2016 Connecticut General Statutes
Title 29 - Public Safety and State Police
Chapter 529 - Division of State Police
Section 29-38 - Weapons in vehicles. Penalty. Exceptions.

Universal Citation: CT Gen Stat § 29-38 (2016)

(a) Any person who knowingly has, in any vehicle owned, operated or occupied by such person, any weapon, any pistol or revolver for which a proper permit has not been issued as provided in section 29-28 or any machine gun which has not been registered as required by section 53-202, shall be guilty of a class D felony, and the presence of any such weapon, pistol or revolver, or machine gun in any vehicle shall be prima facie evidence of a violation of this section by the owner, operator and each occupant thereof. The word “weapon”, as used in this section, means any BB. gun, any blackjack, any metal or brass knuckles, any police baton or nightstick, any dirk knife or switch knife, any knife having an automatic spring release device by which a blade is released from the handle, having a blade of over one and one-half inches in length, any stiletto, any knife the edged portion of the blade of which is four inches or more in length, any martial arts weapon or electronic defense weapon, as defined in section 53a-3, or any other dangerous or deadly weapon or instrument.

(b) The provisions of this section shall not apply to: (1) Any officer charged with the preservation of the public peace while engaged in the pursuit of such officer's official duties; (2) any security guard having a baton or nightstick in a vehicle while engaged in the pursuit of such guard's official duties; (3) any person enrolled in and currently attending a martial arts school, with official verification of such enrollment and attendance, or any certified martial arts instructor, having any such martial arts weapon in a vehicle while traveling to or from such school or to or from an authorized event or competition; (4) any person having a BB. gun in a vehicle provided such weapon is unloaded and stored in the trunk of such vehicle or in a locked container other than the glove compartment or console; (5) any person having a knife, the edged portion of the blade of which is four inches or more in length, in a vehicle if such person is (A) any member of the armed forces of the United States, as defined in section 27-103, or any reserve component thereof, or of the armed forces of the state, as defined in section 27-2, when on duty or going to or from duty, (B) any member of any military organization when on parade or when going to or from any place of assembly, (C) any person while transporting such knife as merchandise or for display at an authorized gun or knife show, (D) any person while lawfully removing such person's household goods or effects from one place to another, or from one residence to another, (E) any person while actually and peaceably engaged in carrying any such knife from such person's place of abode or business to a place or person where or by whom such knife is to be repaired, or while actually and peaceably returning to such person's place of abode or business with such knife after the same has been repaired, (F) any person holding a valid hunting, fishing or trapping license issued pursuant to chapter 490 or any saltwater fisherman while having such knife in a vehicle for lawful hunting, fishing or trapping activities, or (G) any person participating in an authorized historic reenactment; or (6) any person having a dirk knife or police baton in a vehicle while lawfully moving such person's household goods or effects from one place to another, or from one residence to another.

(1949 Rev., S. 4169; 1953, S. 2133d; P.A. 86-280, S. 1; P.A. 87-220, S. 2; P.A. 98-129, S. 11; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 98-1, S. 120, 121; P.A. 99-212, S. 14; P.A. 10-32, S. 98; P.A. 13-258, S. 94; P.A. 14-122, S. 46; P.A. 16-178, S. 1.)

History: P.A. 86-280 included martial arts weapons in definition of weapon and added exception for persons enrolled in and attending a martial arts school while traveling to and from such school; P.A. 87-220 made technical changes and deleted provision including “nunchaku and chinese stars” within meaning of a martial arts weapon since weapons are already included in referenced definition of Sec. 53a-3; P.A. 98-129 deleted reference to a permit for a weapon issued pursuant to Sec. 53-206, redefined “weapon” to add BB. gun and electronic defense weapon and exclude sand bag and slung shot and added exception permitting certain individuals to have a knife with a blade of four inches or more in a vehicle; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 98-1 repealed Sec. 11 of P.A. 98-129, thereby nullifying the changes in P.A. 98-129, effective June 24, 1998; P.A. 99-212 inserted Subsec. indicators, amended Subsec. (a) to delete reference to a permit for a weapon issued pursuant to Sec. 53-206, redefined “weapon” to add BB. gun, police baton or nightstick and electronic defense weapon and delete slung shot and sand bag, rephrased and repositioned provisions and made provisions gender neutral and added new Subsec. (b)(1) and (2) re exceptions for officer charged with preservation of public peace and for security guard having a baton or nightstick in vehicle, designated existing exception for martial arts students as Subdiv. (3) and amended said Subdiv. to include any certified martial arts instructor and include having martial arts weapon in vehicle while traveling to or from an authorized event or competition, and added Subsec. (b)(4) re exceptions for any person having BB. gun that is unloaded and secured in vehicle and for certain persons having knife with a blade of four inches or more in vehicle under certain circumstances; P.A. 10-32 made technical changes, effective May 10, 2010; P.A. 13-258 amended Subsec. (a) to change penalty from fine of not more than $1,000 or imprisonment of not more than 5 years to a class D felony; P.A. 14-122 made a technical change in Subsec. (b)(5)(F); P.A. 16-178 amended Subsec. (b) by adding Subdiv. (6) re person having dirk knife or police baton in vehicle.

