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Criminal Jury Instructions

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8.2-5  Purchase of Firearm with Intent to Transfer it to Person Prohibited from Purchasing or Possessing -- § 29-37j

Revised to December 1, 2007 (modified June 13, 2008)

A.  If charged with a violation of § 29-37j (a):

The defendant is charged [in count __] with purchasing a firearm with intent to provide it to a person prohibited from possessing firearms.  The statute defining this offenses imposes punishment on any person who purchases a firearm pursuant to legal procedures for purchasing firearms with the intent to transfer such firearm to any other person who the transferor knows or has reason to believe is prohibited from purchasing or otherwise receiving such a firearm.

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

Element 1 - Lawfully purchased a firearm
The first element is that the defendant lawfully purchased a firearm.  This means that (he/she) had a permit1 or legal right to do so.

"Firearm" means any sawed-off shotgun, machine gun, rifle, shotgun, pistol, revolver or other weapon, whether loaded or unloaded, from which a shot may be discharged.  You must find that the firearm was operable at the time of the incident.2

Element 2 - Intent to transfer to person
The second element is that the defendant did so with the specific intent to transfer the firearm to another person.  A person acts "intentionally" with respect to a result when (his/her) conscious objective is to cause such result.  <See Intent: Specific, Instruction 2.3-1.>

Element 3 - Knowledge that other person was prohibited from purchasing or possessing firearm
The third element is that the defendant knew or had reason to believe that the intended recipient of the firearm was prohibited from purchasing or otherwise receiving a firearm because (he/she) did not have a valid permit.  A person acts "knowingly" with respect to conduct or to a circumstance when (he/she) is aware that (his/her) conduct is of such nature or that such circumstance exists.  <See Knowledge, Instruction 2.3-3.>

Conclusion

In summary, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that 1) the defendant lawfully purchased a firearm, 2) (he/she) specifically intended to transfer that firearm to another person, and 3) (he/she) knew or had reason to believe that the intended recipient of the firearm was prohibited from purchasing or otherwise receiving a firearm.

If you unanimously find that the state has proved beyond a reasonable doubt each of the elements of this offense, 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.

B.  If charged with a violation of § 29-37j (b)

The defendant is charged [in count __] with (soliciting / employing / assisting) another person to purchase a firearm and provide that firearm to a person not allowed to possess firearms.  The statute defining this offenses imposes punishment on any person prohibited from purchasing or otherwise receiving or possessing a firearm who (solicits / employs / assists) any person to purchase a firearm with the intent to provide it to a person prohibited from possessing firearms. 

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

Element 1 - Prohibited from purchasing or possessing a firearm
The first element is that the defendant was prohibited from purchasing or otherwise receiving or possessing a firearm by virtue of not having a permit.

Element 2 - Had another person purchase firearm
The second element is that the defendant (solicited / employed / assisted) another person to lawfully purchase a firearm. 

A "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.  You must find that the firearm was operable at the time of the incident.3

Element 3 - Intent to transfer to person
The third element is that the defendant specifically intended that the firearm would be transferred to a person who did not have a permit to possess a firearm.  A person acts "intentionally" with respect to a result when (his/her) conscious objective is to cause such result.  <See Intent: Specific, Instruction 2.3-1.>

Conclusion

In summary, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that 1) the defendant was prohibited from purchasing or otherwise receiving or possessing a firearm by virtue of not having a permit, 2) (he/she) (solicited / employed / assisted) <insert name of other person> to lawfully purchase a firearm, and 3) (he/she) intended to transfer that firearm to <insert name of intended recipient> who was prohibited from possessing a firearm by virtue of not having a lawful permit.

If you unanimously find that the state has proved beyond a reasonable doubt each of the elements of this offense, 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.
_______________________________________________________

1 Pursuant to General Statutes § 29-33 or § 29-37a.

2 This statute specifically incorporates the definition of "firearm" as found in General Statutes § 53a-3 (19), which requires that the firearm be operable.

3 Id.

Commentary

Sentence Enhancer
Section 29-37j (b) provides a sentence enhancement for a conviction of subsection (b) if the transfer involved more than one firearm.  The jury must find this fact proved beyond a reasonable doubt.  See Sentence Enhancers, Instruction 2.11-4.

Subsequent offender
General Statutes § 29-37j (c) provides for an enhanced sentence if the defendant has been convicted of a felony within the prior five year period.  Pursuant to Practice Book § 36-14, the prior conviction must be charged in a Part B information so that the jury is unaware of the prior conviction during the trial on the current charge. If a guilty verdict is returned, the jury must then be instructed on the second part of the information. See Subsequent Offenders, Instruction 2.12-2.
 

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