July 6, 2005
CARRYING GUNS ON STATE PROPERTY
By: Veronica Rose, Principal Analyst
You want to know under what circumstances the law prohibits a person who has a gun permit (other than a law enforcement agent) from carrying guns on state property and whether any of the prohibitions apply to historical reenactments.
Generally, a person carrying guns legally may carry them anywhere it is permitted by law or the person who owns or control the property. This includes state property. Only one law prohibits carrying guns on state property. But the Department of Environmental Protection, the Judicial Department, and a governor's executive order place some restrictions on this activity as well.
The law prohibits the carrying of guns in the State Capitol and Legislative Office Building, any building in which a legislative committee's office is located or where the committee is having a public hearing, and any official office of legislators or legislative employees. The provision does not apply to peace officers performing their official duties and uniformed veterans performing in any official ceremonial unit (CGS § 2-1e(c)).
Another law appears to give agencies, and people in general, implicit authority to ban handguns (pistols and revolvers) on their property. This law states that having a gun permit does not give the gun owner the right to possess or carry handguns on any premises where it is otherwise
prohibited by law or by the person who owns or exercises control over such premises (CGS § 29-28(e)). We do not know how many state agencies, if any, have banned guns on their premises pursuant to this law.
The Judicial Branch bans the carrying of firearms in courthouses. It exempts peace officers carrying out official duties and outlines the protocol they must follow when carrying firearms (policy attached). This ban has been in effect for years and predates the above law.
A 1999 executive order, issued by former Governor John Rowland, prohibits state agency personnel, contractors, subcontractors, and vendors from bringing firearms, among other dangerous weapons, onto state worksites (Executive Order No. 16).
Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) regulations ban hunting or carrying firearms in state parks and forests except as authorized by DEP (Conn. Agency Regs. § 23-4-1(c)). They allow the issuance of special public purpose licenses for the use of state parks. Special purpose includes historical reenactments (Conn. Agency Regs. § 23-11). For more information on historical enactments and the responsibilities of a licensee, your constituent may contact the DEP Bureau of Outdoor Recreation, State Parks Division. (A copy of the license application is attached.)