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Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. 2021 ‘Background Check Procedures in Connecticut.’ Background Checks. San Francisco, CA: Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. 21 June

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[Editor's note: The Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence regularly updates its webpages with new data as US gun regulation evolves state by state. For the most up-to-date information on US gun laws, please refer to the Giffords URL below]

Background Checks in Connecticut

Federal law requires federally licensed firearms dealers (but not private sellers) to initiate a background check on the purchaser prior to sale of a firearm. Federal law provides states with the option of serving as a state "point of contact" and conducting their own background checks using state, as well as federal, records and databases, or having the checks performed by the FBI using only the federal National Instant Criminal Background Check System ("NICS") database. (Note that state files are not always included in the federal database.)

Connecticut is a point-of-contact state for NICS. In Connecticut, all firearms transfers by licensed dealers are processed through the Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection ("DESPP").

In Connecticut, a person, firm or corporation who seeks to sell a long gun at retail or a handgun (whether a licensed dealer or private seller) must:
- Have the transferee complete a written application and retain the application for at least 20 years or until he or she goes out of business;
- Make the application available for inspection during normal business hours by law enforcement;
- Transfer only to a transferee he or she knows personally or who presents appropriate identification (handguns only);
- Obtain an authorization number from DESPP; and
- Wait two weeks from the date of application before transferring the firearm (long guns only).

DESPP must "make every effort," including a search of NICS, to determine if the applicant is eligible to receive such firearm.

Unlicensed individuals also may not transfer a handgun until the person, firm or corporation making the transfer obtains an authorization number - following a background check on the prospective purchaser - from DESPP…

In addition, prior to the transfer of any firearm at a gun show, the transferee must undergo a background check…

Private transfers (i.e., transfers by individuals other than dealers) of rifles and shotguns are not otherwise subject to a background check requirement in Connecticut…

ID: Q6946

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