How to get a gun permit
Connecticut has a two-step process to receive a gun permit.
Before someone can submit an application to their local police department, they first must complete an approved pistol training course, which lasts about eight hours and includes both classroom instruction and handling and firing guns on a range. While the majority of applicants attend an NRA-certified course, instructors and other organizations such as the Socialist Rifle Association offer approved training courses.
The applicant then fills out form DPS-799-C, pays three fees totaling $157, attaches the certificate proving completion of the training program, shows proof of being in the country legally, such as a passport or birth certificate, and submits it to the local police department, which then takes the applicant's fingerprints. Local police then conduct a criminal background check and may check references.
If everything is in order, the local police chief signs off on a temporary state permit to carry pistols and revolvers. This allows the applicant to carry a gun they already own for 60 days, a period which has been extended to 180 days during the pandemic, until they can obtain their state permit. It does not allow the applicant to purchase a gun. An applicant may already own a gun if they have moved from another state or their previous permit expired.
The applicant then makes an appointment with one of three state police barracks and submits an application for a state permit to carry pistols and revolvers. Attached to that application must be the temporary permit issued by the town, a check for $70, proof they are legally in the country and proof of a valid state identification card such as a driver's license.
Upon approval, the state police will take the applicant's photo and issue them a state pistol permit that allows them to buy a gun and ammunition and carry a concealed firearm. The permit is good for five years. State law also allows people to open carry a firearm.
The state also has a separate process that allows people to obtain a handgun or long gun eligibility certificate, which allows them to keep a firearm in their home and transport it to a location such as a gun range.
Federal law specifies a list of felony convictions that prohibit some from obtaining a permit. In addition, Connecticut law specifies 11 misdemeanor convictions that bars someone from obtaining a permit, including possession of controlled or hallucinogenic substances, third-degree assault, second-degree unlawful restraint and second-degree stalking.
Few applications are rejected. For instance, in 2020 Stonington rejected two, Groton city four and Groton Town two. The rejection occurs when applicants do not meet the state requirements for a permit such as having a disqualifying conviction, fail to disclose information on the application, have had a previous permit revoked or if the check of references raises other concerns. While the chief of police makes the decision to approve or deny an application, an applicant can appeal the denial to the state Board of Firearms Permit Examiners.
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