Skip to comments.Experience with a Restrictive State Pistol Permit Process, by U.C.
Posted on 11/10/2012 7:13:17 AM PST by marktwain
First, I live in South Eastern Connecticut not by choice but due to my military obligations. Second, the day I get out of the military will be the last day I live here. I am heading back out West which is where I lived before I joined the military. Third, I survived Sandy just fine. I ensured I had 4G coverage before the storm: Generator, Gas, Grub and Gallons of water. I guess you could add Guns and make it 5G coverage.
On to what I am writing about, the pistol permit process in a liberal / restrictive state. Here in Connecticut you must go through several hoops and roadblocks on the way to buying / carrying any handgun. After much internet research and discussions with the owner of the lone gun store in South Eastern Connecticut, my wife and I started down the road to legal handgun ownership. Notice I said handgun. Here in Connecticut I can walk into Cabela's, pick any rifle or shotgun they are selling and walk out the same day with as much ammunition as I can buy (with a copy of my military orders stationing me here). Without those orders I would have to wait 14 days.
The first step to the process was to attend a NRA basic pistol shooting course. This despite the fact that I have had training in the military on the M1911, the Browning 9mm, 12 gauge, M16, M14 and M249. At $150 each for my wife and I (expensive but it had to be a weekend class that fit into our schedule) we were well on our way to spending big money in order to exercise our Second Amendment rights. This was on Sunday May 6th of this year. Once we had completed the course and had the certificate in hand we then had to schedule an appointment with our local Connecticut Police Department (Groton) for the interview, application paperwork and finger printing process in order to receive a temporary local permit. The city of Groton only has appointment slots twice a month (2nd and 4th Wednesdays) with limited availability (Chokepoint!). We were lucky enough to squeeze in an appointment on the 13th of June (someone cancelled).
On to the appointment: In order to do the appointment my wife and I both had to take half a day off. We showed up early with our filled out DPS-799-Cs and the application (or as my wife calls it, bribe) money required by the city. After a lengthy interview by a local police officer to ensure we were who we said we were and not mentally incapacitated or revolutionaries, he collected our money. That was $70 for each of us to the town of Groton as a local authority fee. Also there was the $19.25 for each of us to the Department of Public Safety (DPS) for the federal fingerprint / background fee. And finally the $50 each for the state of CT fingerprint / background check fee. $278.50 in fees + $300 in classes. We are up to $578.50. This doesnt include lost wages for my wife to take a half day off for the interview process.
Fairly straight-forward and a little expensive so far. Nothing overly difficult. Now the waiting process begins. The local Groton Police Department is required to get back to us within 60 days in accordance with Connecticut law. My wife and I settled in for what we were sure would be the full 60 days. It is the government of Connecticut after all and we counted on them using every day of the 60. We passed the time working on other preparations to include dehydrating fruit and experimenting with canning. During this waiting period we also purchased several rifles (Mosin-Nagants and others) and learned how to shoot them, break them down, clean and upgrade. Time spent wisely.
August 13th rolled around (61 day point) with no word from the Groton Police Department. Having been in the military for several years I am used to the waiting game and the gross inefficiency of government. I proceeded to wait on calling and gave them another two weeks. August 27th and still no phone call. So now I start calling. After playing phone tag for a week and a half I finally reach a human on September 6th. She says there is a large backlog due to the large amount of applications and it may be a bit before they can get to us. A bit? To me, a bit means maybe the next day at the latest. To the local government a bit seems to be measured in glacial time. And how can they be backlogged? They only accept a limited number of applications twice a month. You would think this would prevent them from being backlogged.
September 10th, my supervisor and my wifes supervisor receive phone calls from the Groton Police Department to verify information on the background check. Progress! I guess I am perturbed/happy. Happy that there is movement, perturbed that it is taking so long. Knowing the process for background checks should not take no more than two or three weeks after they start I marked down the 26th of September as the day to call and inquire if I have not received word.
September 26th. No word from the local Groton Police Department. Let the phone calls commence. Another week of phone tag ensues before I get to talk to what I am now sure is a poorly programmed robot. I receive the same spiel about backlogged and working on it. I would have had a better conversation with my neighbors Roomba robot floor cleaner.
So my wife and I patiently wait, yet continue to call on a weekly basis. We are both fairly angry at this point. What was a straightforward simple process has tuned into a denial of our rights by government inefficiency and outright incompetence. Yet we continue to call. Not so much that anyone could say we were harassing. Not angrily so we could be denied for threats or whatever. Polite calls and friendly conversations. I learned long ago that angry conversations with government drones results in paperwork mysteriously lost in a black hole somewhere.
