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A couple of weeks ago, Connecticut reader Matt told the story of his attempts to build or acquire a legal short barrel rifle. Here’s the latest:

My F1 was denied this week because “The making and/or possession of this firearm would be in violation of State or local law”. I was able to talk to the examiner that denied the F1 and he said that Connecticut now requires that the “assault weapon” cert for the firearm be included because I am making a firearm with the F1. The cert will need to say exactly what the firearm made by the F1 says . . .

Motherf****r! I guess the rumors really were true; someone, somewhere in the state complained to someone.

A little background on assault weapon certificates: no AW certs are required for pre-bans under Connecticut law as they are not considered assault weapons. Pre-bans transfer ‘freely’ without the AW transfer restrictions; that is I can sell or otherwise transfer my pre-ban at anytime, I don’t have to wait to die to transfer it like a postban registered AW. Any sale/transfer still requires the CT sales paperwork and a background check done by the state. Essentially getting an AW cert will tie that firearm to you indefinitely and prevent it’s transfer instate. That’s the quick and dirty of AW certs.

I’m not sure where to go with this; I really do not want to get an AW cert for something that isn’t an AW. I also don’t want to get an AW cert for something that was being run through the approval process for years up to this point without one (including the couple of years since PA 13-3 was passed).

I’m not an expert on our fustercluck of gun laws, but none of this seems correct; as in no legal basis. I am not making a firearm as far as the state is concerned, according to my reading of the law. Nothing they care about or track is changing. It’s still a pre-ban firearm to them under the law. What really doesn’t make sense is if I were making an AW from a 80% lower today, I wouldn’t be able to get an AW cert for it now and it would be illegal. So why is making a pre-ban an SBR different when I’m not really making anything (in the manufacturing sense)? Why am I magically able to get a certificate for a pre-ban after the fact but would not be able to for any other firearm?

I can’t help but think this is a backdoor way to register more AWs, gather more info for the state, pad the numbers, and — without a doubt — it’s an attempt to frustrate anyone’s progress by taking advantage of convenient terminology.

It seems other people are experiencing this problem as reported in a couple of threads on They all seems to be able to get AW certs and re-file and get approved pretty quickly.

We’ll see what my lawyer says, but it seems like I’ve got only one option — get a damn AW certificate for yet another firearm the state already knows I possess.

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    • Russia has conceal carry now lol but I get your point. It would be ironic if Russia was a true shall issue system versus CT’s stupid Police Chief approval system.

  1. As per earlier article on TTAG, WA State is DOA for SBR’s. Not sure what’s happening here but I don’t like the way it smells.

  2. Where I live (America) we buy what we please, slap on whatever barrel we like and do not ask “permission” from anyone.

    • 1. If one owns a lower assembly with buttstock, is it legal to buy a pistol-length upper assembly, if it never gets installed on the lower?

      2. I think the primary guarantee of gun rights doesn’t lie with the courts or legislatures but with technology that makes gun control legislation unenforceable. Want an sbr? Make a lower and put whatever you want on it.

  3. You can’t get an AW cert in CT at this point. That was a one time thing for grandfathered assault weapons. You could only get them during that window after PA13-3 was passed. They don’t issue any new AW certs now; at this point, anything unregistered or new is banned.

    As far as your F1, I suspect the interpretation is somewhere along the lines that you are making a “new” firearm. That new firearm will have been manufactured in 2015, with “evil” features, and will therefore be banned under CT law. Ironically, if you had one that had the AW cert (registered post PA13-3), then you WOULD be able to SBR it, since it’s registered as an assault weapon already. You would just attach the AW cert to your F1, and the ATF would know that it’s CT-legal. I know this sounds sorta contradictory to the first sentence, but I can see how CT and the ATF could get there. I made an SBR last year with a lower that was registered, and that went through no problem, with my AW cert attached. Since there’s no way get any new AW certs, I think that route is a dead end.

    A possible route would be to find a pre-ban that’s already been SBR’ed, probably from another state. It would require a stamp, so it would take 6-9 months (maybe 12? rumor has they are slowing these down), but since it was made before 1994, it should transfer to CT. No idea how to find one, or how much they would stick you to get it.

    I am definitely not a lawyer, and possible everything I just said is wrong, but that’s my interpretation. I just know that I was able to SBR a registered AR lower last year with the AW cert.

    • @Geoffrey Hoffman That was my thought to get around it… eventually; transfer in a preban SBR.

      I should also add another suspicion that dawned on me yesterday, it may be a way for the state to claim whoops we really shouldn’t have issued you a new AW cert after the fact… surrender the firearm since now you are illegally in possession of it.

      *Edit* That shoulda been in reply to the thread in general.

      At any rate, AW certs seem to be getting people through, we shall see where this goes for me.

      More updates for y’all when I got em.

      • Yeah, but there’s no such thing as “new” AW certs. The last certs were given out to people who registered by Dec 31, 2013. There was another brief grace period, but that’s it. CT is not issuing new AW certs; they were just a grandfather exception they had for weapons owned before PA13-3. Either you got the cert in 2013/2014, or nothing.

  4. I’d rather die homeless under a bridge in a (relatively) free stat than live in CT, NY, CA, NJ, or any of the other slave states.

  5. It seams like every other state except NYS has a way to have fun guns. We either break the law or have a complaint gun. No certificates, no special permits, etc. CT looks like a blast compared to NYS :O

  6. It’s not even an, A “Freakin” W!!!!
    There’s no happy button on it.

    Flustercluck is right! Vermont or New Hampshire would be easier to deal with. Sheesh. CT lost its right to be called the Constitution State a while ago.

  7. Do you have a pro-gun lawyer in the state? Let him figure it out, and then sue if the state is screwing you around.

    • There are many. Sue and sort it out is a great idea but I lack the time and money.

      Time in that there are potential looming changes in how trusts are allowed to file ATF forms. These change may or may not happen but I’m getting while the getting is good for me. If I need a CLEO sign off with F1/F4 when submitting on a trust it ain’t gonna happen for me so I’m racing that clock. Suing and waiting to win is not going to be fast enough to beat that clock.

      Money, well, is self explanatory; I don’t have a enough of it. Plus a side effect of the current lawsuit that is fighting PA13-3 and is going through the courts right now would take care of this issue if it is successful.

  8. I solved the problem with Connecticut more than twenty-eight years ago. I packed my bags and left. It was the best decision I ever made in my entire life.


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