Connecticut prohibits any person from storing or keeping a firearm on his or her premises or under his or her control if he or she knows or reasonably should know that a person under the age of 18 is likely to gain access to the firearm without the permission of the minor’s parent or guardian.1 A person is not criminally liable for this prohibition if his or her firearm is securely locked in a box or other container in a location which a reasonable person would believe to be secure, or the person carries the firearm on his or her person or within such close proximity that he or she can readily retrieve and use it as if it were on his or her body.2 A person who violates this safe storage requirement shall be held strictly liable for damages when a minor obtains the unlawfully stored firearm and causes injury to or the death of any person.3
A person is liable for “criminally negligent storage of a firearm” when he or she does not comply with the aforementioned safe storage requirements and a person under the age of 18 obtains the firearm and causes injury or death to himself, herself or any other person.4
Connecticut specifically penalizes any parent or guardian of a minor child who, knowing that the child possesses a firearm and is ineligible to possess such firearm, fails to make reasonable efforts to halt the possession.5
As of October 1, 2013, the above safe storage requirements and related liability rules also apply if a person knows or should know that a resident of the premises:
- Is ineligible to possess firearms under state or federal law; or
- Poses a risk of imminent personal injury to himself, herself or others.6
For other measures related to child access prevention, see the Connecticut Locking Devices section.
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- Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-37i. Prior to October 1, 2019, this prohibition applied only to loaded guns and for children under the age of 16. In 2019 Connecticut adopted Public Law No. 19-5, also known as Ethan’s Law, which raised the age to 18 and applied the prohibition to both loaded and unloaded firearms.
- Conn. Gen. Stat. § 52-571g.
- Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-217a(a). This prohibition does not apply if the minor gains access to the firearm via illegal entry of any premises where the gun is located by any person. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-217a(b).
- Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53-206f.