Illegal posession of firearm in CT....long story

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Hi guys question if anyone here can answer it regarding CT gun laws.

Over the past weekend I traveled down to CT to go shooting with some buddies on their private land. I am a MA resident but did not bring any firearms, I have a CT non-resident CCW permit that has expired but I put a renewal in some 2 months ago.. I was actually bringing down a bunch on reloads to the property owner. He had come over earlier in the week for a reloading session and decided it was best if I brought the ammo to him through CT over the weekend since he was not a MA permit holder. Anyhow, I set out Saturday morning ammunition in the car and arrived my buddies property about 11AM. He owns about 300 acres of private wooded land in Northern CT just over the MA border. His property is posted and gated, with his name, number, and address on all signs. Several years ago he built a small range on the property with a number of berms and also put gates and signage around it indicating that it was a private property and a shooting range.

Anyhow, to make a long story short we had a few guys out there shooting pistols for 2-3hrs. We had just begun packing up when out of the blue local law enforcement comes bobbing down his private road in the 4wd SUV, presumably after opening the closed gate to let themselves in that clearly indicated this was private property with the owners phone number address etc. Immediately we recognized the officer as someone you may classify as over zealous (I grew up and lived in the said town for about 25yrs). He instantly approached us with his hand on his weapon telling us to place our hands over our heads until he could get us gathered together and confirm we did not have any weapons. I thought this was a reasonable act of safety on his part. From there he went on to ask us all for identification and pistol permits, and proceeded to catalog the firearms and verify their legality with the new CT laws....all of which were completely legal. He indicated that the department had received multiple complaints from a few neighbors of shooting to which he conceded was not illegal by any ordinance but he needed to make sure that we were not "illegally hunting" or "murdering" anyone. An oddity in itself since we fired at least 5-600rnds in total. Also worth noting we were at least 2500ft from any dwellings.

Everything seemed as if it were ok until he started giving me the fifth degree about having an expired permit. I politely explained to him the situation, that I had a permit, had a renewal in, but had not received my new permit in the mail. i had given him my expired permit along with my MA permit and permits I hold for a handful of other states. I also explained to him that I did not in fact transport any firearms into the state and I was merely there with some buddies testing some ammunition. At that point he started to get very offensive and stated that he was going to have to arrest me for illegal possession of a firearm. I indicated to him once again that I did not in fact have any firearms and that he did not in fact have evidence that I even fired one. At this point my buddy, the property owner, was starting to get quite perturbed and told the officer that if he did not have a search warrant he should leave. He had entered private property that was properly signed, he did not call the property owner to verify anything (nor did he receive a complaint from the property owner obviously), and it was in his opinion that having observed what was going on and there was no public safety concerns to speak of that any legitimate reason he had to enter the property had been nullified and what he was now performing constituted illegal search and seizure. Things escalated from there with what I would call behavior unbecoming of an officer until his reinforcement showed up who happened to be a good friend of the property owner. From there things settled down and both officers left with no citation of any sort issued. The "good" cop indicated that we were not in violation of any ordinances but did indicate that I was acting in a grey area of the law firing weapons on private property because the said property was not a bonafide range and/or was not a sanctioned shoot.

Anyhow, I was glad to see things settler down. I don't believe I was in the wrong shooting with some licensed friends on private property. Is this actually illegal by state definition in CT? I was always told that it was even legal to transport my firearms within CT so long as they were in cases locked and I had a permit from my home state (in other words they were not on my person loaded or anything). Perhaps I am missing something or perhaps these guys were just bent on giving us a hard time. What are your thoughts?
 

drgrant

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dcmdon will probably be along shortly to tell you that those cops are ****ing clueless. Thankfully one of them was less clueless than the other one was....

-Mike
 

jtnf

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dcmdon will probably be along shortly to tell you that those cops are ****ing clueless. Thankfully one of them was less clueless than the other one was....

-Mike

Wanna takes odds on the first member to ask whether the landowner has a backhoe on his 300 acres? [smile]
 
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Wanna takes odds on the first member to ask whether the landowner has a backhoe on his 300 acres? [smile]
Haha...actually he does have a backhoe and quite a large one at that. He also has a small farm, a small law firm, and was a district attorney for some time. I guess owning a backhoe prohibits you from target practicing now lol.
 

PaulR

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Cop A was a d!ck (and I'm usually pro cop).

Me and a buddy were accidentally shooting at Fairview in Belchertown last year during hunting season, we had no idea they close during hunting season. Cops showed up, they were totally cool about the whole thing.
 
