Whether you’re new to owning a firearm or have had a gun for home defense for years, getting a concealed handgun permit may seem daunting. It doesn’t have to be. There are many reasons and ways to carry a concealed weapon, but the first step is knowing the laws. Applying for a CCW varies by state. Read about the process for getting a Connecticut Pistol Permit (CTPP) below.
Similar to permit requirements, states vary greatly in their processes for how an applicant obtains a concealed handgun permit, what their permits/licenses are called, whether licenses include photographs, whether fingerprinting is required, license duration, license costs and turnaround times. Some states allow an applicant to complete an application online, while others require an in-person visit to the office of the respective issuing authority. There are even states that require the applicant to provide a list of non-related character references.
Concealed Handgun Permit Basics
Connecticut is a may-issue state. Pistol permits are issued at the state level by the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP). May issue means local law enforcement has discretion in determining whether or not to issue a permit. In Connecticut, this is based on a “suitability clause,” which applies to issuance of new permits as well as revocation of existing permits.
Connecticut has a two-step process for obtaining permits. An applicant must apply for a temporary permit from local authorities before submitting a separate application at the state level. Open carry and concealed carry are legal with a CTPP. The minimum age is 21. Connecticut residents and non-residents with a valid concealed carry permit from his or her home state can apply for a pistol permit. Connecticut does not honor permits from any other states.
Buying a handgun from a private individual requires a background check, and private party firearms transfers must be performed by a federally licensed dealer. The Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP) maintains a de facto registry of the sale of handguns and long guns purchased in-state. Any transfer, be it from a dealer or private party, must be accompanied by an authorization number issued by the DESPP and a form containing personal and weapon identification must be submitted to DESPP and local police. Connecticut limits magazine capacity to no more than 10 rounds and restricts armor-piercing and incendiary .50-caliber ammunition. A handgun carry permit, gun sales permit, long-gun/handgun eligibility certificate or an ammunition certificate, issued by the state’s Commissioner of Emergency Services, is required to purchase ammunition
Federally Prohibited Persons
The Federal Gun Control Act of 1968 and the Federal Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act of 1997 make it illegal for a person who fits into any of the prohibited categories to ship, transport, receive or possess firearms or ammunition. These laws prevent a state from issuing a concealed handgun permit/license as it would be illegal for people who fit in these categories, by federal law, to own or possess a gun.
What Are the License Requirements in Connecticut?
An applicant must:
- Be at least 21 years of age;
- Be a legal resident of the United States;
- Have a residence or business in the jurisdiction in which they are applying;
- Intend to use the handgun for only lawful purposes;
- Be a “suitable person” to receive a permit;
- Have successfully completed an approved handgun safety course;
- Not have been convicted of a felony or a violation of:
- Criminal possession of a narcotic substance,
- Criminally negligent homicide,
- Assault in the third degree,
- Reckless endangerment in the first degree,
- Unlawful restraint in the second degree,
- Riot in the first degree, or
- Stalking in the second degree;
- Not have been convicted as a delinquent for the commission of a serious juvenile offense;
- Not have 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;
- Not have been confined in a hospital for persons with psychiatric disabilities,
- Not have been voluntarily admitted on or after October 1, 2013, to a hospital for persons with psychiatric disabilities within the preceding 12 months by order of a probate court;
- Not be 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;
- Not be subject to a firearms seizure order issued for posing a risk of personal injury to self or others after a hearing;
- Not be an alien illegally or unlawfully in the United States; and
- Meet federal law requirements.
*Consult with an attorney if you have any questions about your eligibility. If you don’t have an attorney, you can find one by contacting the State Bar of Connecticut.
Do I Need Firearms Training in Connecticut?
You are required to complete a handgun safety course approved by the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection in the safety and use of pistols and revolvers. Students must also fire a semi-automatic pistol or revolver. Computer-generated programs, dry-fire, other simulated shooting tools, plastic bullets, air guns or any other alternatives are not acceptable. Students must fire a semi-automatic pistol or revolver. Any questions should be referred to the Special Licensing and Firearms Unit.
Be sure to verify that any firearms training you receive in order to obtain your permit is approved by the state of Connecticut.
No additional training is required for permit renewals.
How Do I Get a Concealed Handgun Permit in Connecticut?
Connecticut has a two-step permitting process: a 60-day temporary permit issued by local authorities followed by a 5-year regular permit issued by the DESPP.
A temporary state permit to carry pistols or revolvers entitles the holder to purchase a firearm and transport same to their residence or place of business. It does not entitle the holder to carry a pistol or revolver on their person. Issuance of a temporary permit is technically not a prerequisite to apply for a regular permit, but in practice, an applicant must await a decision from local authorities on the temporary permit application before applying to DESPP for the regular permit.
Step 1: Complete a handgun safety course.
Step 2: Download the application.
Step 3: Take the unsigned, completed application to the local chief of police, city or town hall or first selectman of your town. (Non-residents apply to the DESPP.) You will sign it in the presence of an official and need the following documents:
- Two fingerprint cards for a criminal history check
- Two copies of your birth certificate or passport
- Firearms training certificate
Pay the fees
Step 4: Upon approval, the local authority will issue a Temporary State Permit to Carry Pistols or Revolvers/Eligibility Certificate effective for 60 days.
Step 5: Within the 60 day period, go to a DESPP, Division of State Police, pistol permit location and complete the State Application to Carry Pistols and Revolvers. You will need the following:
- The Temporary State Permit to Carry Pistols and Revolvers issued by the local authority
- Proof you are legally and lawfully in the United States (e.g., certified copy of birth certificate, U.S. passport, etc.)
- Valid state-issued photo ID card
Upon approval, your permit will be issued.
For more information, visit the USCCA Connecticut gun laws page now…
The information contained on this website is provided as a service to USCCA, Inc. members and the concealed carry community, and does not constitute legal advice. Although we attempt to address all areas of concealed carry laws in all states, we make no claims, representations, warranties, promises or guarantees as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information disclosed. Legal advice must always be tailored to the individual facts and circumstances of each individual case. Laws are constantly changing, and as such, nothing contained on this website should be used as a substitute for the advice of a lawyer.