Citation(s) from the literature library

Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. 2021 ‘Assault Weapons in Connecticut.’ Hardware & Ammunition. San Francisco, CA: Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. 18 September

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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]

Assault Weapons in Connecticut

Connecticut prohibits any person from possessing an assault weapon unless the weapon was possessed prior to July 1, 1994, and the possessor:

- Was eligible to apply for a certificate of possession for the assault weapon by July 1, 1994;
- Lawfully possessed the assault weapon prior to October 1, 1993; and
- Is not in violation of Connecticut General Statutes §§ 29-37j (purchase of firearm with intent to transfer to prohibited person), 53-202a to 53-202k (assault weapon regulations), and former 53a-46a(h) (committing a capital offense using an assault weapon).

The state also prohibits persons from distributing, transporting, importing into the state, keeping, offering or exposing for sale, or giving an assault weapon to any person.

Connecticut defines an "assault weapon" as:

- Any "selective-fire" firearm capable of fully automatic, semi-automatic or "burst fire" at the option of the user;
- Any of a list of specified semi-automatic firearms;
- Any semi-automatic rifle that has an ability to accept a detachable magazine and has at least two of the following:

- A folding or telescoping stock;
- A pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon;
- A bayonet mount;
- A flash suppressor or threaded barrel designed to accommodate a flash suppressor; and
- A grenade launcher;

- A semi-automatic pistol that has an ability to accept a detachable magazine a nd has at least two of the following:

- An ammunition magazine that attaches to the pistol outside of the pistol grip;
- A threaded barrel capable of accepting a barrel extender, flash suppressor, forward handgrip or silencer;
- A shroud that is attached to, or partially or completely encircles, the barrel and that permits the shooter to hold the firearm with the non-trigger hand without being burned;
- A manufactured weight of 50 ounces or more when the pistol is unloaded; and
- A semi-automatic version of an automatic firearm; or

- A semi-automatic shotgun that has at least two of the following:

- A folding or telescoping stock;
- A pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon;
- A fixed magazine capacity in excess of five rounds; and
- An ability to accept a detachable magazine; or

- A part or combination of parts designed or intended to convert a firearm into an assault weapon named specifically in the statute or described in the statute, or any combination of parts from which an assault weapon may be rapidly assembled if those parts are in the possession or under the control of the same person.

Any firearm that has been permanently rendered inoperable is not an assault weapon.

A person who lawfully possessed an assault weapon prior to October 1, 1993 may continue to possess the weapon if he or she obtained a certificate of possession.

Connecticut prohibits the transfer of all or most grandfathered weapons. A person issued a certificate of possession may possess his or her registered assault weapon only at:

- His or her residence, property or business;
- Property owned by another with the owner's express permission;
- Certain target ranges or shooting clubs; and
- A firearms exhibition, display or educational project.

A person may also possess a registered assault weapon while transporting the weapon to or from a permitted location or to a licensed gun dealer for repair. When transported, an assault weapon must be unloaded and, if transported in a vehicle, kept in the trunk or in a case or container that is inaccessible to the operator or any passenger of the vehicle.

When a person wishes to dispose of a registered assault weapon, he or she may transfer the weapon only to a licensed dealer, a police department or the Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection. A person who possesses a registered assault weapon must report the loss or theft of the weapon within 72 hours of the time the person discovered or should have discovered the loss or theft.

An assault weapon defined under Connecticut General Statutes § 53-202a(a)(3) or (4) (an assault weapon defined by criteria rather than specific name) is exempt from state transfer restrictions and registration requirements if it was legally manufactured prior to September 13, 1994.

Connecticut also allows possession of certain specified assault weapon models under certain circumstances. The state allows a person to possess an Auto-Ordnance Thompson type, Avtomat Kalashnikov AK-47 type, MAC-10, MAC-11 or MAC-11 Carbine type assault weapon if:

- It was obtained in good faith on or after October 1, 1993 and before May 8, 2002;
- The possessor is not prohibited from possessing the weapon under any other law; and
- The possessor has notified the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, prior to October 1, 2003, that he or she possesses the specified assault weapon.

Connecticut law provides that nothing contained in the state's assault weapon-related regulations should be construed to prohibit any person or corporation engaged in the business of manufacturing assault weapons from manufacturing or transporting assault weapons for sale:

1) within the state to the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, law enforcement, the Department of Correction, or military or naval forces; or
2) for sale outside the state…

ID: Q7776

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