September 23, 2008
GUN PERMIT FOR CORRECTION OFFICERS
By: Veronica Rose, Principal Analyst
You asked if a federal correction officer needs a permit to carry handguns in Connecticut.
State law exempts federal law enforcement agents from the requirement to have a permit to carry handguns in Connecticut (CGS § 29-35). Federal correction officers are law enforcement officers, according to the federal Bureau of Prisons. Thus, it appears that state law exempts them from the gun permit requirement.
The 2004 federal Law Enforcement Officer Safety Act (LEOSA) also exempts qualified law enforcement officers from state laws and local ordinances that prohibit carrying concealed firearms (not including machine guns, firearm silencers, and destructive devices). A correction officer who meets the LEOSA definition of a law enforcement officer does not need a permit to carry firearms in Connecticut under LEOSA. For LEOSA purposes, a “qualified law enforcement officer” is a government agency employee who:
1. is authorized by law to engage in or supervise the prevention, detection, investigation, or prosecution of, or the incarceration of any person for, any violation of law, and has statutory powers of arrest;
2. is authorized by the agency to carry a firearm;
3. is not the subject of any disciplinary action by the agency;
4. meets standards, if any, established by the agency which require the employee to regularly qualify in the use of a firearm;
5. is not under the influence of alcohol or another intoxicating or hallucinatory drug or substance; and
6. is not prohibited by federal law from receiving a firearm (18 USC § 926B).
LEOSA does not supersede or limit state laws that (1) permit private persons or entities to prohibit or restrict possession of concealed firearms on their property or (2) prohibit or restrict the possession of firearms on any state or local government property, installation, building, base, or park. (A copy of LEOSA is attached.)