En Español
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or (TTY) 1-800-787-3224

Know the Laws: Connecticut

UPDATED September 17, 2013

View All

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.

Guns and DVPOs

back to topI have a temporary restraining order against the abuser. Do I have to wait until I receive a permanent restraining order before his/her gun is taken away?

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.

Did you find this information helpful?

back to topI have a final restraining order against the abuser. Can s/he keep a gun or buy a new gun?

No.  According to federal law, if you have an RO against the abuser that meets federal law requirements, the abuser cannot have a gun in his/her possession, or buy a new gun while the order is in effect.”*  According to CT state law, someone with an RO 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:
  1. the abuser has to be given notice of the hearing and an opportunity to attend (whether or not s/he actually attends doesn’t matter), and
  2. the abuser must be either your current or former spouse, a person who you have a child in common with, or a person you live with or have lived with in the past,*** and
  3. the order of protection must contain specific legal language:
    • it has to forbid the respondent from harassing, stalking, threatening, or behaving in any way that causes the petitioner to fear physical injury for herself or his/her child AND
      • either state that the abuser represents a threat to the physical safety of the petitioner or her child OR
      • specifically prohibit the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the petitioner or his/her child.** 

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 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 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)

Did you find this information helpful?

back to topIf the abuser is not an "intimate partner" according to the federal definition, can his/her gun still be taken away when I get a restraining order?

Yes. If the abuser is not an "intimate partner" according to the federal definition, it can still be a crime under CT state law for the abuser to have or buy a gun or ammunition while your CT restraining order is in effect in a case involving the use, attempted use or threatened use of physical force against another person* and s/he can be denied a permit for a pistol or revolver based upon having a restraining order against him/her.**

* C.G.S.A. § 53a-217(a)
** C.G.S.A. § 29-36f(b)

Did you find this information helpful?

back to topThe abuser did not show up for the RO hearing. Can his/her gun still be taken away?

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)

Did you find this information helpful?

back to top