Warning: As of 4/4/2013, SB 1160 is now in effect across Connecticut. This 138 page gun ban drastically alters the laws regarding firearms in Connecticut. No answer in this FAQ should be considered updated until this message is removed. We will be reviewing the new laws and the impacts they will have on Connecticut law and updating this FAq and our site as necessary.
Please stay tuned...
Does Connecticut recognize other state pistol permits, or have "reciprocity" with other states?
No. Connecticut DOES NOT recognize any other state's pistol permits. Nor does Connecticut have "reciprocity" with other states. However, Connecticut does offer non residents the ability to obtain a non resident Connecticut State Pistol Permit. Non residents can apply directly to the Connecticut State Police, Special Licensing and Firearms Unit.
You can obtain an application by calling 860-685-8494 to have an application mailed out, or by downloading one here: www.ct.gov/despp/lib/despp/slfu/pistol_permits/dps-799-c.pdf
More information on Connecticut's lack of "reciprocity" can be found in this Office of Legal Research document.
Can I carry in other states with my Connecticut Pistol Permit?
Yes. The Conneticut Pistol Permit is recognised by a small number other states. States that recognise the Connecticut Pistol Permit may change at any time. Always research the destination state laws as you will be subject to THEIR state laws when carrying in that state.
Currently (as of 1/2/2013) the following states honor the Conneticut Pistol Permit:
AK*, AZ, IA, ID, IN, KY, MI, MO, MS, MT, NC, NE, OK, SD, TN, TX, UT, VT*, WI,
* Vermont, Alaska & Arizona: Anyone who can legally own a firearm can carry it concealed. No Permit/license is required. Must be 21 Y/O.
Do I need a Connecticut Pistol Permit to purchase or carry a Short Barreled Rifle (SBR) with a barrel shorter than 12 inches?
The current Connecticut General Statues appears to indicate a pistol permit is required for any "firearm" that has a barrel less than 12 inches. However, you will get many differing opinions, and there is currently much debate on various firearm discussion boards, with respect to the meaning and interpretations of current Connecticut General Statues on this subject.
Currently, Connecticut General Statutes § 53a-3 (18) define a "pistol" or "revolver" as follows: "Pistol" or "revolver" means any firearm having a barrel less than twelve inches. And currently, Connecticut General Statutes § 53a-3 (19) defines a "firearm" as follows: "Firearm" means any sawed-off shotgun, machine gun, rifle, shotgun, pistol, revolver or other weapon, whether loaded or unloaded from which a shot may be discharged.
And with very few exceptions, carrying of a pistol or revolver is not permitted without a permit. See Connecticut General Statutes Sec. 29-35. for more information and exceptions.
May I transport handguns (loaded or unloaded) in my car without a permit to carry pistols and revolvers?
Individuals who do not plan on carrying a handgun, and simply wish to transport pistols and revolvers between their home and a recognized firing/training range, a Connecticut State Eligibility Certificate may provide authority to transport pistols and revolvers under extremely limited circumstances. Eligibility Certificate information may be found beginning in the Connecticut General Statutes Section 29-36g.
I sometimes have a handgun on my person in my home and in my place of business. Do I need a permit?
No. However, your "place of business" must qualify under the law. Generally a business you own will qualify, whereas a business you are employed by, but do not own, will not qualify.
I am moving out of Connecticut, can I keep my pistol permit?
Yes. You must notify the Special Licensing and Firearms Unit of the change of address within 48 hours, and continue to renew your permit.
Connecticut General Statute Sec. 29-28 (b).
Do I need a permit to carry antique pistols or revolvers?
No, as long as the pistol or revolver qualifies as an antique under Connecticut Law.
Does a permit to carry pistols and revolvers permit me to carry it on my person?
Yes. The Permit to Carry Pistols and Revolvers allows individuals in possession of a valid permit to carry openly or concealed.
Am I required to disclose that I am carrying a firearm when a police officer pulls me over in a traffic stop?
The answer legally is 'no'. There is no legal requirement to disclose the presence of a firearm either in your car or on your person during a traffic stop.
