Domestic Violence & Firearms in Alabama

Alabama enacted a law in 2015 to prohibit possession of a firearm by individuals who have been convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence offenses or other specified violent offenses (including stalking, child abuse, and domestic violence crimes),1 and by individuals subject to a valid protection order for domestic abuse.2

The term “misdemeanor offense of domestic violence” as used in this section means a misdemeanor offense that has, as its elements, the use or attempted use of physical force or the threatened use of a dangerous instrument or deadly weapon, and the victim is a current or former spouse, parent, child, person with whom the defendant has a child in common, or a present or former household member.3

The term “valid protection order” as used in this section means an order issued after a hearing of which the person received actual notice, and at which the person had an opportunity to participate, that does any of the following: (1) restrains the respondent from harassing, stalking, or threatening a spouse or former spouse of the respondent, an individual who is a parent of a child of the respondent, or an individual who cohabitates or has cohabited with the respondent, or a child of such individuals, or that restrains the respondent from engaging in other conduct that would place such an individual in reasonable fear of bodily injury to the individual or child and that includes a finding that the respondent represents a credible threat to the physical safety of the individual or child. A valid protection order must also (2) by its terms, explicitly prohibit the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the qualified individual or child that would reasonably be expected to cause bodily injury.4 

Alabama law also authorizes a judge or magistrate, who is releasing a person who has been charged with domestic violence or violation of a protection order on bail, to prohibit the person from possessing a firearm, as a condition of bail, except when such weapon is necessary for the person’s employment as a peace officer or military personnel.5

Alabama law still does not:

  • Require courts to notify domestic abusers when they become prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under state or federal law;
  • Require the surrender of firearms or ammunition by domestic abusers who have become prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under state or federal law; or
  • Explicitly authorize or require the removal of firearms or ammunition at the scene of a domestic violence incident, although Alabama authorizes a law enforcement officer to disarm an individual if the officer reasonably believes that it is immediately necessary for the protection of the officer or another individual. Alabama also makes it the duty of an officer arresting a person charged with unlawfully possessing a firearm to seize any handguns in that person’s possession or control.6

See our Domestic Violence and Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

 

Notes
  1. Ala. Code § 12-25-32(15). ⤴︎
  2. 2015 AL H.B. 47, amending Ala. Code § 13A-11-72(a). ⤴︎
  3. Ala. Code § 13A-11-72(l). ⤴︎
  4. Ala. Code § 13A-11-72(m). ⤴︎
  5. Ala. Code § 15-13-190. ⤴︎
  6. Ala. Code §§ 31-9-8(d), 31-9-10(d), 13A-11-84(b). ⤴︎

Domestic Violence & Firearms in Alaska

Alaska has no law prohibiting individuals convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors from purchasing or possessing firearms or ammunition. Federal law, however, prohibits the purchase and possession of firearms and ammunition by certain domestic abusers.

Alaska law provides that protective orders issued after notice and a hearing against a “household member” for victims of domestic violence may prohibit the respondent from using or possessing a deadly weapon if the court finds the respondent was in the actual possession of or used a weapon during the commission of domestic violence.1 “Household member” is defined broadly to include former and current dating partners, co-habitants, and family members.2 Federal law also prohibits firearm purchase and possession by certain abusers subject to domestic violence protective orders.

Alaska law provides that protective orders issued after notice and a hearing against a household member for victims of domestic violence may direct the abuser to surrender any firearm owned or possessed if the respondent was in actual possession of or used a firearm during a domestic violence incident.3

In Alaska, a peace officer investigating a domestic violence incident may seize a deadly weapon in plain view of the officer, if he or she deems it necessary to protect the victim, the victim’s family, the officer or the public during the investigation.4 If a deadly weapon was actually possessed during or used in the domestic violence, the officer may seize all deadly weapons owned, used, possessed, or within the control of the alleged perpetrator.5 Firearms may be held as long as they are needed for evidence or until proceedings against the abuser have concluded. The firearm must be returned to the owner if it is no longer needed as evidence.6

See our Domestic Violence and Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Alaska Stat. § 18.66.100(c)(6). ⤴︎
  2. Alaska Stat. § 18.66.990(5). ⤴︎
  3. Alaska Stat. § 18.66.100(c)(7). ⤴︎
  4. Alaska Stat. § 18.65.515(b). ⤴︎
  5. Id. ⤴︎
  6. Id. ⤴︎

Domestic Violence & Firearms in Arizona

Firearm Prohibitions and Notification for Domestic Violence Misdemeanants

Arizona only prohibits possession of a firearm by a person convicted of a domestic violence offense while the person is serving a term of probation for that conviction.1 A “domestic violence offense” is defined to include certain violent crimes against many current and former household and family members.  In 2009, Arizona adopted “Kaity’s Law,”  which extended this definition to include situations where the victim and the defendant are, or were previously, in a significant romantic or sexual relationship, as determined by a set of factors.2

Federal law also prohibits the purchase and possession of firearms and ammunition by certain domestic misdemeanants.

Firearm Prohibitions and Notification for Persons Subject to Domestic Violence Protective Orders

Arizona law authorizes a court that is issuing a protective order against domestic violence (as defined above) to prohibit the defendant from possessing or purchasing a firearm for the duration of the order if the court finds that the defendant is a credible threat to the physical safety of the plaintiff or other specifically designated persons.3

A court may issue an ex parte emergency order of protection against domestic violence if a peace officer states that the officer has reasonable grounds to believe that a person is in immediate and present danger of domestic violence based on an allegation of a recent incident of actual domestic violence. If the court finds that the defendant may inflict bodily injury or death on the plaintiff, the defendant may be prohibited from possessing or purchasing a firearm for the duration of the emergency order.4

Federal law also prohibits the purchase and possession of firearms and ammunition by persons subject to certain domestic violence protection orders, although the federal law does not extend to ex parte orders.

Surrender of Firearms When a Protective Order Is Issued

In Arizona, if a court that is issuing a final domestic violence protective order (not an emergency order) prohibits the defendant from possessing a firearm, the court must also order the defendant to transfer any firearm owned or possessed by the defendant immediately after service of the order to the appropriate law enforcement agency for the duration of the order. If the defendant does not immediately transfer the firearm, the defendant shall transfer the firearm within 24 hours after service of the order.5

Removal of Firearms at the Scene of a Domestic Violence Incident

In Arizona, a peace officer arresting someone at the scene of a domestic violence incident may question the persons who are present to determine if a firearm is present.6 On learning or observing that a firearm is present, the peace officer may temporarily seize the firearm if it is in plain view or was found pursuant to a consensual search and if the officer reasonably believes that the firearm would expose the victim or another person in the household to a risk of serious bodily injury or death. The peace officer must give the owner a receipt indicating the firearm’s serial number or other identifying characteristic. The firearm must be held for at least 72 hours by the law enforcement agency that seized it.7

See our Domestic Violence & Firearms Policy Summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Ariz. Rev. Stat. §§ 13-3101(A)(7)(d), 13-3102(A)(4). ⤴︎
  2. Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 13-3601. ⤴︎
  3. Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 13-3602(G)(4). ⤴︎
  4. Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 13-3624. ⤴︎
  5. Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 13-3602(G)(4). ⤴︎
  6. Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 13-3601(C)-(F). ⤴︎
  7. Id. A peace officer must then notify the victim before the firearm is released from custody. If there is reasonable cause to believe that returning a firearm may endanger the victim, the person who reported the assault or threat or another person in the household, the prosecutor must file in a court a notice of intent to retain the firearm. The notice must state that the firearm will be retained for no more than six months following the seizure. The owner may request a hearing for the return of the firearm, to dispute the grounds for seizure or to request an earlier return date. The court must hold the hearing within ten days after the request. At the hearing, unless the court determines that the return of the firearm may endanger the victim, the person who reported the assault or threat or another person in the household, the court must order the return of the firearm. Id. ⤴︎

Domestic Violence & Firearms in Arkansas

Arkansas law does not:

  • Prohibit individuals convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors from possessing firearms or ammunition (unlike federal law);
  • Prohibit individuals subject to domestic violence protective orders from possessing firearms or ammunition (unlike federal law);
  • Require the surrender of firearms or ammunition by domestic abusers who have become prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law; or
  • Explicitly authorize or require the removal of firearms or ammunition at the scene of a domestic violence incident.

Arkansas does require courts to notify a person who has been convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor that it is unlawful for the person to possess firearms or ammunition pursuant to federal law.1 Orders of protection must contain notification that federal law prohibits anyone subject to an order of protection or convicted of a misdemeanor of domestic violence to possess firearms or ammunition.2

For laws governing the procedure for surrender of firearms by a person subject to a protective order, see the section entitled Disarming Prohibited Persons.

See our Domestic Violence & Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Ark. Code Ann. § 5-26-313. ⤴︎
  2. Ark. Code Ann. § 9-15-207(b)(3). ⤴︎

Domestic Violence & Firearms in California

See our Domestic Violence and Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Firearm Prohibitions for Misdemeanants

California prohibits the purchase and possession of firearms by certain violent misdemeanants, such as those convicted of assault, battery, or stalking, without regard to the victim’s relationship to the offender.1

In addition, California authorizes courts to prohibit defendants from purchasing or possessing firearms in cases where the defendant is charged with, but not yet convicted of, a domestic violence misdemeanor.2

Firearm Prohibitions for Persons Subject to Domestic Violence Restraining and Protective Orders

A person subject to any one of the following types of court orders is prohibited from owning, possessing, purchasing, receiving, or attempting to purchase or receive a firearm or ammunition while the order is in effect:3

  • A temporary restraining order or injunction issued to a victim of harassment;4
  • A temporary restraining order or injunction issued to an employer on behalf of an employee;5
  • A temporary restraining order or injunction issued to a postsecondary educational institution on behalf of a student;6
  • A domestic violence protective order whether issued ex parte, after notice and hearing, or in a judgment;7
  • A protective order for an elderly or dependent adult who has suffered abuse, whether the order was issued ex parte, after notice and hearing, or in a judgment, provided that the case does not involve solely financial abuse;8
  • An emergency protective order related to stalking;9 or
  • A protective order relating to a crime of domestic violence or the intimidation or dissuasion of victim or witness.10

Under California law, individuals may seek a domestic violence protective order, prohibiting the purchase or possession of firearms, against:

  • A spouse or former spouse;
  • A former or current dating partner;
  • Any person who is presently or has in the past resided with the individual; or
  • Any family member, even if the abuser has never resided with the individual.11

Prior to a hearing on the issuance or denial of a protective order, the court must ensure that a search is conducted to determine if the subject of the proposed order has a registered firearm.12 Each protective order must state that the person is prohibited from owning, possessing, purchasing, receiving, or attempting to purchase or receive, a firearm while the protective order is in effect.13

California also prohibits subjects of domestic violence protective orders from owning or possessing ammunition.14

Relinquishment of Firearms by People Subject to Protective Orders

Upon being served with a domestic violence protective order in California, the respondent must relinquish his or her firearm by surrendering it immediately upon request of any law enforcement officer, or within 24 hours if no request is made.15 This same 24-hour rule and procedure also applies for all other protective orders listed above except those related to stalking. The law enforcement officer or gun dealer must issue a receipt, which the person must file with both the court and with the law enforcement agency that served the protective order, within 48 hours of being served with the order (failure to do so constitutes a violation of the protective order).16 During the period of the relinquishment order, a respondent is entitled to make one sale of all firearms that have been surrendered to a law enforcement agency.17 The application forms for domestic violence protective orders adopted by the Judicial Council and approved by the California Department of Justice must require the petitioner to describe the number, types, and locations of any firearms presently known by the petitioner to be possessed or controlled by the respondent.18

California law authorizes the issuance of a search warrant when the property to be seized is a firearm that a person who is subject to a protective order has failed to relinquish as required by law.19 A search warrant may also be issued when the property to be seized is a firearm at the scene of, or at premises occupied or under the control of a person arrested in connection with, a domestic violence incident involving a threat to human life or a physical assault.20

A person subject to a protective order related to stalking must relinquish his or her firearms to the local law enforcement agency for that jurisdiction, or sell those firearms to a licensed gun dealer within a time period specified in the order.21. The protective order must include a description of this requirement including the expiration date for relinquishment. Proof of surrender or sale of a firearm must be filed with the court within the specified time.22

Relinquishment of Firearms by Individuals Convicted of Domestic Violence Crimes

Proposition 63, passed by California voters in November 2016, requires defendants convicted of firearm-prohibiting crimes, including domestic violence offenses, to provide proof that they sold or transferred their firearms within specified timeframes after conviction. It also requires assigned probation officers and courts to verify that the defendant complied with this requirement before final disposition of the defendant’s case and authorizes the court to issue search warrants to recover illegally retained firearms from defendants who fail to comply. These new provisions become effective on January 1, 2018.

Removal of Firearms and Incident Reporting by Law Enforcement

Every California law enforcement agency must establish a system for recording all domestic violence-related calls, and must include a written incident report for each call noting, among other things, whether a weapon was involved.23 Any deadly weapon discovered by an officer at the scene of a domestic violence incident is subject to confiscation.24 Law enforcement officers of any state or local agency who are at the scene of a domestic violence incident involving a threat to human life or a physical assault must take temporary custody of any firearm in plain sight or discovered pursuant to a consensual or other lawful search for the protection of the officers or other persons present.25

Confiscated firearms must be held for at least 48 hours.26 With limited exceptions, if a firearm is not retained for use as evidence related to criminal charges stemming from the domestic violence incident or is not retained because it was illegally possessed, it must be made available to its owner or lawful possessor 48 hours after the seizure or as soon thereafter as possible, but no later than five business days after the owner or person in lawful possession of the firearm demonstrates that he or she has undergone the proper background check.27

Notes
  1. Cal. Penal Code § 29805. ⤴︎
  2. Cal. Penal Code § 136.2(a)(1)(G)(I)-(II), (d)(1)-(3). ⤴︎
  3. See Cal. Penal Code § 29825(a). ⤴︎
  4. Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 527.6. Harassment is defined as unlawful violence, a credible threat of violence, or a knowing and willful course of conduct directed at a specific person that seriously alarms, annoys, or harasses the person, and that serves no legitimate purpose. The course of conduct must be such as would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress, and must actually cause substantial emotional distress to the person. Id. ⤴︎
  5. Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 527.8. An employer may seek a restraining order on behalf of employees where an employee has suffered violence or a threat that can reasonably be construed to be carried out or to have been carried out at the workplace. Id. ⤴︎
  6. Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 527.85. A postsecondary educational institution may seek a restraining order on behalf of a student where a student has suffered a credible threat of violence made off the school campus or facility from any individual, which can reasonably be construed to be carried out or to have been carried out at the school campus or facility, if the student consents. “Postsecondary educational institution” is defined to mean a private institution of vocational, professional, or postsecondary education. Id. ⤴︎
  7. Cal. Fam. Code §§ 6218, 6389. See also § 6304 (requiring notice of the firearm prohibition if both parties are in court). ⤴︎
  8. Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 15657.03. ⤴︎
  9. Cal. Penal Code § 646.91. ⤴︎
  10. Cal. Penal Code § 136.2. Although Cal. Penal Code §§ 136.2 and 646.91 do not mention ammunition, a separate provision of California law prohibits any person from possessing ammunition if the person is ineligible to purchase or possess firearms under state law. Cal. Penal Code §§ 29825, 30305. ⤴︎
  11. Cal. Family Code §§ 6211, 6218, 6389. ⤴︎
  12. Cal. Family Code § 6306. ⤴︎
  13. Cal. Penal Code § 29825(d); Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 527.9(d). ⤴︎
  14. Cal. Penal Code § 30305. ⤴︎
  15. Cal. Fam. Code § 6389. If no request is made by a law enforcement officer, the relinquishment must occur within 24 hours of being served the order, either by surrender to a law enforcement officer or sale to a licensed gun dealer. The court may grant an exemption from the relinquishment requirements for a particular firearm if the respondent can show that it is necessary as a condition of continued employment and that the current employer is unable to reassign the respondent to another position where a firearm is unnecessary. Cal. Fam. Code § 6389(h). If the respondent declines to relinquish possession of any firearm based on the assertion of the right against self-incrimination, as provided by the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, the court may grant use immunity for the act of relinquishing the firearm as required. Cal. Fam. Code § 6389(d). ⤴︎
  16. Cal. Fam. Code § 6389(c)(2); Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 527.9(a),(b), (d); see also Cal. Penal Code §§ 136.2(d), 29825(d); Cal. Civ. Proc. Code §§ 527.6(t)(2), 527.8(r)(2); 527.85(r)(2); Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 15657.03(t)(2). ⤴︎
  17. The agency must give possession of the firearms to the dealer who presents a bill of sale, within five days of presentment of the bill of sale. Cal. Fam. Code § 6389(i); Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 527.9(g). If the firearm remains in the possession of law enforcement, the law enforcement agency must return possession of any surrendered firearm to the respondent within five days after the expiration of the relinquishment order, unless certain conditions apply, such as the issuance of another successive restraining order. Cal. Fam. Code § 6389(g); Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 527.9(e). ⤴︎
  18. Cal. Fam. Code § 6389(c)(3). ⤴︎
  19. Cal. Penal Code § 1524(a)(11). ⤴︎
  20. Cal. Penal Code § 1524(a)(9). ⤴︎
  21. Cal. Penal Code § 29825(d) (referencing Cal. Penal Code § 29830. ⤴︎
  22. Id. ⤴︎
  23. Cal. Penal Code § 13730(a). Law enforcement officers responding to incidents of domestic violence must write a report about each incident on an agency-created domestic violence report form, and must include notations of whether the officer or officers responding to the domestic violence call found it necessary, for the protection of the peace officer or other persons present, to inquire whether a firearm or other deadly weapon was present, and whether that inquiry disclosed the presence of a deadly weapon. Cal. Penal Code § 13730(c)(3). ⤴︎
  24. Id. (referencing Cal. Penal Code § 18250). ⤴︎
  25. Cal. Penal Code § 18250. If any school or university peace officers initially take custody of a firearm, they are required to deliver the firearm within 24 hours to the city police department or county sheriff’s office in the jurisdiction where the university or school is located. Cal. Penal Code § 18260. ⤴︎
  26. Cal. Penal Code § 18265(a). The confiscating officer must give the owner or person who possessed the firearm a receipt describing the firearm. Cal. Penal Code §§ 18255, 33800. ⤴︎
  27. Cal. Penal Code § 18265(b) (referencing § 33850 et seq., which requires that the person claiming ownership or possession of a firearm in the custody of a court or law enforcement agency submit to a background check to determine whether he or she is eligible to possess a firearm). This five-day deadline may be extended if a law enforcement agency has reasonable cause to believe that the return of a firearm would endanger the victim or the person reporting the assault or threat. Cal. Penal Code § 18400. In such situations, the agency must advise the owner of the weapon, and within 60 days of the date of seizure, initiate a petition in superior court to determine if the weapon should be returned. Id. For details concerning the hearing process to determine if a firearm should be returned following a domestic violence incident, see §§ 18400-18420. ⤴︎

Domestic Violence & Firearms in Colorado


 

Colorado enacted a law in 2013 to remove guns from the hands of domestic abusers.  The law incorporates the federal law that prohibits purchase or possession of a firearm or ammunition by people subject to certain domestic violence protective orders or convicted of certain domestic violence crimes.1 The law covers both domestic violence misdemeanants and felons by requiring the court to issue a prohibitive order upon sentencing.2  Abusers subject to these prohibitions are also subject to the federal law.  This law does not cover people convicted of violent misdemeanors against a dating partner or subject to a protective order obtained by a dating partner.

Notably, Colorado requires a protective order to be issued whenever a criminal case is pending to prohibit the defendant from harassing, molesting, intimidating, retaliating against, or tampering with any witness to or victim of the acts charged.  In domestic violence cases, this protective order may trigger the federal law, meaning that the person is prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition while the case is pending.3 Under an older provision, the court may prohibit the defendant from possessing firearms during this time, even in some cases when the federal law is not triggered.4

The 2013 law also includes a provision prohibiting the purchase or possession of a firearm or ammunition by anyone subject to a temporary civil protection order.5 Such orders may be issued “ex parte” (without a full hearing) in certain circumstances. 6

The law makes possession of a firearm or ammunition during these protective orders punishable as a violation of the protective orders.7

The 2013 law also set forth a procedure for domestic abusers to surrender firearms and ammunition that they already own when they become subject to a protective order that triggers the federal law or a court issues an order upon conviction for a domestic violence offense.  The law generally requires the person to surrender firearms and ammunition not more than 24 hours of being served with a qualifying order, subject to certain exceptions, to any person who has undergone a background check.  If the person is held in the custody of a law enforcement agency, the surrender must occur within 24 hours of release. The person must file a receipt demonstrating that firearms and ammunition have been surrendered with the court within three business days of the surrender. The law includes extensive provisions to protect law enforcement’s decision to store, or not store, firearms or ammunition on behalf of a protective order defendant.8

Under an older provision, when an inmate is released from prison or other custody of the Colorado Department of Corrections following a conviction for a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence, the Department is required to submit a written statement to the inmate notifying him or her that it is a crime if he or she possesses or uses a firearm.9

Colorado does not explicitly authorize or require the removal of firearms or ammunition at the scene of a domestic violence incident.

