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.
I am moving to Connecticut and currently own handguns, do I need a pistol permit?
As long as you are not prohibited from possessing firearms/handguns, you do not need a pistol permit when moving to Connecticut with legally owned handguns in your possession. It is recommended however that one obtains a non resident pistol permit before moving into the state then notifying the DEPP/SLFU to change the address on your pistol permit to your new Connecticut address.
Note: You cannot carry your handgun outside of your home/business, with limited exceptions, without a valid Connecticut Pistol Permit.
Connecticut General Statute Sec. 29-28.
Connecticut General Statute Sec. 29-35.
Connecticut General Statute Sec. 29-38. (b)
Does the law mandate that the issuing authority forward the applicant's fingerprints to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for a National Criminal History Records check?
No, the law requires that issuing authorities to verify and submit positive identification using a new set of fingerprints if necessary and submit the information with or without fingerprints to the State Police Bureau of identification (SPBI) within 5 days of receiving the application.
The State Police Bureau of Identification, (SPBI), uses the submitted positive I.D. or a set of fingerprints when conducting both a State and Federal Criminal History Records Check on the applicant and returns the results back to the local issuing authority.
The law in Connecticut General Statute Section 29-29 (b), provides discretion to the local issuing authority to waive the taking of an additional set of fingerprints from individuals who have been positively identified and previously fingerprinted.
Must I acknowledge or provide any information regarding arrests where the case was nolled or dismissed?
In most cases, applicants are not required to acknowledge or list cases that have been nolled or dismissed. In the case of charges that have been nolled, the charges are dismissed 13 months after the nolle is entered on the court records.
Must I belong to an organized gun club to be eligible for a permit?
No. There is no such requirement.
I have been asked to demonstrate my ability to safely handle and fire a handgun at the local police range. Is this a requirement and must I achieve a certain score?
This requirement is questionable due to the fact that there is no requirement contained in the Connecticut General Statutes that mandate this as part of the permit process.
The Commissioner of Public Safety requires completion of an approved course of instruction which should address and answer any questions regarding safe handling or ability to fire a pistol or revolver. Until such time as the Commissioner of Public Safety mandates this requirement, it is not mandatory.
Does the law require that I be given an application form for a permit to carry pistols and revolvers if I ask for one?
Yes. Section 29-28a requires that an application form be furnished to you immediately if you ask for it in person at the police station, and if your request is made other than by an "in person" visit to the police station it should be provided not later than one week after receiving your request for an application. This is explained in the Connecticut General Statutes Section 29-28.
Can I renew my temporary state permit?
No. 60 Day Temporary State Permits cannot be renewed. A new complete application will be necessary before a new temporary permit may be obtained.
What are the minimum requirements and required documents and information to obtain a Permit to Carry Pistols and Revolvers?
Obtain, fill out and submit a current version of the Connecticut State Pistol Permit Application - DPS Form 799-c. Make sure you fill out with no omissions all of mandated and/or required information or facts.
Provide the local issuing authority with Proof of Positive Identification - with or without fingerprints as explained in Connecticut General Statutes Section 29-29 (b).
Payment of the minimum established fees for the State and National Criminal History Record checks as established in Connecticut General Statutes Section 29-30.
Payment of the established fees for the 60 Day Temporary and 5 year Permits as established in Connecticut General Statutes Section 29-30.
All applicants must submit evidence of successful completion of an approved training course, as set forth in Connecticut General Statutes Section 29-28 (b).
Applicants can have NO State or Federal disqualifiers as listed in Connecticut General Statutes Section 29-28 (b).
Applicants who served in the military must submit a copy of their Military Form DD-214.
The issuing authority must "find that such applicant intends to make no use of any pistol or revolver which such applicant may be permitted to carry under such permit other than a lawful use and that such person is a suitable person to receive such permit" as established in Connecticut General Statutes Section 29-28 (b).
Am I restricted as a Connecticut resident to where I make application for a Permit to Carry Pistols and Revolvers?
Yes. Connecticut General Statutes require all Permit to Carry applications to be made in locations where the applicant maintains a bona fide residence.
The law states that individuals may have more than one residence but only one domicile.
