or eligibility certificate number (CGS 29-33(e)).

The law prohibits handgun transfers in violation of its procedures or to people who (1) cannot legally possess handguns under state law or (2) do not have the appropriate credentials to obtain them (CGS 29-33(a) and (b)). Any such illegal transfer is a class D felony. It is a class B felony (see Table 2) if the person transferring the firearm knows that it is stolen or that the manufacturer's number or serial number has been removed, defaced, altered, or obliterated (CGS 29-33(i)). The court may, in some circumstances, suspend prosecution for a first minor violation.

Handgun Safety Provisions

By law, all handguns sold in Connecticut, other than at wholesale, must be equipped with a reusable locking device constructed of material sufficiently strong to prevent it from being easily disabled. The lock must also have a mechanism accessible by key or by electronic or other mechanical assessory specific to the device to prevent unauthorized removal (CGS 29-33(d)).

Another related law requires gun dealers to provide handgun buyers with a reusable handgun locking device at the time of sale. They must give buyers the following written warning in block letters at least one inch high and also post the warning conspicuously in block letters at least three inches high at each service counter:

UNLAWFUL STORAGE OF A LOADED FIREARM MAY RESULT IN IMPRISONMENT OR FINE

Each violation by a dealer carries a fine of at least $500 (CGS 29-37b).

LONG GUNS

Rifles and shotguns are referred to as long guns. A rifle is a weapon designed to be fired from the shoulder using a cartridge to fire a single projectile through a rifled bore for each single pull of the trigger. A shotgun is a weapon designed to be fired from the shoulder using a shotgun shell to fire through a smooth bore either a number of ball shots or a single projectile for each single pull of the trigger (CGS 53a-3(16) & (17)).

People Barred from Possessing Long Guns

Convicted felons and anyone convicted of a serious juvenile offense are prohibited from possessing long guns, as is anyone who:

1. knows that he or she is subject to a restraining or protective order, in a case involving the use, threatened, or attempted use of force (after notice and a hearing opportunity, for in-state orders);

2. knows that he or she is subject to a firearms seizure order, after notice and a hearing opportunity; or

3. is prohibited from transporting or possessing firearms under federal law because of an adjudication as a mental defective or commitment to a mental institution, unless the Treasury Department grants relief from the disability (CGS 53a-217(a)).

Illegal possession of a long gun is a class D felony with a two-year mandatory minimum prison term (CGS 53a-217(b)).

Long Gun Sales or Transfers to Minors

State law sets no minimum age for possessing long guns. The only age requirement pertains to hunting licenses. A junior firearms hunting license may be issued to a child between ages 12 and 16 (CGS 26-27a). (Federal law prohibits FFLs from selling or transferring long guns to people under age 18. But it does not address sales or transfers by non- licensees or possession by minors (18 USC 922(b) and 27 CFR 478. 99(b)(1)).

Long Gun Sales and Transfer Procedures

Sales and Transfers by Gun Dealers. The law regulates long gun sales by licensed gun dealers, irrespective of where the transaction occurs. With some exceptions, when gun dealers sell or transfer long guns, the transactions must conform to statutory procedures, the essential elements of which are similar to those governing handgun sales and transfers. As is the case with handguns, (1) the dealer must document the transaction with DESPP and maintain copies of the record, (2) the buyer must undergo a national instant criminal background check, and (3) DESPP must authorize or deny the sale or transfer. Unlike the case with handguns, there is no explicit requirement for the dealer to know the buyer or obtain valid identification (CGS 29-37a).

The law contains a two-week waiting period for long gun purchases from gun dealers, unless the buyer (1) is a federal marshal, parole officer, or peace officer; (2) holds a valid hunting license, eligibility certificate, or gun permit; (3) is a member of the U.S. Armed Forces; or (4) is buying an antique firearm (CGS 29-37a(b)). The law also exempts these people and transactions from provisions requiring (1) buyers to sign a receipt for the firearm and provide certain information on themselves and the firearm and (2) dealers to send this documentation to state and local police officials (CGS 29-37a(b)).

Sales and Transfers by Private Sellers. Except perhaps at gun shows, Connecticut does not regulate private sales and transfer of long guns. The gun show provision is unclear. The law requires people selling or otherwise transferring firearms at gun shows to comply with CGS 29-36l (CGS 29-37g(c)). But CGS 29-36l contains procedures for verifying eligibility of people seeking to buy (1) handguns from anyone and anywhere in the state and (2) long guns from gun dealers anywhere in the state. It does not appear to apply to people buying long guns from private sellers at gun shows. Thus, it is unclear if private sellers of long guns at gun shows have to seek DESPP authorization for sales or transfers and whether such buyers have to undergo criminal history record checks.

The law contains no specific penalty for transferring long guns to ineligible persons or violating the transfer procedures (CGS 29-37a).

Sawed-Off Shotguns. It is a class D felony to own or possess sawed-off shotguns, defined as a shotgun with a barrel of less than 18 inches or an overall length of less than 26 inches (CGS 53a-211). The ban does not apply to anyone otherwise permitted by state or federal law to own such firearms. (According to the State Police, people may legally possess sawed-off shotguns, under federal law, if they obtain a federal tax stamp to possess them.)

