The firearms section of the SLFU is responsible for overseeing and regulating all retail firearm transactions and all private handgun transfers taking place within the State of Connecticut. The SLFU is the point of contact (POC) for obtaining National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) authorization numbers as required under state and federal law. The unit also maintains machine gun and assault weapon registries and is the statewide repository for firearms collected for destruction. The unit is further responsible for investigating violations of state law relating to the purchase, sale and transfer of firearms in conjunction with the Statewide Firearms Trafficking Task Force (SFTTF).
Retail Sale of Firearms (All Firearms)
Retail sales are made when you purchase a new or used firearm from a federally licensed firearms dealer (FFL). These transactions are strictly regulated by the Special License and Firearms (SLFU) and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF).
You will be required to complete Federal Form 4473 (yellow, two-page form) and State Form DPS-67-C (Application to Purchase) for every firearm you intend to buy. The dealer will then contact the SLFU and obtain an authorization number, allowing the transaction to proceed. The final step will be the completion of State Form DPS-3-C (Sale or Transfer), which is to be filled out at the time the firearm is delivered to the buyer.
In the event that you are denied or temporarily denied an authorization number by the SLFU, you may contact the office for an explanation. (860) 685- 8494.
Private Sale of Firearms
Pistols and Revolvers
Federal Law states you may only buy a handgun in the state in which you reside. You can only buy a handgun in Connecticut, if in addition to being a resident, you have a valid Permit to carry Pistols or Revolvers, a valid Eligibility Certificate, if you are a licensed Firearms Dealer or if you are a Sworn Police Officer. A DPS-67-C and a DPS-3-C (4 copies) must be completed. The seller of the handgun must contact the Special Licensing and Firearms Unit at (860) 685-8400, or 1-(888) 335-8438 and obtain an authorization number for that sale. This number is to be added to both forms. The DPS-67-C is to be retained by the seller for 20 years. The seller should retain the original copy of the DPS-3 for their records, give one copy to the purchaser as a receipt, submit one copy to the local police authority where the purchaser resides and submit a final copy to the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection.
Rifles and Shotguns
Effective April 1, 2014, per CGS Sec. 29-37a(c), no person may purchase or receive any long gun unless such person holds a valid long gun eligibility certificate issued pursuant to section 29-37p, a valid permit to carry a pistol or revolver issued pursuant to subsection 9 (b) of section 29-28, a valid permit to sell at retail a pistol or revolver issued pursuant to subsection (2) of section 29-28 or a valid eligibility certificate for a pistol or revolver issued pursuant to section 29-36f.
No such sale, delivery or other transfer of any long gun shall be made until the person, firm or corporation making such sale, delivery or transfer has insured that such application has been completed properly and has obtained an authorization number from the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection for such sale, delivery or transfer. This sale authorization number can be obtained by calling (860) 685-8400 or by calling Toll Free (888) 335-8438. In addition to the above, the seller may not sell to anyone under 18 years of age, or to anyone the seller knows is prohibited from possessing firearms.
Bump Stock Ban
Pursuant to Public Act 18-29, effective October 1, 2018, no person other than a licensed firearms manufacturer under 18 USC 923(i) fulfilling a military contract, may sell, offer to sell, otherwise transfer or offer to transfer, purchase, possess, use or manufacture any “rate of fire enhancement.” For purposes of this section, a rate of fire enhancement is 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, including, but not limited to, a bump stock; (2) repeatedly pulls the trigger of a firearm through the use of a crank, lever or other part, including, but not limited to, a trigger crank; or (3) causes 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, including, but not limited to, a binary trigger system. Violation of this prohibition is a class D felony, except that first offenses for individuals with a valid pistol permit, eligibility certificate, or ammunition certificate is a class D Misdemeanor.
Prior to October 1, 2018, anyone in possession of a rate of fire enhancement must render it permanently inoperable, remove it from the state, or surrender it to the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP) for destruction. Any member of the military returning from deployment, or anyone moving into the state, who is in lawful possession of a rate of fire enhancement, must render it permanently inoperable, remove it from the state, or surrender it to DESPP for destruction within ninety days.
