Know the Laws: Connecticut
UPDATED August 11, 2015
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.
Maybe. If the judge gave you an ex parte temporary restraining order (which means that no advance notice was given to the abuser), which is commonly done, it could still be LEGAL for him/her to have a gun under federal law. However, if the judge scheduled a court hearing and gave notice of the hearing to the abuser before giving you the temporary restraining order, it is possible that it is ILLEGAL for him/her to have a gun under federal law. The order of protection must also meet certain other requirements, though. Read I have a final restraining order against the abuser. Can s/he keep a gun or buy a new gun? to find out more.
No. According to federal law, if you have a restraining order against the abuser that meets federal law requirements (see below), the abuser cannot have a gun in his/her possession, or buy a new gun while the order is in effect.* According to Connecticut state law, someone with a restraining order against him/her in a case involving the use, attempted use or threatened use of physical force against another person cannot have a gun or ammunition in his/her possession while the order is in effect.**The federal requirements are:
Note: This law may not apply to law enforcement officials, military personnel, and other government employees who use guns while performing official duties.****
If the abuser is a police officer, member of the military, or someone else who uses a gun for his/her job, talk to your local domestic violence program about your options. To find a shelter or an advocate at a local program, please visit our CT State and Local Programs page.
* 18 USC § 922(g)(8)
** C.G.S.A. §§ 29-36f(b); 53a-217(a)
*** 18 USC § 921(a)(32)
**** 18 USC § 925(a)(1)
Maybe. The abuser does not have to come to the hearing in order for the law to apply to him/her, but s/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 to the abuser about the court hearing, then the federal firearm law likely may not apply to the abuser.**
* 18 USC §922(g)(8); See, for example, United States v. Bunnell, 106 F. Supp. 2d 60 (D. Me. 2000), aff'd 280 F. 3d 46 (1st Cir. 2002)
** See, for example, United States v. Spruill, 292 F. 3d 207 (5th Cir. 2002)