Firearm Prohibitions after Conviction for a Domestic Violence Crime

Louisiana 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,” as well as specified battery offenses against a dating partner.1 Note that federal law also prohibits the purchase and possession of firearms and ammunition by certain convicted domestic abusers.

In 2018, Louisiana strengthened its laws prohibiting firearm possession with respect to individuals convicted of certain domestic violence offenses. The 2018 law provides that when a person has been sentenced for a crime of violence2 or felony committed upon a family member, household member, or dating partner,3 the court must issue a Uniform Abuse Prevention Order that generally prohibits contact between the defendant and the victim. In addition, upon issuing such an order the court shall “presume[] that the defendant poses a credible threat to the physical safety of the person or persons protected by the order,” and “shall order that the defendant be prohibited from possessing a firearm for the duration of the Uniform Abuse Prevention Order.”4

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

In 2018, Louisiana prohibited firearm possession by defendants subject to domestic violence protective orders for stalking, defined to mean “the intentional and repeated following or harassing of another person that would cause a reasonable person to feel alarmed or to suffer emotional distress.”5 Louisiana’s 2018 law requires courts to prohibit defendants from firearm possession if the court has issued a protective order against the defendant for stalking.6

Louisiana also prohibits firearm possession by people subject to other kinds of 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,7 and (2) the order informs the respondent that he or she is prohibited from possessing a firearm pursuant to federal and state law.8

In Louisiana it is a violation of a protective order to purchase, attempt to purchase, possess firearms, or carry concealed weapons while subject to protective orders that prohibit firearm possession.9

Removal or Surrender of Firearms by Domestic Violence Offenders

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

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.10 The law sets forth a process for surrendering firearms to law enforcement and options available for storage, including storage with a third party selected by the firearm possessor. For more details about the surrender process, see Disarming Prohibited Persons in Louisiana.

Domestic Violence Records Reporting

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.11 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.12

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

 

Notes
  1. La. Rev. Stat. § 14:95.10. ⤴︎
  2. defined in La. Rev. Stat. § R.S. 14:2 ⤴︎
  3. defined in La. Rev. Stat. § 46:2132 ⤴︎
  4. 2018 La. SB 231 (signed by the Governor May 20, 2018), amending La. Rev. Stat. § 46:1846(A), (C), and (E) and enacting La. Rev. Stat. § 46:1846(F). ⤴︎
  5. La. Rev. Stat. § 14:40.2. ⤴︎
  6. 2018 La. HB 776 (signed by the Governor May 20, 2018), enacting La. Rev. Stat. § 14:40.2(F)(5). ⤴︎
  7. 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. ⤴︎
  8. La. Rev. Stat. § 46:2136.3. ⤴︎
  9. 2018 La. SB 231 (signed by the Governor May 20, 2018), enacting La. Rev. Stat. § 14:79(A)(4). ⤴︎
  10. 2018 La. SB 231 (signed by the Governor May 20, 2018), enacting La. Code. Crim. P. Title XXXV, Art. 1001(A)(1), (2). ⤴︎
  11. La. Rev. Stat. § 13:753(A)(6). ⤴︎
  12. La. Rev. Stat. § 13:753(B). ⤴︎