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Criminal Jury Instructions

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8.2-15  Carrying a Pistol or Revolver without Permit -- § 29-35 (a)

Revised to December 1, 2007

The defendant is charged [in count __] with unlawfully carrying a pistol or revolver without a permit.  The statute defining this offense reads in pertinent part as follows: 

no person shall carry any pistol or revolver upon (his/her) person, except when such person is within the dwelling house or place of business of such person, without a permit to carry the pistol or revolver.

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

Element 1 - Carried pistol or revolver
The first element is that the defendant carried a pistol or revolver upon (his/her) person.  The term "pistol or revolver" means any firearm having a barrel less than twelve inches.1  A pistol or revolver is "carried" if it is on one's person and within the person's control or dominion, meaning that the person must be aware of its presence.2

Element 2 - Outside home or place of business
The second element is that the defendant was not within (his/her) dwelling or place of business.  In other words, the defendant had a pistol or revolver on (his/her) person in a public place.3 

Element 3 - Without a permit4
The third element is that the defendant did not have a permit5 issued by the state to carry a pistol or revolver in public.

Conclusion

In summary, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that 1) the defendant carried a pistol or revolver, 2) (he/she) was outside (his/her) dwelling or place of business, and 3) (he/she) did not have a permit for it.

If you unanimously find that the state has proved beyond a reasonable doubt each of the elements of the crime of carrying a pistol or revolver without a permit, 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 pistol or revolver is not a requirement of this offense.  See glossary entry for pistol or revolver.

2 Proof of asportation of the pistol or revolver is not necessary.  State v. Hopes, 26 Conn. App. 367, 374-75, cert. denied, 221 Conn. 915 (1992).

3 See State v. Hopes, supra, 26 Conn. App. 375 (statute is "concerned with prohibiting the use of unlicensed weapons in public").  The "place of business" exception means only premises that contain a business in which the defendant has a proprietary or possessory interest, not a location at which the defendant is merely an employee.  State v. Vickers, 260 Conn. 219, 221-22 (2002).  It is also limited to fixed places of business only, and does not encompass taxicabs.  State v. Lutters, 270 Conn. 198, 208 (2004).  A stairway and landing leading to the defendant's apartment was not in his exclusive control and thus did not come within the dwelling exception.  State v. Sealy, 208 Conn. 689, 694 (1988). 

4 See State v. Beauton, 170 Conn. 234, 241 (1976) ("[T]he words of the statute 'for which a proper permit has not been issued as provided in Sec. 29-28' appear as part of the enacting or prohibition clause of the statute.  It is not an exception but a descriptive negative. . . .").

5 This could be either a municipal license or a state license.  In 2001, the system of issuing municipal permits was replaced with a statewide system.  See Public Acts 2001, No. 01-130.

Commentary

The uninterrupted act of carrying a pistol without a permit on different days is not a single continuous offense, but is rather multiple offenses, so the imposition of multiple punishments does not violate the prohibition against double jeopardy.  State v. Williams, 59 Conn. App. 603, cert. denied, 254 Conn. 946 (2000).

The defense of duress would not justify the carrying of a pistol without a permit.  State v. Hopes, supra, 26 Conn. App. 371-72.

See General Statutes § 29-28 for the procedure for obtaining a pistol permit.  Public Act No. 01-130 amended the statute to replace locally issued  permits with state permits.

See General Statutes § 29-35 (a) for exceptions to culpability.  "[W]here exceptions to a prohibition in a criminal statute are situated separately from the enacting clause, the exceptions are to be proven by the defense."  (Internal quotation marks omitted.)  State v. Valinski, 254 Conn. 107, 123 (2000) (rule also applies when the exception is found in a separate statute).
 


 

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