Connecticut is a may-issue, with limited discretion, state. However, state courts have asserted that licenses should be processed on a shall-issue basis because state law does not contain a clause requiring applicants to show cause. There is a two-step process to obtain a permit. First, an applicant must apply for a temporary permit from the local authorities and then they must submit another application at the state level through the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP).
In order to purchase a handgun, a buyer must have a Connecticut Pistol Permit (CTPP) or obtain a Certificate of Eligibility for Pistol and Revolvers or Long Guns or Ammunition. A background check is required to buy a handgun from a private individual — private party firearms transfers are required to be performed by a federally licensed dealer.
Open carry and concealed carry are legal in Connecticut with a CTPP. The minimum age is 21. Connecticut residents as well as non-residents with a valid CCW license from their home state can apply for a CTPP. Some areas are off-limits, including schools and state parks. CTPPs require a state-approved firearms training course that includes live-fire exercises. In terms of reciprocity, Connecticut does not honor permits from any other states.
The Castle Doctrine is incorporated into Connecticut law governing the use of physical force in defense of premises. Although there is no duty to retreat in a person’s home, there is a duty to retreat outside of one’s home.
Use of Physical Force in Defense of Person A person is justified in using reasonable physical force to defend the person or a third person from what he or she reasonably believes to be the use or imminent use of physical force, and the person may use such degree of force which is reasonably believed to be necessary for such purpose; except that deadly physical force may not be used unless the actor reasonably believes that such other person is using or about to use deadly physical force, or inflicting or about to inflict great bodily harm.
Use of Physical Force in Defense of Property A person is justified in using reasonable physical force when and to the extent that he or she reasonably believes it to be necessary to prevent an attempt to commit larceny or criminal mischief involving property or larceny; but he or she may use deadly physical force only in defense of person.
Use of Physical Force in Defense of Premises A person in possession or control of premises, or a person who is licensed or privileged to be in or upon such premises, is justified in using reasonable physical force when and to the extent that he or she reasonably believes such to be necessary to prevent or terminate the commission or attempted commission of a criminal trespass. But a person may use deadly physical force under such circumstances only:
In defense of a person;
When he or she reasonably believes it to be necessary to prevent an attempt by the trespasser to commit arson or any crime of violence; or
To the extent that he or she reasonably believes it to be necessary to prevent or terminate an unlawful entry by force into a dwelling or place of work, and for the sole purpose of such prevention or termination.
Is it legal to buy or use chemical spray/pepper spray in Connecticut?
Yes. There is no statute prohibiting the purchase or use of pepper spray in Connecticut.
MAGAZINE LIMITS FOR HANDGUNS?
Does Connecticut have magazine capacity restrictions for handguns?
No more than 10 rounds.
“Large capacity magazine” means any firearm magazine, belt, drum, feed strip or similar device that has the capacity of, or can be readily restored or converted to accept, more than ten rounds of ammunition, but does not include: a feeding device that has been permanently altered so that it cannot accommodate more than ten rounds of ammunition, a .22 caliber tube ammunition feeding device, or a magazine that is permanently inoperable. Any person who distributes, imports into the state, keeps for sale, offers or exposes for sale, or purchases a high-capacity magazine is criminally liable for a class D felony.
There is also a grandfather provision for high-capacity magazines possessed prior to January 1, 2014.
Yes. Armor-piercing and incendiary .50-caliber ammunition is prohibited. A handgun carry permit, gun sales permit, long-gun/handgun eligibility certificate or an ammunition certificate is required to purchase ammunition. Ammunition certificates are issued by the state's Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection after a background check and must be renewed every 5 years.
Can you carry a concealed handgun in a vehicle in Connecticut?
Yes, with a valid CT Pistol Permit only. Otherwise, the weapon must be unloaded and the firearm and ammunition must be stored in separate locked containers during transport. As of October 1, 2019, any pistol or revolver in an unattended motor vehicle must be in the trunk, a locked safe or locked glove box or in a locked toolbox or utility box attached to the bed of a pickup truck.
Can you carry a concealed firearm at roadside rest areas in Connecticut?
Carry in State/National Parks, State/National Forests and Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs)?
