H.B. 6667, The Governor’s Bill, The Connecticut Assault Weapons Ban of 2023, Public Act 23-53… After an exceptionally long session of late nights, testimony, and debates, CT gun owners are left with dozens of pages of new legislation that they need to abide by to stay out of prison. Here is the breakdown of the new laws.
Concerning Everyday Gunowners
Ban Open Carry: Effective 10/1/23. “Open Carry” as we have known it is no longer legal. Exceptions have been carved out for legal hunters, and “fleeting glimpses”/printing while concealing. Violations are a class B misdemeanor for a first offense and a class A misdemeanor for subsequent offenses. Also, law enforcement units must annually report on any stops conducted on suspicion of a violation.
*Under 2023-HB6895 The “Fix-It” Bill HB6895 AN ACT CONCERNING FIREARMS AND STREET TAKEOVERS exclusions for private property with the authorization of the owner, and security professionals.
Ban Others/’94 Prebans: Effective upon signing, 6/6/23. CT “Others” and pre-1994 “pre bans” are no longer transferable and are considered “Assault Weapons”. Those that purchased prior to 6/6/23 will be required to register and apply for an Assault Weapon Certificate of Possession. SLFU has yet to release guidance on this process, but it is expected soon.
3 Pistol/Month Transfer Limit: Effective 10/1/23. Persons can no longer purchase or receive more than 3 handguns in a 30-day period, certified instructors up to 6 handguns in a 30-day period. Exceptions for police departments, exchanges of pistols at the same FFL within 30 days, transfers to museums, antique pistols, and transfers between FFLs violations are a class C felony.
“Safe Storage” Expansion: Effective 10/1/23. Requires “safe storage” of all firearms at all times even if no minors or prohibited persons are present on the property. All firearms must be stored in a securely locked box or other container or in a manner that a reasonable person would believe to be secure or in close proximity so that you can readily retrieve and use the firearm as if you carried the firearm on you. A gun owner is guilty of criminally negligent storage of a firearm if any person, not just a minor or prohibited person, gains access to a firearm that is not “safely stored” and causes injury to another person with it. Gun owners are not liable if a person gains unlawful entry to their home and steals the firearm, and if that firearm is then reported stolen.
Body Armor Restrictions: Effective 10/1/23. Persons must have a pistol permit, eligibility certificate, long gun permit, or ammo certificate to purchase body armor unless they are exempt persons. Exempt persons include police, judicial marshals, probation officers, members of the National Guard or the armed forces reserve, federal firearms licensees, and employees of an emergency medical service.
Pistol Permit Course Requirement Expansion: Statute goes into effect 10/1/23. Provisions go into effect on 7/1/24. Requires new pistol permit applicants to complete a course including instruction in state law requirements pertaining to safe storage in the home and in vehicles, lawful use of firearms, and lawful carrying of firearms in public.
Ghost Guns: Effective 1/1/24. No person can be in possession of un-serialized, post-1968 firearms. Firearms manufactured between December 16, 1968, and October 1, 2019, must be declared to DESPP or a serial number must be obtained for them through DESPP. Violations are a class C felony for those who are ineligible to possess and a class C misdemeanor for those who are eligible.
Carrying Loaded Long Guns and “Others” in Motor Vehicles or Snowmobiles: Effective 7/1/23. All long guns and “Other” firearms are prohibited from being carried in a motor vehicle or snowmobile. This does not apply to carrying handguns with a carry permit. Exemptions for law enforcement, security guards, and service members are still in place.
Large Capacity Magazine Penalties*: Effective 10/1/23. It is now a class A misdemeanor for eligible persons to purchase a firearm to possess an unregistered LCM, it is still a class D felony for those who are not eligible to purchase a firearm.
*Under 2023-HB6895 The “Fix-It” Bill HB6895 AN ACT CONCERNING FIREARMS AND STREET TAKEOVERS a person who lawfully possessed a large capacity magazine prior to January 1, 2014, and had not yet declared possession of such magazine as of July 1, 2023, shall apply by January 1, 2024, to declare possession of such magazine. SLFU has yet to establish the procedure.
