State Assault Weapons

Assault Weapons in Alabama

Posted on Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

Alabama has no law restricting assault weapons.

See our Assault Weapons policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Assault Weapons in Alaska

Posted on Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

Alaska has no law restricting assault weapons.

See our Assault Weapons policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Assault Weapons in Arizona

Posted on Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

Arizona has no law restricting assault weapons.

See our Assault Weapons Policy Summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Assault Weapons in Arkansas

Posted on Monday, January 2nd, 2012

Arkansas has no laws regulating assault weapons.

See our Assault Weapons policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Assault Weapons in California

Posted on Monday, January 2nd, 2012

See our Assault Weapons policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

With limited exceptions, California prohibits anyone from possessing an assault weapon unless he or she possessed the firearm prior to the date it was defined as an assault weapon and registered the firearm with the California Department of Justice (“DOJ”) in the timeframe established by state law.1 (This timeframe has ended. DOJ is not accepting any new registrations of assault weapons.) California also prohibits any person from manufacturing, distributing, transporting, importing, keeping for sale, offering for sale, giving, or lending any assault weapon within the state.2 However, DOJ may, upon a finding of good cause, issue permits for the manufacture or sale of assault weapons to certain agencies, persons, entities, governments, or law enforcement bodies.3 Generally, no lawfully possessed assault weapon may be sold or transferred to anyone within California other than to a licensed gun dealer who has been issued a permit to sell assault weapons, or to a police or sheriff’s department.4

California law lists certain firearms that have been deemed assault weapons, including all AK series and Colt AR-15 series.5 California’s Attorney General is required to promulgate a list specifying all such firearms.6 However, a firearm that meets any of the following descriptions is also an “assault weapon”:7

  • Semiautomatic, centerfire rifle that has the capacity to accept a detachable magazine and any one of the following: 1) a pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon; 2) a thumbhole stock; 3) a folding or telescoping stock; 4) a grenade or flare launcher; 5) a flash suppressor; or 6) a forward pistol grip;
  • Semiautomatic, centerfire rifle that has a fixed magazine with the capacity to accept more than ten rounds;
  • Semiautomatic, centerfire rifle that has an overall length of less than 30 inches;
  • Semiautomatic pistol that has the capacity to accept a detachable magazine and any one of the following: 1) a threaded barrel, capable of accepting a flash suppressor, forward handgrip, or silencer; 2) a second handgrip; 3) a shroud that is attached to, or partially or completely encircles, the barrel allowing the bearer to fire the weapon without burning his or her hand, except a slide that encloses the barrel; or 4) the capacity to accept a detachable magazine at some location outside of the pistol grip;
  • Semiautomatic pistol with a fixed magazine that has the capacity to accept more than ten rounds;
  • Semiautomatic shotgun that has both a folding or telescoping stock, and a pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon, thumbhole stock, or vertical handgrip;
  • Semiautomatic shotgun that has the ability to accept a detachable magazine; or
  • Shotgun with a revolving cylinder.

Antique firearms (i.e., firearms manufactured prior to 1899), and certain pistols that are designed expressly for use in Olympic target shooting events, are exempt.8

California does not ban kits that allow a person to convert a lawful firearm into an assault weapon.

Any person owning a lawfully registered assault weapon may possess the firearm only under limited conditions, unless he or she obtains a permit for additional uses from DOJ.9 Those conditions include:

  • At the person’s residence, place of business, or other property owned by that person, or on property owned by another with the owner’s express permission;
  • While on certain target ranges and shooting clubs;
  • While on publicly owned land if specifically permitted by the managing agency of the land; or
  • While properly transporting the firearm between any of the places mentioned above, or to any licensed gun dealer for servicing and repair.10

DOJ has the authority to conduct an annual security and safe storage inspection, and verify the assault weapon inventory, of any individual, firm or corporation that holds a permit to own or possess an assault weapon.11 Permit holders that maintain an inventory of fewer than five assault weapon devices are subject to such DOJ inspections only once every five years, or more frequently if deemed necessary by DOJ.12

California law provides that the possession of an assault weapon in violation of state laws is a public nuisance.13 As a result, any assault weapon possessed in violation of state laws must be destroyed, except upon finding by a court, or a declaration from DOJ, a district attorney, or a city attorney stating that the preservation of the assault weapon is in the interest of justice.14

The courts have rejected legal challenges to California’s assault weapons ban.15

See DOJ’s Assault Weapon FAQs page for further information.