Can you carry a concealed firearm in state/national parks, state/national forests and Wildlife Management Areas in Connecticut?
No. Carrying open or concealed firearms for self defense is not permitted on Connecticut state park or state forest property. Per the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, firearms are only allowed by individuals that are actively engaged in permitted hunting, meaning in locations that hunting is permitted, with a current license, in the proper season, and with the appropriate firearm and ammunition for the animal being hunted.
Can you carry a concealed firearm in bars and restaurants that serve alcohol in Connecticut?
Yes, there is no statute making it illegal to concealed carry with a valid CT Pistol Permit, unless posted.
Carry/Possess at a hotel?
Can you carry or possess a firearm on hotel property in Connecticut?
A permit to carry a handgun does not authorize a person to carry a handgun on any premises where the possession or carrying of a handgun is prohibited by the person who owns or controls the premises. The individual hotel should be contacted to inquire about it's concealed carry policy. See the Handguns at Hotels page for additional information.
Are "No Weapons Allowed" signs enforced in Connecticut? If yes, violating the sign would be considered to be a crime. If no, violating the sign would not be considered a criminal offense.
Yes. A person cannot possess or carry a pistol or revolver in or on any premises where prohibited by law, or prohibited by the person who owns or exercises control over such premises.
Any person violating any provision of section 29-28 or 29-31 shall be guilty of a class E felony, and any pistol or revolver found in the possession of any person in violation of any of said provisions shall be forfeited.
No definition of brandishing was found in Connecticut law. However, a person is guilty of disorderly conduct when, with intent to cause inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof, such person engages in fighting or in violent, tumultuous or threatening behavior.
A person is guilty of breach of the peace in the second degree when, with intent to cause inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof, such person engages in fighting or in violent, tumultuous or threatening behavior in a public place; or assaults or strikes another; or threatens to commit any crime against another person or such other person's property; or creates a public and hazardous or physically offensive condition by any act which such person is not licensed or privileged to do.
As a responsibly armed American, regardless of the laws in your state, it is unwise to carry while under the influence of any substance that could impair your judgement, slow your reaction times, or impact your decision-making abilities. Any decision you make while carrying a firearm could have life-altering consequences.
Does Connecticut issue concealed carry permits to non-residents?
Yes, to individuals who hold a valid permit/license issued by a recognized United States jurisdiction.
PUBLIC ACCESS TO CONCEALED CARRY REGISTRY?
Does Connecticut allow the public to access concealed carry registry information through public records law?
No, however the information is available for law enforcement.
Is a permit required to purchase a handgun in Connecticut?
Yes. A buyer must have a CTPP or obtain a Certificate of Eligibility for Pistol and Revolvers. Applicants must complete an approved safety course, and pass a National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) background check and mental health records check prior to issuance of a Certificate of Eligibility.
Background Checks for Private Gun Sales?
Are background checks required for private gun sales in Connecticut?
Yes. Private party firearms transfers require that a federally licensed dealer performs a background check on the buyer. Private sales are allowed between CTPP holders provided the DESPP transfer form is submitted and an authorization number is received.
Does my current Connecticut concealed carry permit exempt me from needing a background check when I purchase a firearm?
Is there a waiting period after purchasing a handgun in Connecticut?
No. But the buyer must have a CTPP or a Certificate of Eligibility for Pistol and Revolvers or Long Guns.
Do handguns need to be registered in Connecticut?
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. This form is collected and maintained on all guns purchased from Federal Firearm License (FFL) dealers as well. The form is not required for long gun transfers made out of state, and there is no legal requirement/penalty to register firearms purchased out of state or lawfully obtained before April 1, 2014.
Minimum Age to Possess and Transport?
What is the minimum age to possess and transport a handgun in Connecticut?
21 years old, except that a pistol or revolver may be temporarily transferred to anyone for target shooting or on a firing or shooting range, provided such use is permitted by law and is under the immediate supervision of a person eligible to possess a pistol or revolver.
Possess a handgun on my private property without a permit?
Can I possess/carry a handgun in my home without a permit?
