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Criminal Jury Instructions

Criminal Jury Instructions Home

8.2-21  Stealing a Firearm -- 53a-212

Revised to December 1, 2007

The defendant is charged [in count __] with stealing a firearm.  The statute defining this offense reads in pertinent part as follows: 

a person is guilty of stealing a firearm when, with intent to deprive another of his or her firearm or to appropriate the same to him or herself or a third party, (he/she) wrongfully takes, obtains or withholds a firearm.

For you to find the defendant guilty of this charge, the state must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt: 

Element 1 - Took, obtained, or withheld firearm
The first element is that the defendant wrongfully (took / obtained / withheld) a firearm from another person.  A "firearm" is any sawed-off shotgun, machine gun, rifle, shotgun, pistol, revolver or other weapon, whether loaded or unloaded, from which a shot may be discharged.  The firearm must be operable to satisfy the requirements of this element.1

The word "wrongfully" means that the property was (taken / obtained / withheld) from the owner without any legal justification or excuse.

Element 2 - Intent
The second element is that the defendant intended to permanently deprive that person of the firearm or to permanently appropriate the firearm to (himself / herself) or a third party.  The defendant must have the specific intent to deprive the owner of the firearm or to appropriate it to (himself/herself) or a third person resulting in permanent loss or major diminution of value or benefit to the owner.  A person acts "intentionally" with respect to a result when (his/her) conscious objective is to cause such result.  <See Intent: Specific, Instruction 2.3-1.>

Conclusion

In summary, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that 1) the defendant (took / obtained / withheld) a firearm from another person, and 2) the defendant intended to deprive that person of the firearm or to permanently appropriate the firearm to (himself / herself) or a third party. 

If you unanimously find that the state has proved beyond a reasonable doubt each of the elements of the crime of stealing a firearm, then you shall find the defendant guilty.  On the other hand, if you unanimously find that the state has failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt any of the elements, you shall then find the defendant not guilty.
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1 "Operability of the firearm is an essential element to establish a violation of 53a-212."  State v. Roy, 34 Conn. App. 751, 770 (1994).  

Commentary

The focus of 53-212 is "on the type of property stolen rather than the value of the property. . . .  [I]t is incumbent on the state to prove as an element of the crime that the stolen instrumentality is a firearm."  State v. Roy, supra, 34 Conn. App. 770.  Stealing a firearm is a distinct crime from larceny.  Id., 772.
 


 

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