Individuals who have more than one residence in the State of Connecticut may apply in any jurisdiction where they maintain a bona fide residence or a domicile. Connecticut General Statutes Section 29-28 (b).
What convictions and other disqualifying events prohibit the issuance of a permit to carry pistols and revolvers?
The following events are considered disqualifiers.
1. Failure to complete a course prescribed by the Commissioner of Public Safety in the safety and use of pistols and revolvers.
2. Felony conviction.
3. Misdemeanor conviction for any one of the following:
a) Penalty for illegal possession. Alternative sentences. Subsection (c) of Section 21 a-279.
b) Criminally negligent homicide. Section 53a-58.
c) Assault in the third degree. Section 53a-61.
d) Assault of a victim sixty or older in the third degree Section 53a-61a.
e) Threatening. Section 53a-62.
f) Reckless endangerment in the first degree. Section 53a-63.
g) Unlawful restraint in the second degree. Section 53a-96.
h) Riot in the first degree. Section 53a-175.
i) Riot in the second degree. Section 53a-176.
j) Inciting to riot Section 53a-178.
k) Stalking in the second degree. Section 53a-181d.
4. Has been discharged from custody within the preceding 20 years after having been found not guilty of a crime by reason of mental disease or defect pursuant to Section 53a-13.
5. Has been confined in a hospital for mental illness as defined in Section 17a- 495, within the preceding 12 months by order of a probate court.
6. 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 on another person.
7. Is an alien illegally or unlawfully in the United States.
Suitability and the circumstance surrounding any decision that the applicant is NOT a suitable person.
One of the most common reasons that applications are denied and appealed is the fact that applicants fail to list information on the application regarding previous ARRESTS, CONVICTIONS, COURT ORDERS and incidents where law enforcement may have been involved.
Whether or not the issuing authority, (after conducting a background investigation and reviewing the information supplied), considers the applicant a suitable or unsuitable will be evident by the decision to issue, renew or deny.
Should I notify the Department of Public Safety if I move to a new address?
Yes. You are required to notify the issuing authority within two business days. Failure to do so can result in a felony prosecution and conviction, $500 fine, three years imprisonment, and forfeiture of any pistols or revolvers in your possession. The notification shall include the old address and new address.
You may contact SLFU at (860) 685-8290 to update your address. A change of address may also be filed via E-mail at Special Licensing and Firearms Unit or by mailing a letter to: Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, Division of State Police, Special Licensing and Firearms Unit, 1111 Country Club Road, Middletown, CT, 06457. Include your name, permit number, old address and new address.
What should I do if a permit to carry pistols and revolvers is delayed, denied or revoked for reasons, which I consider to be unjustified?
Within 90 days of the delay, denial or revocation, submit a written letter and the board's questionnaire to the Board of Firearms Permit Examiners, State Office Building, 505 Hudson Street, 5th floor, Hartford, Connecticut 06106, requesting that an appeal be initiated and scheduled for a hearing.
Include your name, address, phone number and date of birth and whether or not you are represented by legal counsel. You are best off using a form letter that matches your circumstances from either the BFPE or from our site.
Be sure to do so within the 90-day period specified in Section 29-32b (b) of the General Statutes; otherwise the Board can not consider your appeal.
If necessary, The Board Secretary will send to you and the issuing authority that you allege has delayed, denied or revoked, requests for information in the form of a questionnaire (if you did not submit the questionnaire with your appeal letter) that the Board Secretary will review in order to obtain facts and information sufficient to schedule a fair and impartial hearing. You will be notified to appear at a hearing, if a hearing is required.
Timely submission of ALL facts requested in the questionnaire will assist in scheduling a timely hearing and prevent your case from being dismissed for or placed on a dormancy list.
See the Board of Firearms Permit Examiner's How do I Appeal for more detailed information including the following sample documents/forms that may be used when one appeals.
Board of Firearms Permit Examiners - Sample Appeal Letter
Board of Firearms Permit Examiners - Form to appeal due to the delay
Board of Firearms Permit Examiners - Letter to local Issuing Authority regarding delay of criminal records
Board of Firearms Permit Examiners - Appellant Questionnaire
Connecticut Carry - Permit Delay Form Letters
Must I own a handgun in order to obtain a permit to carry pistols and revolvers?