ASSAULT WEAPONS

The law defines an “assault weapon” as (1) any selective-fire firearm capable of fully automatic, semiautomatic, or burst fire at the user's option; (2) any of a list of named firearms; or (3) any unlisted semi-automatic rifle or pistol that can accept a detachable magazine and has at least two of specified features; or (4) a part or combination of parts designed or intended to convert a firearm into an assault weapon (CGS 53-202a).

By law, with limited exceptions, it is illegal for anyone to (1) possess assault weapons, unless he or she possessed the weapon before October 1, 1993, registered it with DESPP before October 1, 1994, and received a DESPP certificate of possession for it, or (2) sell, give, transfer, distribute, or transport assault weapons (CGS 53-202b and 53-202d). Illegal possession of an assault weapon is a class D felony, with a mandatory minimum one-year prison term. A first-time violation is a class A misdemeanor (see Table 2) if the violator can prove that he or she possessed the weapon before October 1, 1993 and otherwise complies with the law (CGS 53-202c). Illegally transferring or carrying an assault weapon is a class C felony (see Table on Penalties), with a two-year mandatory minimum prison term or, in the case of transfers to people under age 18, an additional six-year mandatory minimum (CGS 53-202b).

The law (1) exempts from the assault weapon ban law enforcement officers, correction officials, and military and naval personnel discharging their official duties and (2) allows estate executors and administrators to possess registered weapons from a person's estate under probate court orders (CGS 53-202c). Also, anyone, except a member of the military, who moves into Connecticut with a lawful assault weapon has 90 days to (1) render it permanently inoperable, (2) sell it to a licensed gun dealer, or (3) take it out of state. Members of the military who move to Connecticut, after October 1, 1994, have 90 days to get a certificate of possession for any legally possessed assault weapon (CGS 53-202d(b)).

Certain assault weapons defined by criteria, rather than specific name, are exempt from the state transfer restrictions and registration requirements if they were legally manufactured before September 13, 1994 (CGS 53-202m).

The law also allows possession of certain specified assault weapon models under certain circumstances. A person may possess an Auto-Ordnance Thompson type, Avtomat Kalashnikov AK-47type, MAC-10, MAC-11, or MAC11 Carbine type assault weapon if (1) it was obtained in good faith on or after October 1, 1993 and before May 8, 2002, (2) the possessor is not prohibited from possessing the weapon under any other law, and (3) the possessor notified DESPP before October 1, 2003 that he or she possessed the specific weapon (CGS 53-202n).

Restrictions on Possession of Registered Assault Weapons

A person may possess a lawfully registered assault weapon only:

1. at his or her residence, business place, or other property he or she owns;

2. on someone else's property with the owner's express permission;

3. at certain target ranges or shooting clubs;

4. while attending a firearms exhibition, display, or educational project sponsored, conducted, or approved by a law enforcement agency or a national- or state-recognized entity that fosters proficiency in, or promotes, education about firearms; or

5. while transporting the weapon between any of the above permitted places or to a licensed firearm dealer for servicing or repair (CGS 53-202d(d)).

Transporting Assault Weapons

When being transported, assault weapons must be unloaded and, if transported in a vehicle, kept in the trunk or in a case or container inaccessible to the vehicle operator or passengers. A violation carries a fine of up to $500, imprisonment for up to three years, or both (CGS 53-202f).

Disposing of Registered Assault Weapons

One may dispose of a registered assault weapon by transferring it to a licensed gun dealer or, after making arrangements to relinquish it, a police department or DESPP, following guidelines for transporting assault weapons (CGS 53-202d(b) and 53-202e).

Construction of the Law

The law provides that the laws governing assault weapons should not be construed to prohibit manufacturers from manufacturing or transporting assault weapons to sell (1) out-of-state or (2) in state to DESPP, police departments, the Correction Department, or military or naval forces for official use (CGS 53-202i).

Confidentiality Provisions

The name and address of anyone issued a certificate of possession for an assault weapon are exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act. The information is disclosable only to (1) law enforcement agencies and employees of the U.S. Probation Office performing their duties and (2) the mental health and addiction services commissioner to carry out specified statutes (CGS 53-202d, as amended by PA 12-177).

MACHINE GUNS

State law defines a “machine gun” as any weapon, loaded or unloaded, that shoots, is designed to shoot, or can be readily restored to shoot automatically more than one projectile by a single function of the trigger without manual reloading. This includes any part or combination of parts designed to assemble, or convert a weapon into, a machine gun (CGS 53-202(a)).

With limited exceptions for firearms made inoperable by welding or manufactured for the United States and state and local governments, the law requires anyone who owns a machine gun to register it with DESPP within 24 hours of acquiring it and annually thereafter on July 1 (CGS 53-202(g)). The application must show the firearm model and serial number; the applicant's name, address and occupation; and the person from whom and purpose for which the firearm was acquired.