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I have no doubts the guy was being a dick I'm just curious if it is factually illegal for me to shoot on private property in CT without a valid Non-Res permit. Honestly we have done this sort of thing for years, I hunt this property quite heavily and have for ages. I have even brought my firearms to this property under the notion that it was legal if they were cased and locked until we were at the range. As I said before I previously had a permit and it lapsed but my understanding is and always has been that I ddin't need a permit to simply go shooting at a range public or not. I really only got the permit for hunting purposes to avoid headaches. i understand I cannot bring a non-compliant gun to the state.
 

Kicker96FS

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Cop A was a d!ck (and I'm usually pro cop).

Me and a buddy were accidentally shooting at Fairview in Belchertown last year during hunting season, we had no idea they close during hunting season. Cops showed up, they were totally cool about the whole thing.
This!

If you file a complaint and spell out what he violated and did wrong his Chief might talk to him and he may actually learn something and make it a better experience for the next poor slob he wants to hassle.
 

BattleSnail

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I have no doubts the guy was being a dick I'm just curious if it is factually illegal for me to shoot on private property in CT without a valid Non-Res permit.
I'd ask a lawyer, unless you'd really want to rely on internet advice for the future.
 
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No.........!!! It's not "illegal" for you to be shooting at your buddy's place. Think of it this way. If it were, every single person that goes to the range as a guest of another, permitted shooter would be illegal as well and NO ONE would be able to obtain a permit since shooting is part of the exam. Also, since you have a non-res CT permit, you can carry anything you want ( as long as it comports to CT regs) over the border and shoot away on that very legal range.

I would most definitely go to the local PD and file an official complaint against that cop. He had no right being on that property and no reasonable reason to confront you, ruining your otherwise fun day. At the very least I would be asking for an apology face to face and make sure it's sincere. Things here are on edge as it is. An event like that one could have escalated really fast and in a bad way. That would be the last thing we need and it wouldn't have been your fault but the press and the rest of the anti-gun state would have seen it differently.

Rome
 

MAGG

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i am amazed at the amount of land your buddy owns....I have no idea on the legality of shooting but i would personally think its ok to shoot on your property..but its just me thinking out loud...maybe next time you guys should go in a 150 acres so no one will hear you or see you...
 
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i am amazed at the amount of land your buddy owns....I have no idea on the legality of shooting but i would personally think its ok to shoot on your property..but its just me thinking out loud...maybe next time you guys should go in a 150 acres so no one will hear you or see you...
We were honestly way off the beaten path. His range is somewhere in the middle of the property st least a quarter to half mile from nearest house. We weren't shooting any cannons either .22, 9mm, .40. Clearly he has a neighbor who just wants to be a PITA. His family has owned the land for generations.
 
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Was is a local or statie? Also, what county was it in? If it was Litchfield, plenty of moonbats in that area which is sad cause I grew up there and everyone shot on their property.
 
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Was is a local or statie? Also, what county was it in? If it was Litchfield, plenty of moonbats in that area which is sad cause I grew up there and everyone shot on their property.
It was Hartford County and just the local PD. They said we should call before shooting in the future which seems to be a reasonable request. My only concern was the legality of shooting with my buddies on private property and them defining it as "illegal possession."
 

Gooman24

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It was Hartford County and just the local PD. They said we should call before shooting in the future which seems to be a reasonable request. My only concern was the legality of shooting with my buddies on private property and them defining it as "illegal possession."
I am not sure what is reasonable about calling ahead to tell them you are going to be doing something perfectly legal on private property.

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AllaSnackbah

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i have a similar private range on similar acreage and had almost the same thing happen to me last year. as the landowner i told them to immediately leave my property unless they had a warrant or probable cause, a bit of huffing and puffing but they left.

calling prior to shooting is not a reasonable request, it is none of their ****ing business.

 

Lank

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i have a similar private range on similar acreage and had almost the same thing happen to me last year. as the landowner i told them to immediately leave my property unless they had a warrant or probable cause, a bit of huffing and puffing but they left.

calling prior to shooting is not a reasonable request, it is none of their ****ing business.

Absolutely 100% dead on balls accurate.

GET OFF MY LAWN
 

falcon123

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Since no one has explained it to the OP, the backhoe and hog reference is because both are very good at disposing of bodies.
 
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The cop is a dick and doesn't know wtf he is talking about. The only person breaking the law was him by trespassing.

Possession of a firearm in CT is not defined as handling one.
 

el duderino

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Should have told him to **** off, coming on private property uninvited and sounds like doing pat downs? He can eat a bag of dicks.
 
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My brother used to be a CT cop. I'll ask him. He's pretty bright and never should have been a cop- just too smart for the job.

But here is the thing: Private property is private property. I do not believe there is a law forbidding anyone from firing a firearm on private property with the approval of the property owner, as long as they meet the setbacks and are not breaking a municipal code preventing it.

What I have found, particularly in RI, is that cops seem to think that unless you have a *permit* you cannot even legally touch a firearm! Permits are for carry and/or purchase. Possession on private property (and legal use- not "hunting and murdering") is a 2nd Amendment right that the Supreme Court has upheld in both Chicago and Washington D.C.

