FAQs about SB 1160

SB 1160 Gun Provision FAQs

Assault Weapons

Q.  How many guns are banned?

A.  The bill lists a number of specific firearms that upon passage of the bill will no longer be available for purchase in Connecticut. It will be unlawful to possess these firearms unless you owned the firearms before the effective date of the bill, and you apply for a certificate of possession to have them.

Q. What types of rifles are banned?

A. The bill adds rifles with the following features to the assault weapons ban: Any semiautomatic centerfire rifles (regardless of when they are manufactured) that accept a detachable magazine and have any one of the following: (1) folding or telescopic stock, (2) a grip that is below the action of the weapon (this does NOT include any grip behind the action), (3) forward grip, (4) a flash suppressor or a grenade or flare launcher.  It also limits semiautomatic centerfire rifles that have a fixed magazine with the ability to accept more than ten rounds or any semiautomatic centerfire rifle that has an overall length of less than 30 inches.

Q.  What types of handguns are banned?

A.  The bill adds handguns with the following features to the assault weapons ban: Semiautomatic pistols (regardless of when they are manufactured) with a detachable magazine and have any one of the following: (1) An ability to accept a detachable magazine that attaches at some location outside of the pistol grip, (2) a threaded barrel capable of accepting a flash suppressor, forward pistol grip or silencer, (3) a shroud, or (4) a second hand grip.  It also limits any semiautomatic pistol that has a fixed magazine that accepts more than ten rounds.

Q.  What types of shotguns are banned?

A.  The bill adds shotguns with the following features to the assault weapons ban: Semiautomatic shotguns that have BOTH a folding or telescopic stock and a grip that is below the action of the weapon.  Semiautomatic shotguns that are capable of accepting a detachable magazine will now be banned. In addition, shotguns with a revolving cylinder will also be illegal.

Q.  Are any rimfire rifles banned?

A.  Rimfire rifles are not affected by the new law. There are semiautomatic pistols that fire rimfire ammunition that may fit within the definition of an assault weapon depending on the features of such pistol.

Q.    My firearm now qualifies as an assault weapon, can I keep it?

A. Yes. The ban is for prospective sales and transfers only. Persons who lawfully possess a newly designated assault weapon will have until January 1, 2014 to apply for a certificate of possession for that firearm.

Q.    What will the impact of the banned weapons be to the gun industry in Connecticut?

A.  Manufacturers of assault weapons located in Connecticut will be able to continue to engage in the manufacturing of assault weapons in this state.  Manufacturers may also continue to sell rimfire rifles, shotguns and rifles that meet our new definition.  Section 53-202i of the Connecticut General Statutes expressly exempts the assault ban provisions from the manufacture of such weapons.

Q. What are penalties if registration or an assault weapon certificate not done?

A.  People in possession of newly designated assault weapons who fail to register their firearms will have committed a Class A misdemeanor for a first time violation. Subsequent violations of the law will be classified as a Class D felony.

Q. Will antique weapons firearms be subject to the assault weapons ban?

A.  The current definition of what constitutes an antique firearm remains unchanged under the bill.

Q. Do retired military and police have to register any weapons banned by the Act?

A. Retired police are not provided any exemptions under the bill.  Retired military will still have to apply for a certificate of possession for their assault weapons. The exemption is for the purchase of the assault weapon.

Q. Do active duty police have to register their privately owned banned weapons while they remain on active duty?

A. Police will have to apply for a certificate of possession for any assault weapons that they privately own.

Q. Is the M1 carbine from World War II banned under the Act?

A. If the M1 carbine fits within the new 1 feature test for the definition of an assault weapon then it will no longer be available for sale in Connecticut.  If a constituent has a question about a specific firearm, he or she should contact Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection — Telephone: (860) 685-8290; Email: dps.spec.licensing@po.state.ct.us  — for guidance as to whether a firearm needs to be registered under the new law.

Magazines

Q. What are the limits on detachable magazines? How many rounds can I carry?

A. Upon passage of the bill, you will no longer be able to purchase detachable magazines that accept more than 10 rounds of ammunition in Connecticut.  If prior to passage, you own detachable magazines that accept more than 10 rounds of ammunition you may keep those magazines as long as you file a declaration of possession with the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection. The declaration will let the Department know you lawfully possessed the large capacity magazines before the bill went into effect.

Persons who lawfully possess large capacity magazines prior to the passage of the bill can carry their magazines at home and at target ranges or shooting clubs filled to capacity.  The magazines may also be used at a person’s place of business or other property owned by that person as long as the magazine does not contain more than 10 rounds of ammunition.  Large capacity magazines can also be transported between these places if they contain no more than 10 rounds of ammunition.