Manufacturers must maintain a register of machine guns they manufacture or handle. For each such firearm, the register must show the (1) model and serial number; (2) date of manufacture, sale, loan, gift, delivery, or receipt; (3) name, address, and occupation of the transferor and transferee; and (4) purpose for which it was acquired. Manufacturers must make their registers and gun stock available for law enforcement inspection. Violations are punishable by a fine of up to $2,000 (CGS 53-202(f)).

The law prohibits the use of a machine gun for offensive or aggressive purposes. Possession for such a purpose is presumed if the machine gun:

1. is located on premises not owned or rented as a bona fide business or permanent residence by the person who possesses it,

2. is possessed or used by an unnaturalized foreign born person,

3. is possessed or used by anyone convicted of a violent crime in state or federal court,

4. has been adapted to use any caliber projectile and is unregistered, or

5. is empty or loaded projectiles are found in its immediate vicinity (CGS 53-202(d)).

Using or possessing a machine gun for an offensive or aggressive purpose is punishable by a maximum $1,000 fine, imprisonment for five to 10 years, or both (CGS 53-202(c)). Using a machine gun while committing a violent crime is punishable by imprisonment for 10 to 20 years.

The law prohibits transferring, selling, or giving machine guns to minors under age 16, including temporarily transferring the weapon to them for use in target shooting or on a firing or shooting range or for any other purpose (CGS 53-202(c)). A violation is punishable by a fine of up to $1,000, imprisonment of five to 10 years, or both.

GUN SELLER REGULATIONS

In addition to the laws governing sales described above, a number of other provisions regulate gun dealers.

Alarm System

Gun dealers must install burglar alarms on their premises where 10 or more firearms are stored or kept for sale. The alarm system must be directly connected to the local police department or monitored by a central station. It must activate upon unauthorized entry or interruption (CGS 29-37d).

Employees Selling Firearms

Employees selling firearms in a retail store that sells, but is not principally engaged in selling, firearms must:

1. be at least age 18;

2. have passed state and national criminal history record checks, which indicate they have not been convicted of a felony or any violation that would make them ineligible for a handgun eligibility certificate; and

3. have successfully completed a DESPP-approved course or test in firearm safety and statutory procedures relating to the sale of firearms (CGS 29-37f).

An employer who violates this provision is subject to a civil penalty of up to $10,000 per day for each violation.

Limits on Where Gun Dealers May Sell Handguns

Gun dealers may sell handguns only in the room, store, or other place described in their permit to sell handguns, and they must display the permit in the location identified in the permit (CGS 29-31).

MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

Restriction on Carrying Firearms

Open v. Concealed Carrying of Handguns. Neither the permit to carry handguns nor state law specifies how handguns should be carried, i.e., concealed or openly.

Carrying Firearms on School Property. It is illegal, with some exceptions, to possess firearms on any elementary or secondary school property or at any school-sponsored event knowing that one is not licensed or privileged to possess such firearms. A violation is a class D felony.

The law does not apply to otherwise lawful possession by peace officers carrying out their official duties or anyone:

1. using a firearm in a school-approved school program or school-sponsored activity;

2. who has an agreement with the school allowing the firearm; and

3. crossing school property with an unloaded firearm to hunt, provided entry on the school property is permitted by the local or regional board of education (CGS 53a-217b).

Carrying Firearms in Public Buildings. The law, with minor exceptions, bars people from carrying firearms in any building (1) where either House of the General Assembly is located; (2) in which the office of any legislator or legislative officer, employee, or committee is located; or (3) where a legislative committee is holding a public hearing. The law exempts police officers, military personnel on official duty, and veterans serving as honor guards (CGS 2-1e(c)). A violation is a class D felony.

Carrying Handguns in Motor Vehicles. By law, when handguns are being transported in a motor vehicle, they must be unloaded and kept in a place (1) not readily or directly accessible from the passenger compartment or (2) locked container other than the glove compartment or console. A violation carries a penalty of one to five years imprisonment, a fine of up to $1,000, or both, with a mandatory minimum one-year sentence in the absence of mitigating circumstances. Any handgun found in the violator's possession must be forfeited (CGS 29-35 and 29-37).

Carrying Long Guns in Motor Vehicles When long guns are being transported in a vehicle or snowmobile, they must be unloaded. A violation is a class D misdemeanor (see Table on Penalties), punishable by imprisonment for up to 30 days, a fine of up to $250, or both (CGS 53-205 as amended by PA 12-80). The provisions do not apply to members of the military while on duty or travelling to or from assignments enforcement officers, security guards, or other people employed to protect property while in the performance of their duties.

Carrying Handguns where Prohibited. People are barred from possessing or carrying handguns on any premises where prohibited by law or by the person who owns or exercises control over the premises (CGS 29-28(e)). A violation is punishable by a fine of up to $500, imprisonment for up to three years, or both, and forfeiture of any handgun found in the violator's possession (CGS 29-37).

