Understanding the permit process

Connecticut has a pretty detailed process, but it is not all that difficult.  There is a requirement to take a pistol safety course (which is what we offer with the NRA Basic Pistol Course).  Whether you are in or out of state wanting a CT permit, you still need the course.

Let’s go through the process:

  1. Go to your local police department and pick up a pistol permit application (form DPS-799-C).   If you do not have a local police department, this form can be picked up by contacting your town’s first selectman.  This form has all the instructions required by your town.  Bring this to class and we will help answer any questions you may have.
  2. Register and take a course.  We offer the complete NRA Basic Pistol Shooting Course.  This course is at least 8-hours long and includes classroom and range time learning to shoot revolvers and semi-automatic pistols. Students learn NRA’s rules for safe gun handling; pistol parts and operation; ammunition; shooting fundamentals; range rules; shooting from the bench rest position, and two handed standing positions; cleaning the pistol; and continued opportunities for skill development. Students will receive the NRA Guide to the Basics of Pistol Shooting handbook, NRA Gun Safety Rules brochure, Winchester/NRA Marksmanship Qualification booklet, take a Basics of Pistol Shooting Student Examination, and course completion certificate.
  3. Gather all the material required on the application, your course certificate and notify your local issuing authority (police department or first selectman).  They will set up a time where you can drop off all completed paperwork, process fingerprints, etc.
  4. Wait!  CT statutes mandates that this process take no more than 60 days, but many towns tend to take their own time on this step.
  5. You will be notified whether you have been approved or denied.  Assuming approval, you pick up your temporary permit for your town.  If denied, then you may file for an appeal with the State of Connecticut Board of Firearms Permit Examiners.
  6. Take your temporary permit and bring that to the Department of Public Safety for your actual permit.  Once you have this permit, you are new allowed to carry a pistol or revolver, where legal, in the state of Connecticut.

Our links page has the State of Ct links including the Department of Public Safety and Board of Firearms Permit Examiners.

Many towns have added additional steps that are not required by the State of Connecticut.  Especially regarding credit checks, mental health inquiry and letters of reference.  Though the letters are indeed the most common, it raises a particularly tough question:  Do I comply for a smooth process, or stand my ground?  That, is indeed a personal choice.  I feel the need to bring up the issues so that applicants are aware, but also for those that may end up in a situation like CT Gun Safety’s founder, E. Jonathan Hardy.  He was a lifelong resident of Hartford, but moved out of town where he didn’t really know anyone in his new town yet.  Eventually, realized he had three friends (members of a civic/social club), for many people, that may not be the case when you just move to a new town.  If you don’t have the “needed” references, you may be able to bring this up when you drop off your paperwork.

The Board of Firearms Permit Examiners has addressed this issue at their January 14, 2010 meeting.

The ruling can be found HERE in pdf format.

The audio of the actual meeting can be found HERE.