In the wake of a horrific shooting at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school, here is an overview of the state’s gun laws.
According to the National Rifle Association's website, Connecticut residents do not need a state permit to buy shotguns or rifles. For handguns, they must obtain a permit to carry one, a permit to purchase the gun, and a license. No state permit is required to possess rifles, shotguns or handguns.
When it comes to assault weapons, Connecticut has some of the country's most stringent laws. Despite the expiration of a federal ban on assault weapons, Connecticut "basically banned semi-automatics," according to Michael Hammond, a legislative consultant to the organization Gun Owners of America.
“You can’t import them, and as a practical matter, you can’t own them in the state of Connecticut," Hammond said.
Residents can choose whether to conceal or openly carry a firearm. In 2011 a man in Wallingford, Conn., sued his town’s police department after he was charged with disorderly conduct for carrying a gun into a pool hall, but a court ultimately ruled in favor of the arresting officer. In 2012, New Britain amended an old ordinance requiring people to carry legal firearms in the open, bringing the town’s laws in line with the rest of the state.
“The state takes a position that it is not against the law to carry [a firearm] exposed," said T. William Knapp, secretary of the Connecticut Board of Firearms Permit Examiners. "There is no requirement that it be concealed.”
The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, a national organization advocating for tougher gun control, gives Connecticut 58 out of a possible 100 points, enough to give Connecticut the country’s fourth-strongest set of gun laws.