How to get a Connecticut pistol permit
The Connecticut pistol permit has an extra step that many other states’ permit programs don’t require — technically speaking, the state-resident applicant has to get two permits.
A temporary pistol permit is first required before applying for the five-year permit.
As it currently stands, Connecticut gun owners can only conceal and open carry by getting ahold of that pistol permit.
How to navigate the Connecticut pistol permit application process
The trick to getting a Connecticut pistol permit is having patience with a clunky system.
Step one: attend an NRA firearms safety course or a similarly state-approved course. Connecticut requires live fire during instruction. Once the course is completed, the certification will be used as part of the application packet.
The Connecticut-resident applicant must apply for the 60-day temporary state pistol permit prior to the five-year permit. They must fill out a DPS-799-C form, and include the certification, $70 payable to the local authority and proof that they are legally in the U.S. All of this is submitted to the appropriate local authority — generally the local police or resident state trooper.
The applicant also needs to submit fingerprints to a law enforcement agency for a criminal background check. There will be two separate fees ($50 and $12) made payable to “Treasurer, State of Connecticut.”
Once all of that is appropriately submitted and processed, the local authority will grant a 60-day temporary pistol permit. Within that 60-day period, the applicant must take that permit to the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, Division of State Police, pistol permit location (such as the headquarters in Middletown) and submit it with a DPS-46-C five-year state permit application.
There is another $70 fee with the five-year permit application, and the applicant must provide proof of state-issued photo identification as well as proof (like a certified copy of a birth certificate) that they are legally and lawfully in the U.S. A photograph and signature will also be taken during the process.
The applicant must be eligible based on 14 criteria — no felony convictions and no convictions in 11 different misdemeanors, a 21-year-old age requirement, not being prohibited by federal law to own a firearm and others based on C.G.S. §§ 29-28, 29-32, 29-36f 29-36I.
Provided the eligibility requirements are met, the application is submitted correctly and all the accompanying materials are in place, the issuing authority has 8 weeks to approve or deny the application.
If denied, the applicant can appeal to the Board of Firearm Permit Examiners, according to C.G.S. Section 29-32.
The permit may be renewed in person at DESPP Headquarters within 90 days before or after the five year expiration date. The renewal fee is $70.
Nonresidents may also apply for a Connecticut pistol permit. They must own a valid permit to carry a pistol or revolver in a recognized U.S. jurisdiction, call DESPP for an application packet and submit the following to a pistol permit location:
- Connecticut and Federal fingerprint card with the two separate fees, $50 and $12, for criminal history background checks
- Firearms use and safety course certificate
- $70 application fee
- Completed application for state permit to carry pistols and revolvers, DPS-46-C
- A completed DPS-129-C form signed and notarized with a 2x2 passport style color photograph
- Copy of a valid permit to carry a firearm
- Proof they are legally in the U.S. (for example a birth certificate, documentation issued by I.C.E.)
- Proof of valid state issued photo ID
Out-of-state renewals (and in-state renewals as of October 2011) may be completed via mail. This is done by confirming the information on the submitted DPS-129-C form and signing it in the presence of a notary before mailing it. Provide a 2x2 passport style color photo taken in the previous six months. There is the $70 renewal fee, of course, and proof of legal presence in the U.S.
Send all that in a stamped #10 envelope.
If the pistol permit owner changes address, he or she must notify their issuing authority within two business days.
The pistol permit isn’t always necessary though. There are a number of exceptions under C.G.S. Section 29-35 — notably that the permit is not required for pistols or revolvers carried in one’s home or place of business.
Connecticut’s nonresident pistol permits are an extension of its reciprocity standards.
Connecticut concealed carry reciprocity
Connecticut’s concealed carry reciprocity standards are strict.
It does not recognize out-of-state permits, hence the nonresident pistol permit application.
On the other hand, the Connecticut pistol permit is recognized by about half the U.S. However, that may change in the future, so be sure to stay up to date with a CCW reciprocity map.
For those traveling through the state with a firearm, C.G.S. Section 29-38d has an important distinction that allows for interstate transportation of firearms through Connecticut given that the individual has the right to possess the weapon in the state they are traveling from and the state they are traveling to.
This is not formal legal advice, so be sure to call and verify with the appropriate Connecticut firearms authorities when traveling or carrying a weapon within Connecticut.
Those carrying within the state should also pay attention to locations where firearms are prohibited, such as federally prohibited areas, school zones, as per C.G.S. Section 53a-217b, and within buildings that house legislative processes, as per C.G.S. Section 2-1e.
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About The Author
Jake Smith (@notjakesmith) is a copywriter and photographer based in the pacific northwest. He graduated from the University of Idaho with degrees in public relations and apparel.