Yes. A permit is not needed for anyone legally entitled to carry a firearm. to carry a pistol or revolver within the persons own “dwelling house” or place of business. A permit to carry is required to carry a handgun outside one’s home (even though one may still be on his own property)
Complete the Pistol Permit/Eligibility Certificate Application Form and submit it in person at DESPP Headquarters, Division of State Police, located at 1111 Country Club Road, Middletown, Connecticut, along with the below:
Firearms Safety & Use Course Certificate
$35.00 fee, payable to the Treasurer, State of Connecticut
Application for a State Eligibility Certificate for a Pistol or Revolver or for Long Guns (DPS-164-C)
Proof you are legally and lawfully in the United States (e.g., certified copy of birth certificate, U.S. passport or documentation issued by I.C.E.)
Proof of valid state issued photo identification card.
Submit fingerprints for a criminal history check through a law enforcement agency. Payment includes a $75.00 fee and a $13.25 fee, payable at the agency where the prints are taken. Fees must be paid by separate checks.
Upon approval, your photograph will be taken at DESPP and you will be issued an eligibility certificate.
For DESPP pistol permit locations, access www.ct.gov/despp and follow the link to the Special Licensing and Firearms Unit.
Anyone who can legally possess a firearm may carry it concealed in permitless carry states without a permit/license. The minimum age* for permitless carry is shown. Check each state’s page for more information and any restrictions that may apply.
*PC-18 = permitless carry if at least 18 years old
*PC-21 = permitless carry if at least 21 years old
Connecticut issues non-resident permits to individuals who hold a valid permit/license issued by a recognized United States jurisdiction. The process can be done through the mail by submitting the required documentation to the DESPP at the address below.
The law requires that you notify the issuing authority within 48 hours of changing your address. A person holding a state or local pistol permit is required to notify the issuing authority within two business days of any change of address. Persons holding state pistol permits may contact SLFU at (860) 685-8290 to update their address. A change of address may also be filed via email 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.
File a police report in the area in which the theft or loss occurred. Then contact the issuing authority and notify them of the theft or loss. You will then have to go to the state police headquarters or a troop location where pistol permits are processed and pay a $5.00 processing fee for issuance of a duplicate permit.
Moving to Connecticut and interested in applying for a resident permit? How soon can you apply? Connecticut issues permits to residents and non-residents who hold a valid permit/license issued by a recognized United States jurisdiction, so you can apply for your permit at any time.
Moving from Connecticut and have a Connecticut resident permit? Does that permit transfer to your new state? Is there a grace period during which your Connecticut permit remains valid? If a person with a Connecticut pistol permit establishes residency in another state, the permit is valid until it expires provided you notify the Special Licensing and Firearms Unit of the change of address and continue to renew your permit.
Connecticut Concealed Carry Permit Application Process
How to Apply for a Connecticut Concealed Carry Permit
Complete a handgun safety course.
Download the application (DPS-799-C).
Take the unsigned, completed application to the police department or first selectman of your town. You will sign it in the presence of an official and need the following documents:
Two fingerprint cards;
Two copies of your birth certificate or passport; and
Firearms training certificate.
Pay the fees.
Submit fingerprints for a criminal history check through a law enforcement agency.
Upon approval, the local authority will issue a Temporary State Permit effective for 60 days.
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.); and
Valid state-issued photo ID card.
Pay the fee.
Your photograph will be taken.
Upon approval, your permit will be issued.
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 Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP). 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.
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.
Be sure to verify that any firearm training you receive in order to obtain your permit is approved by the state of Connecticut.
No additional training is required for permit renewals.
Connecticut Concealed Carry Permit Renewal Process
How to Renew a Connecticut Concealed Carry Permit
Ninety days prior to the expiration of your permit, the issuing authority will mail out a renewal letter to your last known address. All pistol permits may be renewed in person at DESPP Headquarters 90 days prior to expiration or up to 90 days after expiration. No permit can be renewed after the 90 day grace period following the expiration date. Renewals may also be completed by mail.
Confirm the accuracy of the information on DPS-129-C or, if one wasn't received, download the form. If corrections are required, draw a single line through any incorrect information and write in the correct information.