  1. Cal. Penal Code § 30605. See generally Cal. Penal Code §§ 30600-30675, 30900-30965 and 31000. For state assault weapon regulations, see Cal. Code Regs. tit. 11, §§ 5459-5473, 5495, 5499. DOJ’s website also includes information about the development of these regulations. []
  2. Cal. Penal Code § 30600. []
  3. Cal. Penal Code §§ 30525, 30530. []
  4. Cal. Penal Code § 30910. []
  5. Cal. Penal Code § 30510. []
  6. Cal. Penal Code § 30520. []
  7. Cal. Penal Code § 30515. []
  8. Id. []
  9. Cal. Penal Code §§ 30945, 31000. []
  10. The person may also possess the assault weapon while attending an exhibition, display, or educational project about firearms which is sponsored by, conducted under the auspices of, or approved by a law enforcement agency or a nationally or state recognized entity that fosters proficiency in, or promotes education about, firearms. Id. []
  11. Cal. Penal Code § 31110(a). []
  12. Cal. Penal Code § 31110(b). []
  13. The Attorney General, any district attorney, or any city attorney may, in lieu of criminal prosecution, bring a civil action or reach a civil compromise in any superior court to enjoin the possession of the assault weapon that is a public nuisance. Cal. Penal Code § 30800(a). []
  14. Cal. Penal Code § 30800(c). Upon conviction of any misdemeanor or felony involving the illegal possession or use of an assault weapon, the assault weapon must be deemed a public nuisance and disposed of pursuant to Cal. Penal Code § 18005(c). Cal. Penal Code § 30800(d). []
  15. See Kasler v. Lockyer, 2 P.3d 581 (Cal. 2000) (holding, inter alia, that the ban does not violate equal protection of the law because the statute does not burden a fundamental constitutional right to “bear arms,” as no such right exists under the California constitution). See also Silveira v. Lockyer, 312 F.3d 1052, (9th Cir. 2002) (rejecting federal constitutional challenges to the ban, holding, inter alia, that the Second Amendment only protects the collective right of the people to maintain well-regulated militias). Note, however, that the Supreme Court has subsequently held, in District of Columbia v. Heller, 128 S. Ct. 2783 (2008), that the Second Amendment protects the right of individuals to keep and bear arms, unconnected with service in a militia. The Court in that case noted, nevertheless, that the Second Amendment is consistent with laws banning “dangerous and unusual weapons.” Id. at 2817. For more information, see our webpage devoted to the Heller case. []

Assault Weapons in Colorado

Posted on Monday, January 2nd, 2012

Colorado has no law restricting assault weapons.

See our  Assault Weapons policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Assault Weapons in Connecticut

Posted on Monday, January 2nd, 2012

(Last updated August 8, 2013.)

Definitions and Prohibitions

Connecticut prohibits any person from possessing an assault weapon unless the weapon was possessed prior to July 1, 1994, and the possessor:

  • Was eligible to apply for a certificate of possession for the assault weapon by July 1, 1994;
  • Lawfully possessed the assault weapon prior to October 1, 1993; and
  • Is not in violation of Connecticut General Statutes §§ 53-202a to 53-202k (assault weapon regulations), and Connecticut General Statutes § 53-202o (affirmative defense in prosecution for possession of specified assault weapon).1

The state also prohibits any person from distributing, transporting, importing into the state, keeping, offering or exposing for sale, or giving an assault weapon to any person.2

Connecticut defines an “assault weapon” as:

  • Any “selective-fire” firearm capable of fully automatic, semi-automatic or “burst fire” at the option of the user;3
  • Any semi-automatic centerfire rifle, regardless of the date produced, that has the ability to accept a detachable magazine and has at least one of the following features:  1) A folding or telescoping stock; 2) Any grip of the weapon, including a pistol grip, thumbhole stock, or other stock that would allow an individual to grip the weapon, resulting in any finger on the trigger hand in addition to the trigger finger being directly below any portion of the action of the weapon when firing; 3) A forward pistol grip; 4) A flash suppressor; or 5) A grenade or flare launcher;4
  • A semi-automatic pistol that has an ability to accept a detachable magazine and has at least one of the following features:  1) The ability to accept a detachable ammunition magazine that attaches at some location outside the pistol grip; 2) A threaded barrel capable of accepting a flash suppressor, forward pistol grip or silencer; 3) A shroud that is attached to, or partially or completely encircles, the barrel and that permits the shooter to hold the firearm without being burned (except a slide that encloses the barrel); or 4) A second hand grip;5
  • A semi-automatic shotgun that has both of the following features:  1) A folding or telescoping stock; or 2) Any grip of the weapon, including a pistol grip, a thumbhole stock, or any other stock, the use of which would allow an individual to grip the weapon, resulting in any finger on the trigger hand in addition to the trigger finger being directly below any portion of the action of the weapon when firing;6
  • A semiautomatic, centerfire rifle that has:  1) a fixed magazine that can accept more than 10 rounds of ammunition; or 2) an overall length of less than 30 inches;7
  • A semiautomatic pistol with a fixed magazine that has the ability to accept more than 10 rounds of ammunition;8
  • A semiautomatic shotgun that can accept a detachable magazine; or9
  • A shotgun with a revolving cylinder.10

