Legal Opinion IndexHome

Atty. Ralph D. Sherman

130 West Main Street • New Britain, Connecticut 06052

tel. (860) 229-0213 • fax (860) 229-0235 • e-mail


Legal Opinion

May 1997

Eleven misdemeanors that affect your pistol permit

Since 1994, thousands of people have seen their Connecticut pistol permits revoked for misdemeanor convictions—even for convictions that occurred decades ago.

That’s because the General Assembly changed the pistol-permit statute by adding a list of 11 misdemeanors that make a person ineligible for a permit. Previously, state and local police were required to deny or revoke permits only for felony convictions.

The 11 misdemeanors are:

21a-279 Possession of less than 4 ounces of cannabis

53a-58 Criminally negligent homicide

53a-61 Assault, 3rd degree

53a-61a Assault of victim 60 or older, third degree

53a-62 Threatening

53a-63 Reckless endangerment, first degree

53a-96 Unlawful restraint, second degree

53a-175 Riot, first degree

53a-176 Riot, second degree

53a-178 Inciting to riot

53a-181d Stalking, second degree

During the past three years, I have received many calls from people who unexpectedly found their permits revoked merely because of this change in the statute. The most common misdemeanor conviction seems to be third-degree assault, usually for a shoving match that occurred while the permit-holder was a teenager, perhaps 20 years ago.

Most of my callers have told me that they pleaded guilty to third-degree assault because it was less expensive and less risky to plead guilty and pay a small fine than to defend themselves against a more serious charge (like second-degree assault). In most cases, they pleaded guilty to the lesser charge on the advice of their attorney.

With the change in the statute, however, pleading guilty to a lesser charge is not a good idea if the lesser charge is one of the 11 misdemeanors—unless you want to lose your pistol permit.

If you do find that your permit is denied or revoked because of a misdemeanor conviction, what can you do? That will be my topic in next month’s column.

Copyright 1997 by Ralph D. Sherman

Legal Opinion IndexHome