Expanding List of Prohibited Persons in CT: Effective 10/1/23. The list of persons prohibited from possessing a firearm in CT will now include a misdemeanor violation of any law of this state that has been designated as a family violence crime pursuant to section 46b-38h, anyone who is a fugitive from justice, who has been adjudicated as a mental defective or who has been committed to a mental institution, or who has been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.
Failing to Report Lost or Stolen Firearms: Effective 10/1/23
Increases the penalty for failing to report a lost or stolen firearm from an infraction to a class A misdemeanor.
Carry Permit Application Changes: Effective 10/1/23, some provisions later as specified. If a person is denied a temporary state permit the issuing authority must supply to the applicant a detailed written reason for such denial.
After 32 weeks of no denial for applications filed before March 30, 2024, and 16 weeks for applications filed after April 1st, 2024 persons can go straight to DESPP and file an affidavit to apply directly for their Pistol Permit.
During a major disaster or an emergency declaration by the President of the United States, or an emergency declaration issued by the Governor due to any disease epidemic, public health emergency, or natural disaster impacting a local authority, the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection shall not accept any affidavit as described above until 32 weeks have passed.
Police Notice of Firearm Rights and Risk Protection Order Application Process: Effective 10/1/23. Requires law enforcement agencies to display notice of people’s rights to obtain pistol permits, timelines for that process, and of the application process for extreme risk protection orders.
Additionally, the law has sections pertaining to: returning parolees to Custody for serious firearms offenses, courts to create a firearm-related docket, allowing police to file an emergency petition for persons on probation or parole that are a serious risk to public safety, creating a mass shooting event response plan to in part collect data on the firearm and criminal history of parties involved.
Concerning FFLs and Other Professionals
- § 4-11, 13-14, 16 & 33 — GUN DEALER PERMIT FOR FIREARM SALES
The law expands the local gun dealer’s permit to cover all firearm sales, rather than just handgun sales; places additional prohibitions and requirements on dealers, including annually conducting a physical inventory reconciliation.
The bill places additional prohibitions on dealer permittees:
It prohibits dealers from: 1. furnishing false or fraudulent information in any DESPP application or failing to comply with representations made in any application; 2. failing to maintain a (a) handgun permit or handgun eligibility certificate and (b) local dealer permit; 3. failing to maintain effective controls against firearm theft, including installing or maintaining a burglar alarm system as required under existing law; 4. failing to acquire an authorization number for a firearm transfer; 5. transferring a firearm to a person ineligible to receive it, unless the permittee relied in good faith on information DESPP provided in verifying the person’s eligibility; 6. selling, delivering, or otherwise illegally transferring an assault weapon or LCM or failing to maintain accurate records of the sale, delivery, or transfer; 7. failing to maintain current and proper acquisition and disposition records the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) requires; 8. failing to post placards or furnish written warnings on unlawful storage of loaded firearms; 9. failing to provide a trigger lock, gun lock, or gun locking device with each purchase; 10. failing to verify employees’ age and criminal background; 11. failing to report any firearm stolen as required by state and federal law (CGS § 53-202g & 18 U.S.C. § 923(g)(6)); or 12. failing to do the annual physical inventory reconciliation the bill requires.
Any dealer found in violation will be issued a 30-day violation notice by the DESPP commissioner or relevant law enforcement authority. Failure to cure the violation can result in a “Stop Sales Order” and or a $100 day civil fine.
Expanded Exemptions for Ammunition Sale Requirements: Effective 10/1/23. Law enforcement, certain federal agencies, service members, nuclear security contractors, and FFLs are exempt from the requirement to hold firearms certificates in order to purchase ammunition in addition to age requirements.
Trigger Locks for All Firearms: Effective 10/1/23
All firearms sold at retail, not just pistols and revolvers, must come with a trigger lock, gun lock, or other locking device.
Additional State-Level FFL Regulation: Effective 10/1/23. A local gun dealer’s permit is required for anyone who sells ten or more firearms a year, not just pistols and revolvers. A local gun dealer’s permit to cover all firearm sales, rather than just handgun sales; places additional prohibitions and requirements on dealers.