In 2018, Louisiana adopted a law requiring courts to order some domestic violence offenders to surrender their firearms to local law enforcement. However, the law gives offenders the option to ask law enforcement to transfer their firearms to a third party chosen by the offender. The law requires courts to order surrender of firearms in two types of situations: (1) after the issuance of a domestic violence protective order that prohibits firearm possession; and (2) after specified types of domestic violence convictions, including domestic abuse battery, specified offenses of battery of a dating partner, and unlawful possession of a firearm by a person convicted of domestic abuse battery or certain offenses of battery of a dating partner.1

Under Louisiana’s surrender law, when a person is convicted of a disqualifying domestic violence offense or becomes subject to a firearm-prohibiting protective order, the court must at the same time issue an order suspending that person’s concealed carry permit, directing the person to surrender their firearms, and requiring that the person provide information about the number and location of firearms in their possession (or a declaration stating they do not possess any).2 The court must then inform the person in open court that they are required to transfer all firearms in their possession to the sheriff within 48 hours.3

At the time of transfer, the sheriff and the person transferring their firearms are both required to complete a proof of transfer form, to be filed with the court.4 After firearms are transferred to the sheriff, the sheriff must give the transferor the option to allow a third party to receive and hold the transferred firearms, except that no firearm may be transferred to a third party living in the same residence as the transferor at the time of transfer. If the transferor does not elect to transfer firearms to a third party, the transferor has the option to store firearms with the sheriff or ask the sheriff to oversee the legal sale of the transferred firearms to a third party.5 The law also specifies a process for return of firearms when the person is no longer prohibited from possessing a firearm under state or federal law.6

Except with respect to domestic violence offenders described above, Louisiana has no law requiring the removal of firearms from other people who have become prohibited from possessing them.7

 

Notes
  1. 2018 La. SB 231 (signed by the Governor May 20, 2018), enacting La. Code. Crim. P. Title XXXV, Art. 1001(A)(1), (2). ⤴︎
  2. Id. Art. 1001(B), (C). ⤴︎
  3. Id. Art. 1001(D). ⤴︎
  4. Id. ⤴︎
  5. Id. Art. 1002(A). ⤴︎
  6. Id. Art. 1002(D). ⤴︎
  7. Note that Louisiana law authorizes (but does not require) law enforcement to confiscate and dispose of any “criminal instrument,” which are instruments “specially designed, made, adapted for use, or actually used in the commission of an offense.” La. Rev. Stat. § 15:33. ⤴︎