Specific Prohibited Weapons

Connecticut bans the following specifically named semi-automatic firearms:

Algimec Agmi; Armalite AR-180; Australian Automatic Arms SAP Pistol; Auto-Ordnance Thompson type; Avtomat Kalashnikov AK-47 type; Barrett Light-Fifty model 82A1; Beretta AR-70; Bushmaster Auto Rifle and Auto Pistol; Calico models M-900, M-950 and 100-P; Chartered Industries of Singapore SR-88; Colt AR-15 and Sporter; Daewoo K-1, K-2, Max-1 and Max-2; Encom MK-IV, MP-9 and MP-45; Fabrique Nationale FN/FAL, FN/LAR, or FN/FNC; FAMAS MAS 223; Feather AT-9 and Mini-AT; Federal XC-900 and XC-450; Franchi SPAS-12 and LAW-12; Galil AR and ARM; Goncz High-Tech Carbine and High-Tech Long Pistol; Heckler & Koch HK-91, HK-93, HK-94 and SP-89; Holmes MP-83; MAC-10, MAC-11 and MAC-11 Carbine type; Intratec TEC-9 and Scorpion; Iver Johnson Enforcer model 3000; Ruger Mini-14/5F folding stock model only; Scarab Skorpion; SIG 57 AMT and 500 series; Spectre Auto Carbine and Auto Pistol; Springfield Armory BM59, SAR-48 and G-3; Sterling MK-6 and MK-7; Steyr AUG; Street Sweeper and Striker 12 revolving cylinder shotguns; USAS-12; UZI Carbine, Mini-Carbine and Pistol; Weaver Arms Nighthawk; Wilkinson “Linda” Pistol.11

Connecticut bans the following semiautomatic centerfire rifles, or copies or duplicates of such rifles with their capability, that were in production before or on June 18, 2013:

AK 47; AK 74, AKM, AKS-74U, ARM, MAADI AK 47, MAK90, MISR, NHM90; NHM91, Norinco 56, 56S, 84S and 86S, Poly Technologies AKS and AK47, SA 85, SA 93, VEPR, WASR-10, WUM, Rock River Arms LAR-47; Vector Arms AK-47; AR-10; AR-15; Bushmaster Carbon 15, Bushmaster XM15, Bushmaster ACR Rifles, Bushmaster MOE Rifles; Colt Match Target Rifles; Armalite M15; Olympic Arms AR-15, A1, CAR, PCR, K3B, K30R, K16, K48, K8 and K9 Rifles; DPMS Tactical Rifles; Smith and Wesson M&P15 Rifles; Rock River Arms LAR-15; Doublestar AR Rifles; Barrett REC7; Beretta Storm; Calico Liberty 50, 50 Tactical, 100, 100 Tactical, I, I Tactical, II and II Tactical Rifles; Hi-Point Carbine Rifles; HK-PSG-1; Kel-Tec Sub-2000, SU Rifles, and RFB; Remington Tactical Rifle Model 7615; SAR-8, SAR-4800 and SR9; SLG 95; SLR 95 or 96; TNW M230 and M2HB; Vector Arms UZI, Galil and Galil Sporter; Daewoo AR 100 and AR 110C; Fabrique Nationale/FN 308 Match and L1A1 Sporter; HK USC; IZHMASH Saiga AK; SIG Sauer 551-A1, 556, 516, 716 and M400 Rifles; Valmet M62S, M71S and M78S; Wilkinson Arms Linda Carbine; and Barrett M107A1.12

Connecticut also bans the following specified semiautomatic pistols, or copies or duplicates of such pistols with their capability, that were in production prior to or on June 18, 2013:

