In Connecticut, a person may not purchase or receive a handgun unless he or she holds a valid permit to carry a handgun (see the Concealed Weapons Permitting in Connecticut section), a valid permit to sell a handgun (see the Dealer Regulations in Connecticut section), or a valid handgun eligibility certificate.1 A person is entitled to a handgun eligibility certificate, issued by the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection (“the Commissioner”), unless he or she:

  • Has been convicted of a felony (with limited exceptions) or of certain violent or intimidating misdemeanors;
  • Has been convicted as a delinquent for the commission of a serious juvenile offense;
  • Has been discharged from custody within the preceding 20 years after having been found not guilty of a crime due to mental disease or defect under state law;
  • Has been confined in a mental hospital for persons with psychiatric disabilities within the preceding 60 months by order of a probate court;
  • On or after October 1, 2013, has been voluntarily admitted to a hospital for persons with psychiatric disabilities within the preceding six months for care and treatment of a psychiatric disability and not solely for being an alcohol-dependent person or a drug-dependent person;
  • Is subject to a restraining or protective order issued by a court in a case involving the use, attempted use or threatened use of physical force against another person;
  • Is subject to a firearms seizure order for posing risk of imminent personal injury to self or others issued after notice and an opportunity to be heard;
  • Is prohibited from shipping, transporting, possessing or receiving a firearm for mental health reasons pursuant to federal law;
  • Is an undocumented person illegally or unlawfully in the United States;
  • Is under 21 years of age; or
  • Failed to successfully complete an approved course in the safety and use of handguns.2

Handgun eligibility certificates do not authorize the holder to carry a handgun upon the person.3

A holder of a handgun eligibility certificate is not subject to the state’s waiting period for rifles or shotguns.4 It may take up to 60 days after a record check from the FBI, and 90 days total, for the Commissioner to issue an eligibility certificate.5

An eligibility certificate is valid for five years.6

The names and addresses of holders of handgun eligibility certificates are confidential.7

Long Gun Eligibility Certificate

No person may purchase or receive any long gun (i.e., rifle or shotgun) unless he or she obtains a long gun eligibility certificate or has a handgun eligibility certificate or a permit to sell handguns at retail.8

A person is entitled to a long gun eligibility certificate from the Commissioner, unless the applicant:

  • Has been convicted of a felony or certain violent or intimidating misdemeanors;
  • Has been convicted as a delinquent for the commission of a serious juvenile offense;
  • Has been discharged from custody within the preceding 20 years after having been found not guilty of a crime due to mental disease or defect under state law;
  • Has been confined in a mental hospital for persons with psychiatric disabilities within the preceding 60 months by order of a probate court;
  • Has been voluntarily admitted to a hospital for persons with psychiatric disabilities within the preceding six months for care and treatment of a psychiatric disability and not solely for being an alcohol-dependent person or a drug-dependent person;
  • Is subject to a restraining or protective order issued by a court in a case involving the use, attempted use or threatened use of physical force against another person;
  • Is subject to a firearms seizure order for posing risk of imminent personal injury to self or others issued after notice and an opportunity to be heard;
  • Is prohibited from shipping, transporting, possessing or receiving a firearm for mental health reasons pursuant to federal law;
  • Is an undocumented person illegally or unlawfully in the United States;
  • Is under 18 years of age; or
  • Failed to successfully complete an approved course in the safety and use of firearms.9

The fee for an initial or renewal certificate is $35,10 and the certificate is good for five years.11

The names and addresses of holders of long gun eligibility certificates are confidential.12

The Commissioner must include information about such certificates in the database currently maintained for sellers to verify the validity of a purchaser’s gun credentials.13

The Commissioner must require each applicant to submit to state and national criminal history records checks.14 The Commissioner is also specifically required to verify that a person who seeks or applies for the renewal of an eligibility certificate for a handgun, long gun or certificate of possession for an assault weapon  has not been confined in a hospital for persons with psychiatric disabilities within the preceding 60 months by order of a probate court, or has not been voluntary admitted to a hospital within the preceding six months for care and treatment of a psychiatric disability and not solely for being an alcohol-dependent person or a drug-dependent person, by inquiring with the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services to receive a report limited to the commitment or admission status of the person.15

As is the case for handgun eligibility certificates, a long gun eligibility certificate can be revoked upon the occurrence of any event that would have disqualified the holder from being issued the certificate. If the certificate is revoked, the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection must notify the person in writing, and the person must deliver it to the Commissioner.16

See our Licensing of Gun Owners or Purchasers policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-33(b). ⤴︎
  2. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-36f(b). ⤴︎
  3. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-36g(f). ⤴︎
  4. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-37a(g). ⤴︎
  5. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-36g(a), (b)(2). ⤴︎
  6. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-36h(b). ⤴︎
  7. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-36g(e). ⤴︎
  8. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-37a(c). ⤴︎
  9. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-38g. ⤴︎
  10. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-38i(a). ⤴︎
  11. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-38i(b). ⤴︎
  12. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-38h(d). ⤴︎
  13. See Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-36l. ⤴︎
  14. Conn. Gen. Stat. §§ 29-33(c), 29-37a(d), (f)(2), . ⤴︎
  15. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-38b(a). ⤴︎
  16. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-38j. Any person aggrieved by an adverse action concerning a certificate or application may appeal to the Board of Firearms Permit Examiners. See Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-32b. ⤴︎