See our Domestic Violence & Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 13-14-105.5,  18-1-1001(9), 18-6-801(8). ⤴︎
  2. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 18-6-801(8). ⤴︎
  3. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 18-1-1001(9). ⤴︎
  4. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 18-1-1001(3)(c). ⤴︎
  5. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 13-14-105.5(11). ⤴︎
  6. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 13-14-104.5. ⤴︎
  7. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 18-6-803.5(1)(c). ⤴︎
  8. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 13-14-105.5,  18-1-1001(9), 18-6-801(8). ⤴︎
  9. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 18-12-108(6)(c)(I). ⤴︎

Domestic Violence & Firearms in Connecticut

Firearm Prohibitions for Convicted Abusers

Connecticut prohibits the purchase or possession of firearms by persons convicted of certain violent misdemeanors, regardless of the relationship between the victim and perpetrator, including: 1) assault in the third degree1; 2) assault of an elderly, blind, disabled or pregnant person or a person with intellectual disability2; 3) unlawful restraint3; and stalking in the second degree.4

Firearm Prohibitions for Persons Subject to Domestic Violence Restraining/Protective Orders

Connecticut prohibits the possession of a firearm by a person who knows that he or she is subject to a restraining or protective order that was issued after notice has been provided to the person in a case involving the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against another person, or a foreign order of protection in a case involving the use, attempted use or threatened use of physical force against another person.5  Pursuant to a law enacted in 2016, this includes an emergency “ex parte” protective order, so long as notice of the order has been provided to the person.

Domestic violence is defined broadly. Any family or household member who has been subjected to a continuous threat of present physical pain or physical injury, stalking or a pattern of threatening, by another family or household member may apply for a restraining or protective order.6 “Family or household member” means:

  • Spouses and former spouses;
  • Parents or their children;
  • Persons related by blood or marriage;
  • Persons not related by blood or marriage presently residing together or who have resided together;
  • Persons who have a child in common regardless of whether they are or have been married or have lived together at any time; and
  • Persons who are in or have recently been in a dating relationship.7

The restraining or protective order application form must allow an applicant, at the applicant’s option, to indicate whether the respondent holds a firearms permit or certificate, or possesses one or more firearms or ammunition.8

Removal or Surrender of Firearms When Domestic Violence Restraining/Protective Orders Are Issued

See the section entitled Disarming Prohibited Persons in Connecticut regarding the firearm and ammunition surrender requirements when a protective order is issued.

Removal or Surrender of Firearms at the Scene of a Domestic Violence Incident

Whenever a peace officer determines that a “family violence crime” has been committed, the officer may seize any firearm or ammunition at the location where the crime is alleged to have been committed that is in the possession of any person arrested for the commission of the crime or suspected of its commission or that is in plain view.9 The law enforcement agency must return the firearm(s) and ammunition to the rightful owner not later than seven days after the seizure, unless the person is ineligible to possess a firearm or otherwise ordered by the court.10

See our Domestic Violence & Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-61. ⤴︎
  2. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-61a. ⤴︎
  3. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-96. ⤴︎
  4. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-181d. ⤴︎
  5. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-217(a)(4). See also Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-217c(a)(5) for similar prohibitions for “criminal possession of a pistol or revolver.” ⤴︎
  6. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 46b-15(a). ⤴︎
  7. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 46b-38a(2). ⤴︎
  8. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 46b-15(b). ⤴︎
  9. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 46b-38b(a). ⤴︎
  10. Id. ⤴︎

Domestic Violence & Firearms in Delaware

Delaware has no law regarding the removal or surrender of firearms at the scene of a domestic violence incident.

Firearm Prohibitions for Domestic Violence Misdemeanants

Delaware prohibits the purchase, ownership, possession or control of any firearm or ammunition by any person who has been convicted in any court of any misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.1 “Misdemeanor crime of domestic violence” means any misdemeanor offense that:

  • Was committed by a:
    • Member of the victim’s family2 (regardless, however, of the state of residence of the parties);
    • Former spouse of the victim;
    • Person who co-habited with the victim at the time of the offense or within the past three years3 ;
    • Person with a child in common with the victim; or
    • Person with whom the victim had a substantive dating relationship4, at the time of or within 3 years prior to the offense5; and
  • Is an offense specifically defined under the Delaware Code.6

Unlike federal law, Delaware only prohibits firearm purchase or possession by domestic violence misdemeanants for five years following conviction.7

Firearm Prohibitions for Persons Subject to Domestic Violence Protective Orders

Delaware prohibits the purchase, ownership, possession or control of any firearm or ammunition by any person subject to a Family Court protection from abuse order (other than an ex parte order), but only for so long as that order remains in effect or is not vacated or otherwise terminated.8

Removal or Surrender of Firearms When Domestic Violence Protective Orders Are Issued

Delaware authorizes, but does not require, courts to issue protective orders that direct the abuser to surrender all firearms in his or her possession. As part of a protective order, the court may order that the respondent temporarily relinquish all the firearms he or she owns to a police officer or federally licensed firearms dealer.9

In 2015, Delaware strengthened its law disarming a person subject to a protective order. Under the 2015 law10, if the protective order requires the respondent to relinquish his or her firearms, it must also:

  • Prohibit the respondent from purchasing, receiving or controlling any additional guns or ammunition for the duration of the order;
  • State that firearms shall be relinquished immediately to a police officer if requested by the police officer upon personal service of the protective order. If no request is made by a police officer, the relinquishment shall occur within 24 hours of personal service of the order at any staffed police station or a federally-licensed firearms dealer located in Delaware; and
  • Require the respondent to file, within 48 hours of personal service:
    • A certification, signed under penalty of perjury, that the respondent did not own, possess, or control any firearms at the time of the order and currently does not own, possess, or control any firearms;
    • A copy of a proof of transfer showing, for each firearm owned, possessed, or controlled by the respondent at the time of the order, that the firearm was relinquished to a police officer or a federally-licensed firearms dealer located in Delaware; or
    • A certification, signed under penalty of perjury, for each firearm owned, possessed, or controlled by the respondent at the time of the order, that the respondent is unable to obtain access to the firearm, specifying the location of the firearm and the reason why the respondent is unable to obtain access.11

Delaware courts issuing protective orders also may direct law enforcement to, forthwith, search for and seize a respondent’s firearms upon a showing by the petitioner of the order that respondent has firearms in his or her possession, and:

  • The petitioner can describe, with sufficient particularity, the type and location of the firearm or firearms; and
  • Respondent has used or threatened to use a firearm against the petitioner, or the petitioner expresses a fear that the respondent may us a firearm against the petitioner.12

See our Domestic Violence and Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Del. Code Ann. tit. 11, § 1448(a)(7). ⤴︎
  2. The term “family” is defined Del. Code Ann. tit. 10, § 901(12). ⤴︎
  3. Part of this provision was enacted in 2015 as part of SB 83, and does not go into effect until January 1, 2017. ⤴︎
  4. Factors to consider for a substantive dating relationship may include the length of the relationship, or the type of relationship, or the frequency of interaction between the parties. Del. Code Ann. tit. 10, § 1041(2)(b). ⤴︎
  5. Part of this provision was enacted in 2015 as part of SB 83, and does not go into effect until January 1, 2017. ⤴︎
  6. These prohibited offenses are listed under Delaware Code Ann. Title 11 §§ 601, 602, 603, 611, 614, 621, 625, 628, 763, 765, 766, 767, 781, 785 or 791, or any similar offense when committed or prosecuted in another jurisdiction. ⤴︎
  7. Del. Code Ann. tit. 11, § 1448(d). ⤴︎
  8. Del. Code Ann. tit. 11, § 1448(a)(6). This provision does not apply to a contested order issued solely upon Del. Code Ann. tit. 10, § 1041(1)(d), (e), or (h), or any combination thereof. ⤴︎
  9. Del. Code Ann. tit. 10, § 1045(a)(8); however, the provision allowing a person to relinquish his or her firearms to a federally licensed firearms dealer takes effect on January 1, 2017. ⤴︎
  10. 2015 SB 83, which will go into effect on January 1, 2017. ⤴︎
  11. 2015 SB 83, to be codified at Del. Code Ann. tit. 10, § 1045(g) as of January 1, 2017. ⤴︎
  12. Del. Code Ann. tit. 10, § 1045(a)(11). ⤴︎

Domestic Violence & Firearms in Florida

Florida law does not explicitly authorize or require the removal or surrender of firearms at the scene of a domestic violence incident.1

Firearm Prohibitions for Domestic Violence Misdemeanants

Florida has no law prohibiting individuals convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors from purchasing or possessing firearms or ammunition, although Florida law requires the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) to review available records in order to prevent domestic violence misdemeanants who are prohibited by federal law from possessing firearms from passing the background check required before purchase of a firearm at a licensed firearms dealer.2 Florida law also requires FDLE to review available records in order to prevent persons who have had an adjudication of guilt withheld or imposition of sentence suspended on any misdemeanor crime of domestic violence from passing the background check, unless 3 years have elapsed since probation or any other conditions set by the court have been fulfilled or expunction has occurred.3

Firearm Prohibitions and Notifications for Persons Subject to Domestic Violence Protective Orders

Florida prohibits the purchase or possession of a firearm by any person who has been issued a final injunction that is currently in force and effect, restraining that person from committing acts of domestic violence or stalking or cyberstalking.4 The law explicitly states that it is intended only to be consistent with the federal law that prohibits persons subject to certain domestic violence protective orders from possessing firearms.5 Florida law requires a final order of protection to indicate, on its face, that it is violation of Florida law for the defendant to possess firearms or ammunition.6

Removal or Surrender of Firearms When Domestic Violence Protective Orders Are Issued

Florida considers it a violation of a protective order against domestic violence or stalking to refuse to surrender firearms if the court ordered the abuser to do so.7 Florida law does not, however, require the court to include this provision in any protective order. Florida law also does not explicitly authorize the court to direct law enforcement to remove firearms from an abuser when a protective order is issued.

See our Domestic Violence & Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. See Fla. Stat. §§ 790.07, 790.08 (requiring the removal of firearms when a person has used a firearm in the commission of a felony). ⤴︎
  2. Fla. Stat. § 790.065(2)(a)(2). ⤴︎
  3. Fla. Stat. § 790.065(2)(a)(3). ⤴︎
  4. Fla. Stat. §§ 790.233, 741.31(4)(b)(1). ⤴︎
  5. Fla. Stat. § 790.233. ⤴︎
  6. Fla. Stat. §§ 741.30(6)(g), 784.0485(6)(e). ⤴︎
  7. Fla. Stat. §§ 741.31(4)(a)(8), 784.047(8), 784.0487(4)(g). ⤴︎

Domestic Violence & Firearms in Georgia

Georgia law does not:

• Prohibit individuals convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors from possessing firearms or ammunition (unlike federal law);

• Prohibit individuals subject to domestic violence protective orders from possessing firearms or ammunition (unlike federal law);

• Require courts to notify domestic abusers when they become prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law;

• Require the surrender of firearms or ammunition by domestic abusers who have become prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law; or

• Explicitly authorize or require the removal of firearms or ammunition at the scene of a domestic violence incident.

See our Domestic Violence and Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Domestic Violence & Firearms in Hawaii

There is no law in Hawaii prohibiting individuals convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors from purchasing or possessing firearms or ammunition. Federal law, however, prohibits the purchase and possession of firearms and ammunition by persons who have been convicted of a “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.”

Firearm Prohibitions for Persons Subject to Domestic Violence Restraining/Protective Orders

Hawaii prohibits the possession, control or transfer of ownership of firearms or ammunition by any person restrained by an order of any court (including ex parte orders) from contacting, threatening, or physically abusing any person as long as the order, or any extension of an order, is in effect.1 The order must specifically include a statement that the possession, control or transfer of ownership of a firearm or ammunition by the person subject to the order is prohibited.2

Hawaii authorizes judges issuing protective orders to grant appropriate injunctive relief, but the law does not specify whether a firearm prohibition is permissible.3

Protective orders shield spouses or reciprocal beneficiaries, former spouses or former reciprocal beneficiaries, persons who have a child in common, parents, children, persons related by blood, persons jointly residing or formerly residing in the same dwelling unit, and persons who have or have had a dating relationship.4

Removal or Surrender of Firearms When Domestic Violence Restraining / Protective Orders Are Issued

In Hawaii, any person subject to a protective or restraining order must relinquish possession of any firearm and ammunition owned by that person to the police department of the appropriate county for safekeeping for the duration of the order or extension of an order.5

Any person disqualified from ownership, possession, control, or the right to transfer ownership of firearms and ammunition by a restraining or protective order must surrender his or her firearms to law enforcement or “dispose” of all firearms and ammunition by selling them to a licensed gun dealer.6

Hawaii authorizes, but does not require, removal of firearms and/or ammunition by law enforcement officers from abusers subject to domestic violence protective orders, including ex parte protective orders.7 In Hawaii, upon service of a domestic violence restraining order involving firearms or ammunition, the police officer may take custody of any firearms or ammunition in plain sight, discovered pursuant to a consensual search, or surrendered by the person subject to the order.8 If the police officer is unable to locate firearms or ammunition registered to that person or known to the person granted protection by the court, the police officer must apply to the court for a search warrant for the purpose of seizing these firearms and ammunition.9

If the person restrained by the order is the registered owner of a firearm and knows its location but refuses to surrender the firearm or refuses to disclose its location, the person restrained shall be criminally liable for a misdemeanor.10

Removal or Surrender of Firearms from the Scene of a Domestic Violence Incident

Hawaii has two laws regarding removal of firearms from the scene of a domestic violence incident.  Hawaii Revised Statute 134-7.5(a) authorizes a police officer who has reasonable grounds to believe that a person recently assaulted or threatened to assault a family or household member to seize all firearms and ammunition the officer believes were used or threatened to be used in the commission of the offense.  The statute also authorizes the officer to seize any firearms or ammunition in plain view or discovered pursuant to a consensual search, as necessary for the protection of the officer or any family or household member.11 Any guns or ammunition seized will be held by law enforcement.12 The officer at the scene must provide the owner or lawful possessor of seized firearms or ammunition with a receipt.13 The firearm or ammunition will be made available to the owner or lawful possessor within seven working days after the seizure unless it is retained for use as evidence or the abuser is ineligible to possess it.14

Hawaii Revised Statute 709-906(4)(f) is similar but requires a police officer to seize all firearms and ammunition that the police officer has reasonable grounds to believe were used or threatened to be used in the commission of a domestic abuse offense if the officer has reasonable grounds to believe that there was physical abuse or harm inflicted by one person upon a family or household member, regardless of whether the physical abuse or harm occurred in the officer’s presence.

See our Domestic Violence and Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

 

Notes
  1. Haw. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 134-7(f). ⤴︎
  2. Id. ⤴︎
  3. See Haw. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 586-5(b), 586-5.5(b). ⤴︎
  4. Haw. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 586-1, 586-3. ⤴︎
  5. Haw. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 134-7(f). ⤴︎
  6. Haw. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 134-7(g), 134-7.3(b). ⤴︎
  7. Haw. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 134-7(f). ⤴︎
  8. Id. ⤴︎
  9. Id. ⤴︎
  10. Id. ⤴︎
  11. Id. ⤴︎
  12. Haw. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 134-7.5(a). ⤴︎
  13. Haw. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 134-7.5(b). ⤴︎
  14. Haw. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 134-7.5(d). ⤴︎

Domestic Violence & Firearms in Idaho

Idaho law does not:

• Prohibit individuals convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors from possessing firearms or ammunition (unlike federal law);

• Prohibit individuals subject to domestic violence protective orders from possessing firearms or ammunition (unlike federal law);1

• Require courts to notify domestic abusers when they become prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law;

• Require the surrender of firearms or ammunition by domestic abusers who have become prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law; or

• Explicitly authorize or require the removal of firearms or ammunition at the scene of a domestic violence incident.

See our Domestic Violence and Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

 

Notes
  1. However, Idaho does prohibit persons subject to certain protective orders from receiving a license to carry a concealed weapon. Idaho Code Ann. § 18-3302(11)(l). ⤴︎

Domestic Violence & Firearms in Illinois

Illinois requires that a person have a Firearm Owner’s Identification (“FOID”) card to purchase or possess firearms or ammunition.1 An applicant will be denied a FOID card, and a holder of a previously-issued FOID card will have his or her card revoked and seized, if he or she:

  • Was convicted within the past five years for battery, assault, aggravated assault, violation of an order of protection, or a substantially similar offense in another jurisdiction, in which a firearm was used or possessed;2 or
  • Has ever been convicted of domestic battery or aggravated domestic battery in Illinois or a substantially similar offense in another jurisdiction.3

Under Illinois law, a person commits domestic battery if he or she knowingly, without legal justification: (1) causes bodily harm to a family or household member, or (2) makes physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature with a family or household member.4 “Family or household members” include spouses, former spouses, parents, children, stepchildren and other persons related by blood or by present or prior marriage, persons who share or formerly shared a common dwelling, persons who have or allegedly have a child in common, persons who share or allegedly share a blood relationship through a child, persons who have or have had a dating or engagement relationship, persons with disabilities and their personal assistants, and certain caregivers.5 A person commits aggravated domestic battery if, in committing domestic battery, he or she intentionally or knowingly cause great bodily harm, permanent disability, or disfigurement.6

In addition to the aforementioned prohibitions, a FOID card will be denied or revoked if the applicant or cardholder is prohibited from acquiring or possessing firearms or ammunition by federal law.7 Federal law prohibits the purchase and possession of firearms and ammunition by anyone convicted of a “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.”8 Illinois law provides a procedure for determining whether certain crimes qualify as “misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence” for purposes of federal law.9 When a person is charged with a crime that may qualify, the state may serve notice on the defendant alleging that a conviction would subject defendant to the federal firearm prohibitions.10 The defendant may admit that the conviction would subject him or her to the federal prohibitions or, if the defendant says nothing or denies the claim, the state bears the burden of proving to the court beyond a reasonable doubt that the offense is one that would constitute a “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence” under federal law.11

If, under the procedures outlined above, a court determines that a person has been convicted of a “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence” that would disqualify him or her from purchasing or possessing firearms under federal law, then the court clerk must notify the Department of State Police Firearm Owner’s Identification Card Office who will then report that determination to the FBI.12

In Illinois, upon conviction of domestic battery or aggravated domestic battery, the court must advise the defendant orally or in writing that, “[a]n individual convicted of domestic battery [or aggravated domestic battery] may be subject to federal criminal penalties for possessing, transporting, shipping, or receiving any firearm or ammunition in violation of the federal Gun Control Act of 1968 (18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(8) and (9)).”13

Firearm Prohibitions for Persons Subject to Domestic Violence Restraining/Protective Orders

Illinois law provides that a person who is subject to an existing order of protection, interim order of protection, emergency order of protection, or plenary order of protection issued under the Code of Criminal Procedure may not lawfully possess weapons under the Firearm Owners Identification Card Act.14

In  addition, a court may issue a civil order under the Illinois Domestic Violence Act prohibiting a person from possessing firearms if that person is subject to a protection order meeting the following criteria:

  • the order was issued after a hearing of which such person received actual notice, and at which such person had an opportunity to participate;
  • the order restrains such person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner of such person or child of such intimate partner or person, or engaging in other conduct that would place an intimate partner in reasonable fear of bodily injury to the partner or child; and
  • the order (i) includes a finding that such person represents a credible threat to the physical safety of such intimate partner or child; or (ii) by its terms explicitly prohibits the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against such intimate partner or child that would reasonably be expected to cause bodily injury.15

However, a court may issue a civil emergency protective order prohibiting a person from possessing firearms without giving notice to the subject of the order if the court determines that the harm posed by the subject’s continued possession of firearms would be likely to occur if the subject was given notice of the petitioner’s efforts to obtain judicial relief.16

The Illinois Department of State Police (“DSP”) must deny an application for, or revoke and seize, a FOID card (thereby prohibiting such person from purchasing or possessing a firearm or ammunition), if DSP finds that the applicant or cardholder is or was at the time of issuance subject to an existing order of protection.17 Prior to receiving a FOID card, an applicant must prove that he or she is not subject to an existing order of protection prohibiting him or her from possessing a firearm or ammunition.18

A court that is issuing a “stalking no contact order” may also prohibit the defendant from possessing a FOID card or from possessing or purchasing firearms.19 In such a situation, the court must confiscate the subject’s FOID card and immediately return the card to DSP.20

Removal or Surrender of Firearms Upon Conviction for a Domestic Violence Misdemeanor

A person convicted of a crime that qualifies, pursuant to the procedures established by Illinois law,21 as a “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence” under federal law must physically surrender his or her FOID card and any and all firearms in his or her possession at a time and place designated by the court. The court must return the person’s FOID card to DSP.22