Centurion 39 AK; Draco AK-47; HCR AK-47; IO Inc. Hellpup AK-47; Mini-Draco AK-47; Yugo Krebs Krink; American Spirit AR-15; Bushmaster Carbon 15; Doublestar Corporation AR; DPMS AR-15; Olympic Arms AR-15; Rock River Arms LAR 15; Calico Liberty III and III Tactical Pistols; Masterpiece Arms MPA Pistols and Velocity Arms VMA Pistols; Intratec TEC-DC9 and AB-10; Colefire Magnum; German Sport 522 PK and Chiappa Firearms Mfour-22; DSA SA58 PKP FAL; I.O. Inc. PPS-43C; Kel-Tec PLR-16 Pistol; Sig Sauer P516 and P556 pistols; and Thompson TA5 pistols.13

Finally, Connecticut bans all IZHMASH Saiga 12 shotguns or copies or duplicates with the capability of such shotguns that were in production before or on June 18, 2013.14

Parts Considered an Assault Weapon in Some Circumstances

Connecticut bans a part or combination of parts designed or intended to convert a firearm into an assault weapon as defined under Connecticut law and any combination of parts from which such an assault weapon may be assembled if possessed by, or under the control of, the same person.15

Any firearm that has been permanently rendered inoperable is not an assault weapon.16 In addition, a part or combination of parts of an assault weapon, that are not assembled as an assault weapon, when in the possession of a licensed gun dealer or a gunsmith employed by a dealer for the purposes of servicing or repairing lawfully possessed assault weapons, do not constitute an assault weapon.17

Grandfathering of Assault Weapons

A person who lawfully possessed an assault weapon prior to October 1, 1993 may continue to possess the weapon if he or she obtained a certificate of possession.18

For assault weapons banned under the expanded definition in the Gun Violence Prevention and Children’s Safety Act, effective June 18, 2013, anyone who legally possessed one of the newly banned weapons on or after April 4, 2013, but prior to June 18, 2013, who is eligible for a certificate of possession, may continue to possess the weapon by applying to Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP) for such certificate by January 1, 2014.19 A member of the U.S. military who is unable to apply by January 1, 2014, because he or she is out of state on official duty, has 90 days after returning to Connecticut to apply for a certificate.20 The certificate must contain a description of the firearm that identifies it uniquely, including all identification marks, the owner’s full name, address, date of birth and thumbprint, and any other information that DESPP deems appropriate.21

Connecticut prohibits any person with a certificate of possession for any of the assault weapons added on April 4, 2013, from:  1) Selling or transferring the weapon in Connecticut to anyone except a licensed gun dealer; or 2) Otherwise transferring the weapon except by bequest or intestate succession.22 Any person who inherits an assault weapon for which a certificate was issued has 90 days to apply for a certificate or sell the weapon to a licensed gun dealer, permanently disable it, or take it out of state.23

Anyone who moves into Connecticut in lawful possession of an assault weapon has 90 days to make it permanently inoperable, sell it to a licensed gun dealer or take it out of state.24 Military service members transferred to Connecticut in lawful possession of an assault weapon may apply to DESPP for a certificate within 90 days of arriving in the state.25

Under Connecticut law, anyone who possesses an assault weapon for which a certificate has been issued may possess it only at specified locations, such as his or her home or business, at a licensed shooting club, or at a target range that holds a license for practicing target shooting.26

Any person who obtained a certificate of possession for an existing assault weapon before April 5, 2013, for a weapon the Gun Violence Prevention and Children’s Safety Act of 2013 defines as an assault weapon, is deemed to have obtained a certificate of possession for such assault weapon and will not be required to obtain a separate certificate.27

Connecticut prohibits the transfer of most grandfathered weapons.28

A person issued a certificate of possession may possess his or her registered assault weapon at:

  • His or her residence, property or business;
  • Property owned by another with the owner’s express permission;
  • Certain target ranges or shooting clubs; and
  • A firearms exhibition, display or educational project.29

A person may also possess a registered assault weapon while transporting the weapon to or from a permitted location noted above or to a licensed gun dealer for repair.30 When transported, an assault weapon must be unloaded and, if transported in a vehicle, kept in the trunk or in a case or container that is inaccessible to the operator or any passenger of the vehicle.31

When a person wishes to dispose of a registered assault weapon, he or she may transfer the weapon only to a licensed dealer, a police department or DESPP.32 A person who possesses a registered assault weapon must report the loss or theft of the weapon within 72 hours of the time the person discovered or should have discovered the loss or theft.33

An assault weapon defined under Connecticut General Statutes § 53-202a(a)(3) and (4) (an assault weapon defined by criteria rather than specific name) is exempt from state transfer restrictions and registration requirements if it was legally manufactured prior to September 13, 1994.34

Connecticut also allows possession of certain specified assault weapon models under certain circumstances. The state allows a person to possess an Auto-Ordnance Thompson type, Avtomat Kalashnikov AK-47 type, MAC-10, MAC-11 or MAC-11 Carbine type assault weapon if:

