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Criminal Jury Instructions  

Criminal Jury Instructions

 

PISTOL or REVOLVER

A "pistol" or "revolver" is any firearm having a barrel less than twelve inches. 

Source:  General Statutes § 53a-3 (18) (applies to Penal Code) and General Statutes § 29-27 (applies to §§ 29-28 -- 29-38).

Commentary:  Whether operability of the pistol or revolver is a requirement of the offense depends on whether the offense applies the definition in § 53a-3 (18) or § 29-27.  The definition in § 29-27 has been held not to incorporate the definition of "firearm" from § 53a-3 (19) and therefore not to require operability.  State v. Delossantos, 211 Conn. 258, 273-75, cert. denied, 493 U.S. 866, 110 S.Ct. 188, 107 L.Ed.2d 142 (1989).  This rationale was applied in State v. Banks, 59 Conn. App. 112, 130-31, cert. denied, 254 Conn. 950 (2000), to find that operability is not an element of § 53a-217c because that statute specifically refers to the definition of "pistol or revolver" in § 29-27.  See also State v. Slade, 97 Conn. App. 404, 410 n.6, cert. denied, 280 Conn. 931 (2006) (neither § 29-35 (a), § 29-38 (a), or § 53a-217c have operability as an element); State v. Bradley, 39 Conn. App. 82, 90 (1995), cert. denied, 236 Conn. 901 (1996) (operability is not an element of § 29-38, but is an element of § 53a-217); State v. Carpenter, 19 Conn. App. 48, 59, cert. denied, 213 Conn. 804 (1989) (operability is an element of § 53a-212 and § 53a-217).  See glossary entry for "firearm."

Failure to instruct on the barrel length of a pistol or revolver is reversible error.  State v. Norwood, 47 Conn. App. 586, 590 (1998) (having a pistol in a motor vehicle); State v. Hamilton, 30 Conn. App. 68, 74-78, aff'd, 228 Conn. 234 (1994) (carrying a pistol without a permit).  Direct numerical evidence of the length of the barrel of a firearm is not required.  State v. Rogers, 50 Conn. App. 467, 475, cert. denied, 247 Conn. 942 (1998); State v. Crosby, 36 Conn. App. 805, 820-21, cert. denied, 232 Conn. 921 (1995). 

Glossary      

 


 

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