Safe Storage of Firearms

The law prohibits people from storing loaded firearms on their premises if they know or reasonably should know that a minor (someone under age 16) is likely to gain access to them without the minor's parent's or guardian's permission (CGS 29-37i). This does not apply if the firearm is locked up or in a location that a reasonable person considers to be secure, or the person carries it on his or her person or close enough so that he or she can readily retrieve it (CGS 29-37i). A person is strictly liable for damages if a minor obtains an unlawfully stored firearm and uses it to injure or kill himself or someone else. It is also a class D felony unless the minor obtained the firearm from unlawful entry (CGS 53a-217a and 52-571g).

Any parent or guardian of a minor who knows that the child possesses a firearm and fails to make reasonable efforts to halt such possession is guilty of a class A misdemeanor. If the child causes the injury or death of someone else with the firearm, the violation is a class D felony (CGS 53-206f).

Gun Seizure from People Posing Imminent Harm

The law allows any two police officers (or a state's attorney), under limited circumstances, to get warrants and seize guns from anyone who poses an imminent risk of injuring himself or herself, someone else, or animals. The officials may seek the warrant only after (1) conducting an independent investigation to establish probable cause and (2) determining that no reasonable alternative exists to avert the risk of harm.

In determining grounds and probable cause for issuing a warrant, the judge must consider any recent threat or violent act the person directed at himself or herself, others, or animals. In determining whether the threats or acts constitute probable cause to believe a risk of injury is imminent, the judge may consider, among other things, if the person:

1. recklessly used, displayed, or brandished a gun;

2. has a history of using, or attempting, or threatening to use physical force against people;

3. was ever involuntarily confined to a psychiatric hospital;

4. abused alcohol; or

5. illegally used controlled substances.

If satisfied that probable cause exists and there is no reasonable alternative to prevent the person from causing imminent harm, the judge must issue the warrant (CGS 29-38c; see OLR Report 2009-R-0306 for the most current gun seizure discussion).

Reports of Lost or Stolen Firearms

Lawful owners of any firearm lost or stolen must file a police report within 72 hours after they discover or should have discovered the loss or theft. The report must be made to the local police department for the town in which the loss or theft occurred or the State Police troop having jurisdiction. The receiving department or troop must forward a copy of the report to the DESPP commissioner.

A first-time unintentional failure to report by the deadline is an infraction, punishable by a fine of up to $90; a subsequent unintentional failure is a class D felony. Any intentional failure to report is a class C felony. The law specifies that a first-time violator does not lose the right to possess a gun permit (CGS 53-202g).

Ammunition Regulation

The law does not regulate ammunition except for banning armor-piercing .50 caliber bullets or incendiary .50 caliber bullets (CGS 53-202l). An “armor-piercing .50 caliber bullet” is a .50 caliber bullet designed, held out by the manufacturer or distributor as, or generally recognized as having a specialized capability to penetrate armor or bulletproof glass, including bullets designated as “M2 Armor-Piercing” or “AP,” “M8 Armor-Piercing Incendiary” or “API,” “M20 Armor-Piercing Incendiary Tracer” or “APIT,” “M903 Caliber .50 Saboted Light Armor Penetrator” or “SLAP,” or “M962 Saboted Light Armor Penetrator Tracer” or “SLAPT.”

An “incendiary .50 caliber bullet” is any .50 caliber bullet designed for, held out by the manufacturer or distributor as, or generally recognized as having a specialized capability to ignite upon impact, including such bullets commonly designated as “M1 Incendiary,” “M23 Incendiary,” “M8 Armor-Piercing Incendiary” or “API,” or “M20 Armor-Piercing Incendiary Tracer” or “APIT.”

With limited exceptions, anyone who knowingly distributes; transports; brings into the state; or gives, sells, or offers to sell the prohibited ammunition to anyone is guilty of a class A misdemeanor for a first violation and a class D felony for a subsequent violation (see OLR Report 2012-R-390).

OFFENSES AND PENALTIES

Classification

Table I shows firearm offenses and penalties. Table 2 shows the penalties for various classes of offenses. The offenses are classified as follows:

1. transfer and purchase,

2. carrying,

3. use,

4. possession,

5. child endangerment,

6. assault weapon,

7. machine gun,

8. “straw man" and gun trafficking,

9. hunting, and

10. miscellaneous.

Some offenses are included in more than one category. For example, an offense involving the use of an assault weapon is included in both the “firearm use” category and “assault weapons” category.

Class A, B, and C Felonies and Mandatory Sentences

CGS 53-202j imposes a mandatory minimum eight-year sentence on anyone who uses, threatens to use, displays, or purports to have an assault weapon while committing a class A, B, or C felony. CGS 53-202k imposes a mandatory minimum five-year sentence on anyone who uses, threatens to use, displays, or purports to have a firearm other than an assault weapon while committing a class A, B, or C felony. In both cases, the sentence is in addition and consecutive to any imprisonment for the felony. The offenses on Table 1 subject to the additional sentence are marked with an asterisk.

Persistent Offenders

CGS 53a-40 authorizes the court to impose, under the persistent dangerous felony offender law, enhanced sentences based on previous convictions for certain crimes. Among the firearm offenses subject to the persistent dangerous felony provision are:

1. first- and second- degree kidnapping with a firearm,

2. first- and second-degree manslaughter with a firearm, and

3. third-degree sexual assault with a firearm.