Removal or Surrender of Firearms When Domestic Violence Restraining/Protective Orders Are Issued

If a domestic violence protection order issued under the Illinois Domestic Violence Act prohibits a respondent from possessing firearms, any FOID card in the respondent’s possession must be ordered by the court to be turned over to a local law enforcement agency, which must then mail the FOID card to DSP for safekeeping. The court must also issue a warrant for the seizure of any firearm in respondent’s possession, to be kept by local law enforcement for safekeeping.23 If the protective order is issued pursuant to the Illinois Code of Criminal Procedure, the court must order that any firearms in respondent’s possession be turned over to a person with a valid FOID card.24 Removal and surrender procedures under the Illinois Code of Criminal Procedure are otherwise identical to those contained in the Illinois Domestic Violence Act.  The period of safekeeping must be equivalent to the duration of the order and any firearms and respondent’s FOID card, if unexpired, must be returned to the respondent at the time the order of protection expires.25

Upon expiration of the period of safekeeping, if the firearms or FOID card cannot be returned to respondent because respondent cannot be located, fails to respond to requests to retrieve the firearms, or is not lawfully eligible to possess a firearm, upon petition from the local law enforcement agency, the court may order the agency to destroy the firearms, use the firearms for training purposes or for any other application as deemed appropriate by the agency, or turn the guns over to a third party lawfully eligible to possess firearms who does not reside with respondent.26

Protective orders prohibiting firearm possession under the Illinois Domestic Violence Act are available to the following persons:

  • Any person abused by a family or household member;
  • Any high-risk adult with disabilities who is abused, neglected, or exploited by a family or household member;
  • Any minor child or dependent adult in the care of such person; and
  • Any person residing or employed at a private home or public shelter which is housing an abused family or household member.27

Removal or Surrender of Firearms at the Scene of a Domestic Violence Incident

Illinois requires law enforcement to seize and remove firearms at the scene of a domestic violence incident only if there is probable cause to believe that the particular firearms were used to commit the incident of abuse.28 A firearm must be returned to its owner when no longer needed as evidence.29

See our Domestic Violence & Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. 430 Ill. Comp. Stat. 65/2(a)(1), (2). ⤴︎
  2. 430 Ill. Comp. Stat. 65/4(a)(2)(viii); 430 Ill. Comp. Stat. 65/8(k). ⤴︎
  3. 430 Ill. Comp. Stat. 65/4(a)(2) (ix); 430 Ill. Comp. Stat. 65/8(l). ⤴︎
  4. 720 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/12-3.2(a)(1)(2). ⤴︎
  5. 725 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/112A-3(3). ⤴︎
  6. 720 Ill. Stat. Comp. Stat. 5/12-3.3(a). ⤴︎
  7. 430 Ill. Comp. Stat. 65/8(n). ⤴︎
  8. 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(9). ⤴︎
  9. 725 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/112A-11.1(a)-(c). ⤴︎
  10. Id. ⤴︎
  11. Id. ⤴︎
  12. 20 Ill. Comp. Stat. 2630/2.2; 725 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/112A-11.2. ⤴︎
  13. 720 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/12-3.2(d). A notation must be made in the court file that this admonition was given. ⤴︎
  14. 725 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/112A-14(b)(14.5)(A). ⤴︎
  15. 750 Ill. Comp. Stat. 60/214(b)(14). ⤴︎
  16. 750 Ill. Comp. Stat. 60/217(3)(i). ⤴︎
  17. 430 Ill. Comp. Stat. 65/8.2. ⤴︎
  18. 430 Ill. Comp. Stat. 65/4(a)(2)(vii). ⤴︎
  19. 740 Ill. Comp. Stat. 21/80(b)(4). ⤴︎
  20. 740 Ill. Comp. Stat. 21/80(e). ⤴︎
  21. 725 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/112A-11.1(a)-(c). ⤴︎
  22. 730 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/5-6-3(a)(9). ⤴︎
  23. 750 Ill. Comp. Stat. 60/214(b)(14)(a). ⤴︎
  24. 725 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/112A-14(b)(14.5)(B). ⤴︎
  25. Id. ⤴︎
  26. 725 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/112A-14(b)(14.5)(D); 750 Ill. Comp. Stat. 60/214(b)(14)(c). ⤴︎
  27. 725 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5-112A-4; 750 Ill. Comp. Stat. 60/201(a). ⤴︎
  28. 725 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/112A-30(a)(2); 750 Ill. Comp. Stat. 60/304(a)(2). ⤴︎
  29. 725 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/112A-30(c); 750 Ill. Comp. Stat. 60/304(c). ⤴︎

Domestic Violence & Firearms in Indiana

Firearm Prohibitions for Domestic Violence Misdemeanants

Persons convicted of domestic battery may not possess or carry a firearm.1 In 2014, Indiana enacted a law stating that expunction of a crime of domestic violence does not restore a person’s right to possess a firearm.2 However, five years following a conviction, a person may petition to have his or her right to possess a firearm restored.3

Federal law also prohibits the purchase and possession of firearms and ammunition by certain domestic abusers.

Firearm Prohibitions for Persons Subject to Domestic Violence Restraining/Protective Orders

Indiana permits victims of domestic or family violence to seek protective orders for themselves or a child.4 A person subject to an order for protection for domestic or family violence may be prohibited by a court from using or possessing a firearm or ammunition.5 Furthermore, the order may direct the subject person to surrender to law enforcement the firearm and ammunition for the duration of the order.

Federal law also prohibits the purchase and possession of firearms and ammunition by a person subject to a protective order issued after notice to the abuser and a hearing, if the order protects an “intimate partner” of the abuser, or a child of the abuser or intimate partner.

Removal or Surrender of Firearms When Domestic Violence Restraining/Protective Orders Are Issued

Indiana authorizes, but does not require, courts to issue protective orders that specifically direct the abuser to surrender all firearms and ammunition in his or her possession.6 The order may direct the subject person to surrender to law enforcement the firearm and ammunition for the duration of the order.7

Removal or Surrender of Firearms at the Scene of a Domestic Violence Incident

In Indiana, law enforcement is authorized, but not required, to remove firearms observed at the scene of a domestic or family violence incident. Law enforcement officers responding to the scene of an alleged crime involving domestic or family violence are authorized to confiscate and remove any firearms or ammunition from the scene, if the officer:

  • Has probable cause to believe that a crime involving domestic or family violence has occurred;
  • Observes the firearm or ammunition at the scene; and
  • Has a reasonable belief that the firearm or ammunition: 1) exposes the victim to an immediate risk of serious bodily injury; or 2) was an instrumentality of the crime involving domestic or family violence.8

Any removed firearms or ammunition are to be safely stored by law enforcement pending proceedings related to the alleged act of domestic or family violence.9

See our Domestic Violence and Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

 

Notes
  1. Ind. Code Ann. §§§ 35-42-2-1.3; 35-47-2-1(c); 35-47-4-6. ⤴︎
  2. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-38-9-6(f). ⤴︎
  3. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-4-7. ⤴︎
  4. Ind. Code Ann. § 34-26-5-2. ⤴︎
  5. Ind. Code Ann. § 34-26-5-9(c)(4), (f). ⤴︎
  6. Ind. Code Ann. § 34-26-5-9(c)(4), (f). ⤴︎
  7. Id. ⤴︎
  8. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-33-1-1.5(b). ⤴︎
  9. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-33-1-1.5(c). ⤴︎

Domestic Violence & Firearms in Iowa

Firearm Prohibitions for Domestic Violence Misdemeanants and Protective Order Defendants

In 2010, Iowa enacted a strong law addressing firearms in domestic violence situations. Like federal law, Iowa now generally prohibits any person from knowingly possessing, shipping, transporting, or receiving a firearm or ammunition if he or she has been convicted of a “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.”1 This prohibition also applies to anyone subject to a domestic violence protective order.2

A court hearing a proceeding for domestic abuse may enter any temporary ex parte order it deems necessary to protect a plaintiff from domestic abuse prior to a full hearing.3 A temporary order must specifically include notice that the person may be required to relinquish all firearms and ammunition upon the issuance of a permanent order.4 Upon a finding that a defendant has engaged in domestic abuse, the court may grant a protective order or approve a consent agreement that may contain provisions prohibiting the defendant from knowingly possessing, shipping, transporting or receiving firearms and ammunition.5

In Iowa, upon a conviction for domestic violence or issuance of a protective order, the court must inform the person who is the subject of the order or conviction that the person shall not possess, ship, transport, or receive a firearm, offensive weapon, or ammunition while the order is in effect or until the conviction is vacated or until the person’s rights have been restored under state law.6

Surrender of Firearms upon a Domestic Violence Conviction or When a Domestic Violence Protective Order Is Issued

A state court that enters a judgment of conviction for a domestic violence misdemeanor or issues a domestic violence protective order and finds that the subject of the order or conviction is in possession of any firearm or ammunition must order the firearm or ammunition to be sold or transferred by a specific date to the custody of a qualified person in this state, as determined by the court.7 If the court is unable to identify a qualified person to receive the firearm or ammunition, the court must order that the firearm or ammunition be transferred by a specific date to the county sheriff or a local law enforcement agency designated by the court for safekeeping until a qualified person is identified to receive the firearm or ammunition, until the order is no longer in effect, until the conviction is vacated, or until the person’s rights have been restored. If the firearm or ammunition is to be transferred to the sheriff’s office or a local law enforcement agency, the court must assess the person the reasonable cost of storing the firearm or ammunition, payable to the county sheriff or the local law enforcement agency.8

Protective Order Reporting and Expiration Procedures

A court issuing a domestic violence protective order is required to enter the name, address, date of birth, driver’s license number and other identifying information of the person subject to the order into the Iowa criminal justice information system, the reason for the order, and the date by which the person is required to comply with any relinquishment order.9 At the time the order is no longer in effect, information relating to the prohibition must be deleted from the Iowa criminal justice information system.10 If a firearm or ammunition has been transferred to a qualified person, and the protective order is no longer in effect, the firearm or ammunition must be returned to the person who was subject to the protective order within five days of that person’s request to have the firearm or ammunition returned.11

For general information on the background check process and categories of prohibited purchasers or possessors, see the Iowa Background Checks and Iowa Prohibited Purchasers Generally sections.

See our Domestic Violence and Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Iowa Code § 724.26(2)(a). “Misdemeanor crime of domestic violence” means an assault under Iowa Code § 708.1, subsection 1 or 3, committed by a current or former spouse, parent, or guardian of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabiting with or has cohabited with the victim as a spouse, parent, or guardian, or by a person similarly situated to a spouse, parent, or guardian of the victim. Iowa Code § 724.26(2)(c). ⤴︎
  2. Iowa Code § 724.26(2)(a). These prohibitions do not apply to the possession, shipment, transportation, or receipt of a firearm or ammunition issued by a state department or agency or political subdivision for use in the performance of the official duties of the person who is the subject of a protective order. Iowa Code § 724.26(2)(b). ⤴︎
  3. Iowa Code §§ 236.4, 236.2(2). ⤴︎
  4. Iowa Code § 236.4(2). ⤴︎
  5. Iowa Code §§ 236.5(1)(b), 236.2(2). ⤴︎
  6. Iowa Code § 724.26(3). ⤴︎
  7. Iowa Code § 724.26(4). ⤴︎
  8. Id. ⤴︎
  9. Iowa Code § 724.26(5). ⤴︎
  10. Id. ⤴︎
  11. Iowa Code § 724.26(6). ⤴︎

Domestic Violence & Firearms in Kansas

Kansas law does not:

  • Prohibit individuals convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors from possessing firearms or ammunition, although federal law applies;
  • Prohibit individuals subject to domestic violence protective orders from possessing firearms or ammunition, although federal law applies;
  • Require courts to notify domestic abusers when they become prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law;
  • Require the surrender of firearms or ammunition by domestic abusers who have become prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law; or
  • Explicitly authorize or require the removal of firearms or ammunition at the scene of a domestic violence incident.

See our Domestic Violence & Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Domestic Violence & Firearms in Kentucky

Kentucky law does not:

  • Prohibit individuals convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors from possessing firearms or ammunition (unlike federal law);
  • Prohibit individuals subject to domestic violence protective orders from possessing firearms or ammunition (unlike federal law);
  • Require courts to notify domestic abusers when they become prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law;
  • Require the surrender of firearms or ammunition by domestic abusers who have become prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law; or
  • Explicitly authorize or require the removal of firearms or ammunition at the scene of a domestic violence incident.

Kentucky law only includes the following provisions relating to domestic violence and firearms:

  • The Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet must make a reasonable effort to provide notice to a person who obtained a domestic violence protective order if the person subject to the order has attempted to purchase a firearm. This requirement only applies if the person who sought the protective order requests such notification.1
  • A court or agency making a decision regarding pretrial release of a person who is arrested for assault or certain sexual violations or who has been charged with a violation of a domestic violence protective order may impose, as a condition or pretrial release, an order prohibiting the person from using or possessing a firearm.2
  • Kentucky provides for the suspension of a license to carry a concealed deadly weapon if the licensee is subject to a domestic violence order or emergency protective order.3

Finally, Kentucky law explicitly provides that a restraining order triggered by a conviction for, or guilty plea to, stalking does not “operate as a ban on the purchase or possession of firearms or ammunition by the defendant.”4

See our Domestic Violence and Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 237.100(1), (2). ⤴︎
  2. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 431.064. ⤴︎
  3. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 237.110(13)(k). ⤴︎
  4. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 508.155(6). ⤴︎

Domestic Violence & Firearms in Louisiana

 

Louisiana enacted a law in 2014 that prohibits people from possessing firearms for ten years after the completion of the person’s sentence, probation, and/or parole for committing a “domestic abuse battery,” or specified battery offenses against a dating partner.1

Louisiana law also prohibits firearm possession by people subject to a domestic violence protective order during the duration of the order if (1) the order includes a finding that the respondent represents a credible threat to the physical safety of a family member, household member, or dating partner,2 and (2) the order informs the respondent that he or she is prohibited from possessing a firearm pursuant to federal and state law.3

However, Louisiana law does not:

  • Require the surrender of firearms or ammunition by domestic abusers who have become prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under state or federal law; or
  • Explicitly authorize or require the removal of firearms or ammunition at the scene of a domestic violence incident.

Louisiana requires that records of individuals who have been convicted of enumerated domestic abuse crimes be transmitted to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (“NICS”) database. Specifically, Louisiana requires district clerks of court to send records for individuals who have been convicted of felony domestic abuse battery to the Louisiana Supreme Court for reporting to NICS.4 Since January 1, 2017, Louisiana courts have also been required to transmit records to NICS regarding individuals who are prohibited from possessing a firearm based on a conviction for misdemeanor domestic abuse battery, or who are prohibited or restricted from possessing or using a firearm by a court order.5

 

See our Domestic Violence & Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

 

Notes
  1. La. Rev. Stat. § 14:95.10. ⤴︎
  2. Louisiana expanded this domestic violence law to include individuals subject to a domestic violence protective order for abuse against a dating partner in 2017. See 2017 LA HB 223, Section 3. ⤴︎
  3. La. Rev. Stat. § 46:2136.3. ⤴︎
  4. La. Rev. Stat. § 13:753(A)(6). ⤴︎
  5. La. Rev. Stat. § 13:753(B). ⤴︎

Domestic Violence & Firearms in Maine

 

Maine law does not:

• Require the surrender of firearms or ammunition by domestic abusers who have become prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law; or

• Explicitly authorize or require the removal of firearms or ammunition at the scene of a domestic violence incident.

Firearm Prohibition for Domestic Violence Misdemeanants

Maine enacted a law in 2015 that temporarily prohibits a person from possessing a firearm if he or she has been convicted of:

  • domestic violence assault,
  • domestic violence criminal threatening,
  • domestic violence terrorizing,
  • domestic violence stalking,
  • domestic violence reckless conduct, or
  • a substantially similar crime in another jurisdiction.1

This prohibition will expire 5 years from the date the person is finally discharged from the sentence imposed. This prohibition also applies to a person who has been adjudicated to have engaged in such conduct as a juvenile.2 This prohibition does not apply to a person who has convicted of a similar crime towards a dating partner.3

Federal law may also apply.

Firearm Prohibitions for Persons Subject to Domestic Violence Protective Orders

Like federal law, Maine law prohibits anyone from possessing a firearm if he or she is subject to a court order that restrains him or her from harassing, stalking or threatening his or her intimate partner or that partner’s child, or from engaging in other conduct that would place the intimate partner in reasonable fear of bodily injury to the intimate partner or the partner’s child. This provision applies only to a court order issued after a hearing that:

  • Includes a finding that the person represents a credible threat to the physical safety of an intimate partner or child; or
  • By its terms explicitly prohibits the use, attempted use or threatened use of physical force against an intimate partner or a child that would reasonably be expected to cause bodily injury.4

Reporting of Domestic Violence Information

In Maine, law enforcement reports of domestic abuse must be made available for inspection by and dissemination to local agencies responsible for issuing concealed handgun permits, provided the records are necessary to the agencies’ determination of an applicant’s good moral character and compliance with the requirements related to such permits.5 No similar law addresses the availability of this information for use in firearm purchaser background checks.

 

See our Domestic Violence & Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Me. Stat., 15 § 393(1-B) (as enacted by 2015 Me. H.B. 413). ⤴︎
  2. Me. Stat., 15 § 393(1-B) (as enacted by 2015 Me. H.B. 413). ⤴︎
  3. See Me. Stat. 19-A § 4002 (defining “family and household members” separately from “dating partners.”) ⤴︎
  4. Me. Stat., 15 § 393(1)(D). ⤴︎
  5. Me. Stat., 25 § 2003(5) (referring to Tit. 19-A, § 4012(1) ). ⤴︎

Domestic Violence & Firearms in Maryland

Firearm Prohibitions for Domestic Violence Misdemeanants

Maryland prohibits the sale or other transfer of a “regulated firearm” (handgun or assault weapon) to, or possession of a firearm by, any person “convicted of a disqualifying crime.”1

State law specifies that “convicted of a disqualifying crime” includes:  (i)  a case in which a person received probation before judgment for a crime of violence; and (ii)  a case in which a person received probation before judgment in a “domestically related crime,” but does NOT include a case in which a person received a probation before judgment for assault in the second degree, unless it was domestically related, or that was expunged under a certain section of Maryland law.2

“Disqualifying crime” is generally defined as: 1) a crime of violence in Maryland or another state; or 2) any Maryland-classified misdemeanor that carries a statutory penalty of more than two years.3

Maryland prohibits the possession of a rifle or shotgun by a person convicted of a crime of violence in Maryland or another state.4  This does not include all domestic violence misdemeanors under state law.

Federal law also prohibits the purchase and possession of firearms and ammunition by certain domestic violence misdemeanants.

Firearm Prohibitions for Persons Subject to Domestic Violence Restraining/Protective Orders

In Maryland, persons named as a respondent against whom a “non ex parte civil protective order” has been issued are prohibited from possessing a handgun or assault weapon.5 Moreover, no person may sell, rent or transfer a handgun or assault weapon to a person who is subject to a current “non ex parte civil protective order” issued pursuant to Md. Code Ann., Fam. Law § 4-506.6 Federal law also prohibits the purchase and possession of firearms and ammunition by certain domestic violence protective order defendants.

