Connecticut prohibits any person from: 1) possessing or using a machine gun for an offensive or aggressive purpose; or 2) transferring, selling or giving a machine gun to a person under age 16, including the temporary transfer of a machine gun to such person for use in target shooting or on a firing or shooting range or for any other purpose.1
The possession or use of a machine gun is presumed to be for an offensive or aggressive purpose when:
- The machine gun is on premises not owned or rented, for bona fide permanent residence or business occupancy, by the person in whose possession the machine gun was found;
- In the possession of, or used by, an unnaturalized foreign-born person;
- In the possession of, or used by, a person convicted of a crime of violence in any state or federal court;
- The machine gun has been adapted to use projectiles of any caliber and has not been registered; or
- Empty or loaded projectiles of any caliber which have been or are capable of use in the machine gun are found in the immediate vicinity of such firearm.2
Any machine gun adapted to use projectiles of any caliber must be registered in the office of the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection within 24 hours after its acquisition and, thereafter, annually, on July first.3 The application must show the model and serial number of the gun, the name, address and occupation of the person in possession, and from whom and the purpose for which the gun was acquired. Any person who fails to register any gun as required hereby shall be presumed to possess the same for an offensive or aggressive purpose. The registration data shall not be subject to inspection by the public.4
Manufacturers of machine guns must keep a register of all such firearms.5 This register shall show the model and serial number, and the date of manufacture, sale, loan, gift, delivery or receipt of each machine gun, the name, address and occupation of the person to whom the machine gun was sold, loaned, given or delivered or from whom it was received, and the purpose for which it was acquired by the person to whom the machine gun was sold, loaned, given or delivered.6
In 2018, Connecticut prohibited the manufacture, sale, or possession of rate of fire enhancement devices, such as bump stocks, that can significantly increase a firearm’s rate of fire so that it functions similarly to a machine gun.7 In October, 2017, a shooter used multiple bump stock devices in an attack on concert-goers in Las Vegas to perpetrate the deadliest mass shooting attack in modern history.
Connecticut defines a “rate of fire enhancement” as “any device, component, part, combination of parts, attachment or accessory” that:
(1) “Uses energy from the recoil of a firearm to generate a reciprocating action that causes repeated function of the trigger,” such as a bump stock;
(2) “[R]epeatedly pulls the trigger of a firearm through the use of a crank, lever or other part,” such as a trigger crank; and
(3) “[C]auses a semiautomatic firearm to fire more than one round per operation of the trigger, where the trigger pull and reset constitute a single operation of the trigger,” such as a binary trigger system.8
Federal law requires machine guns to be registered with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), and generally prohibits the transfer or possession of machine guns manufactured after May 19, 1986.9 In 2019, an ATF rule went into effect defining bump stocks as machine guns, meaning that bump stocks are generally banned.10
See our Machine Guns policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.
- Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53-202(c). “Machine gun” is defined as a weapon of any description, loaded or unloaded, which shoots, is designed to shoot or can be readily restored to shoot automatically more than one projectile, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger, and includes any part or combination of parts designed for use in converting a weapon into a machine gun, and any combination of parts from which a machine gun can be assembled if such parts are in the possession or under the control of a person. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53-202(a).
- Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53-202(d).
- Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53-202(g).
- Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53-202(f).
- Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53-206g(a).
- Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53-206g(c).
- 18 U.S.C. § 922(o); 26 U.S.C. § 5861(d).
- Bump-Stock-Type Devices, 83 Fed. Reg. 66,514 (Dec. 26, 2018) (27 C.F.R. pts. 447, 478, 479).