Table 1: Firearm Offenses and Penalties

Offense

Penalty

Statutory Cite

TRANSFER AND PURCHASE OFFENSES

Transfer handgun to person convicted of criminally negligent homicide

Class D felony, and any handgun found in the violator's possession must be forfeited

CGS 29-33(a), 29-33(i)

Transfer handgun to person convicted of 3rd degree assault

Class D felony, and any handgun found in the violator's possession must be forfeited

29-33(a), 29-33(i)

Transfer handgun to person convicted of 3rd degree assault of blind, disabled, elderly, pregnant person or person with intellectual disability

Class D felony, and any handgun found in the violator's possession must be forfeited

29-33(a), 29-33(i)

Transfer handgun to person convicted of 2nd degree threatening

Class D felony, and any handgun found in the violator's possession must be forfeited

29-33(a), 29-33(i)

Transfer handgun to person convicted of 1st degree reckless endangerment

Class D felony, and any handgun found in the violator's possession must be forfeited

29-33(a), 29-33(i)

Transfer handgun to person convicted of 2nd degree unlawful restraint

Class D felony, and any handgun found in the violator's possession must be forfeited

29-33(a), 29-33(i)

Transfer handgun to person convicted of 1st degree riot

Class D felony, and any handgun found in the violator's possession must be forfeited

29-33(a), 29-33(i)

Transfer handgun to person convicted of 2nd degree riot

Class D felony, and any handgun found in the violator's possession must be forfeited

29-33(a), 29-33(i)

Transfer handgun to person convicted of inciting to riot

Class D felony, and any handgun found in the violator's possession must be forfeited

29-33(a), 29-33(i)

Transfer handgun to person convicted of 2nd degree stalking

Class D felony, and any handgun found in the violator's possession must be forfeited

29-33(a), 29-33(i)

Transfer handgun to person convicted of possession of certain controlled substances

Class D felony, and any handgun found in the violator's possession must be forfeited

29-33(a), 29-33(i)

Transfer handgun to illegal aliens

Class D felony, and any handgun found in the violator's possession must be forfeited

29-33(a), 29-33(i)

Transfer handgun to anyone convicted of a serious juvenile offense

Class D felony, and any handgun found in the violator's possession must be forfeited

29-33(a), 29-33(i)

TRANSFER AND PURCHASE OFFENSES: CONTINUED

Transfer handgun to someone subject to a firearm seizure order

Class D felony, and any handgun found in the violator's possession must be forfeited

29-33(a), 29-33(i)

Transfer handgun to anyone who cannot legally possess guns under specified federal law

Class D felony, and any handgun found in the violator's possession must be forfeited

29-33(a), 29-33(i)

Transfer handgun to anyone under a protective or restraining order for using or threatening to use force

Class D felony, and any handgun found in the violator's possession must be forfeited

29-33(a), 29-33(i)

Transfer handgun to anyone found not guilty of a crime by reason of mental disease or defect for 20 years after release

Class D felony, and any handgun found in the violator's possession must be forfeited

29-33(a), 29-33(i)

Transfer handgun to anyone confined by the court to a mental hospital in the 12 months before

Class D felony, and any handgun found in the violator's possession must be forfeited

29-33(a), 29-33(i)

Transfer handgun to any other ineligible person

Class D felony, and any handgun found in the violator's possession must be forfeited

29-33(a), 29-33(i)

Transfer handgun to ineligible person knowing that it is stolen or its serial or other identifying number defaced

Class B felony, and any handgun found in the violator's possession must be forfeited

29-33(i)

Transfer handgun to anyone under age 21 (except temporarily at gun range)

Class D felony, with one-year mandatory minimum prison term, and any handgun found in the violator's possession must be forfeited

29-34(b)

Transfer handgun in violation of procedures

Class D felony, and any handgun found in the violator's possession must be forfeited

29-33(c), 29-33(e)

Transfer handgun in violation of procedures knowing that it is stolen or the manufacturer's number or other identification mark has been altered

Class B felony, and any handgun found in the violator's possession must be forfeited

29-33(c), 29-33(e)

Sell handguns at retail to person who does not have appropriate identification; fail to display gun dealer permit and keep record book

Up to $500 fine, imprisonment for up to three years, or both, and any handgun found in the violator's possession must be forfeited

29-31, 29-37

TRANSFER AND PURCHASE OFFENSES: CONTINUED

Sell handgun, other than at wholesale, without trigger lock

Class D felony, plus handgun forfeiture

29-33(d) and (i) (see 29-37b immediately below)*

Transfer firearm at gun show in violation of provisions

No penalty specified

29-37g(c)

Buy or obtain handgun without valid credentials

Class D felony

29-33(b)

Sell handgun at retail without trigger lock and safety warning

At least $500 for each violation

29-37b (see 29-33 immediately above)*

Sell handgun at retail without dealer permit

Up to $500 fine, up to three years imprisonment, or both, and any handgun found in the violator's possession must be forfeited