These cops were both typical cop- idiots. One was just a bigger idiot than the other. Both of them need to find a new line of work where they can use their considerable brain power for good….
 
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Well I found this...seems to suffice that this was not in fact illegal?

Sec. 29-34. False statement or information in connection with sale or transfer of pistol or revolver prohibited. Sale or transfer to person under twenty-one years of age prohibited. Temporary transfers. Penalties. (a) No person shall make any false statement or give any false information connected with any purchase, sale, delivery or other transfer of any pistol or revolver. Any person violating any provision of this subsection shall be guilty of a class D felony.
(b) No person shall sell, barter, hire, lend, give, deliver or otherwise transfer to any person under the age of twenty-one years any pistol or revolver, except that a pistol or revolver may be temporarily transferred to any person only for the use by such person in target shooting or on a firing or shooting range, provided such use is otherwise permitted by law and is under the immediate supervision of a person eligible to possess a pistol or revolver. Any person violating any provision of this subsection shall be guilty of a class D felony for which one year of the sentence imposed may not be suspended or reduced by the court.

(c) Any pistol or revolver found in the possession of any person in violation of any provision of this section shall be forfeited.
 
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IANAL, nor am I in connecticut, but I had same thing happen on my buddies land down there, except cop was cool and gave me no trouble being an out of stater shooting with 3 Conn guys. My buddy said the local cops there are pretty good, which is only reason he didn't kick him off property. Cop made it seem like person who called on us called multiple times so they had to come out.


"except that a pistol or revolver may be temporarily transferred to any person only for the use by such person in target shooting or on a firing or shooting range, provided such use is otherwise permitted by law and is under the immediate supervision of a person eligible to possess a pistol or revolver"

It says Target shooting OR on a firing/shootng range. So you were target shooting and should be valid for an out of stater. Just my $00.02
 

Jolly_1

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Me and a buddy were shooting my tommy gun in a sand pit somewhere on the lower cape back in the late 80's It was hunting season anyway so no big deal. A couple of cops showed up to see what was going on because a tommy gun doesn't sound like shot gun...lol. I asked if everything was ok and they were like yeah just seeing what was going on over here...They were in awe of the tommy gun. We had thrown some clay targets out around the pit and we were shooting at them. I asked it they wanted to try and they did. They were like cool gun. Thanks for letting us have a try and they went on their way. Why can't it still be like that.
 
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As a Border Patrol Agent I have to laugh at these cops. They would shit a brick if they came into contact with the people here in Arizona.

I routinely run into target shooters out here in the desert. Its a thousand times worse during hunting seasons. Hell most of the hikers will have a least one armed person with them. The only thing we do is give them a quick flash of our lights and chirp of our siren to let them know we are coming through and to stop firing to we are clear. I did know a Agent that report a guys license plate to the wildlife rangers for not picking up their brass in one of his favorite shooting spots. Don't know if it really went anywhere tho.

people shooting on private property in a sizable and safe area?!? I mean depending on the complaint, it might give you enough suspicion to enter the property(legally its easy to get access to enter the property, Think of it as entering your property to knock on the door, but then he saw you outside and went to talk to you there). But after seeing the area and conditions its time to say "Thank you sirs, have a nice day" because the conditions of you entering the property are no longer there especially if you ask him to leave. Because almost to that point its considered you given consent to remain and talk.

The only other condition is that gate at the front as well. If it had proper signage like you said with a valid phone number to call and he didn't try, but if it wasn't actually locked. sorry it basically becomes legal garbage mombojumbo . But on the legal act of him entering the property its legal up to a point provided he didn't go searching around your property and he saw you from a what a average person would say a drive way from the road to your house and didn't search your property if that makes sense.

Everything else from that I guess depends on the state gun laws as the guns where in plain view of him from having legal access or right to be there.

sorry if I went off a little and tried to explain some of the legal stuff. Of course this could all go out the window when a officer starts going off the deep end and sites "Public safety from evil things that go bang and scaring people"

What law is intended for: A person hears a scream and gun shots. A complaint get called in. Cops go and enter the property to knock on door to investigate but see people in a field. finds out either a crime took place or a teenage girl first time shooting with dad screamed at the noise or she dropped the shotgun after getting scared.

What its used for. Pain in the butt neighbor complains. Cops go investigate and still try to mess with an other wise law abiding person.
 
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It was Hartford County and just the local PD. They said we should call before shooting in the future which seems to be a reasonable request. My only concern was the legality of shooting with my buddies on private property and them defining it as "illegal possession."
You should call them before doing anything that is legal. "Hi guys, headed in to the bathroom. I had chili last night so I figured I would let you know in case you get noise complaints."
 
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