Removal or Surrender of Firearms When Domestic Violence Restraining/Protective Orders Are Issued

A final domestic violence protective order issued under Maryland Code Ann., Family Law § 4-506 must order the person subject to the order to surrender to law enforcement any firearm in his or her possession, and to refrain from possession of any firearm for the duration of the protective order.7 Law enforcement receiving a firearm lawfully surrendered must transport and store the firearm safely while the protective order is in effect.8 Maryland law addresses the retaking of possession of the firearm at the expiration of a protective order.9

Removal or Surrender of Firearms at the Scene of a Domestic Violence Incident

Maryland allows a law enforcement officer responding to an alleged domestic violence incident to remove a firearm from the scene if he or she: 1) has probable cause to believe an act of domestic violence has occurred; and 2) observed the firearm on the scene during the response.10 The officer must provide information to the owner regarding the process for retrieving the firearm and must provide safe storage for the firearm during any related domestic violence legal proceeding.11 The owner may resume possession of the firearm at the conclusion of legal proceedings related to the domestic violence incident, unless ordered by a court to surrender the weapon.12

See our Domestic Violence & Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety §§ 5-133(b)(1), (c), 5-134(b)(2). ⤴︎
  2. Md. Code, Pub Safety §§ 5-101(b-1). ⤴︎
  3. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-101(g). ⤴︎
  4. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-206. ⤴︎
  5. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-133(b)(8). ⤴︎
  6. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-134(b)(10). ⤴︎
  7. Md. Code Ann., Fam. Law § 4-506(f). ⤴︎
  8. Md. Code Ann., Fam. Law § 4-506.1(a). ⤴︎
  9. Md. Code Ann., Fam. Law § 4-506.1. ⤴︎
  10. Md. Code Ann., Fam. Law § 4-511(a). ⤴︎
  11. Md. Code Ann., Fam. Law § 4-511(b). ⤴︎
  12. Md. Code Ann., Fam. Law § 4-511(c). ⤴︎

Domestic Violence & Firearms in Massachusetts

See our Domestic Violence & Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

A 2014 Massachusetts law prohibits individuals convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors from purchasing or possessing firearms or ammunition, however no law requires courts to notify these domestic abusers that they are prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under state or federal law.1 The same law also requires courts to transmit records of certain domestic violence offenses to the Department of Criminal Justice Information Services (Department) for inclusion in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).2

Massachusetts law also prohibits individuals who are currently subject to a permanent or temporary protection order protecting an adult or minor family or household member of the applicant from abuse from purchasing or possessing firearms.3  The term “family or household members” includes persons who:

  • Are or were married to one another;
  • Are or were residing together in the same household;
  • Are or were related by blood or marriage;
  • Have a child in common regardless of whether they have ever married or lived together; or
  • Are or have been in a substantive dating or engagement relationship, which shall be adjudged by consideration of the following factors:

– The length of time of the relationship;

– The type of relationship;

– The frequency of interaction between the parties; and

– If the relationship has been terminated by either person, the length of time elapsed since the termination of the relationship.4

Massachusetts law requires a court that is issuing a temporary or emergency protection order (an order that a court can issue immediately upon the filing of a complaint by a family or household member who seeks protection from abuse) to order the immediate suspension and surrender of any license to carry firearms or firearms identification card which the defendant may hold and order the defendant to surrender all firearms and ammunition which he or she possesses to the appropriate law enforcement official.5 However, this requirement only applies if the plaintiff demonstrates a substantial likelihood of immediate danger of abuse.6

Upon issuing a suspension or surrender order, the court must report the defendant’s identifying information to the Department for inclusion in NICS.7 Law enforcement officials who are serving such orders must immediately take possession of all such firearms, ammunition, licenses, and identification cards.8

Massachusetts law requires any law enforcement officer who has reason to believe that a family or household member has been abused or is in danger of being abused to use all reasonable means to prevent further abuse. 9  Massachusetts law does not, however, specifically authorize or require the law enforcement officer to remove firearms or ammunition in this situation.

Notes
  1. Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 140, § 129B(1)(i)(f); see also Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 140, §§ 129B; 131; ch. 265 § 13N. ⤴︎
  2. Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 265 § 13N; see also Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 209A, § 3D. ⤴︎
  3. Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 140, § 129B(1)(vii); see also Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 140, § 131(d)(vi) (limiting issuance of a license to carry a firearm in the same manner); Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 209A, § 3 (authorizing issuance of a protection order against an adult or minor family or household member). ⤴︎
  4. Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 209A, § 1. ⤴︎
  5. Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 209A, § 3B. ⤴︎
  6. Id. ⤴︎
  7. Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 209A, § 3D. ⤴︎
  8. Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 209A, § 3B. ⤴︎
  9. Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 209A, § 6. ⤴︎

Domestic Violence & Firearms in Michigan

Michigan does not:

  • Prohibit individuals convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors from purchasing or possessing firearms or ammunition, although federal law applies;
  • Require courts to notify domestic abusers when they become prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law;
  • Require the surrender of firearms or ammunition by domestic abusers who have become prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law; or
  • Require law enforcement to remove firearms at the scene of a domestic violence incident.

Michigan gives courts discretion to prohibit the purchase or possession of firearms by a person subject to a personal protection order.1

For ex parte personal protection orders, the court must schedule a hearing on the motion to modify or rescind such an order within 14 days after the filing of a motion to modify or rescind.2 If the respondent has a license to carry a concealed weapon and is required to carry a weapon as a condition of his or her employment, and the personal protection order prohibits him or her from purchasing or possessing a firearm, the court is required to schedule a hearing on the motion to modify or rescind the ex parte order within five days after the filing of the motion to modify or rescind.3

In addition, Michigan law prevents any person subject to a domestic violence protective order or protective order against stalking from obtaining a handgun purchase license.4

Note that federal law prohibits all abusers subject to domestic violence protective orders issued after notice and a hearing from purchasing or possessing all firearms.

In certain child abuse situations, the court may order the alleged abuser to surrender to a local law enforcement agency any firearms or other potentially dangerous weapons the alleged abusive person owns, possesses, or uses.5

See our Domestic Violence & Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. §§ 600.2950(1)(e), 600.2950a(2), (3)(c), (26). Michigan requires law enforcement called to the scene of a domestic violence incident to provide the victim with a notice of rights, including the right to seek a protective order prohibiting the abuser from possessing firearms. Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. § 764.15c. ⤴︎
  2. Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. §§ 600.2950(12), (14), 600.2950a(14). ⤴︎
  3. Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. §§ 600.2950(2), (12), (14), 600.2950a(14). ⤴︎
  4. Mich. Comp. Laws Serv.  §§ 28.422, 552.14, 600.2950, 600.2950a. ⤴︎
  5. Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. § 712A.13a(8). ⤴︎

Domestic Violence & Firearms in Minnesota

See our Domestic Violence and Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Minnesota law does not:

  • Explicitly authorize or require the removal of firearms or ammunition at the scene of a domestic violence incident.

Firearm Prohibitions for Persons Subject to Domestic Violence Restraining/Protective Orders

In 2014, Minnesota passed a law incorporating federal law’s prohibition against possession of firearms by persons subject to a domestic violence protective order.1 Minnesota’s 2014 law also separately provides that persons subject to domestic abuse or child abuse protective orders shall be prohibited from possessing firearms for the duration of the order.2 

Firearm Prohibitions for Domestic Violence Misdemeanants

Minnesota prohibits the possession of a firearm by a person who:

• Is prohibited from possessing a firearm under federal law’s domestic violence prohibition statute, 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(8), (9), as amended through March 1, 2014;3

• Has been convicted of a stalking crime and used a firearm in the commission of that crime (prohibiting the person from possessing a firearm from three years to the remainder of the person’s life, if so ordered by the convicting court);4

• Has been convicted of any other stalking crime within the previous three years;5

• Has been convicted in another state of committing an assault against a family or household member using a firearm within the past three years;6

• Has been convicted in Minnesota of assaulting a family or household member using a firearm (the court determines the prohibitive period for this violation);7

• Has been convicted of assaulting a family or household member, or of assault in the fifth degree, within the previous three years (whether or not a firearm was used).8

• Has been convicted of violating an order of protection and used a firearm during that violation (prohibiting the person from possessing a firearm from three years to the remainder of the person’s life, if so ordered by the convicting court).9

Minnesota also specifically prohibits possession of a handgun by a person who has been convicted of violating an order for protection within the previous three years;10

The courts are required to notify some, but not all, of these abusers about the firearm prohibitions under Minnesota law.

Federal law prohibits an overlapping set of domestic violence misdemeanants from possessing firearms.

Removal or Surrender of Firearms from Domestic Abusers

Minnesota passed a law in 2014 generally requiring removal or surrender of firearms from individuals subject to domestic abuse or child abuse protective orders.11 When a court issues a domestic or child abuse protective order that (1) restrains the abusing party from harassing, stalking, or threatening the petitioner or restrains the abusing party from engaging in other conduct that would place the petitioner in reasonable fear of bodily injury, and (2) includes a finding that the abusing party represents a credible threat to the physical safety of the petitioner or prohibits the abusing party from using, attempting to use, or threatening to use physical force against the petitioner, the order shall inform the abusing party that he or she is prohibited from possessing firearms for the length the order is in effect.12 If the court determines by a preponderance of the evidence that the abusing party poses an imminent risk of causing another person substantial bodily harm, the court must order that the local law enforcement agency take immediate possession of all firearms in the abusing party’s possession.13 Otherwise, the court shall order the abusing party to transfer any firearms that the person possesses, within three business days, to a federally licensed firearms dealer, a law enforcement agency, or a third party who may lawfully receive them and who does not live with the abusing party. ((Minn. Stat. §§ 260C.201, subd. 3(d), 518B.01, subd. 6(g).))  An abusing party who is ordered to transfer firearms must file proof of transfer within two business days of the firearms transfer.14 The proof of transfer must specify whether the firearms were permanently or temporarily transferred and include the name of the abusing party, date of transfer, and the serial number, make, and model of all transferred firearms.15 The law enforcement agency, federally licensed firearms dealer, or third party that took possession of the firearms shall return them to the person upon request after the expiration of the prohibiting time period, provided that the person is not otherwise prohibited from possessing firearms under state or federal law.16 

Minnesota law also provides the same procedures requiring removal and surrender of firearms upon a person’s conviction for a stalking offense or a domestic assault offense against a family or household member.17

Additionally, a person violating an order of protection who owns or possesses a firearm and uses it during the commission of the violation must forfeit the firearm.18

 

Notes
  1. 2013 Minn. H.B. 3238, amending Minn. Stat. § 624.713, subd. 1(10)(viii). See also, 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(8). ⤴︎
  2. Minn. Stat. §§ 624.713, subd. 1(13), 260C.201, subd. 3(d), 518B.01, subd. 6(g). A protective order shall prohibit the abusing party from possessing firearms for the length the order is in effect if the order (1) restrains the abusing party from harassing, stalking, or threatening the petitioner or restrains the abusing party from engaging in other conduct that would place the petitioner in reasonable fear of bodily injury, and (2) includes a finding that the abusing party represents a credible threat to the physical safety of the petitioner or prohibits the abusing party from using, attempting to use, or threatening to use physical force against the petitioner. The order shall inform the abusing party of that party’s prohibited status. Minn. Stat. §§ 260C.201, subd. 3(d), 518B.01, subd. 6(g). ⤴︎
  3. Minn. Stat. § 624.713, subd. 1(10)(viii). ⤴︎
  4. Minn. Stat. § 609.749, subd. 8(a). This provision applies to handguns if the person was convicted of a stalking crime between August 1, 1996 and 2014.  For convictions after the effective date of 2013 Minn. H.B. 3238’s enactment, this prohibition applies to all firearms. Minn. Stat. § 609.749, subd. 8(c). ⤴︎
  5. Minn. Stat. § 609.749, subd. 8(b), (c). This provision applies to handguns if the person was convicted of a stalking crime between August 1, 1996 and 2014.  For convictions after the effective date of 2013 Minn. H.B. 3238’s enactment, this prohibition applies to all firearms. Minn. Stat. § 609.749, subd. 8(c). ⤴︎
  6. Minn. Stat. § 624.713, subd. 1(8). ⤴︎
  7. Minn. Stat. § 624.713, subd. 1(9). ⤴︎
  8. Minn. Stat. §§ 624.713, subd. 1(12), 609.2242, subd. 3(d), (e). This provision applies to handguns if the person was convicted between August 1, 1992 and 2014.  For convictions after the effective date of 2013 Minn. H.B. 3238’s enactment, this prohibition applies to all firearms. Minn. Stat. § 609.2242, subd. 3(e). ⤴︎
  9. Minn. Stat. § 518B.01, subd.14(j), (k). ⤴︎
  10. Minn. Stat. § 518B.01, subd. 14(l). ⤴︎
  11. 2013 Minn. H.B. 3238, amending Minn. Stat. §§ 260C.201, subd. 3(d), 518B.01, subd. 6(g). ⤴︎
  12. Minn. Stat. §§ 260C.201, subd. 3(d), 518B.01, subd. 6(g). ⤴︎
  13. Minn. Stat. §§ 260C.201, subd. 3(f), 518B.01, subd. 6(i). ⤴︎
  14. Id. If the transfer is made to a third party, the third party must sign an affidavit under oath before a notary public either acknowledging that the abusing party permanently transferred the abusing party’s firearms to the third party or agreeing to temporarily store the abusing party’s firearms until such time as the abusing party is legally permitted to possess firearms. The affidavit shall indicate the serial number, make, and model of all firearms transferred by the abusing party to the third party. The third party shall acknowledge in the affidavit that the third party may be held criminally and civilly responsible under section 624.7144 if the abusing party gains access to a transferred firearm while the firearm is in the custody of the third party. If the transfer is to a law enforcement agency or federally licensed firearms dealer, the law enforcement agency or federally licensed firearms dealer shall provide proof of transfer to the abusing party. ⤴︎
  15. Id. ⤴︎
  16. Id., Minn. Stat. §§ 260C.201, subd. 3(f), 518B.01, subd. 6(i). ⤴︎
  17. Minn. Stat. §§ 609.749, subd. 8(e)-(g), 609.2242, subd. 3(f)-(h). ⤴︎
  18. Minn. Stat. § 518B.01, subd. 14(m). See Minn. Stat. § 609.5316, subd. 3 regarding forfeiture of weapons. ⤴︎

Domestic Violence & Firearms in Mississippi

Mississippi law does not:

  • Prohibit individuals convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors from purchasing or possessing firearms or ammunition, unlike federal law;
  • Prohibit individuals subject to domestic violence protective orders from possessing firearms or ammunition, unlike federal law;
  • Require courts to notify domestic abusers when they become prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law;
  • Require the surrender of firearms or ammunition by domestic abusers who have become prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law; or
  • Explicitly authorize or require the removal of firearms or ammunition at the scene of a domestic violence incident.

See our Domestic Violence and Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Domestic Violence & Firearms in Missouri

Missouri law does not:

  • Prohibit individuals convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors from purchasing or possessing firearms or ammunition, unlike federal law;
  • Prohibit individuals subject to domestic violence protective orders from possessing firearms or ammunition, unlike federal law;
  • Require courts to notify domestic abusers when they become prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law;
  • Require the surrender of firearms or ammunition by domestic abusers who have become prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law; or
  • Explicitly authorize or require the removal of firearms or ammunition at the scene of a domestic violence incident.1

See our Domestic Violence & Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. For prohibitions on obtaining a concealed carry endorsement due to a domestic violence order of protection, see the Concealed Weapons Permitting in Missouri page. ⤴︎

Domestic Violence & Firearms in Montana

Firearm Prohibitions for Domestic Violence Misdemeanants

Unlike federal law, Montana does not strictly proscribe domestic violence misdemeanants from purchasing or owning firearms.  However, courts do have limited authority to regulate firearm use and possession by anyone who has used a firearm to perpetrate domestic violence. Namely, a court may prohibit the domestic violence offender from using or possessing a firearm that was used in a domestic violence assault.1 In addition, a court, at its discretion, may have the county sheriff in the domestic violence offender’s county of residence revoke or deny renewal of a concealed weapons permit.2

Montana defines domestic violence (which it terms “partner or family member assault”) as:

  • Purposely or knowingly causing bodily injury to a partner3 or family member;4
  • Negligently causing bodily injury to a partner or family member with a weapon; or
  • Purposely or knowingly causing reasonable apprehension of bodily injury in a partner or family member.5

Firearm Prohibitions for Persons Subject to Domestic Violence Protective Orders

Montana prohibits subjects of certain domestic violence protective orders from possessing or using certain firearms. District courts, justices’ courts, municipal courts and city courts are authorized to issue a temporary protective order that prohibits the respondent from possessing or using a firearm used in an assault.6 In order to secure a temporary protective order, a petitioner is required to file a sworn statement asserting that the petitioner:

  • Is in reasonable apprehension of bodily injury; or
  • Is a victim of one of the offenses listed in Montana Code Ann. § 40-15-102, which includes partner or family member assault, and has a relationship to the respondent if required by Montana Code Ann. § 40-15-102; and
  • Is in danger of harm if the court does not immediately issue a temporary order of protection.

Thereafter, a court will grant a temporary protective order prohibiting the offender from using and possessing a firearm used in an assault only if it determines both that the petitioner will be in danger if it fails to act immediately and that the firearm restriction constitutes appropriate relief.7 Federal law is broader.

Removal or Surrender of a Firearm at the Scene of a Domestic Violence Incident

Montana requires a peace officer responding to a call about a partner or family member assault to seize the weapon used or threatened to be used in the alleged assault.8 The seized weapon may not be returned to the offender until: 1) the offender has been acquitted; or 2) return of the weapon is ordered by the court.9

Montana does not require the removal or surrender of firearms for persons subject to a domestic violence restraining or protective order.

See our Domestic Violence & Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Mont. Code Ann. § 45-5-206(7). ⤴︎
  2. Id. See Mont. Code Ann. § 45-8-323 (authorizing denial of renewal or revocation of a concealed weapons permit). ⤴︎
  3. Mont. Code Ann. § 45-5-206(2)(b) defines “partners” to include spouses, former spouses, persons who have a child in common, and persons who have been or are currently in a dating of ongoing intimate relationship with a person of the opposite sex. ⤴︎
  4. Mont. Code Ann. § 45-5-206(2)(a) defines “family members” to include mothers, fathers, children, brothers, sisters, stepchildren, stepparents, in-laws, adoptive children and parents, and other past or present family members of a household regardless of the ages of the parties and whether the parties reside in the same household. ⤴︎
  5. Mont. Code Ann. § 45-5-206(1)(a)-(c). ⤴︎
  6. Mont. Code Ann. § 40-15-201(1), (2)(f). ⤴︎
  7. Mont. Code Ann. § 40-15-201(1) and (2)(f). ⤴︎
  8. Mont. Code Ann. § 46-6-603(1). ⤴︎
  9. Mont. Code Ann. § 46-6-603(3). ⤴︎

Domestic Violence & Firearms in Nebraska

Nebraska has no law requiring the removal or surrender of firearms when a domestic abuser becomes prohibited from possessing them.

Firearm Prohibitions for Domestic Violence Misdemeanants

Although federal law permanently prohibits individuals convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors from possessing firearms, Nebraska only prohibits a person who has been convicted within the past seven years of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence from possessing a firearm.1 Nebraska law defines a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence to include certain crimes against current and former dating partners.2

Firearm Prohibitions for Protective Order Defendants

Unlike federal law, Nebraska does not generally prohibit a person subject to domestic violence protective order from possessing firearms, unless he or she is knowingly violating the order.3 A law enacted in 2012 authorizes, but does not require, a court that is issuing a domestic violence protective order to prohibit the abuser from purchasing or possessing firearms.4

Notice to Abusers of Federal Firearm Prohibitions

Nebraska law requires that, when sentencing a person convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence as defined by federal law, the court must provide written or oral notification to the defendant that it may be a violation of federal law for the individual to ship or transport in interstate or foreign commerce, or possess in or affecting commerce, any firearm or ammunition, or to receive any firearm or ammunition which has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce.5 The state court administrator’s office is explicitly required to create a standard notification that provides this information and to provide a copy of such notification to all judges in the state.6 The law also requires a court issuing a protective order to serve this notice to the abuser on the state court administrator’s form.7

Removal of Firearms from the Scene of a Domestic Violence Incident

In Nebraska, during an arrest for domestic assault, law enforcement must seize those firearms alleged to have been involved or threatened to be used at the scene of a domestic violence incident.8 Law enforcement may also remove firearms and ammunition in plain view as necessary to protect the officer or any other person.9 In addition, law enforcement may remove firearms and ammunition discovered during a consensual search, if necessary to protect the officer or any other person.10 Nebraska law states that the disposition of firearms seized at a domestic violence scene must be determined by court order.11

See our Domestic Violence & Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue

Notes
  1. Neb. Rev. Stat. § 28-1206(1)(b). ⤴︎
  2. Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 28-1206(5), 28-323(8). ⤴︎
  3. In addition to domestic violence protective orders, Nebraska law prohibits a person from possessing firearms or ammunition if they knowingly violate a harassment protection order or sexual assault protection order. Neb. Rev. Stat. § 28-1206(1)(a)(iii). ⤴︎
  4. Neb. Rev. Stat. § 42-924(1)(g). ⤴︎
  5. Neb. Rev. Stat. § 29-2291. ⤴︎
  6. Id. ⤴︎
  7. Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 29-2291, 42-925. ⤴︎
  8. Neb. Rev. Stat. § 29-440(1)(a). ⤴︎
  9. Neb. Rev. Stat. § 29-440(1)(b). ⤴︎
  10. Id. ⤴︎
  11. Neb. Rev. Stat. § 29-440(3). ⤴︎

Domestic Violence & Firearms in Nevada

See our Domestic Violence & Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Nevada has no law:

  • Requiring the removal of firearms or ammunition at the scene of a domestic violence incident.