29-28, 29-37

Sell long gun at retail in violation of procedures

No penalty specified

29-37a

Employ unauthorized person to sell firearms in certain retail establishments

Civil penalty of up to $10,000 per day for each violation

29-37f

Sell facsimile firearm

Class B misdemeanor

53-206c

Provide any firearm knowing that recipient intends to use it illegally

Fine and imprisonment as if provider was principal offender

53a-8

Sell armor piercing and incendiary .50 caliber ammunition

Class A misdemeanor (first violation)

Class D felony (subsequent violation)

53-202l

Use false information to get any firearm

Class D felony, and any firearm found in the violator's possession must be forfeited

29-37e, 29-34(a)

CARRYING OFFENSES

Carry handgun without gun permit

Up to $1,000 fine, up to 5 years, or both; one-year mandatory minimum in the absence of mitigating circumstances, and any handgun found in the violator's possession must be forfeited

29-35(a), 29-37

Carry handgun without gun permit on one's person

Infraction ($35 fine)

29-35(b), 29-37(b)

Carry handgun where prohibited by law or property owner

Up to $500 fine, imprisonment up to three years, or both, plus handgun forfeiture

29-28(e), 29-37

CARRYING OFFENSES: CONTINUED

Knowingly carry “unpermitted” handgun or unregistered machine gun in vehicle

Up to $1,000 fine, up to five years imprisonment, or both

29-38

Carry any firearm on security guard duty without special DPS gun permit

$75 per offense

29-161z

Carry loaded handgun in vehicle

Up to $1,000 fine, up to five years imprisonment, or both, with a one-year mandatory minimum in the absence of mitigating circumstances, and any handgun found in the violator's possession must be forfeited

29-35, 29-37

Carry loaded shotgun, rifle, or muzzleloader in vehicle or snowmobile

Class D misdemeanor

53-205

Carry any firearm on school property knowing one is not licensed or authorized to do so

Class D felony

53a-217b

Carry any loaded firearm while intoxicated

Class B misdemeanor

53-206d(a)

Carry facsimile of firearm in threatening manner or brandish one in peace officer's presence

Class B misdemeanor

53-206c

FIREARM USE OFFENSES*

1st degree kidnapping with firearm

Class A felony with one-year mandatory minimum*

53a-92a

2nd degree kidnapping with firearm

Class B felony with three-year mandatory minimum*

53a-94a

1st degree manslaughter with firearm

Class B felony with five-year mandatory minimum*

(CGS 53a-35a allows sentence of up to 40 years)

53a-55a

2nd degree manslaughter with firearm

Class C felony with one-year mandatory minimum*

53a-56a

1st degree aggravated sexual assault with deadly weapon

Class B or A felony,* depending on the victim's age (mandatory minimum five years to 20 years depending on certain factors) plus at least five years parole*

53a-70a

FIREARM USE OFFENSES: CONTINUED

3rd degree sexual assault with firearm

Class C* or B* felony, depending on victim's age (two-year mandatory minimum, plus period of special parole, which together with imprisonment cannot be less than 10 years)

53a-72b

1st degree robbery with firearm

Class B felony with five-year mandatory minimum*

53a-134

2nd degree robbery with deadly weapon

Class C felony*

53a-135

1st degree burglary with deadly weapon

Class B felony with five-year mandatory minimum*

53a-101

2nd degree burglary with a firearm

Class C felony with one-year mandatory minimum*

53a-102a

3rd degree burglary with firearm

Class D felony with one-year mandatory minimum

53a-103a

1st degree assault with deadly weapon

Class B felony with five-year mandatory minimum or 10-year mandatory minimum if victim is under age 10 or a witness*

53a-59

2nd degree assault with firearm

Class D felony with one-year mandatory minimum

53a-60a

2nd degree assault with deadly weapon

Class D felony

53a-60

2nd degree assault with firearm of elderly, blind, disabled, pregnant, or mentally retarded person

Class D felony, with three-year mandatory minimum

53a-60c

3rd degree assault with deadly weapon (criminal negligence)

Class A misdemeanor with a mandatory one-year prison term

53a-61

2 Commits 2nd degree threatening while armed with or purporting to be armed with any type of firearm

Class D felony

53a-61aa, as amended by PA 12-114

Criminal use of a firearm

Class D felony, five –year mandatory minimum

53a-216

Commit A, B, or C felony armed, or purporting to be armed, with firearm other than assault weapon

Five-year mandatory minimum in addition to the sentence for the felony

53-202k

Use machine gun in violent crime

10 to 20 years imprisonment (in addition to sentence for the crime)

53-202(b)

Use machine gun for offensive or aggressive purpose

Five to 10 years imprisonment, up to $1,000 fine, or both (in addition to sentence for the crime)

53-202(c)

Display, use, or threaten to use assault weapon while committing class A, B, or C felony

Eight-year mandatory minimum prison term, plus any prison term imposed for the felony