  • It was obtained in good faith on or after October 1, 1993 and before May 8, 2002;
  • The possessor is not prohibited from possessing the weapon under any other law; and
  • The possessor has notified DESPP, prior to October 1, 2003, that he or she possesses the specified assault weapon.35

Connecticut provides that nothing contained in the state’s assault weapon regulations shall be construed to prohibit any person or corporation engaged in the business of manufacturing assault weapons from manufacturing or transporting assault weapons for sale:  1) Within the state to the DESPP, law enforcement, the Department of Correction, other specified state agencies, or military or naval forces; or 2) For sale outside the state.36

Exceptions

Connecticut allows the sale of assault weapons to the Department of Correction, DESPP, police departments, and military or naval forces for use in their official duties, as well as for off-duty use.37 Possession is allowed by members or employees of these entities for use in the discharge of their official duties. Connecticut permits sales to and possession by: 1) Employees of a Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) licensee operating a nuclear power plant in Connecticut for the purpose of providing security; or 2) Any person, firm, corporation, contractor, or subcontractor providing security at the plant.38

Finally, for assault weapons for which a certificate of possession is issued, Connecticut allows weapons to be possessed or received, under certain circumstances, by:

  • Executors or administrators of an estate that includes an assault weapon for which a certificate has been issued;
  • Gun dealers; and
  • Gunsmiths.39

Similarly, Connecticut allows for:  1) Individuals to arrange to relinquish a weapon to a police department or DESPP;40 2) Temporary transfers or possession for certain out-of-state events;41 and 3) Weapons to be transported to or from a shooting competition or exhibition, display, or educational project about firearms sponsored, conducted by, approved or under the auspices of a law enforcement agency or a national or state-recognized entity that fosters proficiency in firearms use or promotes firearms education.42

See our Assault Weapons policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

  1. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53-202c(a), (c). []
  2. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53-202b(a)(1). State law also specifically prohibits the transfer, sale or giving of an assault weapon to a person under age 18. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53-202b(a)(1). []
  3. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53-202a(1)(A)(i). []
  4. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53-202a(1)(E)(i). []
  5. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53-202a(1)(E)(iv). []
  6. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53-202a(1)(E)(vi). []
  7. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53-202a(1)(E)(ii), (iii). []
  8. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53-202a(1)(E)(v). []
  9. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53-202a(1)(E)(vii). []
  10. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53-202a(1)(E)(viii). []
  11. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53-202a(1)(A)(i). []
  12. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53-202a(1)(B). []
  13. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53-202a(1)(C). []
  14. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53-202a(1)(D). []
  15. Conn. Gen. Stat. §§ 53-202a(1)(F), 53-202a(1)(A)(ii). []
  16. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53-202a(2). []
  17. Id. []
  18. See Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53-202d(a)(1), Conn. Agencies Regs. §§ 53-202d-1—53-202d-5, and the Registration of Firearms in Connecticut section for further information. []
  19. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53-202d(a)(2)(A). []
  20. Id. []
  21. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53-202d(a)(4). []
  22. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53-202d(b)(2). []
  23. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53-202d(c). []
  24. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53-202d(d). []
  25. See Id. []
  26. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53-202d(f). []
  27. Conn. Gen. Stat.§ 53-202d(a)(3). []
  28. See Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53-202d(b), (c). []
  29. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53-202d(f). []
  30. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53-202d(f)(6). []
  31. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53-202f(a). []
  32. Conn. Gen. Stat. §§ 53-202d(b)-(d); 53-202e. []
  33. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53-202g(a). []
  34. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53-202m. []
  35. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53-202n(a), (b). []
  36. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53-202i. []
  37. Conn. Gen. Stat. §§ 53-202i, 53-202b(b)(1). []
  38. Conn. Gen. Stat. §§ 53-202b(b)(1); 53-202c(b). []
  39. Conn. Gen. Stat. §§ 53-202b, 53-202c(e), 53-202d(b), 53-202f. []
  40. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53-202e. []
  41. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53-202h. []
  42. Id. []

Assault Weapons in Delaware

Posted on Friday, October 3rd, 2014

Delaware has no law regulating assault weapons.

See our Assault Weapons policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Assault Weapons in Florida

Posted on Monday, January 2nd, 2012

Florida has no laws regulating assault weapons.

See our Assault Weapons policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Assault Weapons in Georgia

Posted on Monday, January 2nd, 2012

Georgia law does not regulate or prohibit the sale or possession of assault weapons.

See our Assault Weapons policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.