Additionally, if the court finds that a violation of this section is not of a serious nature and that the person charged with such violation (1) will probably not offend in the future, (2) has not previously been convicted of a violation of this section, and (3) has not previously had a prosecution under this section suspended pursuant to this subsection, it may order suspension of prosecution.
The full text of P.A. 18-29 can be found on the Connecticut General Assembly website at https://www.cga.ct.gov/2018/ACT/pa/pdf/2018PA-00029-R00HB-05542-PA.pdf.
Section 53-202a of the Connecticut General Statutes gives the definition, and an itemized list of what weapons are considered Assault Weapons. Definition. (1) Any selective-fire firearm capable of fully automatic, semiautomatic or burst fire at the option of the user or any of the following specified semiautomatic firearms:
Newly defined Assault Weapons:
Any newly defined assault weapon that was lawfully purchased on or before April 4, 2013, but was not transferred by that date, may be transferred pursuant to such lawful purchase and a sales authorization number may be obtained for such transfer. Sellers are required to verify that a lawful purchase occurred on or before April 4, 2013 prior to transferring such firearm.
Proof of lawful possession will also be required by DESPP from the owner of the firearm with the Application for Certificate of Possession of Assault Weapon. Forms are currently being developed for this purpose.
Who may possess Assault Weapons in Connecticut?
Law enforcement and military personnel may possess Assault Weapons in connection with their official duties, and any person who has a Certificate of Possession issued by the Special Licensing and Firearms Unit may possess the Assault Weapon listed on their certificate.
Can I get a Certificate of Possession for my Assault Weapon now?
Yes, a Certificate of Possession must be obtained prior to January 1, 2014 The only exceptions to this would be a person who has been out of state serving in the military prior to October 1994, or a person who receives an Assault Weapon through bequeath or intestate succession providing the weapon already had a certificate. In these instances, the person has 90 days to register the weapon with the Special Licensing and Firearms Unit.
- Assault Weapon Certificate Application
- Please submit proof that you purchased the weapon on or prior to April 4, 2013. A valid sale receipt and or a DPS-3 form or sworn affidavit are acceptable forms of proof.
- Magazine Declaration Form - DESPP-788-C
- Deadline for declaring large capacity magazines must be prior to January 1, 2014
- Ammunition Certificate Application
- You must appear in person to have your photograph taken for your initial application.
I just moved into Connecticut and I possess an Assault Weapon. May I keep the weapon or if not what are my options?
Within 90 days of moving to Connecticut, you may sell the weapon to any licensed gun dealer, or you must do one of the following;
- render the weapon permanently inoperable,
- sell it to an out of state dealer,
- relinquish the weapon to a law enforcement agency.
If you choose to keep the weapon you risk felony arrest.
Can Connecticut gun dealers buy or sell Assault Weapons?
A licensed gun dealer may purchase an Assault Weapon only if the weapon has a Certificate of Possession, or any Assault weapon that has been transferred into Connecticut as part of someone’s personal belongings for less than 90 days. The dealer may then sell them to other dealers, law enforcement agencies, or out of state.
Can Police Officers buy Assault Weapons?
Yes. Sworn members may purchase Assault Weapons in connection with their official duties, but must obtain a letter from the Commissioner, or authority authorizing the purchase stating that the sworn member, officer, inspector or constable will use the assault weapon in the discharge of officials duties and that a records check indicates that the sworn member, inspector, officer or constable has not been convicted of a crime of family violence.
A “Gun Show” is defined as: any event at which fifty or more firearms are offered or exhibited for sale, transfer or exchange to the public.
All sales, transfers or exchanges taking place at a Gun Show require the seller to obtain an authorization number from the Special Licensing and Firearms Unit.
Sec. 29-37g. Gun Show requirements. (a) For the purposes of this section, (1) "gun show" means any event (A) at which fifty or more firearms are offered or exhibited for sale, transfer or exchange to the public and (B) at which two or more persons are exhibiting one or more firearms for sale, transfer or exchange to the public; and (2) "gun show promoter" means any person who organizes, plans, promotes or operates a gun show.