53-202j

Unlawful discharge of firearm

Class C misdemeanor

53-203, as amended by PA 12-80

Discharge firearm from public highway

Fine of up to $100

53-204

Brandish facsimile of firearm in threatening manner

Class B misdemeanor

53-206c

FIREARM POSSESSION OFFENSES

Bring any firearm without authorization into correctional institution

Class D felony

53a-174

Possess or carry any firearm within correctional institution while incarcerated

Class B felony

53a-174a

Possess any firearm on elementary or high school property or at school-sponsored activities knowing that one is not authorized to do so

Class D felony

53a-217b

Possess sawed-off shotgun or silencer

Class D felony

53a-211

Possess any firearm in legislative chamber (unless exempt) or related areas (Interfere with legislative process)

Class D felony

2-1e(c)

Possess handgun after conviction for criminally negligent homicide

Class D felony

53a-217c

Possess handgun after conviction for 3rd degree assault

Class D felony

53a-217c

Possess handgun after conviction for 3rd degree assault of blind, elderly, pregnant, or person or person with intellectual disability

Class D felony

53a-217c

Possess handgun after conviction for 2nd degree threatening

Class D felony

53a-217c

Possess handgun after conviction for 1st degree reckless endangerment

Class D felony

53a-217c

FIREARM POSSESSION OFFENSES: CONTINUED

Possess handgun after conviction for 2nd degree unlawful restraint

Class D felony

53a-217c

Possess handgun after conviction for 1st degree riot

Class D felony

53a-217c

Possess handgun after conviction for 2nd degree riot

Class D felony

53a-217c

Possess handgun after conviction for inciting to riot

Class D felony

53a-217c

Possess handgun after conviction for 2nd degree stalking

Class D felony

53a-217c

Possess handgun after conviction for possessing certain controlled substances

Class D felony

53a-217c

Possess handgun as illegal alien

Class D felony

53a-217c

Possess handgun after conviction for a serious juvenile offense

Class D felony

53a-217c

Possess handgun while subject to a firearm seizure order

Class D felony

53a-217c

Possess handgun while ineligible to possess guns under federal law

Class D felony

53a-217c

Possess handgun while under a protective or restraining order for using or threatening to use force

Class D felony

53a-217c

Possess handgun after having been found not guilty of a crime by reason of mental disease or defect for 20 years after release

Class D felony

53a-217c

Possess handgun after being confined by the court to a mental hospital in the previous 12 months by probate court

Class D felony

53a-217c

Possess firearm, other than handgun, after felony conviction

Class D felony, with two-year mandatory minimum

53a-217

Possess firearm, other than handgun, after conviction for a serious juvenile offense

Class D felony, with two-year mandatory minimum

53a-217

Possess firearm, other than handgun, knowing that one is the subject of a state or foreign court restraining or protective order in a case involving use or threatened use of force

Class D felony, with two-year mandatory minimum

53a-217

Possess firearm, other than handgun, knowing that one is subject to a firearms seizure order after hearing opportunity

Class D felony, with two-year mandatory minimum

53a-217

Possess firearm, other than a handgun, while ineligible to possess or transport firearms under federal law because one has been adjudicated “mentally defective” or committed to a mental institution

Class D felony, with two-year mandatory minimum

53a-217

Possess machine gun for offensive or aggressive purpose

Five to 10 years imprisonment, up to $1,000 fine, or both (in addition to sentence for the crime)

53-202(c)

CHILD ENDANGERMENT OFFENSES

Criminally negligent storage (storing or keeping any loaded firearm where a minor under age 16 can get it and uses it to injure or kill himself or someone else)

Class D felony

29-37i, 52-571g, 53a-217a

Failure to provide handgun trigger lock at retail and warning to buyer

Up to $500 fine for each violation

29-37b

Transfer handgun to person under age 21

Class D felony, one-year mandatory minimum

29-34

Possess any firearm on school property knowing one is not authorized to do so

Class D felony

53a-217b

Employ minor under age 18 or other unauthorized person to sell handguns in retail store where the principal business is the sale of goods other than firearms

Up to $10,000 per day for each violation

29-37f

Failure of parent or guardian to halt illegal possession of firearm by minor

Class A misdemeanor; Class D felony if the child hurts or kills someone with the firearm

53-206f

ASSAULT WEAPON OFFENSES

Illegally sell or otherwise transfer assault weapon

Class C felony, two-year mandatory minimum and additional six-year mandatory minimum for providing the weapon to minor under age 18

53-202b

Illegally possess assault weapon

Class D felony, with one-year mandatory minimum except that a first violation is a class A misdemeanor if the person presents proof that he or she lawfully possessed the assault weapon before October 1, 1993 and is otherwise in compliance

53-202c

Commit class A, B, or C felony while armed or purporting to be armed with assault weapon

Eight-year mandatory minimum in addition to the sentence for the felony

53-202j

Transport assault weapon in unauthorized manner

Up to $500 fine, imprisonment for up to three years, or both

53-202f(a)

MACHINE GUN OFFENSES

Possess machine gun while committing or attempting to commit violent crime

10 to 20 years imprisonment(in addition to the sentence for the crime)

53-202(b)

Possess or use machine gun for offensive or aggressive purpose

Five to 10 years imprisonment, up to $1,000 fine, or both (in addition to the sentence for the crime)

53-202(c)