For in-person renewals, present the corrected form to DESPP. Unless the Place of Birth section on the DPS-129-C states, “VERIFIED”, provide proof of being legally and lawfully in United States: U.S. Passport, Birth Certificate or Permanent Resident ID issued by I.C.E. or Naturalization Certificate. Your photograph and signature will be taken at DESPP.
For mail-in renewals, sign the corrected form in the presence of a notary prior to mailing. Using transparent tape, attach a 2” x 2” color passport photo, taken within the previous 6 months, in the box provided. Proof of legal and lawful presence in the United States is required. Acceptable forms of proof include a birth certificate, U.S. passport, or documentation of permanent residence from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Include payment. Do not send originals. Include a self-addressed, stamped #10 envelope.
Law enforcement officers (LEOs) and Retired LEOs (RLEOs) may choose to carry under the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA), often referred to as HR 218. Under 18 U.S. Code §§ 926B & 926C, qualified LEOs and qualified retired LEOs, or those separated from service in good standing, can carry a concealed firearm in any jurisdiction in the United States, regardless of state or local laws, with some exceptions. For details check out our Federal Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA) page.
The Connecticut State Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection Special Licensing and Firearms website indicates the Connecticut State Police Firearms Training Unit will provide a training and qualification program only for separated from service and/or retired Connecticut State Police Troopers and separated from service and/or retired out-of-state police officers who currently reside in the State of Connecticut. The dates and times for retiree firearms training are posted on the webpage. All retirees must successfully complete the mandated training under the supervision of CSP FTU instructors; this includes mandatory classroom training. As a condition of issuance of the authorization, the retiree’s fingerprints will be maintained by the Department and the authorization will be revoked at any time should the holder become ineligible to possess a firearm.
Any building in which the chamber of either house of the general assembly is located or in which the official office of any member, officer or employee of the general assembly or the office of any committee of the general assembly or either house thereof is located or any building in which a committee of the general assembly is holding a public hearing [Conn. Gen. Stat. § 2-1e(c)];
All types of knives are legal to own, although there are a number of restrictions on what can be carried open or concealed. Stilettos, blackjacks, dirks, automatic knives, switchblades with blades longer than 1.5 inches and any knives with blades longer than 4 inches are illegal to carry and transport. There are exceptions to carry for members of the military, when transporting to a gun show, historic reenactments, among others.
I can legally carry a concealed firearm in Connecticut, but can I wear a COVID 19 protective mask while carrying concealed?
There is no known statute in Connecticut making it illegal to wear a COVID mask while carrying concealed. A statute was identified that makes it illegal to wear a mask, hood or other device designed to conceal the identity of such person with the intent to subject any other person to the deprivation of any rights or privileges.
Can you concealed carry while shotgun/rifle hunting in Connecticut?
No. Per the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, firearms are only allowed by individuals that are actively engaged in permitted hunting, meaning in locations that hunting is permitted, with a current license, in the proper season, and with the appropriate firearm and ammunition for the animal being hunted.
CARRY WHILE BOW HUNTING?
Can you concealed carry while bow hunting in Connecticut?
No. Per the Connecticut Dept. of Energy and Environmental Protection's 2019 Hunting and Trapping Guide, possession of a firearm while archery hunting is prohibited.
HUNTER HARASSMENT LAW?
Is there a Hunter Harassment Law in Connecticut?
Yes. No person shall obstruct or interfere with the lawful taking of wildlife by another person at the location where the activity is taking place with intent to prevent such taking.
Here at the USCCA, it is our mission to provide responsible gun owners with the tools they need to be educated and trained. Our team is constantly working to provide you with the most up-to-date and comprehensive list of self-defense laws available for every state.
If you have any questions that you don’t see answered here — let us know! Just email [email protected] and we will be sure to get your question resolved. Your feedback matters to us, and we appreciate you helping to make this page the best possible resource for responsible gun owners!
Permit numbers were obtained from the Crime Prevention Resource Center’s publication entitled, “Concealed Carry Permit Holders Across the United States.” Numbers include resident and non-resident permits for those states that issue both.
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.
If you have any questions regarding USCCA Membership, Delta Defense, handguns laws or the lawful process of carrying concealed, please contact the award-winning Delta DefenseCustomer Engagement Team.
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