Firearm Prohibitions for Persons Convicted of Domestic Violence Misdemeanors

Nevada law mirrors federal law by prohibiting a person with a misdemeanor domestic violence conviction in any state from possessing firearms.1 In every conviction or admonishment of rights issued for a battery which constitutes domestic violence, the court must inform the person convicted that he or she is prohibited from owning, possessing, or having under his or her custody any firearm, and also order the person convicted to permanently surrender, sell, or transfer any firearm that he or she owns or has in his or her possession, custody, or control.2

If a court finds that a person convicted of stalking committed the crime against a family or household member and that the victim has an ongoing, reasonable fear of physical harm, then the court must enter such finding in its judgment of conviction or admonishment of rights and inform the person convicted that he or she is prohibited from owning or possessing any firearm. The court must also order the person convicted to permanently surrender, sell, or transfer any firearm that he or she owns or that is in his or her possession or control.3

Firearm Prohibitions for Persons Subject to Domestic Violence Protective Orders

Nevada authorizes, but does not require, a court to include in an extended order for protection against domestic violence (issued after notice and a hearing) a requirement that prohibits the adverse party from possessing or having under his or her control any firearm while the order is in effect.4

In determining whether to include this provision in an extended order, a court must consider whether the adverse party:

  • Has a documented history of domestic violence;
  • Has used or threatened to use a firearm to injure or harass the applicant, a minor child or any other person; and
  • Has used a firearm in the commission or attempted commission of any crime.5

A court that includes this restriction in an extended order may also include a limited exception allowing possession or control of a firearm if:

  • The adverse party establishes that he or she is employed by an employer who requires the adverse party to use or possess a firearm as an integral part of the adverse party’s employment, and the adverse party only uses or possesses the firearm in the course of such employment; and
  • The employer will provide storage for any such firearm during any period when the adverse party is not working.6

Note that federal law also prohibits many domestic violence protective order defendants from possessing firearms.

Removal or Surrender of Firearms When Domestic Violence Protective Orders Are Issued

In Nevada, a court may include in an extended order for protection against domestic violence a requirement that the adverse party surrender to law enforcement, or sell or transfer, any firearm in that person’s possession, custody or control.7

If a court orders an adverse party to surrender any firearm, that person must, not later than 24 hours after service of the order:

  • Surrender any firearms to the appropriate local law enforcement agency designated by the court in the order;
  • Surrender any firearms to a person designated by the court in the order;
  • Sell or transfer any firearms to a licensed firearm dealer; or
  • Submit an affidavit informing the court that he or she currently does not have any firearm in his or her possession and acknowledging that failure to surrender any firearm in his or her possession is a violation of the extended order and of Nevada law.8

If there is probable cause to believe that the adverse party has not surrendered, sold or transferred any firearm in his or her possession, custody or control within 24 hours after service of the order, the court may issue and deliver to any law enforcement officer a search warrant which authorizes law enforcement to enter and search any place where there is probable cause to believe any firearm is located and seize the firearm.9

In determining whether to require an adverse party to surrender his or her firearms for the duration of the extended protective order, a court must consider whether the adverse party:

  • Has a documented history of domestic violence;
  • Has used or threatened to use a firearm to injure or harass the applicant, a minor child or any other person; and
  • Has used a firearm in the commission or attempted commission of any crime.10

A court that includes this restriction in an extended order may also include a limited exception allowing possession or control of a firearm if:

  • The adverse party establishes that he or she is employed by an employer who requires the adverse party to use or possess a firearm as an integral part of the adverse party’s employment, and the adverse party only uses or possesses the firearm in the course of such employment; and
  • The employer will provide storage for any such firearm during any period when the adverse party is not working.11
Notes
  1. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 202.360(1)(a). ⤴︎
  2. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 200.485(9). ⤴︎
  3. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 200.575(5),(6). ⤴︎
  4. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 33.031(1)(b). An extended order may be issued when a court is satisfied that specific facts demonstrate that an act of domestic violence occurred or a threat of domestic violence exists, and after the court provides notice to the adverse party and holds a hearing on the application for an order of protection. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 33.020(1), (3). ⤴︎
  5. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 33.031(2). ⤴︎
  6. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 33.031(3). ⤴︎
  7. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 33.031(1)(a). ⤴︎
  8. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 33.033(1). ⤴︎
  9. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 33.033(5). For additional information on the firearms surrender process, see Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 33.033(2)-(4), (6). ⤴︎
  10. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 33.031(2). ⤴︎
  11. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 33.031(3). ⤴︎

Domestic Violence & Firearms in New Hampshire

 

See our Domestic Violence and Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

New Hampshire law, unlike federal law, does not prohibit individuals convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors from purchasing or possessing firearms or ammunition.

New Hampshire prohibits a defendant subject to a domestic violence protective order from purchasing, receiving, or possessing any and all firearms and ammunition for the duration of the order.1 If there is probable cause to believe that firearms and ammunition are kept on the defendant’s premises, the court may issue a search warrant authorizing a peace officer to seize any and all firearms and ammunition.2 New Hampshire law also includes a specific provision penalizing a person who completes and signs an application for purchase of a firearm and who knows that such purchase is illegal because he or she is subject to a protective order.3.

In issuing a domestic violence protective order, a New Hampshire court must direct the defendant to relinquish to a peace officer any and all firearms and ammunition in the control, ownership or possession of the defendant or any other person on behalf of the defendant. The firearms and ammunition must remain relinquished for the duration of the protective order.4 In issuing a temporary domestic violence protective order, a court may (but need not) include a similar command.5 Under a law enacted in 2014, a person who knowingly violates any term of a temporary domestic violence restraining order by means of the use or attempted use of physical force or the threatened use of a deadly weapon, is guilty of the crime of domestic violence.6

A person who does any of the following against a family or household member7 or intimate partner8 is also guilty of domestic violence under New Hampshire law:

  • Uses or attempts to use physical force, or by physical conduct threatens to use a deadly weapon for the purpose of placing another in fear of imminent bodily injury;
  • Threatens to use a deadly weapon against another person for the purpose to terrorize that person;
  • Threatens to use a deadly weapon to cause another to submit to sexual contact and the victim believes the actor has the present ability to carry out the threat;
  • Confines another unlawfully, by means of physical force or the threatened use of a deadly weapon, so as to interfere substantially with his or her physical movement;
  • Uses physical force or the threatened use of a deadly weapon against another to block that person’s access to any cell phone, telephone, or electronic communication device with the purpose of preventing, obstructing, or interfering with: (1) The report of any criminal offense, bodily injury, or property damage to a law enforcement agency; or (2) A request for an ambulance or emergency medical assistance to any law enforcement agency or emergency medical provider.9

If a person uses or threatens to use a deadly weapon in the commission of a crime of domestic violence, they are guilty of a felony. Otherwise a crime of domestic violence is generally punishable as a misdemeanor.10

Whenever any peace officer has probable cause to believe that a person has been abused, New Hampshire law requires the officer to use all means within reason to prevent further abuse, including confiscating any firearms and ammunition in the defendant’s control, ownership or possession.11

Notes
  1. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 173-B:5(II). ⤴︎
  2. Id. In addition, following a defendant’s arrest for violating a temporary or permanent protective order, the arresting officer must seize any firearms or ammunition in the control, ownership or possession of the defendant. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 173-B:9(I)(b). ⤴︎
  3. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 159-D:3. ⤴︎
  4. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 173-B:5(I). ⤴︎
  5. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 173-B:4(I). ⤴︎
  6. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 631:2-b(I)(j). ⤴︎
  7. “Family or household member” means 1) the actor’s spouse or former spouse; 2) a person with whom the actor is cohabiting as a spouse, parent, or guardian; 3) a person with whom the actor cohabited as a spouse, parent, or guardian but no longer shares the same residence; 4) an adult with whom the actor is related by blood or marriage; or 5) a person with whom the actor shares a child in common. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 631:2-b(III)(a). ⤴︎
  8. “Intimate partner” means a person with whom the actor is currently or was formerly involved in a romantic relationship, regardless of whether or not the relationship was sexually consummated. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 631:2-b(III)(b). ⤴︎
  9. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 631:2-b(I). ⤴︎
  10. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 631:2-b(II). ⤴︎
  11. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 173-B:10(I)(a). ⤴︎

Domestic Violence & Firearms in New Jersey

See our Domestic Violence & Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Firearm Prohibitions for Domestic Violence Misdemeanants

New Jersey prohibits the purchase, ownership, possession or control of a firearm by persons convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence offenses.1 The state also authorizes courts to prohibit defendants from purchasing or possessing firearms in cases where the defendant is charged with (but not yet convicted of) a domestic violence crime or offense.2

Firearm Prohibitions for Persons Subject to Domestic Violence Restraining Orders

New Jersey allows victims of domestic violence to seek a restraining order against: 1) a spouse, former spouse, or any other person who is a present or former household member; 2) a former or current dating partner or anyone with whom the victim has had a romantic relationship; or 3) any person with whom the victim has a child in common or anticipates having a child in common, if one of the parties is pregnant.3

New Jersey prohibits an individual from purchasing, owning, possessing or controlling a firearm, a permit to purchase a handgun, or a Firearms Purchaser Identification Card (FPIC) if he or she is subject to a domestic violence restraining order.4

New Jersey also allows a judge to prohibit the purchase or possession of a firearm by persons subject to ex parte domestic violence protective orders (i.e., orders issued without informing in advance the party to whom the protective order is directed).5

Removal or Surrender of Firearms at the Scene of a Domestic Violence Incident

In New Jersey, law enforcement must seize and remove firearms observed at the scene of a domestic violence incident if the law enforcement officer reasonably believes domestic violence has occurred and the weapon would expose the victim to a risk of serious bodily injury.6 An officer must also seize any FPIC or permit to purchase a handgun issued to the person accused of the domestic violence.7

A prosecutor has 45 days from the seizure in which to petition a court to take title of a seized firearm.8 If the prosecutor does not institute an action regarding the firearm within 45 days of seizure, the seized firearm shall be returned to the owner.9 Following a hearing concerning the owner of the seized firearm(s) that finds the weapons should not be returned because the defendant is guilty of the charges, the domestic violence situation persists, or the owner is found to be in a prohibited category under state law,10 the court may order the revocation of the owners FPIC or any permit, license or other authorization to own or possess a firearm, and order the owner to surrender any firearm seized and all other firearms possessed to the prosecutor and order the prosecutor to dispose of the firearms if the owner does not arrange for the sale of the firearm to a registered gun dealer within 60 days of the order.11

Removal or Surrender of Firearms Pursuant to Domestic Violence Convictions or Certain Domestic Violence Restraining Orders

As of August 1, 2017, New Jersey will require defendants convicted of a domestic violence crimes to immediately surrender their firearms, firearms purchaser identification cards, and permits to purchase handguns to law enforcement.12 Individuals subject to domestic violence restraining orders, or temporary orders in which the judge has prohibited the respondent from possessing firearms, must also surrender their firearms.13 For more information about this process, see Disarming Prohibited Persons in New Jersey.

For general information on the background check process and categories of prohibited purchasers or possessors, see the New Jersey Background Checks and New Jersey Prohibited Purchasers Generally sections.

 

Notes
  1. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:39-7b(1), (2). State law prohibits the issuance of a permit to purchase a handgun or a Firearms Purchaser Identification Card to any person convicted of “any crime, or a disorderly persons offense involving…domestic violence.” N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:58-3c(1). ⤴︎
  2. N.J. Stat. Ann. §§ 2C:25-19a; 2C:25-26a. ⤴︎
  3. N.J. Stat. Ann. §§ 2C:25-19d. ⤴︎
  4. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:25-29(b); 2C:58-3c(6). ⤴︎
  5. N.J. Stat. Ann. §§ 2C:25-28f, j; 2C:25-29b. ⤴︎
  6. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:25-21d(1). ⤴︎
  7. Id. ⤴︎
  8. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:25-21d(2), (3). ⤴︎
  9. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:25-21d(3). ⤴︎
  10. See N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:58-3, and the New Jersey Prohibited Purchasers Generally section. ⤴︎
  11. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:25-21d(3)(b). ⤴︎
  12. N.J. Stat. Ann. §§ 2C:25-27, effective August 1, 2017. ⤴︎
  13. N.J. Stat. Ann. §§ 2C:25-28(j); 2C:25-29(b), effective August 1, 2017. ⤴︎

Domestic Violence & Firearms in New Mexico

New Mexico does not:

  • Prohibit individuals convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors from purchasing or possessing firearms or ammunition (unlike federal law);
  • Prohibit individuals subject to domestic violence protective orders from possessing firearms or ammunition (unlike federal law);
  • Require courts to notify domestic abusers when they become prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law;
  • Require the surrender of firearms or ammunition by domestic abusers who have become prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law; or
  • Authorize or require the removal of firearms or ammunition at the scene of a domestic violence incident.

See our Domestic Violence & Firearms  policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Domestic Violence & Firearms in New York

New York law does not explicitly authorize or require the removal of firearms or ammunition at the scene of a domestic violence incident.

Domestic Violence Misdemeanants

New York prohibits persons convicted of specific violent misdemeanors, defined as “serious offenses,” from obtaining a license to purchase or possess a handgun, assault weapon, or long guns of certain dimensions, thereby prohibiting these persons from possessing these weapons.1 State law also prohibits persons with select violent misdemeanor convictions from possessing long guns.2  However, though the definition of “serious offenses” includes misdemeanor stalking, child endangerment, and sexual offense convictions, certain violent misdemeanors like assault and battery crimes are not included and therefore do not disqualify a perpetrator from possessing a firearm, even if committed in the context of a domestic or dating relationship.3.

New York authorizes courts to prohibit a defendant from purchasing or possessing firearms, and to suspend any existing firearm licenses in a defendant’s name in cases where the defendant is charged with (but not yet convicted of) certain domestic violence misdemeanors.  In addition, the court must suspend or revoke defendant’s firearms license and order the immediate surrender of firearms where the court finds a substantial risk that the defendant may use or threaten to use a firearm unlawfully against the person for whose protection the protection order is issued.4

Any court that is issuing a sentence for domestic violence or another violent crime may also issue an order of protection or temporary order of protection. If the court issues such an order, and the crime is a felony or “serious offense,” the court must revoke any firearm license possessed by the respondent, order the respondent ineligible for a license, and order the immediate surrender of any firearms possessed or owned.  In addition, the court must suspend or revoke defendant’s firearms license and order the immediate surrender of firearms where the court finds a substantial risk that the defendant may use or threaten to use a firearm unlawfully against the person for whose protection the protection order is issued.5

Reporting of Domestic Violence Misdemeanants for Background Checks

Federal law prohibits possession of a firearm by a person convicted of a “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.” In 2011, New York enacted a law establishing a procedure to be used in trials for certain violent misdemeanors to determine whether the crime qualifies as domestic violence under the federal definition of that term. More specifically, when a defendant has been charged with one of a list of crimes, prosecutors may serve a notice alleging that the defendant and the victim had the requisite domestic relationship.6 Upon conviction, the court must notify the defendant that he or she is entitled to a hearing on that allegation.7 At such a hearing, the prosecution bears the burden to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is related or situated to the victim in the manner alleged in the notice.8 If the requisite domestic relationship is found, the clerk of the court must send a copy of the written determination in a report of the conviction to the Division of Criminal Justice Services, who then reports the determination to the FBI (which maintains the database used for firearm purchaser background checks).9

Domestic Violence Protective Orders

In certain circumstances, New York prohibits a person subject to a domestic violence protective order or an ex parte domestic violence protective order (the “respondent”) from having a firearms license, and requires the revocation of any existing firearms license in the name of the respondent.10 More specifically, when a domestic violence protective order is issued, the court must revoke a license, order the respondent ineligible for a license and order the immediate surrender of any firearms owned or possessed by respondent, if the court finds that the conduct leading to an order of protection involved:

• Infliction of physical injury;
• The use or threatened use of a deadly weapon; or
• Behavior constituting a violent felony offense.11

When a temporary order of protection is issued to protect a victim during a pending criminal action, or in a family court proceeding prior to a final protective order, a court must suspend a firearm license, order the respondent ineligible for a license and order the immediate surrender of all firearms possessed or owned by the respondent, if the court has good cause to believe that the respondent:

• Has a prior conviction of a violent felony;
• Has previously willfully failed to obey a prior order of protection, and the failure involved the infliction of physical injury, the use or threatened use of a deadly weapon, or behavior constituting any violent felony offense; or
• Has a prior conviction of stalking in the first, second, third or fourth degree.12

In addition, a court issuing a domestic violence protective order or a temporary order of protection or finding that a respondent has willfully failed to obey a domestic violence order of protection must revoke or suspend the respondent’s firearms license, order the respondent ineligible for a future license, and order the immediate surrender of all firearms owned or possessed by the respondent, if the court finds a substantial risk that the respondent may use or threaten to use a firearm unlawfully against the person(s) for whose protection the order was issued.13

When a respondent is found to have willfully failed to obey a domestic violence order of protection or temporary order of protection, the court must revoke any existing firearms license held by the respondent, order the respondent ineligible for a license, and order the immediate surrender of any or all firearms owned or possessed by the respondent if the failure to obey involved:

• Serious physical injury;
• Use or threatened use of deadly weapons;
• Behavior constituting a violent felony offense; or
• Behavior constituting stalking in the first, second, third or fourth degrees.14

When a Family Court in New York issues an order of protection, temporary order of protection, or when such orders are violated, the court must make a determination regarding the suspension or revocation of a firearms license and the surrender of firearms, in accordance with the above principles.15

For laws governing the procedure for surrender of firearms by a person subject to a protective order, see Disarming Prohibited Persons in New York.

See our Domestic Violence and Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. N.Y. Penal Law §§ 400.00(1), 265.00(17). ⤴︎
  2. N.Y. Penal Law §§ 265.01(4), 265.00(17). ⤴︎
  3. See N.Y. Penal Law § 265.00(17 ⤴︎
  4. N.Y. Crim. Proc. Law §§ 530.12(1), 530.14(1)(b), (2)(b). ⤴︎
  5. N.Y. Crim. Proc. Law §§ 530.14(1)(b), (2)(a); N.Y. Penal Law § 400.00(11). ⤴︎
  6. N.Y. Crim. Proc. Law § 370.15(1). ⤴︎
  7. N.Y. Crim. Proc. Law § 370.15(2). ⤴︎
  8. N.Y. Crim. Proc. Law § 370.15(3). ⤴︎
  9. N.Y. Crim. Proc. Law § 380.97 ⤴︎
  10. N.Y. Fam. Ct. Act § 842-a(1), (2), § 828(1)(a), (3); N.Y. Crim. Proc. Law §§ 530.12(1), 530.14(1)(a), (2). See also N.Y. Penal Law § 400.00(1)(e), (11). ⤴︎
  11. N.Y. Fam. Ct. Act § 842-a(2)(a), (3). ⤴︎
  12. N.Y. Crim. Proc. Law §§ 530.12(1), 530.14(1)(a); N.Y. Fam. Ct. Act § 842-a(1). ⤴︎
  13. N.Y. Crim. Proc. Law § 530.14(1)(b), (2)(b), (3)(b); N.Y. Fam. Ct. Act § 842-a(1)(b), (2)(b), (3)(b). ⤴︎
  14. N.Y. Crim. Proc. Law § 530.14(3)(a); N.Y. Fam. Ct. Act §§ 842-a(3)(a), 846-a. ⤴︎
  15. N.Y. Fam. Ct. Act. § 446-a. ⤴︎

Domestic Violence & Firearms in North Carolina

North Carolina has no law:

  • Requiring the removal or surrender of firearms from the scene of a domestic violence incident; or
  • Prohibiting individuals convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors from purchasing or possessing firearms or ammunition, although:
    • Federal law applies;
    • A 2015 state law makes these individuals ineligible for a concealed handgun permit; and
    • A 2015 state law requires fingerprinting of some misdemeanants, and recording of the relationship between certain perpetrators and their victims, to assist in identification of these misdemeanants.1

Firearm Prohibitions for Persons Subject to Domestic Violence Protective Orders, and Relinquishment of Firearms When Domestic Violence Protective Orders Are Issued

North Carolina law provides that a court that has found that an act of domestic violence has occurred must grant a protective order restraining the defendant from further acts of domestic violence.2 Through the order, the court may prohibit a party from purchasing a firearm for a time fixed in the order.3  Domestic violence is defined in N.C. Gen. Stat. § 50B-1(a).4

A North Carolina statute states that it is unlawful for any person to possess, purchase, or receive a firearm, machine gun, ammunition, or a permit to purchase or carry concealed firearms if ordered by a court in a protective order that is in effect.5

State law provides that upon issuance of an emergency or ex parte domestic violence protective order, the court must order the defendant to surrender to the sheriff all firearms, ammunition, permits to purchase firearms, and permits to carry concealed firearms that are in his or her care, custody, possession, ownership, or control if the court finds any of the following factors:

  • The use or threatened use of a deadly weapon by the defendant or a pattern of prior conduct involving the use or threatened use of violence with a firearm against persons;
  • Threats to seriously injure or kill the aggrieved party or minor child by the defendant;
  • Threats to commit suicide by the defendant; or
  • Serious injuries inflicted upon the aggrieved party or minor child by the defendant.6

Note that federal law is broader.

