Since the establishment of the United States, one of the freedoms inherently given to American citizens is the right to gun ownership. The right to bear arms is one of the many unique characteristics of the U.S., but this “right” is commonly restricted and regulated by state governments. One of the many ways the use and possession of firearms is regulated is by requiring some kind of permit or license to legally purchase and possess a firearm. Each state has its own laws, but Connecticut tends to be more strict with its gun laws than many other states.
Anyone who wishes to purchase a firearm in Connecticut must obtain an Eligibility Certificate. This will allow you to buy a gun and transport it to your home or place of business. However, before you can carry a handgun on your person, you must apply for and receive a permit for carrying a pistol or revolver. This permit is broad; Connecticut law does not specify whether the permit applies to open carry or concealed carry, just carrying a pistol in general. If you plan on carrying a handgun in any place other than your home or place of business, you must have a valid pistol permit on your person.
Before receiving a Connecticut State Pistol Permit, you must first apply for and receive a temporary local pistol permit from the chief of police in your town or city. Connecticut is a “may issue” state, which means local law enforcement has the right to decide whether or not a permit can be issued to a person. There are also certain requirements that must be met before a permit will be issued. Connecticut law states that a permit may be issued to a person who:
- Is at least 21 years old
- Lives in the jurisdiction they are applying in
- Has completed the required firearms safety training in a course that is approved by the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection
- Plans to use the handgun for lawful purposes only
- Has not been convicted of a felony or crimes such as criminally negligent homicide, assault, reckless endangerment, unlawful restraint, riot, or stalking
- Has not been convicted as a delinquent for a serious juvenile offense
- Has not been released from custody after being found not guilty of a crime because of a mental disease or defect within the past 20 years
- Is not subject to a restraining order or protective order
- Is not subject to a firearms seizure order because of a risk of personal injury to self or others
- Is not prohibited from possessing a firearm or adjudicated as mentally incompetent under federal law
Penalties for Weapons Law Violations
If you have received a pistol permit but are carrying a handgun without having your permit on your person, you can be fined $35. If you are caught carrying a firearm when you have not had a permit issued to you, you can face Class D felony charges, which can result in one to five years in prison and fines of up to $5,000. A handgun found in your possession during this type of violation will be forfeited.
Contact a Hartford, CT Gun Crimes Defense Lawyer
Because of the risks of violence, gun crimes are taken very seriously. If you are facing weapons charges in Connecticut, you should immediately talk with a Connecticut criminal defense attorney who has up-to-date knowledge of the state’s ever-changing gun laws. At the Woolf Law Firm, LLC, we take all criminal defense cases very seriously, including those involving weapons charges. We will do everything in our power to protect your Second Amendment rights. To schedule a free consultation, call our office today at 860-290-8690.