Q.  Does the large capacity magazine ban consider cartridge size?

A. No. The law prohibits the sale and transfer of all large capacity magazines, regardless of cartridge size, that can accept more than 10 bullets.

Q. What are the penalties for failing to declare my magazines?

A. Persons who are in lawful possession of large capacity magazines (magazines that exceed 10 rounds of bullets) that have been acquired prior to the effective date of the bill will have until January 1, 2014 to declare each large capacity magazine.  Failure to declare any large capacity firearms past that date will have committed an infraction for a first offense and a Class D felony for subsequent offenses.

Long Gun Elegibility Certificate

Q. What is a long gun?

A. Long gun are shotguns, rifles and firearms other than pistols and revolvers.

Q. What will I need in order to purchase a long gun?

A. After April 1, 2014, you will need a pistol permit, an eligibility certificate, or a long gun eligibility certificate to purchase a long gun in Connecticut.

The new long gun eligibility certificate is similar to the existing eligibility certificate.  To apply for a long gun eligibility certificate, a person must be 18 or older, successfully complete a firearms safety course and background check, and must not have been involuntarily confined to a hospital for a psychiatric disability within the past 5 years or voluntarily confined to a hospital for a psychiatric disability within the past 6 months.

Q. Will those who currently own a long gun be required to undergo retroactive “universal” background checks?

A. Only those who possessed newly designated assault weapons prior to passage of the bill will have to apply for a certificate of possession for assault weapons. The application for the certificate of possession requires a background check.

Q. Is there a fee for the ammunition certificate?

A.  The ammunition certificate will cost $35 plus background check fees.

Ammunition

Q. What will I need to purchase ammunition?

A. After October 1, 2013, you will need a pistol permit, eligibility certificate, long gun eligibility certificate or an ammunition certificate along with a valid form of identification in order to purchase ammunition in Connecticut.

To obtain an ammunition certificate, any person 18 or older may request that the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection perform a national criminal history records check to determine if such person is eligible to possess a firearm in Connecticut. After a successful records check, the Department will issue an ammunition certificate that is good for 5 years.

Q. Is there a fee for the ammunition certificate?

A.  The ammunition certificate will cost $35.

Q.  Will there be a new firearm ammunition tax?

A. No. There are no new taxes included in the bill.

Other Provisions

Q. Will there be any limits as to the quantity of legal firearms or ammunition that I can purchase?

A. No.  The bill does not limit or restrict the amount of legal firearms or ammunition that may be purchased by an eligible buyer.

Q. Are there changes being made to the permit application process or fee structure?

A. The process for obtaining a pistol permit remains the same; however, applicants going forward will only be able to apply for a temporary permit to carry in the town where they are a bona fide resident. In the past, you could apply for a temporary permit to carry in either your town of residence or place of business. Also, you may only apply for a temporary permit to carry a pistol or revolver once every twelve months.

There are no increases in any existing fees. There are fees related to the new long gun eligibility certificate and the ammunition certificate. Both certificates will cost $35 every five years.

Q. Will there be a new insurance requirement for firearms owners?

A. No. There is no mention of insurance requirements for firearms owners in the bill.

Q. Are police, military and corrections officers who are exempt in their professional capacity also exempt in the private capacity?

A. Yes. The exemptions for police, military and corrections officers apply on and off duty.

Q. How does the bill change private transactions?

A. The bill will requires a background check for all firearm sales, including private transactions. Parties seeking to privately transfer a firearm will need to provide proof that they are eligible to buy or sell a firearm, and they will need to have a background check performed by either the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection or a federal firearms license dealer.

Q. How will online gun purchases be changed?

A. The laws that apply to the purchase or sale of firearms or ammunition under Connecticut law apply to online purchases. Businesses selling firearms or ammunition online to Connecticut residents will need to verify that a person is eligible to purchase a firearm or ammunition in order to sell it.

Q.  Did safe storage requirements change?

A.  Yes.  Loaded firearms, when not being carried by a lawful owner, must be stored in a securely locked box or container, or in a location that is secure, when certain family members are present in the home. Firearms must be securely locked or stored when the following persons are present: (1) a minor under the age of 16 (2) a person ineligible to possess a firearm under state or federal law, or (3) a person who poses a risk of imminent personal injury to themselves or others.

Q. Will long gun eligibility certificates, ammunition certificates, and registrations of large capacity magazines and assault weapons be kept confidential?

A. Yes. All new certificates and registrations will be confidential except for law enforcement and authorized Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services employees to carry out the provisions of this law.

Q. Are those who have a permit to carry required to have a background check performed prior to each permit renewal (every 5 years)?

A. The law for renewals of permits to carry remains unchanged under the bill. A permit must be renewed and DESPP will run a background check on the person renewing in order to make sure that person is still eligible to have a permit. The person does not need to re-submit fingerprints.

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