Know the Laws: Connecticut
UPDATED September 17, 2012
Please consider getting in touch with a domestic violence advocate in your community for more information on gun laws in your area. To find help, please click on the Where to Find Help tab at the top of this page.
No. According to CT state and Federal law, if you have a RO that was issued by a court in CT or any other state or tribal civil court against your abuser and meets Federal law requirements, your abuser cannot have a gun in his possession, or buy a new gun.”*
In order for your Restraining order to qualify under Federal law, the defendant ( person who the order is against) must:
Note: If your Restraining order has expired, it is no longer a valid order under Federal law, which means the firearm ban also does not apply. Your restraining order will expire six months after the date it was issued, unless the judge says otherwise.
Note: This law may not apply to law enforcement officials, military personnel, and other government employees who use guns while performing official duties.****
If your abuser is a police officer, member of the military, or someone else who uses a gun for their job, talk to your local domestic violence program about your options. To find a shelter or an advocate at a local program, please visit the CT State and Local Programs page under the Where to Find Help tab at the top of this page.
*18 USC § 922 (g)(8); C.G.S.A. § 53a-217
**18 USC 921 (a)(32)
*** C.G.S.A. § 46b-38a(2)
****18 USC Sec. 925 (a)(1)
Yes. If your abuser is not an "intimate partner" according to the Federal definition, it will still be a crime under CT state law for your abuser to have or buy a gun while your CT restraining order is in effect.*
* C.G.S.A. § 53a-217
Connecticut state law says specifically that a person who has a restraining order against them cannot have or buy a gun.* This should be written on the Restraining Order that you receive from the court. Still, there are steps you can take to help make it clear to both the judge hearing your case and law enforcement officers that you need this law enforced for your safety:
It also may be helpful if the judge explains what will happen to the abuser's guns, who will take them, and where they will be held once you leave the courthouse. If the judge agrees to add language that your abuser cannot keep his guns while the Restraining order is in effect, you may also want to ask that the judge:
Maybe. Your abuser does not have to come to the hearing in order for the law to apply to him, but he does have to be given notice of the hearing and an opportunity to attend.*
If no hearing is scheduled, and/or no notice is given about the RO order, then the federal firearm law might not apply to your abuser.**
* United States v. Bunnell 106 F. Supp. 2d 60 (D. Me. 2000), aff'd 280 F. 3d 46 (1st Cir. 2002.)
** United States v. Spruill 292 F. 3d 207 (5th Cir. 2002.)
Maybe. You can ask the Judge to write in your temporary order that your abuser cannot have a gun while you are waiting for a full court hearing. If the judge sees your abuser's firearm as a serious enough threat, the judge might decide to write this in.
However, if there is no specific mention of a firearm restriction in the temporary order, then you may have to wait until you are given a permanent order.