(b) Not later than thirty days before commencement of a gun show, the gun show promoter shall notify the chief of police or, where there is no chief of police, the warden of the borough or the first selectman of the town in which the gun show is to take place of the date, time, duration and location of the gun show.
(c) No person, firm or corporation shall sell, deliver or otherwise transfer a firearm at a gun show until such person, firm or corporation has complied with the provisions of section 29-36.
Machine Guns are strictly regulated by the U.S. Department of Treasury, Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) as well as the Connecticut State Police, Special Licensing and Firearms Unit (SLFU).
Connecticut residents may purchase Machine Guns if they are capable of a “full automatic only” rate of fire. Any select fire weapon is considered an “Assault Weapon” and is prohibited by State Law.
Dealers who are licensed to sell “machine Guns” have all the necessary Federal paperwork required for that transaction.
Any Connecticut resident who owns a “Machine Gun” is required to complete form DPS-418-C, registering that “Machine Gun” with the SLFU immediately upon receiving it and upon an annual basis thereafter. Form DPS-418-C is not available on-line, they are available from Federal Firearm License holders.
Registered owners will be notified yearly with a registration form-letter which must be signed and returned to the SLFU.
If you currently own a “Machine Gun” and do not receive a yearly registration form, you must contact the SLFU for instructions on registering your firearm.
- No person convicted for a Felony or a Misdemeanor crime of domestic violence involving the use or threatened use of physical force or a deadly weapon may possess any firearms in Connecticut.
- No person may obtain a Pistol Permit, Eligibility Certificate, or possess a handgun if they are less than 21 years of age, subject to a Protective or Restraining Order, or if they have been convicted of a felony, or convicted in Connecticut for any of the following misdemeanors after October 1, 1994.
- Illegal possession of narcotics or other controlled substances - 21a-279(c)
- Criminally negligent homicide - 53a-58
- Assault in the third degree - 53a-61
- Assault of a victim 60 or older in the third degree - 53a-61a
- Threatening - 53a-62
- Reckless endangerment in the first degree - 53a-63
- Unlawful restraint in the second degree - 53a-96
- Riot in the first degree - 53a-175
- Riot in the second degree - 53a-176
- Inciting to riot - 53a-178
- Stalking in the second degree - 53a-181d, or
- No person may obtain a Long Gun Eligibility Certificate, or purchase a long gun if they are less than 18 years of age, subject to a Protective or Restraining Order, or if they have been convicted of a felony, or convicted in Connecticut for they 11 misdemeanors listed above after October 1, 1994.
- Other persons prohibited from possessing a firearm include anyone convicted as delinquent for the commission of a serious juvenile offense; or has been discharged from custody within the preceding twenty years after having been found not guilty of a crime by reason of mental disease or defect; or has been confined in a hospital for persons with psychiatric disabilities (as defined in section 17a-495) within the preceding twelve months by order of a probate court; or is subject to a firearms seizure order issued pursuant to subsection (d) of section 29-38c after notice and hearing; is prohibited from shipping, transporting, possessing or receiving a firearm pursuant to 18 USC 922(g)(4); or is an alien illegally or unlawfully in the United States.
Sec. 53-202g. Report of theft of assault weapon or other firearm. Penalty.
(a) Any person who lawfully possesses an assault weapon under sections 29-37j and 53-202a to 53-202k, inclusive, and subsection (h) of section 53a-46a or a firearm, as defined in section 53a-3, that is lost or stolen from such person shall report the loss or theft to the organized local police department for the town in which the loss or theft occurred or, if such town does not have an organized local police department, to the state police troop having jurisdiction for such town within seventy-two hours of when such person discovered or should have discovered the loss or theft. Such department or troop shall forthwith forward a copy of such report to the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection. The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to the loss or theft of an antique firearm as defined in subsection (b) of section 29-37a.
(b) Any person who fails to make a report required by subsection (a) of this section within the prescribed time period shall commit an infraction and be fined not more than ninety dollars for a first offense and be guilty of a class D felony for any subsequent offense, except that, if such person intentionally fails to make such report within the prescribed time period, such person shall be guilty of a class C felony. Any person who violates subsection (a) of this section for the first offense shall not lose such person’s right to hold or obtain any firearm permit under the general statutes.