At any ex parte, emergency, and regular hearing for a domestic violence protective order, the court must inquire of the plaintiff the presence of, ownership of, or otherwise access to firearms by the defendant, as well as ammunition, permits to purchase firearms, and permits to carry concealed firearms, and include, whenever possible, identifying information regarding the description, number, and location of firearms, ammunition, and permits in the order.7

Upon service of a domestic violence order that requires such surrender, the defendant must immediately surrender to the sheriff possession of all firearms, ammunition, permits to purchase firearms, and permits to carry concealed firearms that are in the care, custody, possession, ownership, or control of the defendant.8 In the event that weapons cannot be surrendered at the time the order is served, the defendant must surrender the firearms, ammunitions, and permits to the sheriff within 24 hours of service at a time and place specified by the sheriff.9

If the court orders the defendant to surrender firearms, ammunition, and permits, the court must inform the plaintiff and the defendant of the terms of the protective order and include these terms on the face of the order, including that the defendant is prohibited from possessing or purchasing a firearm for so long as the protective order or any successive protective order is in effect.10 The sheriff may not release firearms, ammunition, or permits without a court order granting the release.11

If the court does not enter a protective order when the ex parte or emergency order expires, the defendant may retrieve any weapons surrendered to the sheriff unless the court finds that the defendant is precluded from owning or possessing a firearm pursuant to state or federal law or final disposition of any pending criminal charges for crimes committed against the person protected by the protective order.12

The defendant may request the return of any firearms, ammunition, or permits surrendered by filing a motion with the court at the expiration of the protective order or final disposition of any pending criminal charges and not later than 90 days thereafter. Upon receipt of the motion, the court must schedule a hearing and provide written notice to the plaintiff and to the sheriff who has control of the firearms, ammunition, or permits.13 The inquiry must include:

  • Whether the protective order has been renewed;
  • Whether the defendant is subject to any other protective orders;
  • Whether the defendant is disqualified from owning or possessing a firearm pursuant to federal or state law;14 and
  • Whether the defendant has any pending criminal charges, in either state or federal court for crimes committed against the person who is the subject of the protective order.15

The court must deny the return of firearms, ammunition, or permits if the court finds that the defendant is precluded from owning or possessing a firearm pursuant to state or federal law or if the defendant has any pending criminal charges for crimes committed against the person protected by the current protective order until the final disposition of those charges.16

It is unlawful for any person subject to a protective order prohibiting the possession or purchase of firearms to:

  • Purchase or possess a firearm, ammunition, or permits to purchase or carry concealed firearms;
  • Fail to surrender all firearms, ammunition, permits to purchase firearms, and permits to carry concealed firearms to the sheriff as ordered by the court;
  • Fail to disclose all information pertaining to the possession of firearms, ammunition, and permits to purchase and permits to carry concealed firearms as requested by the court; or
  • Provide false information to the court pertaining to any of these items.17

Finally, pursuant to state law, no person may obtain a permit to purchase a handgun if he or she is subject to a court order that:

  • Was issued after a hearing of which the person received actual notice, and at which the person had an opportunity to participate;
  • Restrains the person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner of the person or child of the intimate partner of the person, or engaging in other conduct that would place an intimate partner in reasonable fear of bodily injury to the partner or child; and
  • Includes a finding that the person represents a credible threat to the physical safety of the intimate partner or child; or by its terms explicitly prohibits the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the intimate partner or child that would reasonably be expected to cause bodily injury.18

State law requires the sheriff of a county to provide for prompt entry of all domestic violence protective orders into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) protection order file, which is used in the background check process prior to firearm transfers.19

For general information on the background check process and categories of prohibited purchasers or possessors, see the North Carolina Background Checks section.

See our Domestic Violence and Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

 

Notes
  1. See N.C. Gen. Stat. § 15A‑502. ⤴︎
  2. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 50B-3. ⤴︎
  3. Id. ⤴︎
  4. North Carolina law defines “domestic violence” as the commission of one or more of the following acts upon an aggrieved party or upon a minor child residing with or in the custody of the aggrieved party by a person with whom the aggrieved party has or has had a “personal relationship”: attempting to cause bodily injury, or intentionally causing bodily injury; placing the aggrieved party or a member of the aggrieved party’s family or household in fear of imminent serious bodily injury or continued harassment that rises to such a level as to inflict substantial emotional distress; or committing one or more of the sexual offenses defined under state law. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 50B-1(a).

    “Personal relationship” means a relationship wherein the parties involved: Are current or former spouses; are persons of opposite sex who live together or have lived together; are related as parents and children, including others acting in loco parentis to a minor child, or as grandparents and grandchildren. For purposes of this subdivision, an aggrieved party may not obtain an order of protection against a child or grandchild under the age of 16; have a child in common; are current or former household members; or are persons of the opposite sex who are in a dating relationship or have been in a “dating relationship.” A “dating relationship” is one wherein the parties are romantically involved over time and on a continuous basis during the course of the relationship. A casual acquaintance or ordinary fraternization between persons in a business or social context is not a dating relationship. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 50B-1(b). ⤴︎

  5. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-269.8; see also Chapter 50B of the General Statutes regarding protective orders. ⤴︎
  6. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 50B-3.1(a). ⤴︎
  7. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 50B-3.1(b), (c). ⤴︎
  8. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 50B-3.1(d). A third-party owner of firearms, ammunition, or permits who is otherwise eligible to possess such items may file a motion requesting the return of any such items seized as a result of the domestic violence protective order. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 50B-3.1(g). ⤴︎
  9. Id. ⤴︎
  10. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 50B-3.1(d)(1). ⤴︎
  11. Id. ⤴︎
  12. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 50B-3.1(e). ⤴︎
  13. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 50B-3.1(f). ⤴︎
  14. See 18 U.S.C. § 922 et. seq. ⤴︎
  15. Id. ⤴︎
  16. Id. ⤴︎
  17. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 50B-3.1(i), (j); see also N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-269.8. ⤴︎
  18. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-404(c)(8). The terms of state law mirror the federal law that prohibits possession of a firearm by a person subject to a domestic violence protective order. See 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(8) and N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-404(c)(8). ⤴︎
  19. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 50B-3(d). ⤴︎

Domestic Violence & Firearms in North Dakota

North Dakota law does not:

  • Prohibit individuals convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors from possessing firearms or ammunition (unlike federal law);
  • Prohibit individuals subject to domestic violence protective orders from possessing firearms or ammunition (unlike federal law);
  • Require courts to notify domestic abusers when they become prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law; or
  • Explicitly authorize or require the removal of firearms or ammunition at the scene of a domestic violence incident.

North Dakota law authorizes a court that is issuing a domestic violence protection order to require the respondent to surrender for safekeeping any firearm in the respondent’s immediate possession or control or subject to the respondent’s immediate control, if the court has probable cause to believe that the respondent is likely to use, display, or threaten to use the firearm in further acts of violence.1 A court is authorized to include this provision in ex parte temporary protection orders (those issued without notice and a hearing) as well.2 If so ordered, the respondent shall surrender the firearm to the designee of the sheriff of the county, or to the chief of police of the city, where the respondent resides, in the manner, time, and place determined by the assigned law enforcement officer.3 Law enforcement officers are authorized to arrest the respondent if he or she fails to comply.4

A domestic violence protection order, including a temporary ex parte one, is available to any of the following individuals who have been subject to domestic violence: a spouse, family member, former spouse, parent, child, person related by blood or marriage, person in a dating relationship, person presently residing with or who has resided in the past with the abuser, person with a child in common to the abuser, and any person with a sufficient relationship to the abuser as determined by the court.5

When an individual who is charged with or arrested for a crime of violence or threat of violence, stalking, harassment, or a sex offense, who is the subject of an order prohibiting contact, is released from custody before arraignment or trial, the court must require the individual to surrender any firearm in or subject to the individual’s immediate possession or control to the sheriff of the county or chief of police of the city where the individual resides if the court has probable cause to believe that the individual charged or arrested is likely to use, display, or threaten to use a firearm in any further act of violence.6

For general information on the background check process and categories of prohibited purchasers or possessors, see the North Dakota Background Checks and North Dakota Prohibited Purchasers Generally sections.

See our Domestic Violence and Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. N.D. Cent. Code § 14-07.1-02(4)(g). ⤴︎
  2. N.D. Cent. Code § 14-07.1-03(2)(d). ⤴︎
  3. N.D. Cent. Code § 14-07.1-02(4)(g), 14-07.1-03(2)(d). ⤴︎
  4. Id.; N.D. Cent. Code § 14-07.1-11. ⤴︎
  5. N.D. Cent. Code § 14-07.1-01(4). ⤴︎
  6. N.D. Cent. Code §12.1-31.2-02(2). ⤴︎

Domestic Violence & Firearms in Ohio

Ohio has no law:

• Prohibiting individuals convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors from purchasing or possessing firearms or ammunition, although federal law applies;

• Prohibiting individuals subject to domestic violence protective orders from possessing firearms or ammunition,1 although federal law applies; or

• Requiring the removal or surrender of firearms at the time a domestic violence protective order is issued.

When a court issues a domestic violence order of protection, Ohio law requires the court to provide the parties to the order with the following notice, orally or in a form:

“NOTICE

As a result of this order or consent agreement, it may be unlawful for you to possess or purchase a firearm, including a rifle, pistol, or revolver, or ammunition pursuant to federal law under 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(8). If you have any questions whether this law makes it illegal for you to possess or purchase a firearm or ammunition, you should consult an attorney.”2

Ohio law requires a police officer who is responding to the scene of an alleged incident of domestic violence or a violation of a protection order to seize any weapon used, brandished, or threatened to be used in the incident.3 Seized firearms must be given permanently to law enforcement, sold at public auction or to a federally licensed firearms dealer, or destroyed.4

See our Domestic Violence and Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. As part of granting a domestic violence protection order or agreement, a court may grant any appropriate and equitable relief, but state law does not specify whether a firearm prohibition is permissible. See Ohio Rev. Code § 3113.31(E)(1)(h). ⤴︎
  2. Ohio Rev. Code §§ 2151.34(F)(2), 2903.214(F)(2), 3113.31(F)(2). ⤴︎
  3. Ohio Rev. Code § 2935.03(B)(3)(h). ⤴︎
  4. Ohio Rev. Code § 2981.12(A)(2). ⤴︎

Domestic Violence & Firearms in Oklahoma

Oklahoma has no law:

  • Prohibiting individuals convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors from purchasing or possessing firearms or ammunition (unlike federal law);
  • Prohibiting individuals subject to domestic violence protective orders from possessing firearms or ammunition (unlike federal law); or
  • Requiring the surrender of firearms or ammunition by domestic abusers who have become prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law.

Notice to Protective Order Defendants Regarding Federal Prohibition

In Oklahoma, a person’s ex parte or final protective orders must state, among other things, that possession of a firearm or ammunition while the order is in effect may subject the person to prosecution under federal law “even if the order does not specifically prohibit the person from possessing firearms or ammunition.”1

Removal or Surrender of Firearms at the Scene of a Domestic Violence Incident

Oklahoma requires law enforcement to remove any weapon or instrument – including a firearm – when an officer has probable cause to believe the weapon or instrument has been used to commit an act of domestic abuse, but only if the abuser is simultaneously arrested.2

See our Domestic Violence & Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 22, § 60.11. ⤴︎
  2. Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 22, § 60.8(A). ⤴︎

Domestic Violence & Firearms in Oregon

Oregon has no laws regarding the removal or surrender of firearms when domestic violence restraining or protective orders are issued or at the scene of a domestic violence incident, or providing notice to domestic abusers when federal law prohibits them from possessing firearms.

Firearm Prohibitions for Domestic Violence Misdemeanants

In 2015, Oregon enacted a law explicitly prohibiting individuals convicted of qualifying misdemeanors from possessing firearms or ammunition if, at the time of the offense, the defendant was a family member of the victim.1 The law defines a “family member” as a spouse, former spouse, a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, the victim’s parent or guardian, a person cohabiting with or who has cohabited with the victim as a spouse, parent or guardian or a person similarly situated to a spouse, parent or guardian of the victim.2 A “qualifying misdemeanor” is a misdemeanor that involves the use, or attempted use, of physical force or the threatened use of a deadly weapon.3

The state also prohibits any person from intentionally selling, delivering, or otherwise transferring any firearm when the transferor knows or reasonably should know that the recipient has been convicted of a “misdemeanor involving violence” or found “guilty except for insanity” of a misdemeanor involving violence within the previous four years.4 A “misdemeanor involving violence” includes an assault in the fourth degree (intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causing physical injury to another or, with criminal negligence, causing physical injury to another by means of a deadly weapon), strangulation, menacing, recklessly endangering another person, or intimidation in the second degree (involving, inter alia, the intentional subjection of another to offensive physical contact because of a perception of the other’s race, color, religion, national origin or sexual orientation.5 Federal law also applies.

Firearm Prohibitions for Persons Subject to Domestic Violence Protective Orders

The 2015 law also prohibits individuals subject to domestic violence protective orders from possessing a firearm or ammunition.6 The protective order must restrain the person from stalking, intimidating, molesting or menacing an intimate partner, a child of an intimate partner or a child of the person. The law defines an “intimate partner” as the person’s spouse, the person’s former spouse, a parent of the person’s child or another person who has cohabited or is cohabiting with the person in a relationship akin to a spouse.7

Additionally, in suits for marital annulment, dissolution or separation, prior to a general judgment, a court must include terms in the interim protective order that trigger the federal law prohibiting the possession of firearms by domestic violence protective order defendants, if the party had notice and an opportunity to be heard, and the court is restraining the party from molesting or interfering with the other party or minor children or requiring the party to move out of the family home for the sake of minor children.8

See our Domestic Violence & Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Or. Rev. Stat. § 166.255. ⤴︎
  2. Id. ⤴︎
  3. Id. ⤴︎
  4. Or. Rev. Stat. § 166.470(1)(g). ⤴︎
  5. Id. ⤴︎
  6. Or. Rev. Stat. § 166.255. ⤴︎
  7. Id. ⤴︎
  8. Or. Rev. Stat. § 107.095(5). ⤴︎

Domestic Violence & Firearms in Pennsylvania

See our Domestic Violence and Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Firearm Prohibitions for Domestic Violence Misdemeanants

Only persons prohibited by federal law from possessing firearms as a result of a domestic violence misdemeanor are subject to Pennsylvania’s law prohibiting firearm possession by domestic violence misdemeanants.1

For information about temporary delays in the background process that allow the Pennsylvania State Police to determine whether a misdemeanor involved domestic violence, see the Pennsylvania Background Checks section.

Firearm Prohibitions for Persons Subject to Domestic Violence Protective Orders, and Relinquishment of Firearms When Domestic Violence Protective Orders Are Issued

Pennsylvania law prohibits anyone subject to a current domestic violence protective order from possessing a firearm if the protective order provides for the relinquishment of firearms.2 A court issuing a domestic violence protective order is authorized, but not required, to order the abuser to relinquish all of his or her firearms, as well as ammunition used or threatened to be used in an incident of abuse.3 Any family member or current or former sexual or intimate partner who has been subject to abuse may seek such an order.4 If ordered to relinquish firearms or ammunition, the abuser must then relinquish his or her firearms and ammunition to law enforcement, a licensed dealer, or a third party who has received a special “safekeeping permit” from law enforcement.5 In the event an abuser decides to relinquish a firearm or ammunition to a dealer or a third party, the dealer or third party must provide the abuser with a receipt describing the firearm or ammunition and the abuser must provide this receipt to law enforcement.6

A plaintiff may also petition for a “temporary” order for protection from abuse if he or she alleges immediate and present danger of abuse to the plaintiff or minor children, in which case the court shall conduct an “ex parte” proceeding (without notice to the defendant).7 In an ex parte proceeding, the court may direct that the defendant temporarily relinquish to the sheriff any firearms or ammunition for the duration of the temporary order if the petition demonstrates abuse which involves a firearm or other weapon, or an immediate and present danger of such abuse (based on a list of factors).8

Pennsylvania law requires the State Police to maintain a registry of temporary and final protection orders, court-approved consent agreements and foreign protection orders.9 This registry indicates whether firearms or ammunition were ordered relinquished in each protection order or consent agreement. A court that has entered a protection order or consent agreement must make the information available to the Pennsylvania State Police within 24 hours of the order.10

For general information on the background check process and categories of prohibited purchasers or possessors, see the Pennsylvania Background Checks and Pennsylvania Prohibited Persons sections.

Removal of Firearms at the Scene of a Domestic Violence Incident

Pennsylvania law grants a police officer a right of arrest without a warrant whenever he or she has probable cause to believe the defendant has committed involuntary manslaughter, assault, reckless endangerment, terroristic threats, or stalking against a “family or household member,” even if the offense did not take place in the officer’s presence, if the officer first observes recent physical injury to the victim or other corroborative evidence.11 Pennsylvania law requires the arresting police officer in this situation to seize all weapons used by the defendant in the commission of the offense.12

In addition, Pennsylvania law grants a police officer a right of arrest without a warrant whenever he or she has probable cause to believe the defendant has violated a protection order, even if the violation was not committed in the presence of the police officer.13 Subsequent to the arrest, the police officer must seize all firearms and ammunition used or threatened to be used during the violation of the protection order or during prior incidents of abuse, and any other firearms in the defendant’s possession.14

Notes
  1. 18 U.S.C. §§ 921(a)(33), 922(g)(9); 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6105(c)(9). The relationship need not be an element of the offense to meet these requirements, so long as the offense was committed by a person in any of the following relationships: (i) the current or former spouse, parent or guardian of the victim; (ii) a person with whom the victim shares a child in common; (iii) a person who cohabits with or has cohabited with the victim as a spouse, parent or guardian; or (iv) a person similarly situated to a spouse, parent or guardian of the victim. 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6105(c)(9)(iv). ⤴︎
  2. 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6105(c)(6). ⤴︎
  3. 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6108(a)(7). ⤴︎
  4. 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. §§ 6102(a), 6108. ⤴︎
  5. 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. §§ 6108-6108.3. ⤴︎
  6. 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. §§ 6108.2(c), 6108.3. ⤴︎
  7. 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6107(b)(1). ⤴︎
  8. 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6107(b)(3). The factors to consider include whether the defendant has previously violated a protection from abuse order, whether past or present abuse to the plaintiff or any of the plaintiff’s minor children resulted in injury, whether the abuse occurred in public, and whether the abuse includes: i) threats of abuse or suicide; (ii) killing or threatening to kill pets; (iii) an escalation of violence; (iv) stalking or obsessive behavior; (v) sexual violence; or (vi) drug or excessive alcohol use. 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6107(b)(3)(ii). ⤴︎
  9. 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6105(e). ⤴︎
  10. 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6105(e)(2), (4). ⤴︎
  11. 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 2711(a). See 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6102 (defining “family or household member”). ⤴︎
  12. 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 2711(b). ⤴︎
  13. 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6113. ⤴︎
  14. Id. ⤴︎

Domestic Violence & Firearms in Rhode Island

Rhode Island significantly strengthened its domestic violence firearm laws in 2017.1

Unlike federal law, Rhode Island law previously did not prohibit people convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors from purchasing or possessing firearms or ammunition, and also did not prohibit people convicted of domestic violence felonies from purchasing or possessing firearms after two years. Prior to 2017, Rhode Island law also authorized, but did not require, courts to prohibit people subject to domestic violence protective orders from acquiring or possessing guns.

However, Rhode Island still does not expressly authorize or require law enforcement officers to remove firearms from the scene of a domestic violence incident, and generally requires courts to restore firearm rights to people convicted of certain domestic violence misdemeanors, upon request, once five years have elapsed from the completion of their sentence.

Firearm Prohibitions for People Convicted of Domestic Violence Crimes

Rhode Island law now generally prohibits people from purchasing, owning, carrying, transporting, or having in their possession any firearms if they have been convicted of (or plead no contest to) a domestic violence offense that is punishable as a felony under state law.2

Rhode Island’s firearm prohibition also applies to people who have been convicted of specified domestic violence misdemeanors that are not punishable as felonies, including the crimes of simple assault and violation of a protective order.3  Note, however, that people convicted of these offenses are authorized to petition a district court to regain their firearm rights under state law starting five years after the person completed his or her sentence.4 The court is required to lift the person’s firearm prohibition if the court finds that five years have elapsed, and that the person has not been convicted of a subsequent domestic violence misdemeanor, and is not otherwise prohibited from possessing firearms (although the person may still be subject to federal firearm prohibitions).5

Prior to 2017, Rhode Island only prohibited offenders convicted of domestic violence crimes punishable as a felony and for a period of only two years following conviction.

Firearm Prohibitions for Persons Subject to Domestic Violence Restraining/Protective Orders

A 2017 Rhode Island law6 also now prohibits people subject to domestic violence protective orders from possessing or acquiring firearms if the order was issued following notice to the respondent and a hearing.7 Previously, courts were authorized but not required to prohibit people subject to protective orders from acquiring or possessing firearms.