After defendant's loaded revolver was removed from his waistband while he was seated in his car after midnight in a high crime area, officer justified in seizure and arrest of defendant under the circumstances of speedy information by informant. 157 C. 114. Search of defendant's car, upon his arrest for breach of the peace, which yielded weapon was incidental to his arrest and properly made. Id., 222. Cited. 163 C. 176. Section has the effect of placing the burden of proof on alleged violators constituting a denial of due process and is therefore invalid. 165 C. 577, 597. Cited. 170 C. 81. State must prove beyond reasonable doubt that proper permit had not been issued, since that is essential element of the crime. Id., 234. Cited. 172 C. 21; Id., 94; 174 C. 22; Id., 405; 178 C. 534; 179 C. 516; 183 C. 148; 188 C. 406; 189 C. 35; 190 C. 259; 193 C. 7; 195 C. 668; 197 C. 358; 201 C. 190; 205 C. 262; Id., 370; 207 C. 565; 209 C. 98; 211 C. 258; 217 C. 73; 222 C. 718; 225 C. 650; 227 C. 363; 233 C. 215; 237 C. 348; 239 C. 56; 240 C. 489. If defendant knowingly has item in a vehicle and intentionally uses that item in a manner capable of causing serious physical injury, the elements of section have been met, regardless of whether he had a prior intent to do so; when item that defendant is charged with having in the vehicle is an otherwise legal item and did not become a dangerous instrument within meaning of section until it was used in self-defense, defendant may raise Sec. 53a-19 as a defense. 271 C. 785. Section concerns unlawful possession of both firearms and weapons, and possession does not necessarily mean “carrying”. 298 C. 1. Knife designed primarily for stabbing purposes, rather than for utilitarian purposes, and having a handle guard and two sharpened edges that taper to a point falls within the meaning of a dirk knife for purposes of section; expandable metal baton constitutes a police baton for purposes of section; prohibition on transport of dirk knives and police batons to one's home violates second amendment right to bear arms and therefore section, as applied, is unconstitutional. 315 C. 79.

Cited. 7 CA 95; 9 CA 169; judgment reversed, see 205 C. 370; Id., 330; 10 CA 395; 11 CA 11; Id., 251; Id., 621; 12 CA 268; 13 CA 76; Id., 288; 15 CA 305; 17 CA 243; Id., 556; 19 CA 48; 21 CA 299; 23 CA 602; 25 CA 181; Id., 433; 30 CA 9; Id., 232; 38 CA 434; 45 CA 110. Elements discussed. 47 CA 586. Statute does not require state to prove that defendant possessed the knife in the vehicle; it is sufficient for state to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that defendant knew the knife was in the vehicle. 63 CA 228. Is not a crime to have a hammer in a motor vehicle unless it is intended to be used as a dangerous instrument or for some other illicit purpose. 70 CA 855. State's search of state and city database for evidence of permit to carry pistol was insufficient to meet state's burden of establishing that defendant lacked a valid permit to lawfully carry a pistol on date of incident because state failed to establish that defendant was a resident of the city or had a place of business within the city during the 60-day period immediately preceding the alleged conduct. 156 CA 175.

Separate and distinct crime from the carrying of dangerous weapons on the person. 10 CS 272. Cited. 22 CS 173; Id., 201; 23 CS 82; 35 CS 659.

Cited. 5 Conn. Cir. Ct. 119.

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