Transfer machine gun to minor under age 16

Fine up to $1,000, five to 10 years imprisonment or both

53-202(c)(2))

Failure to register machine gun

Five to 10 years imprisonment, up to $1,000 fine, or both

53-202(g)

Manufacturer's failure to keep register of machine guns or allow police officer inspection

Fine up to $2,000

53-202(f)

“STRAW MAN” AND GUN TRAFFICKING OFFENSES

Buy firearm intending to transfer it to an ineligible person (straw man transactions)

Imprisonment for up to five years, fine of up to $1,000, or both, except that if person was convicted of felony in the previous five years, it is a class D felony

29-37j

Solicit firearm through straw man

Class B misdemeanor (one firearm)

Class A misdemeanor (more than one firearm and each violation is separate offense)

Class D felony if the violator was convicted of a felony within the five years before the violation

29-37j

Buy firearm intending to transfer it to ineligible person

Fine of up to $1,000, imprisonment for up to five years, or both; Class D felony if the violator was convicted of a felony in the five years before the violation

29-37j(a)

Knowingly or intentionally causing firearms (excluding long guns) to come into the possession of an ineligible person

Class C felony for five or fewer firearms; Class B felony for more than five

53-202aa

Providing false statement or false information in connection with the sale, purchase, or delivery of handgun or long gun

Class D felony, plus forfeiture of firearm

29-34(a), 29-37e

Selling long gun at retail, or handgun under any circumstance, without background check and DESPP authorization

Class D felony for handguns, except it is a class B felony, plus firearm forfeiture if the transferor knows that the gun is stolen or its identification defaced. (Penalty for long guns unclear)

29-33(c) & (i), 29-37a

HUNTING OFFENSES

Use silencer on firearm while hunting

Class D misdemeanor

26-75, 26-81, as amended by PA 12-80

Jacklight for deer

Fine of $200 to $500, imprisonment of 30 days to six months, or both, plus forfeiture of firearm and increased penalties for subsequent offenses

26-85

Hunt in state wildlife refuge

Up to $100 fine

26-107

Hunt from public highway

Up to $100 fine

53-204

Hunting while intoxicated

Class A misdemeanor

53-206d(b)

1st degree negligent hunting

Class D felony, plus surrender firearm upon conviction (enhanced penalty for persistent negligent hunter)

53a-217e(b) & (f)

2nd degree negligent hunting

Class A misdemeanor, plus surrender firearm upon conviction (enhanced penalty for persistent negligent hunter)

53a-217e(c) & (f)

3rd degree negligent hunting

Class B misdemeanor, plus surrender firearm upon conviction (enhanced penalty for persistent negligent hunter)

53a-217e(d) & (f)

4th degree negligent hunting

Class C misdemeanor, plus surrender firearm upon conviction (enhanced penalty for persistent negligent hunter)

53a-217e(e) & (f)

Internet Hunting

Class A misdemeanor

26-80b

MISCELLANEOUS OFFENSES

Teach anyone to use or make firearms to use in civil disorder or assemble with people to do so

Class C felony

53-206b

Steal firearm

Class D felony

53a-212

Fail to surrender firearm after event that makes one ineligible to possess them

Class D felony; in the case of long guns, two-years mandatory minimum)

29-36k, 53a-217, 53a-217c

Failure to surrender revoked eligibility certificate within five days of revocation

Class C misdemeanor

29-36i

Failure to surrender revoked gun permit within five days of written notification

Class C misdemeanor

29-32

Failure to report lost or stolen firearms

$90 infraction for first-time unintentional failure; class D felony for subsequent unintentional failure; class C felony for any intentional failure

53-202g

Alter, remove, or deface firearm serial number

Up to $1,000 fine, up to five years imprisonment, or both and forfeiture of any firearm in violator's possession

29-36(b)

Distribute, transport, sell, etc. banned ammunition

Class A misdemeanor for first-time violation; class D felony for subsequent offense

53-202l(b)

Failure to surrender revoked permit or eligibility certificate

Class C misdemeanor

29-36i(b), 29-32(c)

*All of the use offenses, classified as A, B, or C felonies carry an additional five-year mandatory minimum prison term except those involving an assault weapon, which carry an eight-year mandatory minimum.

Table 2: Table on Penalties

Felony

Prison Term

Fine

Class A felony (murder with special circumstances)

Life without the possibility of release

Up to $20,000

Class A felony (murder)

25 to 60 years

Up to $20,000

Class A felony (aggravated sexual assault of a minor)

25 to 50 years

Up to $20,000

Class A felony

10 to 25 years

Up to $20,000

Class B felony (1st degree manslaughter with a firearm)

Five to 40 years

Up to $15,000

Class B felony

One to 20 years

Up to $15,000

Class C felony

One to 10 years

Up to $10,000

Class D felony

One to 5 years

Up to $5,000

Class A misdemeanor

Up to one year

Up to $2,000

Class B misdemeanor

Up to six months

Up to $1,000

Class C misdemeanor

Up to three months

Up to $500

Class D misdemeanor

Up to 30 days

Up to $250

VR:ro