Removal or Surrender of Firearms When A Person Is Convicted of Domestic Violence Crimes

Rhode Island law now requires courts to advise every person who is convicted (or pleads guilty) to a prohibiting domestic violence conviction about their obligation to relinquish all firearms to the State Police, local law enforcement, or a licensed firearms dealer within 24 hours, and also requires courts to inform the arresting law enforcement agency of the firearm relinquishment order.8 Courts are also require to “ensure” that that the convicted abuser relinquishes any firearms in accordance with state law.9

The law enforcement agency or gun dealer that takes possession of the convicted defendant’s firearms is required to issue a “proof of surrender” form to the person that includes the name of the person relinquishing the firearms, the name of the law enforcement agency or gun dealer accepting them, the serial number, manufacturer, and model of all relinquished firearms, and the date they were relinquished.10

Within 48 hours after being served with the firearm relinquishment order, the convicted abuser must either:

o File a copy of the proof of surrender form with the court and attest that all firearms owned by the defendant or in the defendant’s possession, care, custody or control at the time of the plea or conviction have been relinquished in accordance with state law and that the defendant currently owns no firearms or has any firearms in their care, custody or control; or

o Attest that, at the time of the plea or conviction, the defendant did not own any firearms and had no firearms in their care, custody or control, and that the defendant currently owns no firearms and has no firearms in their possession, care, custody or control.11

The court’s copy of the proof of surrender form is required to be kept under seal and is not part of the public record.12

 

Removal or Surrender of Firearms When Domestic Violence Restraining/Protective Orders Are Issued

Rhode Island law now expressly prohibits abusers from acquiring or possessing firearms if they are subject to an active protective order that was issued after the abuser received notice of the proceedings and had an opportunity to be heard.13 Rhode Island also authorizes a person suffering from domestic abuser to seek a court protective order requiring the abuser to relinquish possession or control of any firearms he or she owns or possesses before he or she has received notice of the proceedings, provided that a full hearing is held within fifteen days of the date the abuser relinquished his or her firearms.14

A person ordered to relinquish possession of any firearms pursuant to a court protective order must relinquish all firearms to the State Police, the local police department, or a federally licensed firearms dealer within 24 hours of receiving notice of the protective order,15 and must, within 72 hours after being served with the order, either file a receipt with the court showing that he or she physically relinquished all firearms, as required, or else attest to the court that he or she had and has no firearms in his or her immediate physical possession or control or subject to his or her immediate physical possession or control.16 At the hearing, the person subject to the protective order has the burden of showing, by clear and convincing evidence, that he or she would not pose a danger to the abuse victim or any other person if their firearm rights were restored.17

If the person subject to the order transfers his or her firearms to a firearms dealer, the person is authorized to instruct the dealer to sell or transfer ownership of the firearms to another “qualified named individual” who is not prohibited from possessing firearms under state or federal law, does not share the abuser’s place of residence, and is not related to the person relinquishing the firearms by blood, marriage, or family relationship.18 Any person or law enforcement agency that takes possession of the relinquished firearms is prohibited from returning them to the person until they have received documentation issued by a court indicating that the firearm-prohibiting court order has expired and not been extended.19

See our Domestic Violence & Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

 

Notes
  1. See 2017 RI HB 5510 and its identical Senate counterpart, 2017 RI SB 405. ⤴︎
  2. See R.I. Gen. Laws §§ 11-47-5(a)(3)– (a)(5), 12-29-5. ⤴︎
  3. Id. ⤴︎
  4. R.I. Gen. Laws § 11-47-5.5. ⤴︎
  5. R.I. Gen. Laws § 11-47-5.5(e), (g). ⤴︎
  6. See 2017 RI HB 5510 and its identical Senate counterpart, 2017 RI SB 405. ⤴︎
  7. R.I. Gen. Laws §§ 11-47-5(b), 8-8.1-3(a)(4), (c). ⤴︎
  8. R.I. Gen. Laws §§ 11-47-5.4, 12-29-5(d). ⤴︎
  9. R.I. Gen. Laws § 12-29-5(h). ⤴︎
  10. R.I. Gen. Laws § 11-47-5.4(a). ⤴︎
  11. R.I. Gen. Laws § 11-47-5.4(a)(3). ⤴︎
  12. R.I. Gen. Laws § 11-47-5.4(a)(4). ⤴︎
  13. R.I. Gen. Laws § 11-47-5(b). ⤴︎
  14. R.I. Gen. Laws §§ 8-8.1-3(c); 15-15-3(a)(4). ⤴︎
  15. R.I. Gen. Laws §§ 8-8.1-3(a)(4); 15-15-3(a)(4). ⤴︎
  16. R.I. Gen. Laws §§ 8-8.1-3(a)(4)(i); 15-15-3(a)(4)(i). ⤴︎
  17. R.I. Gen. Laws §§ 8-8.1-3(j); 15-15-3(j. ⤴︎
  18. R.I. Gen. Laws §§ 8-8.1-3(a)(4)(ii); 15-15-3(a)(4)(ii). ⤴︎
  19. R.I. Gen. Laws §§ 8-8.1-3(a)(4)(iii), (iv); 8-8.1-3(d); 15-15-3(a)(4)(iii), (iv); 15-15-3(d). ⤴︎

Domestic Violence & Firearms in South Carolina

South Carolina law does not:

  • Require the surrender of firearms or ammunition by domestic abusers who have become prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law; or
  • Explicitly authorize or require the removal of firearms or ammunition at the scene of a domestic violence incident.

South Carolina enacted a law in 2015 that generally prohibits the possession of firearms or ammunition by someone who has been convicted of:

  • criminal domestic violence in the first degree for ten years;
  • criminal domestic violence in the second degree and the court made specific findings and concluded that the person caused moderate bodily injury to their own household member;
  • criminal domestic violence in the second or third degree for three years if the judge at the time of sentencing ordered that the person is prohibited from possessing guns;
  • aggravated criminal domestic violence for life.1

The definition of “domestic violence” is limited to crimes against household members, and the definition of “household member” does not include dating partners.2

The law also prohibits the possession of firearms or ammunition by someone who is subject to a domestic violence order of protection, if the court ordered the person not to possess firearms, and at the time of the hearing the court made specific findings of physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or that the person offered or attempted to cause physical harm or injury to a person’s own household member with apparent and present ability under the circumstances, reasonably creating fear of imminent peril.3

The 2015 law also provides that these prohibitions apply if the person was convicted of a similar crime under the laws of another jurisdiction, or is subject to a similar protective order issued under the laws of another jurisdiction.4

In 2009, South Carolina enacted a law requiring a court, at the time a person is convicted of domestic violence or aggravated domestic violence, to deliver to the person a written form that notifies the person of the federal law prohibiting possession of firearms or ammunition.5

See our Domestic Violence & Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. S.C. Code § 16-25-30 (as amended by 2015 S.C. S.B. 3). ⤴︎
  2. See S.C. Code § 16-25-10 et seq. ⤴︎
  3. Id. ⤴︎
  4. Id. ⤴︎
  5. 2009 S.C. Acts 59 § 6 (codified as S.C. Code Ann. § 16-25-30). ⤴︎

Domestic Violence & Firearms in South Dakota

South Dakota law prohibits any person who has been convicted of a misdemeanor crime involving an act of domestic violence from possessing or having control of a firearm for a period of one year from the date of the conviction.1 However, a broader federal law prohibits domestic violence misdemeanants from possessing firearms regardless of when the conviction occurred.

South Dakota law does not:

  • Prohibit individuals subject to domestic violence protective orders from possessing firearms or ammunition (unlike federal law);
  • Require courts to notify domestic abusers when they become prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under state or federal law;
  • Require the surrender of firearms or ammunition by domestic abusers who have become prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law, although a court may require the defendant in a domestic abuse action to surrender any firearm in his or her possession to local law enforcement;2 or
  • Explicitly authorize or require the removal of firearms or ammunition at the scene of a domestic violence incident.

See our Domestic Violence & Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. S.D. Codified Laws § 22-14-15.2. ⤴︎
  2. S.D. Codified Laws § 25-10-24. ⤴︎

Domestic Violence & Firearms in Tennessee

Firearm Prohibitions for Domestic Violence Misdemeanants

Tennessee prohibits the carrying or possession of a firearm by any person convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence, as defined in federal law, and who is still “subject to the disabilities of such a conviction.”1 Federal law prohibits the purchase and possession of firearms and ammunition by persons who have been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.2

Persons convicted of a domestic violence offenses are required to terminate possession of all firearms within 48 hours of the conviction by lawfully selling or transferring their firearms to a third party; such offenders must also file an affidavit with the court attesting that they relinquished all firearms, as required.3

Firearm Prohibitions for Persons Subject to Domestic Violence Restraining/Protective Orders

A 2009 Tennessee law prohibits the carrying or possession of a firearm while subject to an order of protection “that fully complies with 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(8)” (the federal law prohibiting firearm possession by an abuser subject to a protective order).4

The Tennessee law provides that persons obtaining a domestic violence order of protection may seek an order that prohibits a respondent from purchasing or possessing a firearm.5 The Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts was required to revise the petition for an order of protection to fully advise the respondent that:

  • If the order of protection is granted in a manner that fully complies with 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(8), the respondent is required to terminate physical possession of all firearms possessed by respondent by any lawful means, such as transfer to a third party who is not prohibited from possessing firearms, within 48 hours of the granting of the order;
  • It is a criminal offense for a person subject to an order of protection that fully complies with 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(8) to possess a firearm while that order is in effect; and
  • The issuance of an order of protection may terminate, or at least suspend, the individual’s ability to purchase or possess a firearm.6

In Tennessee, an order of protection must state, on its face:

  • That the respondent is required to dispossess himself or herself, by any lawful means, of all firearms in his or her possession within 48 hours of the issuance of the order;
  • That the respondent is prohibited from possessing a firearm for so long as the order of protection or any successive order of protection is in effect, and may reassume possession of the dispossessed firearm at such time as the order expires or is otherwise no longer in effect; and
  • Notice of the penalty for failing to comply with state laws regarding the possession of firearms when subject to an order of protection for domestic violence.7

The court must then order and instruct the respondent:

  • To terminate the respondent’s physical possession of the firearms in his or her possession by any lawful means, such as transferring possession to a third party who is not prohibited from possessing firearms, within 48 hours;
  • To complete and return the affidavit of firearm dispossession form the court may provide the respondent or direct the respondent to the administrative office of the courts’ web site; and
  • That if the respondent possesses firearms as business inventory or that are registered under the National Firearms Act,8 there are additional statutory provisions that may apply which the court must include in the content of its order.9

As of January 1, 2017, a temporary protective order must be issued by a court where, following an arrest for a crime involving domestic abuse, there is probable cause for the court to believe that the respondent used or displayed a “deadly weapon,” which includes a firearm.10

Tennessee prohibits any person subject to an order of protection that fully complies with 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(8) to knowingly fail to surrender or transfer all firearms the respondent possesses.11

Removal or Surrender of Firearms When Domestic Violence Protective Orders Are Issued

A 2009 Tennessee law requires an individual subject to a domestic violence protection order to surrender all firearms by, for example, transferring them to a third party who may lawfully possess firearms; such respondents must also file an affidavit with the court attesting that they relinquished all firearms, as required.12

Removal or Surrender of Firearms at the Scene of a Domestic Violence Incident

In Tennessee, law enforcement officers that have probable cause to believe a criminal offense involving domestic abuse against a victim has occurred must seize all firearms that the alleged abuser may have used or threatened to use in the commission of a domestic abuse crime.13

During the arrest of an alleged abuser for a crime of domestic abuse against a victim, law enforcement officers may also seize any firearm in plain view of the officer or discovered pursuant to a consensual search if necessary for the protection of the officer or other persons.14

If multiple weapons are seized, a prosecuting court has authority to confiscate only the weapon or weapons actually used or threatened to be used by the abuser to commit the crime.15

See our Domestic Violence & Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-1307(f)(1)(A). The crime of domestic violence, as applies to this section, is defined under federal law, 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(33). Tennessee law also prohibits the sale of firearms to any person convicted of stalking under Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-315. Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-1316(a)(1). ⤴︎
  2. 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(9). ⤴︎
  3. Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-13-111. Specific procedures for relinquishment of firearms are detailed under Tenn. Code Ann. § 36-3-625. ⤴︎
  4. Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-1307(f)(1)(B). ⤴︎
  5. Tenn. Code Ann. § 36-3-604(b). ⤴︎
  6. Tenn. Code Ann. § 36-3-604(c). ⤴︎
  7. Tenn. Code Ann. § 36-3-625(a). See Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-1307(f)(1)(B) for state prohibition on possessing a gun while subject to an order of protection. ⤴︎
  8. 26 U.S.C. §§ 5801 et seq. ⤴︎
  9. Tenn. Code Ann. § 36-3-625(b). ⤴︎
  10. Tenn. Code Ann. § 36-3-602(c); Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-11-106(a)(5). ⤴︎
  11. Tenn. Code Ann. § 36-3-625(h)(1). ⤴︎
  12. Tenn. Code Ann. § 36-3-625. Any such person who knowingly fails to do so is subject to a Class A misdemeanor. Tenn. Code Ann. § 36-3-625(h)(2). ⤴︎
  13. Tenn. Code Ann. § 36-3-620(a)(1). ⤴︎
  14. Tenn. Code Ann. § 36-3-620(a)(2). A law enforcement officer is not required to remove a weapon such officer believes is needed by the victim for self-defense. Id. ⤴︎
  15. Tenn. Code Ann. § 36-3-620(b). All other weapons seized shall be returned upon disposition of the case. The seizing officer must append an inventory of all seized weapons to the domestic abuse report that the officer files with his or her supervisor. Id. See Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-1317 for state law governing the confiscation and disposition of confiscated firearms. ⤴︎

Domestic Violence & Firearms in Texas

See our Domestic Violence and Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Texas law does not:

  • Require the surrender of firearms or ammunition by domestic abusers who have become prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal or state law; or
  • Explicitly authorize or require the removal of firearms or ammunition at the scene of a domestic violence incident.

Firearm Prohibitions for Domestic Violence Misdemeanants

Texas prohibits firearm possession by domestic violence misdemeanants for five years following release from confinement or community supervision.1 These gun possession prohibitions attach to a domestic violence misdemeanor offender for offenses committed against: 1) a former or current dating partner of the offender or someone with whom the offender has had a romantic relationship; 2) any present or former household member or cohabitant of the offender, regardless of their relationship to the offender; and 3) specified family members of the offender, regardless of whether they reside with the offender.2 However, a broader federal law prohibits domestic violence misdemeanants from possessing firearms regardless of when the conviction occurred.

If a person is convicted of a misdemeanor involving family violence, the court must notify the person of the fact that it is unlawful for the person to possess or transfer a firearm or ammunition.3

A peace officer who is issuing a citation for certain misdemeanors is required to provide the person with the following written notice:

If you are convicted of a misdemeanor offense involving violence where you are or were a spouse, intimate partner, parent, or guardian of the victim or are or were involved in another, similar relationship with the victim, it may be unlawful for you to possess or purchase a firearm, including a handgun or long gun, or ammunition, pursuant to federal law under 18 U.S.C. Section 922(g)(9) or Section 46.04(b), Texas Penal Code. If you have any questions whether these laws make it illegal for you to possess or purchase a firearm, you should consult an attorney.4

A court that is accepting a plea of guilty or a plea of nolo contendere by a defendant charged with a misdemeanor involving family violence must admonish the defendant using the same statement, either orally or in writing.5

Firearm Prohibitions for Persons Subject to Domestic Violence Protective Orders

Texas law prohibits firearm possession by any person (other than an active, sworn, full-time, paid peace officer)6 who is subject to a protective order for a party to a suit for dissolution of a marriage, a protective order for family violence, a magistrate’s order for emergency protection following an arrest for family violence, sexual assault, stalking, or human trafficking, a protective order for a victim of sexual assault, or a domestic violence protective order issued by another jurisdiction if he or she has received notice of the order.7

If a court issues a temporary ex parte order for family violence, the order may direct the subject of the order to do or refrain from doing specific acts, but does not specify whether specifically prohibiting the subject from possessing a firearm is a permissible restriction.8 Nevertheless, any protective order for family violence, including a temporary ex parte order, must contain the following statement: “It is unlawful for any person, other than a peace officer, as defined by section 1.07, Penal Code, actively engaged in employment as a sworn, full-time paid employee of a state agency or political subdivision, who is subject to a protective order to possess a firearm or ammunition.”9

Protective orders for victims of sexual assault and victims of human trafficking, even temporary ex parte orders, must also contain this statement.10

A magistrate issuing a protective order following an arrest for family violence, sexual assault or stalking or a court issuing a protective order against family violence must suspend the perpetrator’s license to carry a concealed handgun.11 Courts also have authority to suspend a license when issuing a protective order for a victim of sexual assault or human trafficking (even when an arrest is not made).12

Notes
  1. Tex. Penal Code § 46.04(b). See also Tex. Penal Code § 22.01(a). ⤴︎
  2. Tex. Fam. Code §§ 71.0021, 71.003, 71.005, 71.006. ⤴︎
  3. Tex. Code Crim. Proc. art. 42.0131 ⤴︎
  4. Tex. Code Crim. Proc. art. 14.06(b). ⤴︎
  5. Tex. Code Crim. Proc. art. 27.14(e)(1). ⤴︎
  6. Texas Pen. Code § 46.04(c). ⤴︎
  7. Texas Pen. Code § 25.07(a).  Texas law also prohibits the knowing or intentional possession of a firearm in violation of an outstanding court order issued under Tex. Code Crim. Proc. Art. 17.292, Tex. Fam. Code § 6.504, Tex. Fam. Code Chapter 85, Tex. Fam. Code Chapter 83 (temporary ex parte protective orders; applies only if the temporary ex parte order has been served on the person), or by another jurisdiction as provided under Tex. Fam. Code Chapter 88. Tex. Penal Code § 25.07(a). See also Tex. Fam. Code § 85.022(b)(6) (authorizing courts to prohibit the subject of a protective order who committed family violence from possessing a firearm); Tex. Penal Code § 38.112(a)(3) (prohibiting the knowing possession of a firearm in violation of a protective order granted to a victim of sexual assault); and Tex. Crim Proc. Code art. 7B.06(a)(D) (authorizing courts to prohibit the subject of a protective order for a victim of human trafficking from possessing a firearm). ⤴︎
  8. Tex. Fam. Code § 83.001. ⤴︎
  9. Tex. Fam. Code § 85.026. ⤴︎
  10. Tex. Code Crim. Proc. art. 7A.06, 7B.07(a). ⤴︎
  11. Tex. Code Crim. Proc. art. 17.292(l). ⤴︎
  12. Tex. Crim. Proc. Code art. 7A.05(c), 7B.06(c); Tex. Fam. Code § 85.022(d). ⤴︎

Domestic Violence & Firearms in the District of Columbia

See our Domestic Violence & Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Federal law prohibits the purchase and possession of firearms and ammunition by certain domestic abusers. Similarly, District law also prohibits the purchase and possession of guns by persons convicted of domestic violence offenses and by those persons subject to civil protection orders.

District law does not: 1) require courts to notify domestic abusers when they become prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law; or 2) explicitly authorize or require the removal of firearms or ammunition: a) at the scene of a domestic violence incident; or b) from the subject of a civil protection order.

Firearm Prohibitions for Domestic Violence Misdemeanants

To obtain a registration certificate, which is required to purchase or possess a firearm or ammunition in the District, an applicant must pass a background check. The applicant will not pass the background check if he or she:

  • Has been convicted within the previous five years of any intrafamily offense punishable as a misdemeanor, including any similar offense in another jurisdiction;1 or
  • Is otherwise ineligible to possess a firearm under D.C. Code Ann. § 22-4503 (including convictions within the previous five years for an intrafamily offense in the District, punishable as a misdemeanor, or any similar offense in another jurisdiction).2

Firearm Prohibitions for Persons Subject to Domestic Violence Protective Orders

The District also will not issue a registration certificate to any person if he or she:

  • Is or has been the respondent in an intrafamily proceeding in which a civil protection order was issued against her or him, or in a proceeding in which a foreign protection order was issued against her or him (an applicant who has been the subject of such an order shall be eligible for registration if the applicant has submitted to the Chief of Police a certified court record establishing that the order has expired or has been rescinded for a period of five years or more);3 or
  • Is ineligible to possess a firearm under D.C. Code Ann. § 22-4503 (including any person subject to a final court order restraining him or her from assaulting, harassing, stalking, or threatening a petitioner or any other person named in the order and that requires the person restrained to relinquish possession of any firearms).4
Notes
  1. D.C. Code Ann. § 7-2502.03(a)(4)(D). “Intrafamily offense” is defined as interpersonal, intimate partner, or intrafamily violence. D.C. Code Ann. § 7-2501.01(9B), referencing the definitions for intrafamily offense proceedings under D.C. Code Ann. § 16-1001(8). “Interpersonal violence” means an act punishable as a criminal offense that is committed or threatened to be committed by an offender upon a person: 1) with whom the offender shares or has shared a mutual residence; or 2) who is or was married to, in a domestic partnership with, divorced or separated from, or in a romantic, dating, or sexual relationship with another person who is or was married to, in a domestic partnership with, divorced or separated from, or in a romantic, dating, or sexual relationship with the offender. D.C. Code Ann. § 16-1001(6). “Intimate partner violence” means an act punishable as a criminal offense that is committed or threatened to be committed by an offender upon a person: 1) to whom the offender is or was married; 2) with whom the offender is or was in a domestic partnership; or 3) with whom the offender is or was in a romantic, dating, or sexual relationship. D.C. Code Ann. § 16-1001(7). “Intrafamily violence” means an act punishable as a criminal offense that is committed or threatened to be committed by an offender upon a person to whom the offender is related by blood, adoption, legal custody, marriage, or domestic partnership, or with whom the offender has a child in common. D.C. Code Ann. § 16-1001(9). ⤴︎
  2. D.C. Code Ann. § 22-4503(a)(6). ⤴︎
  3. D.C. Code Ann. § 7-2502.03(a)(12). ⤴︎
  4. D.C. Code Ann. § 7-2502.03(a)(9). ⤴︎

Domestic Violence & Firearms in Utah

Utah law does not:

  • Require courts to notify domestic abusers when they become prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law; or
  • Require the surrender of firearms or ammunition by domestic abusers who have become prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law.

