Large Capacity Ammunition Magazines in Connecticut

Posted on January 2, 2012

(Last updated July 12, 2013.)

Connecticut law defines “large capacity magazine” to mean any firearm magazine, belt, drum, feed strip or similar device that has the capacity of, or can be readily restored or converted to accept, more than 10 rounds of ammunition.1

This definition does not include:

  1. A feeding device that has been permanently altered so that it cannot accommodate more than ten rounds of ammunition;
  2. A .22 caliber tube ammunition feeding device;
  3. A tubular magazine that is contained in a lever-action firearm; or
  4. A magazine that is permanently inoperable.2

Any person who distributes, imports into the state, keeps for sale, offers or exposes for sale, or purchases a large capacity magazine is criminally liable for a class D felony.3

Any person who possesses a large capacity magazine on or after January 1, 2014, that was obtained prior to April 5, 2013, commits an infraction and may be fined up to $90 for a first offense.4 A subsequent offense is a class D felony.  A person in possession of a large capacity magazine that was obtained on or after April 5, 2013, is guilty of a class D felony.5

Grandfathering

A person who lawfully possesses a large capacity magazine prior to January 1, 2014, must apply by that date to the Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP) to declare possession of such magazine.  The application must be made on a form or in a manner prescribed by the Commissioner of DESPP.6  DESPP must also design or amend the following application forms to allow an applicant to declare possession of a large capacity magazine within the same form: 1) a certificate of possession for an assault weapon; 2) a permit to carry or eligibility certificate for a pistol or revolver; 3) a long gun eligibility certificate; or 4) renewal of any such permit or certificate.7

DESPP is authorized to adopt regulations to establish procedures with respect to large capacity magazine declaration applications.  The name and address of an applicant must be confidential and must not be disclosed except to: 1) law enforcement agencies and employees of the U.S. Probation Office; or 2) the Commissioner of Mental Health and Addiction Services to carry out the provisions of Conn. Gen. Stat. § 17a-500(c), which requires the Commissioner of Mental Health and Addiction Services to maintain information on commitment orders by a probate court and on voluntary commitments and requires probate courts to maintain information regarding cases relating to persons with psychiatric disabilities.8 A person moving into Connecticut while in lawful possession of a large capacity magazine must, within 90 days, render the magazine permanently inoperable, sell the magazine to a licensed gun dealer, or remove the magazine from the state.9 A person who is a member of the armed forces in possession of a large capacity magazine who has been transferred into the state after January 1, 2014, may, within 90 days of arriving in the state, apply to DESPP to declare possession of the magazine.10

If an owner of a large capacity magazine transfers the magazine to a licensed dealer, the dealer must, at the time of delivery, execute a certificate of transfer.  For any transfer before January 1, 2014, the dealer must provide to the Commissioner of DESPP monthly reports on the number of transfers that the dealer has accepted.11 For transfers on or after January 1, 2014, the dealer must mail or deliver the certificate of transfer to the Commissioner. The certificate must contain:  1) the date of sale or transfer; 2) the name and address of the seller or transferor and the licensed gun dealer, and their Social Security or driver’s license numbers; 3) the licensed dealer’s federal firearms license number; and 4) a description of the large capacity magazine.12 The Commissioner must maintain a file of all certificates of transfer at the Commissioner’s central office.13 The licensed gun dealer must present his or her federal firearms license and seller’s permit to the transferor for inspection at the time of purchase or transfer.14

A person who has declared possession of a large capacity magazine under the above provisions may possess the magazine only under the following circumstances:

  1. At the person’s residence;
  2. At the person’s place of business or other property owned by that person, provided such large capacity magazine contains not more than 10 bullets;
  3. While on the premises of a target range of a public or private club or organization organized for the purpose of practicing shooting at targets;
  4. While on a target range which holds a regulatory or business license for the purpose of practicing shooting at that target range;
  5. While on the premises of a licensed shooting club;
  6. While transporting the magazine between any of the above places, or to a licensed gun dealer, provided that the magazine does not contain more than 10 bullets and is transported in a secure manner;
  7. Pursuant to a valid permit to carry a pistol or revolver, provided the magazine: a) is within a pistol or revolver that was lawfully possessed by the person prior to April 5, 2013; b) does not extend more than one inch below the bottom of the pistol grip; and c) contains not more than 10 bullets.15

Exceptions

A large capacity magazine may be possessed, purchased, or imported by:

  1. Members or employees of the DESPP, police departments, the Department of Correction, the Division of Criminal Justice, the Department of Motor Vehicles, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection or the military or naval forces of Connecticut or of the United States;
  2. Employees of a Nuclear Regulatory Commission licensee operating a nuclear power generating facility in Connecticut for the purpose of providing security services at such facility, or any contractor or subcontractor providing security services at such facility; and
  3. Any person, firm or corporation engaged in the business of manufacturing large capacity magazines that manufactures or transports such magazines in Connecticut for sale within the state to the persons listed above.16

A large capacity magazine may be possessed by, among other persons:

  1. A licensed gun dealer;
  2. A gunsmith who is in a licensed gun dealer’s employ, who possesses the large capacity magazine for the purpose of servicing or repairing a lawfully possessed magazine;
  3. A person who has declared possession of the magazine according to the grandfathering provisions discussed above;
  4. Any person who is the executor or administrator of an estate that includes a large capacity magazine, the possession of which has been declared to DESPP which is disposed of as authorized by the Probate Court, if such disposition is otherwise lawful.17

In addition, the following transfers are not prohibited:

  1. A transfer by bequest or intestate succession of a large capacity magazine, the possession of which has been declared to DESPP;
  2. A transfer of a large capacity magazine to a police department or DESPP; or
  3. A transfer of a large capacity magazine to a licensed gun dealer in accordance with the rules above.18

Enforcement for Non-Serious, First-Time Offenders

If a court finds that a violation of large capacity magazine prohibitions is not serious in nature and that the person charged with the violation: 1) will probably not offend in the future; 2) has not previously been convicted of a similar violation; and 3) has not previously had a similar prosecution suspended, the court may order suspension of the prosecution.19

For additional information about ammunition magazines, see the Ammunition Regulation in Connecticut section.

See our Large Capacity Ammunition Magazines policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

  1. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53-202p(a)(1). []
  2. Id. []
  3. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53-202p(b). []
  4. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53-202p(c []
  5. Id. []
  6. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53-202q(a)(1). []
  7. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53-202q(b). []
  8. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53-202q(c). []
  9. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53-202q(d). []
  10. Id. []
  11. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53-202q(e)(1). []
  12. Id. []
  13. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53-202q(e)(3). []
  14. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53-202q(e)(2). []
  15. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53-202q(f). []
  16. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53-202p(d). []
  17. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53-202p(d). []
  18. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53-202p(f). []
  19. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53-202p (g). []