This issue is a subjective one. People have their own opinions on how to handle this situation.
One school of thought is to hand your pistol permit over to the police officer with your license and let him ask the questions from there if they choose to so.
Another school of thought is to not offer information that is not needed unless being asked to step out of the car or directly asked about the presence of firearms.
By all means, lying to a police officer about the presence of a firearm is likely to end up with you in legal trouble.
Since there is no legal disclosure requirement, this is a matter that is entirely up to you. You should do what you are comfortable with.
May I carry my handguns between my home and my place of business without having a permit to carry pistols and revolvers?
No, as this is not one of the exemptions provided for in Section 29-35.
Does anyone have the authority to confiscate or seize a valid permit from an individual who is carrying an exposed firearm?
No. The law only permits law enforcement to confiscate or seize INVALID permits. Except for extreme circumstances, the only agency authorized to confiscate, seize or revoke a Valid Permit to Carry Pistols and Revolvers is the Department of Public Safety after an investigation and finding of JUST CAUSE to do so.
Does a permit to carry pistols and revolvers permit me to carry openly (unconcealed) on my person?
Yes. The Connecticut Permit to Carry Pistols and Revolvers currently allows individuals in possession of a valid permit to carry their handgun openly or concealed.
However, individuals who expose their weapons regardless of circumstance(s) may be confronted by members of the public and/or members of law enforcement who see or become aware of the firearm.
Individuals who intentionally engage in overt acts while carrying a firearm may find themselves facing arrest by law enforcement if the circumstances justify an arrest.
There are currently many private citizens and members of law enforcement who are currently unaware of the fact that open carry is permitted in Connecticut.
Does my permit to carry pistols and revolvers permit me to carry a handgun anywhere, anytime?
No. The locations where a person may NOT carry a weapon are not listed in any central location and require a complete understanding of the law.
Connecticut General Statutes Section 29-28 (e), provides the right for private citizens and businesses to prohibit firearms on their property or in their businesses, and this same clause is currently interpreted to allow government buildings to prohibit firearms inside of them as well.
Some of the places where you may not specifically carry a firearm:
- A school 
- A courthouse (by Judicial Decree)
- A 'state worksite' if you are a state employee 
- Any legislative building or where legislative offices exist 
- Federal Courthouses 
- Federal Buildings 
- Any Building Owed, Leased or Rented by the Federal Government. 
- Federal Prisons 
- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers property 
- National Cemeteries 
- Military Bases  
- Offices rented by the Federal Government 
- Post Office (Includes Post Office owned parking lots or any other Postal property) 
- Bureau of Land Management buildings 
- Indian Reservations 
- State of Conneticut Parks and Forests 
: Check at each Military Post for specific rules on Shooting Clubs.
: 39 CFR 232.1(I)
: Carry on Indian property is controlled by Tribal Law.
: http://www.ct.gov/dep/lib/dep/regulations/23/23-4-1through5.pdf Note: According to DEP, a person may legally possess a handgun in a state park or forest when carrying the handgun (no larger than .22 caliber) exclusively for hunting small game (e.g., rabbits, squirrels) or other authorized activities, such as for use at a firearms range or participation in a hunter education class. See this Office of Legal Research document for more information.
National Parks/National Wildlife Refuges: As of February 22, 2010 it is legal to carry on Federal National Park and National Wildlife Refuge lands provided one can legally carry in that state. Note however that some National Monuments require the user to pass through a federal building and possibly through a security checkpoint. In these cases, weapons are prohibited in the federal building and will be confiscated at National Park/National Monument security checkpoints. A few examples of National/State Monuments with security checkpoints: NYC 9/11/Ground Zero Memorial, Liberty Island (Statue of Liberty), Ellis Island.
May I carry handguns between my home and a gun club or to a commercial shooting range, without having a permit to carry pistols and revolvers?
No. The fact that a handgun is carried rather than transporting can result in a felony prosecution and conviction whenever a handgun is carried without a permit.