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Criminal Jury Instructions

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8.2-22  Criminal Use of Firearm or Electronic Defense Weapon -- § 53a-216

Revised to December 1, 2007

The defendant is charged [in count __] with criminal use of (a firearm / an electronic defense weapon).  The statute defining this offense reads in pertinent part as follows:  

a person is guilty of criminal use of (a firearm / an electronic defense weapon) when (he/she) commits any class A, B or C or unclassified felony and in the commission of such felony (he/she) uses or threatens the use of a pistol, revolver, machine gun, shotgun, rifle or other firearm or electronic defense weapon.

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

Element 1 - Committed a felony
The first element is that the defendant committed a Class A, B or C or unclassified felony.  To prove this element, the state must have proved beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the crime of <insert felony charged> as charged in count __.   Proof of this element will depend on your deliberations pertaining to that count.  If you find the defendant guilty of <insert underlying crime> in count __, then this element will be proved.1

Element 2 - With firearm or electronic defense weapon
The second element is that in the commission of such felony the defendant used or threatened the use of (a firearm / an electronic defense weapon).  The words "use" and "threaten" have their ordinary meaning.  <Insert appropriate definition:>

  • "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.2

  • "Electronic defense weapon" is a weapon which by electronic impulse or current is capable of immobilizing a person temporarily, but is not capable of inflicting death or serious physical injury.

Conclusion

In summary, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that 1) the defendant committed a Class A, B or C or unclassified felony, and 2) in the commission of such felony the defendant used or threatened the use of <insert type of weapon>.

If you unanimously find that the state has proved beyond a reasonable doubt each of the elements of the crime of the criminal use of (a firearm / electronic defense weapon), 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 "No person shall be convicted of criminal use of a firearm or electronic defense weapon and the underlying felony upon the same transaction but such person may be charged and prosecuted for both such offenses upon the same information."  General Statutes § 53a-216 (a).

2 See definitions for machine gun, rifle, shotgun, pistol or revolver in the glossary.
 


 

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