Firearm Prohibitions for Persons Convicted of Domestic Violence Misdemeanors

In 2017, Utah enacted a law prohibiting firearm purchase or possession by individuals convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors.1

Firearm Prohibitions for Persons Subject to Domestic Violence Protective Orders

In 2017, Utah also enacted a law prohibiting firearm purchase or possession by an individual subject to a final domestic violence protective order for which the respondent received notice and an opportunity to appear if the order includes a finding that:

  • The respondent or defendant represents a credible threat to the physical safety of an intimate partner as defined by federal law; or
  • Explicitly prohibits the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force that would reasonably be expected to cause bodily harm against an intimate partner or the child of an intimate partner.2

When a petition for an order of protection is filed, the court may prohibit the respondent from purchasing, using, or possessing a firearm upon a finding that the respondent’s use or possession of a weapon may pose a serious threat of harm to the petitioner.3 The court may make such an order ex parte (without notice to the respondent).4 A petition for such an order may be brought by any emancipated person or person 16 years of age or older who:

  • Is or was a spouse of the other party;
  • Is or was living as if a spouse of the other party;
  • Is related by blood or marriage to the other party;
  • Has one or more children in common with the other party;
  • Is the biological parent of the other party’s unborn child; or
  • Resides or has resided in the same residence as the other party.5

However, a petition for such an order may not be brought if one party is the natural parent, adoptive parent, or step-parent of the other, who is a minor, or if both parties are natural, adoptive, step, or foster siblings who are under 18 years of age.6

If a finding is made that the subject of a child protective order or an ex parte child protective order may pose a serious threat of harm to the minor, the order may prohibit the subject from purchasing, using or possessing a firearm.7

In 2013, Utah also adopted a law authorizing a court, when issuing a dating violence protective order, to prohibit the respondent from possessing or acquiring firearms if the order is issued after a hearing, the preponderance of the evidence shows the respondent has committed abuse or dating violence against the petitioner, and there is clear and convincing evidence that the respondent’s use or possession of a firearm poses a serious threat of harm to the petitioner or a designated family or household member.8

Federal law also prohibits firearm possession by certain protective order defendants.

Removal or Surrender of Firearms at the Scene of a Domestic Violence Incident

Utah requires a law enforcement officer who responds to an allegation of domestic violence to confiscate the weapon or weapons involved in the alleged domestic violence incident.9 Utah law also authorizes a gun owner to voluntarily “commit” the firearm to law enforcement for 60 days if the owner believes another cohabitant is an immediate threat to himself or herself, to the gun owner, or to any other person.10

See our Domestic Violence & Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

 

Notes
  1. Utah Code Ann. § 76-10-503(1)(b)(xi). ⤴︎
  2. Utah Code Ann. § 76-10-503(1)(b)(x). ⤴︎
  3. Utah Code Ann. §§ 78B-7-106(2)(d), 78B-7-107(2). ⤴︎
  4. Id. ⤴︎
  5. Utah Code Ann. §§ 77-36-1(4), 78B-7-102(2), (5), 78B-7-106, and 78B-7-107(2). ⤴︎
  6. Utah Code Ann. § 78B-7-102(3). ⤴︎
  7. Utah Code Ann. § 78B-7-204(1)(d). ⤴︎
  8. Utah Code Ann. § 78B-7-404(3)(b), (5). ⤴︎
  9. Utah Code Ann. § 77-36-2.1(1)(b). Law enforcement may not return the confiscated weapon if (i) the law enforcement officer or agency is unable to determine the legal owner of the weapon; (ii) the legal owner may not lawfully possess the weapon; or (iii) the legal owner was convicted of a crime for which the weapon was held as evidence. Utah Code Ann. § 77-24-2(d). ⤴︎
  10. Utah Code Ann. § 53-5c-201. ⤴︎

Domestic Violence & Firearms in Vermont

Vermont has no law:

  • Prohibiting individuals subject to domestic violence protective orders from possessing firearms or ammunition, although federal law applies;
  • Requiring courts to notify domestic abusers that they are prohibited by federal law from possessing firearms or ammunition;
  • Requiring the removal or surrender of firearms at the time a domestic violence protective order is issued; or
  • Requiring the removal of firearms at the scene of a domestic violence incident.

In 2015, Vermont enacted a law prohibiting individuals who have been convicted of a violent crime from possessing a firearm.1 The definition of “violent crime” includes domestic violence misdemeanor offenses including domestic assault, stalking, sexual assault, and aggravated assault crimes.2 Under Vermont law, “domestic assault” only includes offenses against family or household members,3, but misdemeanor stalking, sexual assault, and aggravated assault offenses against any person would trigger the firearm prohibition.4

Though Vermont law does not prohibit individuals subject to domestic violence protective orders from possessing firearms or ammunition, Vermont does provide that a court issuing a protective orders for family or household members may make such orders as it deems necessary to protect the plaintiff and/or the children.  The Supreme Court of Vermont has found that this provision authorizes the court to prohibit a defendant from possessing firearms.5

When a subject to a protective order is required to relinquish firearms and ammunition in his or her possession to a law enforcement agency or an approved federally licensed firearms dealer.6 The court issuing the protective order may order that the subject of the order relinquish the firearms and ammunition in his or her possession to someone other than a law enforcement agency or approved federally licensed firearms dealer, unless the court finds that the relinquishment to the other person will not adequately protect the safety of the victim.7

See our Domestic Violence & Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. See 2015 VT S.B. 141, enacting Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 13, § 4017. ⤴︎
  2. Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 13, §§ 4017(d)(3), 5301(7). ⤴︎
  3. See Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 13, §§ 1042-44 ⤴︎
  4. See Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 13, §§ 5301(7), 1062-63, 3252-53, 1024. ⤴︎
  5. Benson v. Muscari (2001) 172 Vt. 1, 769 A.2d 1291 (interpreting Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 15, § 1103(c) ). ⤴︎
  6. Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 20,  § 2307(b). ⤴︎
  7. Id. ⤴︎

Domestic Violence & Firearms in Virginia

In 2016, Virginia enacted a law that prohibits individuals subject to final domestic violence restraining or protective orders from possessing firearms.1 The law states that for a period of 24 hours after being served with such a protective order, the person may continue to possess and transport any firearm possessed by the person at the time of service for the purposes of selling or transferring it to any person not prohibited from possessing the firearm.

Virginia law, however, does not:

  • Prohibit individuals convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors from possessing firearms or ammunition (unlike federal law);
  • Require the surrender of firearms or ammunition by domestic abusers who have become prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law;
  • Prohibit individuals subject to ex parte restraining orders from possessing firearms; or
  • Explicitly authorize or require the removal of firearms or ammunition at the scene of a domestic violence incident.

Virginia prohibits anyone subject to a domestic violence protective order, including an ex parte order, from purchasing or transporting a firearm while the order is in effect.2 Such orders are available to family and household members of the abuser.3 They are also available to victims of stalking, but only if a warrant has been issued for the arrest of the stalker.4

In 2011, Virginia amended the part of this law that applies to persons subject to preliminary protective orders for the protection of a child, so that the defendant is only prohibited from purchasing or transporting a firearm if a court has made a finding of abuse or neglect.5

Any concealed weapon permittee who is the subject of a domestic violence protective order, including an ex parte order, is prohibited from carrying a concealed firearm and must surrender his or her permit to the court entering the order, for the duration of the order.6

See our Domestic Violence and Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-308.09 as amended by 2016 H 1391. ⤴︎
  2. Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-308.1:4. ⤴︎
  3. Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-308.1:4 (citing Va. Code Ann. §§ 16.1-253(F) and 16.1-278.2, which authorize orders to protect a child in a case of abuse or neglect, and Va. Code Ann. §§ 16.1-253.1 and 16.1-253.4, which authorize orders to protect family and household members). ⤴︎
  4. Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-308.1:4 (citing Va. Code Ann. §§ 19.2-152.8, 19.2-152.9, 19.2-152.10, which authorize a protective order against stalking when a warrant has been issued for the stalker’s arrest). ⤴︎
  5. See 2011 Va. ALS 402. ⤴︎
  6. Id. ⤴︎

Domestic Violence & Firearms in Washington

Washington has no law authorizing or requiring the removal of firearms or ammunition at the scene of a domestic violence incident.

Firearm Prohibitions for Domestic Violence Misdemeanants in Washington

Washington prohibits possession of a firearm by anyone who has been convicted or found not guilty by reason of insanity of any of the following crimes when committed by one family or household member against another on or after July 1, 1993:

  • Assault in the fourth degree;
  • Coercion;
  • Stalking;
  • Reckless endangerment;
  • Criminal trespass in the first degree; or
  • Violation of the provisions of a protection order or no-contact order restraining the person or excluding the person from a residence.1

Washington defines “family or household members” as:

  • Spouses, former spouses;
  • Persons who have a child in common regardless of whether they have been married or have lived together at any time;
  • Adult persons related by blood or marriage;
  • Adult persons who are presently residing together or who have resided together in the past;
  • Persons age 16 or older who are presently residing together or who have resided together in the past and who have or have had a dating relationship;
  • Persons age 16 or older with whom a person age 16 or older has or has had a dating relationship; and
  • Persons who have a biological or legal parent-child relationship, including stepparents and stepchildren and grandparents and grandchildren.2

Firearm Prohibitions for Persons Subject to Domestic Violence Restraining/Protective Orders and Surrender of Firearms When Domestic Violence Restraining/Protective Orders Are Issued

Washington enacted a law in 2014 that mirrors federal law by prohibiting gun possession by anyone subject to a protective order.3 The protective order must have been  issued after a noticed hearing and it must restrain the person from harassing, stalking or threatening an intimate partner (or child of the partner or restrained person) and the person must represent a credible threat to the safety of the intimate partner or child.4 An “intimate partner” is defined in Washington as a current or former spouse or domestic partner; a person with whom the restrained person has a child; or a current or former dating partner with whom the restrained person lives or has lived.5

The 2014 law also requires the court issuing the protective order to prohibit the restrained individual from purchasing or possessing firearms or a concealed carry license and require the restrained person to surrender any firearms or concealed carry licenses in his or her possession.6 The individual must file a proof of surrender with the court.7

An older provision of Washington law provides that, if a protective or restraining order states that the possession of a firearm or other dangerous weapon by any party presents a serious and imminent threat to public health or safety or the health or safety of any individual, the court may:

  • Require the party to surrender any firearm or other dangerous weapon;
  • Require the party to surrender any concealed pistol license issued by the State of Washington;
  • Prohibit the party from obtaining or possessing a firearm or other dangerous weapon;
  • Prohibit the party from obtaining or possessing a concealed pistol license.8

The court may also make such an order if it finds by a preponderance of the evidence that the party used, displayed, or threatened to use a firearm or other dangerous weapon in a felony or committed any offense that renders him or her ineligible to possess a firearm.9 If the court makes this finding upon a showing by clear and convincing evidence, then it is required to make such an order.10

The court may order the temporary surrender of a firearm or other dangerous weapon without notice to the other party if it finds that irreparable injury could result if an order is not issued until the time for a response has elapsed.11 These requirements may be for a period of time less than the duration of the order.12 The court may require the party to surrender any firearm or dangerous weapon in his or her immediate possession or control or subject to his or her immediate possession or control to local law enforcement, his or her counsel, or to any person designated by the court.13 These provisions apply to:14

Domestic violence protective orders are available to family and household members as defined above, plus domestic partners and former domestic partners.15

In 2017, Washington enacted a law requiring the Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs to create an automated protected person notification system allowing a person to register to receive notification if an individual subject to a domestic violence order attempts to purchase a firearm.16

For general information on the background check process and categories of prohibited purchasers/possessors, see the Washington Background Checks and Washington Prohibited Purchasers Generally sections.

See our Domestic Violence and Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 9.41.040(2)(a)(i). ⤴︎
  2. See Wash. Rev. Code Ann. §§ 9.41.010(5) and 10.99.020(3). ⤴︎
  3. Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 9.41.040(2)(a). ⤴︎
  4. Id. ⤴︎
  5. Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 9.41.800. ⤴︎
  6. Id. ⤴︎
  7. Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 9.41.804. ⤴︎
  8. Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 9.41.800(5). ⤴︎
  9. Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 9.41.800(2). ⤴︎
  10. Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 9.41.800(1). ⤴︎
  11. Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 9.41.800(4). ⤴︎
  12. Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 9.41.800(6). ⤴︎
  13. Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 9.41.800(7). ⤴︎
  14. Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 9.41.800(1). ⤴︎
  15. Wash. Rev. Code Ann. §§ 26.50.010(1), (2), 26.50.060. ⤴︎
  16. Rev. Code Wash. (ARCW) § 36.28A.___ (added by 2017 c 261 § 5). ⤴︎

Domestic Violence & Firearms in West Virginia

West Virginia does not establish a procedure for the removal of firearms from domestic abusers at the time they become prohibited from possessing firearms.

Firearm Prohibitions for Domestic Violence Misdemeanants

No person may possess a firearm who has been convicted of a misdemeanor offense of domestic assault or domestic battery under West Virginia law.1 This prohibition also applies to a person who has been convicted of a federal or state domestic violence statute “with the same essential elements” in which the victim was:

  • A current or former spouse;
  • A current or former sexual or intimate partner;
  • A person with whom the defendant has a child in common;
  • A person with whom the defendant cohabits or has cohabited;
  • A parent or guardian;
  • The defendant’s child or ward; or
  • A member of the defendant’s household at the time of the offense.2

Firearm Prohibitions for Persons Subject to Domestic Violence Restraining/Protective Orders

No person may possess a firearm who is subject to a domestic violence protective order that:

  • Was issued after a hearing of which such person received actual notice and at which such person had an opportunity to participate;
  • Restrains such person from harassing, stalking or threatening an intimate partner or such person or child of such intimate partner or person, or engaging in other conduct that would place an intimate partner in reasonable fear of bodily injury to the partner or child; and
  • Either includes a finding that such person represents a credible threat to the physical safety of such intimate partner or child, or by its terms explicitly prohibits the use, attempted use or threatened use of physical force against such intimate partner or child that would reasonably be expected to cause bodily injury.3

Furthermore, under a law West Virginia enacted in 2012, a domestic violence protective order must prohibit the respondent from possessing firearms or ammunition.4 The protective order must inform the respondent that he or she is prohibited from possessing any firearm or ammunition and that possession of a firearm or ammunition while subject to the court’s protective order is a criminal offense under state and federal law, notwithstanding the fact that the respondent might otherwise have a right to possess a firearm.5

Upon the filing of a petition for a protective order, the magistrate court may enter an emergency protective order ex parte (without notice and a hearing) upon good cause shown.6 If the court enters an emergency protective order, the order must prohibit the respondent from possessing firearms.7

“Domestic violence” means certain acts of violence between “family or household members.”8 “Family or household members” is defined broadly.9

Under another law West Virginia enacted in 2012, a court that is issuing a temporary “personal safety order” (an order issued against any person who has committed a sexual offense, attempted sexual offense, stalking, or harassment against a victim) may, in its discretion, prohibit the respondent from possessing a firearm if:

  • A weapon was used or threatened to be used in the commission of the offense;
  • The respondent has violated any prior personal safety order; or
  • The respondent has been convicted of an offense involving the use of a firearm.10)

The firearm prohibition is also available in an ex parte personal safety order under the same conditions, if there is reasonable cause to believe the respondent has committed the offense.11
For general information on the background check process and categories of prohibited purchasers/possessors, see the West Virginia Background Checks and West Virginia Prohibited Purchasers Generally sections.

Removal or Surrender of Firearms from the Scene of a Domestic Violence Incident

As necessary for the protection of the officer or other persons, the arresting officer must seize all weapons that are alleged to have been involved or threatened to be used in the commission of domestic violence, and may seize any weapon that is in plain view of the officer or that was discovered pursuant to a consensual search, whenever any person:

  • Is arrested for committing domestic violence pursuant to West Virginia law;
  • Has violated the terms of a protective order issued during divorce, annulment or separation proceedings;12 or
  • Has violated the terms of a protective order issued to protect an individual from abuse.13

See our Domestic Violence and Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

 

Notes
  1. W. Va. Code § 61-7-7(a)(8). See W. Va. Code § 61-2-28. ⤴︎
  2. W. Va. Code §§ 61-2-9(b), (c), 61-7-7(a)(8). ⤴︎
  3. W. Va. Code § 61-7-7(a)(7). ⤴︎
  4. W. Va. Code § 48-27-502(b). ⤴︎
  5. W. Va. Code § 48-27-502(c). ⤴︎
  6. W. Va. Code § 48-27-403(a). ⤴︎
  7. Id. ⤴︎
  8. W. Va. Code § 48-27-202. ⤴︎
  9. W. Va. Code § 48-27-204. ⤴︎
  10. W. Va. Code § 53-8-7(d)(1)(F ⤴︎
  11. W. Va. Code § 53-8-5.(a)(1)(F). ⤴︎
  12. See W. Va. Code § 48-5-509. ⤴︎
  13. W. Va. Code § 48-27-1002(e). See also W. Va. Code § 48-5-608. ⤴︎

Domestic Violence & Firearms in Wisconsin

See our Domestic Violence & Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Wisconsin has no law prohibiting individuals convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors from purchasing or possessing firearms or ammunition. Federal law, however, prohibits the purchase and possession of firearms and ammunition by certain domestic abusers.

Wisconsin also has no law requiring the removal of firearms at the scene of a domestic violence incident.

Firearm Prohibitions for Persons Subject to Domestic Violence Restraining/Protective Orders

Wisconsin prohibits the possession of a firearm by any person enjoined under a domestic abuse or child abuse restraining order or injunction, certain tribal injunctions1 or a harassment or elder abuse/adult-at-risk restraining order or injunction with an order prohibiting the possession of a firearm.2

Removal or Surrender of Firearms When Domestic Violence Restraining/Protective Orders Are Issued

In 2014, Wisconsin enacted a new law providing a process for the surrender of firearms by the subjects of the restraining orders and injunctions listed above.3 The law requires a court to stay an injunction and extend a temporary restraining order for up to 48 hours during which time the respondent must complete a firearm possession form. If the respondent is not present in court, the petitioner must testify as to the respondent’s possession of firearms.4 If the court is satisfied that the respondent possesses firearms, it must issue a surrender and extend order and schedule a hearing to surrender firearms within one week.

If a surrender and extend order has been issued, the respondent has 48 hours to surrender his or her firearms to a person who is not prohibited from possessing a firearm and is approved by the court, or to a sheriff.5 At the firearm surrender hearing, the respondent must verify that he or she has already surrendered his or her firearms or surrender the firearms during the hearing.6 If the respondent fails to attend the hearing to surrender firearms, the court must issue an arrest warrant for him or her.7

 

 

Notes
  1. See Wis. Stat. §§ 813.12(1)(am), (4)(a), (4m), 813.122(5m). ⤴︎
  2. Wis. Stat. §§ 813.125(4m), 941.29(1)(f), (g), (2)(d), (e), 813.123(5)(a). ⤴︎
  3. Wis. Stat. § 813.1285. ⤴︎
  4. Wis. Stat. § 813.1285 (2). ⤴︎
  5. Wis. Stat. § 813.1285(3). ⤴︎
  6. Wis. Stat. § 813.1285(4). ⤴︎
  7. Wis. Stat. § 813.1285(4). ⤴︎

Domestic Violence & Firearms in Wyoming

Wyoming law does not:

  • Prohibit individuals convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors from purchasing or possessing firearms or ammunition (unlike federal law);
  • Prohibit individuals subject to domestic violence protective orders from possessing firearms or ammunition (unlike federal law);
  • Require courts to notify domestic abusers when they become prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law;
  • Require the surrender of firearms or ammunition by domestic abusers who have become prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law; or
  • Explicitly authorize or require the removal of firearms or ammunition at the scene of a domestic violence incident.

See our Domestic Violence & Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.