Do You Need a Gun Permit to Shoot at a Gun Range in Connecticut?

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Gun licensing in Connecticut has proven to reduce gun trafficking and violence significantly, and it is a necessary component of crafting lifesaving and comprehensive gun laws. Firearm licensing laws are a perfect way of ensuring that guns are only bought and used by responsible citizens.

Before buying guns, gun owners must go through an in-person application at law enforcement agencies, and this offers an additional layer of protection against inaccuracies or fraud that may allow dangerous individuals to acquire guns.

Do You Need a Gun Permit to Shoot at a Gun Range in Connecticut?

Yes, you require a pistol permit for you to shoot at gun ranges in Connecticut. You also have to follow the state and federal rules and regulations regarding the transport of firearms to the gun ranges. In addition, most ranges will require a gun permit to lease their firearms.

Man wondering if he needs a gun permit to shoot at a gun range in Connecticut

Understand the Connecticut Gun Laws

In the state of Connecticut, gun laws regulate the use, acquisition, and sale of ammunition and firearms. Although their gun laws appear as being a ‘May Issue” state, they tend to show more of a “Shall Issue” state because of the different court decisions. Connecticut has some of the most limiting gun laws in the whole country.

Some of these laws are as follows:

  • In Connecticut, concealed carry and open carry are legal if you have a Connecticut Pistol Permit, and 21 years is the minimum age.
  • When buying firearms, residents and non-residents are not subject to any waiting period.
  • The state does not recognize licenses and permits from any other states. However, no-residents who have valid CCW licenses from their home state can acquire a CTPP.
  • Any carry is prohibited in state parks and schools.
  • Gun buyers must have a valid Connecticut Pistol Permit or a Certificate of Eligibility to procure a long gun, pistol, revolver, or ammunition.
  • Individuals must undertake an approved gun safety course and go through a mental health assessment and criminal background check before they receive a Certificate of Eligibility.
  • There is a ban on “assault weapons” that includes any selective firearm that is fully automatic, semiautomatic, or burst fire at the user’s option or any form in the list of specified semiautomatic firearms.

Connecticut Concealed Carry Permit Information

In Connecticut, a permit to carry a revolver or pistol is required to carry handguns on or about one’s person, either concealed in a backpack, openly or in a car. Nevertheless, the Connecticut Board of Firearms Permit Examiners cautions that all efforts must be made to ensure that no guns are exposed to the view of or are carried in a way that they would alarm people who see the firearm.

Gun station at an outdoor gun range

Connecticut Pistol Permit Process

The Connecticut pistol permit process is pretty detailed; however, it is not difficult. This is a two-step process where the applicant applies for a temporary permit from the authorities in their locality and then another application to the state of Connecticut. This means that you will pay for two gun permits, which will cost you $140 in total.

Connecticut firearm laws are also strict with regard to training, and only the NRA’s basic pistol course is accepted. There is a requirement that you take a pistol safety course, and you will need this certification whether you are in or out of the state and want a CT permit. The gun permit application process entails the following:

Get a pistol permit application form from the local police department

Most towns will provide an instruction sheet that has the application that contains all the information you need about the process in your town. If no instructions are offered, you should ask when they offer fingerprinting services for gun permits. If your town has no police department, you will have to go to the State Police barracks servicing your area.

Register and take a certified gun safety course

You will need to complete the NRA Basic Pistol Shooting Course that will comprise of all the pistol permit requirements for the state of Connecticut. This course normally takes 8 hours for both classroom training and range time for shooting revolvers and pistols. A certificate is usually awarded after completion of the course and this is needed for your pistol permit application.

Apply for the gun permit

With your gun safety certificate, you can now apply for your Connecticut pistol permit. You will need the completed application, a copy of your passport or driver’s license, a copy of the completed gun safety course, and payment to the police department for the hours when they fingerprint you. After turning in the application, it will be processed in not more than 60 days.

Man reloading his gun

Get notification of whether the application was approved or denied

The application can either be approved or denied. If the gun permit application is approved, you will get a temporary gun permit that can be used for 60 days. However, you cannot use this permit to buy or carry a gun.

You must go to the State Police locations given on the issued pamphlet or the DPS Headquarters, where you will be photographed and handed a pistol permit that is valid for 5 years. This allows you to own, carry, and purchase firearms and various gun accessories.

In case your pistol permit application is not successful, you can always file an appeal with the Connecticut Board of Firearms Permit Examiners.


As you can see, you will need a pistol permit to shoot in gun ranges in Connecticut. The state of Connecticut has the sternest gun laws in the United States, and these laws are frequently changing to guarantee the protection of both gun owners, gun users, and non-gun owners.

Whether you are a resident or a non-resident, it is best to obtain your pistol permit to ensure that you have easy access to local gun ranges and even lease their firearms.

James Forrester is a lifelong gun and firearms owner, and an even bigger advocate for gun safety. He created with the purpose of sharing helpful tips and educating others on how to keep guns and weapons safe and secure.