Second in a Series on Connecticut’s Gun Laws
Connecticut’s firearms laws are scattered throughout the general laws, or statutes. Tracking down the firearms statutes in this legal wilderness is not easy, but that’s where we’ll start.
(Residents can find Connecticut’s general laws and their latest supplements in the reference section of the Avon Free Public Library. Ask a reference librarian where the statutes are shelved—they’re not easy to find.)
Now let’s go online. We find a link to Connecticut’s statutes in the menu bar at the top of the Connecticut General Assembly’s home page (http://www.cga.ct.gov).
That “statutes” page provides links to “search statutes,” “browse statutes,” and “browse 2012 Supplement.” Note that the “search” and the “supplement” pages have been updated through January 1, 2012. The “browse” page has been updated through January 1, 2011.
To use the “search” page, you have to know either the statute’s citation (its number) or some wording that appears therein.
The “browse” page provides links to each of the code’s titles, chapters and sections.
The “supplements” page provides links to the amendments and new laws enacted during the General Assembly’s 2011 session.
Connecticut’s codification system is not intuitive. Unlike many other states' codification systems, there is no logical relationship between the number of a title, the numbers of the chapters within that title, or the numbered sections within each chapter.
Now let’s get some specific electronic help nailing down Connecticut’s gun laws.
Helpful State Web Sites
The Judicial Branch Law Library maintains a most helpful site devoted to the state’s firearm laws (http://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/law/firearms.htm). Links to the firearms laws themselves appear on the right side of the page, along with links to gun-related opinions of the Supreme Courts of Connecticut and of the United States (SCOTUS). The SCOTUS section provides a link to the game-changing (and controversial) 2008 Heller decision written by Justice Antonin Scalia.
The left side of the Law Library’s page contains links to a wide array of interesting information on firearms. I recommend a most helpful summary of Connecticut’s gun laws issued on January 9, 2013, by the Office of Legislative Research, an arm of the Connecticut General Assembly (http://www.cga.ct.gov/2013/rpt/2013-R-0001.htm). If you’re looking for a convenient source of information on Connecticut’s gun laws, this document is well worth downloading.
The home page of the Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (http://www.ct.gov/despp/site/default.asp) provides a link to “pistol permits.” (http://www.ct.gov/despp/cwp/view.asp?a=4213&q=494614&desppNav_GID=2080). The “pistol permits” site provides DESPP’s instructions for obtaining an eligibility certificate to acquire a handgun, and local and state permits to carry a handgun. The site emphasizes that an eligibility certificate to purchase a handgun “does not entitle the holder to carry a pistol or revolver on their [sic] person.”
In addition to explaining who is ineligible to receive a permit, the DESPP’s site contains the requirements for reporting a lost or stolen handgun and the statutory provisions under which a handgun permit can be revoked.
In the third post in this series we’ll take a look at Connecticut’s basic firearms law: Article I section 15 of the Connecticut Constitution.