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Connecticut has a law similar to an extreme risk protection order law which allows for the removal of firearms and prohibits future acquisition of firearms where individuals pose a risk of injury to themselves or others.

In Connecticut, a state’s attorney, assistant state’s attorney, or any two police officers who “have probable cause to believe that a person poses a risk of imminent personal injury to himself or herself or to another person” may file a complaint to any Superior Court judge for a risk protection order.1 A risk protection order prohibits a person from “acquiring or possessing a firearm or other deadly weapon or ammunition.”2 If there is probable cause to believe that the person already possesses one or more firearms or deadly weapons and that those firearms or deadly weapons and that those weapons are within or upon a particular place or person, the judge shall also issue a warrant for law enforcement to search that place and/or person and take the weapon(s) into custody.

Probable cause may be based on:

  • Recent threats or acts of violence directed towards self or others;
  • Recent acts of cruelty to animals;
  • Reckless use, display or brandishing of a firearm or other deadly weapon;
  • A history of use, attempted use or threatened use of physical force against others;
  • Illegal use of controlled substances or abuse of alcohol; or
  • Involuntary confinement to a hospital for persons with psychiatric disabilities.3

Connecticut law also allows for a family or household member or a medical professional with a good faith belief that a person poses a risk of imminent personal injury to himself or herself or another person to apply to a court for a risk order protection investigation.4 If the court finds that there is such a good faith belief, it shall order a risk protection order investigation to determine if there is such a risk.5 Law enforcement then investigates whether there is a risk of imminent personal injury.6 The subject of the investigation is ineligible to purchase or receive a firearm during the pendency of the investigation.7 If following the investigation there is probable cause to believe there is such a risk, the law enforcement agency shall seek a risk protection order and, if appropriate, a warrant for firearms, ammunition, and other deadly weapons. 8

After a risk protection order has been issued, the court must hold a hearing within 14 days to determine whether risk protection order shall continue to apply and, if a warrant was issued, whether any weapons or ammunition should be returned to the person named in the warrant.9 If the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that the person poses a risk of imminent personal injury to himself or herself or others, it may order that the risk protection order continue to apply the state to continue to hold the weapons and/or ammunition until the subject successfully petitions for the court to terminate the order.10 If the court does not find clear and convincing evidence of risk, the order and any warrant shall be terminated and any seized weapons or ammunition be returned. 11

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  1. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-38c(a).[]
  2. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-38c(a).[]
  3. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-38c(c). Any person whose firearms have been ordered seized under this statute, or his or her legal representative, may transfer the firearms in accordance with the provisions of Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-33 or other applicable state or federal law, to any person eligible to possess firearms. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-38c(h).[]
  4. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-38c(b)(1).[]
  5. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-38c(b)(2).[]
  6. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-38c(b)(3).[]
  7. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-38c(b)(2).[]
  8. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-38c(b)(3).[]
  9. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-38c(e).[]
  10. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-38c(f).[]
  11. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-38c(e).[]