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Hartford weapons charges lawyerIn 2012, Connecticut saw one of the worst school shootings in history. Twenty first-grade children and six adults were shot and killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT. Since then, there has been a massive overhaul in gun laws in the state of Connecticut, making them more strict than ever. Disobeying gun laws can mean years in prison and hefty fines, which is why it is crucial for anyone facing weapons charges to work with a skilled criminal defense lawyer.

Types of Weapons and Charges

Connecticut law recognizes four types of firearms. The categories of firearms are as follows:

  • Handguns: Both pistols and revolvers fall under the category of handguns. State law defines a pistol or revolver as a firearm having a barrel less than 12 inches in length. You must have a gun permit to be in legal possession of a handgun, and you must have it on your person at all times when you are carrying a handgun. Not carrying your permit when you are carrying your handgun is an infraction that can result in a fine of $35. If you carry a handgun without acquiring a permit, you will face up to five years in prison (one year is mandatory) and a fine of up to $1,000.
  • Long guns: Both rifles and shotguns are referred to as long guns. Technically, you do not have to have a permit to obtain or possess a long gun. You are barred from possessing a long gun if you are a convicted felon, if you were convicted of a serious juvenile offense, if you have a restraining order or protective order against you, if you were adjudicated as a mental defective, or if you were committed to a mental institution. Illegal possession of a long gun has a mandatory minimum sentence of two years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
  • Assault weapons: An assault weapon is defined as a selective-fire firearm that is capable of fully automatic, semi-automatic, or burst fire. This includes any parts or combination of parts that convert a firearm into an assault weapon. In Connecticut, it is illegal to sell, trade, or possess an assault weapon. Possession of an assault weapon carries a minimum one year jail sentence.
  • Machine guns: A machine gun is defined as a weapon that can automatically shoot more than one projectile by a single function of the trigger, without reloading. A machine gun is presumed to be used for an offensive or aggressive purpose if the weapon is somewhere that is not owned or rented as a primary residence or business operation by the person who possessed the gun, if it is possessed by an illegal alien, if it is possessed by a person who was convicted of a violent crime, if it is unregistered, or when empty or loaded projectiles are found in the immediate vicinity of the gun. Violating machine gun possession laws will result in a maximum fine of $1,000 and/or 5 to 10 years in prison.

Contact a Hartford, CT Weapons Charges Defense Attorney Today

In recent years, guns have been a hot topic. Now more than ever, state law enforcement officials have cracked down on the illegal and criminal use, possession, and transfer of firearms. If you have been arrested on weapons charges, you could be facing serious and extensive fines and jail time. At the Woolf Law Firm, LLC, we can help you fight any weapons charges you may be facing. Our skilled Connecticut criminal defense lawyer can help you determine the best course of action for your case. Call our office today at 860-290-8690 to schedule a free consultation.

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gun, Connecticut weapons charges lawyerA former Connecticut police officer was sitting at home minding his own business when five state troopers arrived with a warrant to seize all of his legally-owned firearms. The 76-year-old man had committed no crime, had no history of violence, was not under arrest, and was not being charged, but the state police still seized more than 80 guns from the man’s home pursuant to a Firearm Safety Warrant. Connecticut is one of just five states to allow this type of controversial warrant, though many more are considering them in light of recent tragedies involving gun violence.

Firearm Safety Warrants

In 1999, the Connecticut Legislature passed what lawmakers called “risk warrant” legislation. The law allows courts to issue firearm seizure warrants based on reports from the general public that a person (gun owner) poses an immediate threat of personal injury to themselves or others. The subject of such a warrant does not need to have broken any laws in order for the seizure to be conducted. The police can hold seized firearms for up to two weeks while a hearing is scheduled. At the hearing, a judge then determines the status of the guns. Some are returned to the owner immediately, others are held for up to one year, and a small number are forfeited and sold or destroyed.

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