Firearm Prohibitions for People Convicted of Domestic Abuse
Connecticut prohibits the purchase or possession of firearms by persons convicted of certain violent misdemeanors, regardless of the relationship between the victim and perpetrator1, including: 1) assault in the third degree2; 2) assault of an elderly, blind, disabled or pregnant person or a person with intellectual disability3; 3) unlawful restraint4; and stalking in the second degree.5
Firearm Prohibitions for Persons Subject to Domestic Violence Restraining/Protective Orders
Connecticut prohibits the possession of a firearm by a person who knows that he or she is subject to a restraining or protective order that was issued after notice has been provided to the person in a case involving the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against another person, or a foreign order of protection in a case involving the use, attempted use or threatened use of physical force against another person.6 Pursuant to a law enacted in 2016, this includes an emergency “ex parte” protective order, so long as notice of the order has been provided to the person.
Domestic violence is defined broadly. Any family or household member who has been subjected to a continuous threat of present physical pain or physical injury, stalking or a pattern of threatening, by another family or household member may apply for a restraining or protective order.7 “Family or household member” means:
- Spouses and former spouses;
- Parents or their children;
- Persons related by blood or marriage;
- Persons not related by blood or marriage presently residing together or who have resided together;
- Persons who have a child in common regardless of whether they are or have been married or have lived together at any time; and
- Persons who are in or have recently been in a dating relationship.8
The restraining or protective order application form must allow an applicant, at the applicant’s option, to indicate whether the respondent holds a firearms permit or certificate, or possesses one or more firearms or ammunition.9
Removal or Surrender of Firearms When Domestic Violence Restraining/Protective Orders Are Issued
See the section entitled Firearm Relinquishment in Connecticut regarding the firearm and ammunition surrender requirements when a protective order is issued.
Removal or Surrender of Firearms at the Scene of a Domestic Violence Incident
Whenever a peace officer determines that a “family violence crime” has been committed, the officer may seize any firearm or ammunition at the location where the crime is alleged to have been committed that is in the possession of any person arrested for the commission of the crime or suspected of its commission or that is in plain view.10 The law enforcement agency must return the firearm(s) and ammunition to the rightful owner not later than seven days after the seizure, unless the person is ineligible to possess a firearm or otherwise ordered by the court.11
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- Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-217(a).
- Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-61.
- Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-61a.
- Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-96.
- Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-181d.
- Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-217(a)(4). See also Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-217c(a)(5) for similar prohibitions for “criminal possession of a pistol or revolver.”
- Conn. Gen. Stat. § 46b-15(a).
- Conn. Gen. Stat. § 46b-38a(2).
- Conn. Gen. Stat. § 46b-15(b).
- Conn. Gen. Stat. § 46b-38b(a).