October 10th rolls around and we call the Connecticut Department of Public Safety. After several calls and hours on the phone we receive a we will look into the issue. Now it has become a weekly routine. Every Wednesday morning the local Police Department receives a call. Every Wednesday afternoon the Department of Public Safety receives a call.
It is now November 6th and we are still waiting. What is most galling is I am not waiting approval to purchase a handgun. I am not waiting on approval to carry a handgun. I am waiting on the local Police Department to give my wife and I a temporary permit which gives us permission to pay $70 a piece to the State of Connecticut to apply for permanent permits (which expire after 5 years). After we receive these mythical permits we can then legally purchase/own/carry a handgun in Connecticut.
Why not just give up? After all I only have seven months left here before moving to a friendlier state. There are a few reasons for that. One, I am stubborn and will see this through to the end. Two, I want to take the Utah pistol permit class at Cabela's in East Hartford so I can be legal in more states. I cannot do that without a Connecticut pistol permit.
Maybe there are past problems they have uncovered and that is why they are taking so long. No. I have very high security clearance for my work in the Navy. I go through a complete background investigation every five years. I am about as squeaky clean as they come (and so is my wife). No tickets, no skeletons in the closet, no vices such as drugs, alcohol or gambling and an excellent military record. If anything, the only vice I have is preparing. Other than the occasional post on SurvivalBlog I keep OPSEC high and avoid anything that would draw undue attention to me by any of the alphabet agencies. Even with all my ducks in a row, all the proper forms filled out, all money paid and maintenance of pleasant persona on the phone and in person my wife and I are victims of government inefficiency and stall tactics. I would hazard a guess that Connecticut doesnt want too many upstanding solid citizens running around with hand guns.
We will keep on preparing. We will keep on planning. We will keep helping our neighbors and anyone around us who wants to prepare. We will continue to learn new skills (cheese making this weekend). We will continue to take our rifles to the gun range and hone our shooting skills. I have the patience of Job. I can wait this state out. Some of the lessons I have learned or have had cemented in from this whole process:
1. Ensure you have all your paperwork in order. I double checked everything. It made the application process go much smoother.
2. Dont trust the government to expedite a process they dont want to complete but are mandated to by law.
3. Dont move to Connecticut. If the bureaucracy doesnt kill you, the taxes will.
4. Ensure you understand the exact cost of the process. When all is said and done Connecticut will run my wife and I $718.50 before we make our first handgun purchase in this state.
Isn't the reason for the delay obvious? Your profile indicates that you are a danger to the regime at state and federal level! < /sarc >
Great piece. I’m going through a similar process here in Delaware for a CCDW permit. $150 for class, $69 finger printing, $73 for notice in local news rag, #65 filing fee, and $8 for photos for a total of $365 so far. Also required 5 references and they say it takes about 3 to 4 months. Translated, that probably means 4 to 6 months. We’ll see.
You shouldn’t need your CT permit in order to get a Utah non-resident permit. I got my Utah permit and still don’t have a NY pistol permit. Since neither CT nor NY recognize a Utah permit in their states, it should not be necessary to first get the CT permit.
More on the UT non-resident permit: the requirement to first have your resident state permit is based on reciprocity between your home state and UT. It is explained here:
In summary, if your state does not recognize a UT permit as valid in your home state, and there is no permit reciprocity between your home state and UT, there is no need to first have your home state permit.
Meanwhile in GA, you can get a concealed carry permit with far, *FAR* less hassle than you went through to buy a handgun.
Now, if all you want to do is *buy* a handgun in GA, then all you have to do is fill out the ATF form and wait about 10 minutes (or less) for the instant check.
Last time I splurged, I bought an AR and a suppressor. While I was waiting for the instant check to go through, a pistol with a threaded barrel caught my eye, and a little further haggling added it to the bill too.
The only snag was that I was a few minutes too late deciding on the pistol and they had to do another instant check for the handgun. Had I made a quicker choice, they could have covered both with one instant check (I think the handgun check will also cover a longarm, but a longarm only check won’t cover a handgun or something like that). But even with a bit of shopping & haggling, some paperwork, both instant checks and some shop-talk, I only spent about an hour and a half total time in the shop and walked out the door with a new “lib-nightmare-scary-assault” rifle, with two 30-round mags PLUS a new pistol -AND- a suppressor in the shop’s gun vault pending the NFA stamp (which took almost 6 months to the day). If I knew everything I wanted when I walked in the door, I could have been done in perhaps 30 minutes or less.
Contrast this with your experience and you would think we were comparing TWO DIFFERENT NATIONS. I understand why you are currently stuck there and I hope you get home sooner rather than later. But I have to wonder about folks who choose to move there (or choose not to move away) of their own free will if they know how little their govt trusts them. Boggles my mind.
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