No. There is no such need or requirement.
Can an alien obtain a permit to carry pistols and revolvers?
An alien is entitled to apply for and receive a permit on the same basis as a citizen. Aliens unlawfully and illegally in the United States are prohibited from obtaining permits.
May a local authority require a supplemental application or information, in addition to the information prescribed by the Commissioner of Public Safety?
No. Section 29-28a requires that application forms be those prescribed by the Commissioner of Public Safety. In an opinion dated July 9, 1968, the Attorney General said "The clear and obvious intent of the General Assembly was to provide a uniform application for state-wide use by all issuing authorities. The authority to prescribe such a form having been granted to the Commissioner of Public Safety, a municipal police department may not alter, change, or add to the prescribed form no matter how laudable the intent or motive for doing so." This topic is also addressed in a Declaratory Ruling by the Board of Firearms Permit Examiners.
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).
What permits are required for carrying or transporting pistols and revolvers?
A valid 60 day Temporary or 5 year Permit to Carry.
A State Eligibility Certificate MAY allow the transporting of pistols and revolvers in limited circumstances.
Initially, for Connecticut Residents, a Temporary 60 day Connecticut State Pistol Permit to Carry Pistols and Revolvers is applied for and issued by local police departments or selectman's office.
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.
How long after I make an application must l be notified of the issuing authority's decision?
The law mandates that the issuing authority must make a decision within eight weeks after the application has been submitted.
Other requirements contained in Connecticut General Statutes Section 29-29 mandate much shorter time periods where the local issuing authorities are required to submit applications and fingerprints to DPS and make decisions following receipt of the National Criminal History Records Check.
The law requires a decision on applications within one week following receipt of the National Criminal History Records Check.
Do the towns and cities throughout the state have any local requirements for permit applicants?
It is currently known that many Connecticut towns attempt to require more than the Commissioner of Public Safety requires. This issue has been addressed and resolved in a 1968 Opinion from the Connecticut Attorney General and in a Declaratory Ruling by the Board of Firearms Permit Examiners.
Anything outside of the state requirements listed on the state application is not required and should be provided on strictly a voluntary basis.
Must I complete a training course to be eligible for an Eligibility Certificate or Permit to Carry Pistols and Revolvers?
Yes, Section 29-28 (b) states that no permit shall be issued if the applicant has failed to successfully complete a course approved by the Commissioner of Public Safety in the safety and use of pistols and revolvers.
These courses would include but not be limited to courses offered by a law enforcement agency; a private or public educational institution or a firearms training school using instructors certified by the NRA or the Department of Environmental Protection; State Certified Instructors or NRA Certified Instructors.
Are letters of reference or character reference required as part of an application for a 60 Day State Permit to Carry Pistols and Revolvers?
No, a local police department may ask you to submit letters of reference; however, your application cannot be refused, delayed or denied for not providing character reference letters.
Where can I find the legal requirements to apply for and obtain a Permit to Carry Pistols and Revolvers?
Anyone with questions regarding Permits to Carry Pistols and Revolvers should at a minimum first read and have a working understanding of the Connecticut General Statues beginning with Section 29-28 through Section 29-38c.
Must I prove a "need" to have a handgun, either to acquire one or to obtain a permit to carry?
No. "Need" is not among the criteria stated in the law. However, issuing authorities may inquire into the reason that you wish a permit in order to determine that you intend to make no unlawful use. The issuing authority may not deny or delay your permit application on grounds of "insufficient need".
Do I need to supply the original copy of my training certificate?
The law is silent on this matter. The original training certificate is your property and you do not need to give it to anyone. A copy should suffice, and a call/email/letter to your NRA instructor from the police department confirming your attendence and passing of the course should be more than sufficient should the copy of your certificate be questioned.
Am I limited to the number of applications I submit to obtain a Permit to Carry Pistols and Revolvers?
No. There are no limits or conditions placed on the number of times an individual may submit additional applications.
Individuals may apply as often as they desire, and may submit new applications with new or additional facts to correct any incorrect or missing information which may have caused the denial of a previously filed application.
What should I do in preparation to submit an application for a Permit to Carry and during the application process?
