Persons Falling into State Prohibited Categories

Generally, whenever a person becomes ineligible to possess a firearm, he or she has two business days from the event causing the ineligibility to transfer any firearm in his or her possession to any person eligible to possess them.1 The person must obtain an authorization number for the sale or transfer from the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection and submit a sale or transfer form to the Commissioner within two business days. The ineligible person may alternatively surrender the firearm(s) to the Commissioner through a local police department.2 The ineligible person must also transfer any ammunition in his or her possession to an eligible person.3 However, pursuant to a law Connecticut adopted in 2016, a person who becomes ineligible because of the issuance of a domestic violence protective order must sell any firearm or ammunition in his or her possession only to a federally licensed firearms dealer or surrender them to the Commissioner through a local police department, within 24 hours of notice of the protective order.4

The Commissioner, in conjunction with the Chief State’s Attorney and the Connecticut Police Chiefs Association, must develop and maintain a protocol to ensure that persons who become ineligible to possess a firearm have transferred the gun to an eligible person, or have delivered or surrendered the firearm to the Commissioner. The protocol must include specific instructions for the transfer, delivery or surrender of guns when the assistance of more than one law enforcement agency is necessary to effect these requirements.5

Gun Possessors Posing Imminent Risk of Injury

In Connecticut, a state’s attorney or any two police officers may file a complaint to any Superior Court judge for seizure of a firearm or ammunition when they have probable cause to believe that:  1) a person poses a risk of imminent personal injury to himself, herself or others; 2) the person possesses one or more firearms; and 3) the firearm is within or upon any place, thing or person.6 Probable cause may be based on:

  • Recent threats or acts of violence directed towards self or others;
  • Recent acts of cruelty to animals;
  • Reckless use, display or brandishing of a firearm;
  • A history of use, attempted use or threatened use of physical force against others;
  • Illegal use of controlled substances or abuse of alcohol; or
  • Involuntary confinement to a hospital for persons with psychiatric disabilities.7

The judge may then issue a warrant commanding a law enforcement officer to search that person, place, or thing, and take any and all firearms or ammunition into custody.8 The court must hold a hearing no later than 14 days after execution of the warrant to determine whether the seized firearms and ammunition should be returned to the person named in the warrant.9 If the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that the person poses a risk of imminent personal injury to himself or herself or others, it may order the state to continue to hold the firearms and ammunition for up to one year.10

Notes
  1. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-36k(a). ⤴︎
  2. Id. ⤴︎
  3. Id. ⤴︎
  4. Id. ⤴︎
  5. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-36n. ⤴︎
  6. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-38c(a). ⤴︎
  7. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-38c(b). Any person whose firearms have been ordered seized under this statute, or his or her legal representative, may transfer the firearms in accordance with the provisions of Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-33 or other applicable state or federal law, to any person eligible to possess firearms. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-38c(e). ⤴︎
  8. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-38c(a). ⤴︎
  9. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-38c(d). ⤴︎
  10. Id. ⤴︎