The Procedure for the Legal Purchase of Firearms

All retail handgun sales and transfers occurring in Connecticut are under the supervision and governance of the firearms division of the Special Licensing and Firearms Unit (SLFU). According to state and federal law, the SLFU is responsible for issuing National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) authorization numbers. Working with the Statewide Firearms Trafficking Task Force (SFTTF), the unit also investigates violations of state laws governing the sale, purchase, and transfer of firearms.

The potential purchaser of a firearm must fill out the Federal Form 4473 (a two-page yellow form) and the State Form DPS-67-C (Application to Purchase) for each firearm they wish to purchase. The dealer will then reach out to the SLFU to obtain an authorization number that will allow the transaction to proceed. The last step is to fill out State Form DPS-3-C (Sale or Transfer) when the buyer receives the firearm.

Assault Weapons

Section 53-202a of the Connecticut General Statutes explains what assault weapons are, with copious examples. There are many selective-fire firearms capable of firing fully automatic, semiautomatic, or at the user's discretion. On April 4, 2013, the SLFU released a List of Assault Weapons and banned their sale and purchase, except when authorized by the SLFU.

Frequently Asked Questions About Assault Weapons

  • Who May Possess Assault Weapons in Connecticut?

Anyone with a Certificate of Possession that the Special Licensing and Firearms Unit issued may possess the assault weapons that the authorizing body listed on their certificate. Law enforcement personnel and military officers may also have assault weapons to perform their official duties optimally.

  • I just relocated to Connecticut, and I have an Assault Weapon. Can I keep the weapon?

Within the first 90 days of moving into Connecticut, you can sell the weapon to any authorized gun dealer. Otherwise, offer it to a retailer outside the state, make the assault weapon inoperable forever, or turn it over to a law enforcement organization. If you decide to keep it, the law may charge you with a felony.

  • Can licensed Connecticut gun dealers buy or sell Assault Weapons?

They can buy weapons with a Certificate of Possession or those brought into Connecticut within 90 days as part of personal property. The dealer may later sell them to other dealers, people outside the state, or law enforcement agencies.

  • Can Police Officers buy Assault Weapons?

Yes. Officers can purchase assault weapons for use in the performance of their official duties. However, they must first obtain a letter from the appropriate authorities to validate that the officer will use the weapon for official duties and that they do not have a record of conviction for a crime of violence.

Machine Guns

Only machine guns with a "fully automatic" rate of fire are legal for Connecticut residents to buy. Any resident of Connecticut who owns a "machine gun" must immediately register that "machine gun" with the SLFU by filling out Form DPS-418-C. Registered owners of machine guns receive a yearly notification letter that they sign and return to the SLFU. As a "machine gun" owner, if you do not receive the registration form, you need to contact the SLFU for instructions for registering your firearm.

Penalty for Theft of Assault Weapons or Other Firearms

Anyone who lawfully possesses a lost or stolen assault weapon must report the loss or theft to the appropriate authority within 72 hours of when they discovered or should have discovered it. Anyone who willfully disregards the deadline to submit a report will be charged with an infraction and fined.

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