Double check all information and make sure all questions are answered in a complete and truthful manner.
Make copies and keep accurate records of all documents you intend to submit
Keep track of all documents and checks submitted, the date, time and manner that the application was submitted and the name of the person who took the application if dropped off in person.
Track the financial transactions regarding the payment(s) of fees to determine when the checks or money orders are cashed for the State and National Criminal History Records Checks.
Though NOT mandated by law or required, it may be helpful and could expedite the application process to pay for, an submit to, a State and National Criminal History records check though the State Police Bureau of Identification, (SPBI) in Middletown prior to filling out or submitting an application for an Eligibility Certificate or Permit to Carry Pistol or Revolvers.
Though NOT mandate by law or required, it may be advantageous to apply for and pay the additional fees and obtain a State Eligibility Certificate prior to making application for a Permit to Carry Pistols and Revolvers.
Possession of a State Eligibility Certificate is prima fascia evidence that there are no State or Federal disqualifiers which would prevent the issuance of a State Permit to Carry.
In a town which does not have an organized police department, who is the local authority the First Selectman or the Resident State Trooper?
The warden of the borough or the first selectman of the town as stated in Connecticut General Statutes Section 29-28a.
Must I first obtain a Temporary State permit to carry pistols and revolvers before I may obtain a state permit?
Yes. In most cases all Connecticut residents must first apply for and obtain a Temporary State Permit which is valid for only 60 Days.
Connecticut residents who also maintain a residence in another state and possess a valid resident Permit to Carry handguns from the state where they maintain another residence, may be eligible to apply for a non-resident permit directly from the Department of Public Safety.
Why have I been asked to furnish the issuing authority a letter attesting to my competence with a handgun signed by anyone of the following: An NRA Certified instructor, a Police Firearms Instructor, a DEEP Certified Instructor or other State Certified Instructor?
The Connecticut General Statutes in Section 29-28 (b) requires that before an issuing authority may issue a permit to carry pistols and revolvers, the issuing authority must have documentation that the applicant has successfully attended and passed a course of instruction approved by the Commissioner of Public Safety.
There is currently no expiration to previously issued certifications of course completion.
Applicants, who have taken an approved course of instruction in the past, do not have to take the course again.
Does my temporary state permit to carry pistols and revolvers permit me to carry (or transport) handguns in any town or city in Connecticut?
What are the fees for 60 day temporary and 5 year state permits to carry pistols and revolvers?
The fees are listed on the first page of DPS Form 799-c which is available at any local issuing authority or the Department of Public Safety.
The Department of Public Safety in addition to the fee for a National Criminal History Records Check, began on October 1, 2009, charging applicants for the State Criminal History Record Checks conducted as part of the application process to obtain Eligibility Certificates and Permits to Carry Pistols and Revolvers.
How long is the state permit to carry pistols and revolvers valid?
Is it true that I must be issued a permit if I do not have any of the convictions or events listed in Section 29-28?
No. Even in situations where there is no criminal record of any kind, the issuing authority is currently entitled to consider any credible facts or evidence which pertain to the conduct, judgment, character, reputation, habits, behavior, physical condition, mental condition, etc., of the seeker of the permit - to the extent that it bears on the question of the suitability of the individual to carry handguns. While all of the above may be considered, a permit may be denied (or revoked) only for just and proper cause. The issuing authority may not be arbitrary or capricious in refusing a permit.
What should I do if I do not receive a decision within one week following the return of my National Criminal History Records check by the local issuing authority or the maximum eight weeks after submitting my application?
If you are not satisfied with the reason for the delay beyond the mandated times, you may immediately submit a written appeal to the Board of Firearms Permit Examiners.
If you obtain evidence the no decision has been made one week after the issuing authority has received the results of your National Criminal History Records Check, you may attempt to contact the issuing authority to determine why a decision has not been made.
If at the end of eight weeks you have still not received an approval or denial, contact the issuing authority and inquire about the status of your application.
If there appears to be minor administrative delays, you may wish to, but are not required, to wait an additional period of time for the situation to be resolved.
Any appeal made to the Board of Firearms Permit Examiners may be withdrawn when the application is approved.
Is there an expiration date on the NRA basic pistol safety training certificate?