Disarming Prohibited People in Alabama

See our Disarming Prohibited People policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Under a law adopted in 2009, Alabama generally 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.1 The officer must return the firearm to the individual before discharging that individual unless the officer arrests that individual for engaging in criminal activity or seizes the firearm as evidence pursuant to an investigation for the commission of a crime or, at the discretion of the officer, the individual poses a threat to himself or herself or to others.2

Another Alabama statute states that “[i]t shall be the duty of any sheriff, policeman, or other peace officer of the State of Alabama, arresting any person charged with violating Sections 13A-11-71 through 13A-11-73 [regarding lawful possession of firearms and prohibited persons], or any one or more of those sections, to seize the [handguns] in the possession or under the control of the person or persons charged with violating the section or sections [above.]”3 The arresting officer must then deliver the handguns to one of the following named persons: if a municipal officer makes the arrest, to the city clerk or custodian of stolen property of the municipality employing the arresting officer; if a county, state, or other peace officer makes the arrest, to the sheriff of the county in which the arrest is made.4 The person receiving the handguns from the arresting officer must keep them in a safe place in as good condition as received until disposed of.5 Within five days after the final conviction of any person arrested for violating any of the sections above, the person receiving possession of the seized handguns must report the seizure and detention of said handguns to the district attorney within the county where the handguns are seized, giving a full description thereof, the number, make and model thereof, the name of the person in whose possession they were found when seized, the person making claim to same or any interest therein, if the name can be ascertained or is known, and the date of the seizure.6

Upon receipt of the report from the person receiving possession of the seized handguns, it shall be the duty of the district attorney within the county where the handguns were seized to “forthwith” file a complaint in the circuit court of the proper county, praying that the seized handguns be declared contraband, be forfeited to the state and be destroyed.7 Any person, firm or corporation or association of persons in whose possession said handguns may be seized or who claim to own or have any interest in the seized handguns shall be made a party defendant to the complaint, and the matter shall proceed and be determined in the circuit court of the proper county.8 When any judgment of condemnation and forfeiture is made in any case filed under this section the judge making the judgment shall direct the destruction of the handguns by the person receiving possession of them from the arresting officer in the presence of the clerk or register of the court, unless the judge is of the opinion that nondestruction of the handguns is necessary or proper in the ends of justice, in which event and upon recommendation of the district attorney, the judge shall award the handguns to the sheriff of the county or to the chief of police of the municipality to be used exclusively by the sheriff or the chief of police in the enforcement of law.9 In such a case, the sheriff of the county and the chiefs of police of the municipalities must keep a permanent record of all handguns awarded to them.10 The court may also direct in the judgment that the costs of the proceedings be paid by the person in whose possession the seized handguns were found, or by any party or parties who claim to own said handguns, or any interest therein, and who contested the condemnation and forfeiture thereof.11

 

Notes
  1. Ala. Code §§ 31-9-8(d)(2), 31-9-10(d)(2). ⤴︎
  2. Id. ⤴︎
  3. Ala. Code § 13A-11-84(b). ⤴︎
  4. Id. ⤴︎
  5. Id. ⤴︎
  6. Id. ⤴︎
  7. Id. ⤴︎
  8. Id. ⤴︎
  9. Id. ⤴︎
  10. Id. ⤴︎
  11. Id. ⤴︎

Disarming Prohibited People in Arkansas

Arkansas has no law requiring the removal of firearms from persons who have become prohibited from possessing them. However, Arkansas law authorizes criminal courts to issue a no contact order, which may include a prohibition against firearms possession, to a defendant in a criminal proceeding if it appears that a danger exists that the defendant will commit a serious crime, seek to intimidate a witness, or otherwise unlawfully interfere with the orderly administration of justice.1

Notes
  1. Ark. Code Ann. § 16-85-714.  See also Ark. Code Ann. § 5.73.110 (stating that nothing in Ark. Code Ann. §§ 16-85-101 – 65-85-109 shall be construed to prohibit a law enforcement officer from disarming a minor or a person who reasonably appears to be mentally defective or otherwise mentally irresponsible). ⤴︎

Disarming Prohibited People in California

See our Disarming Prohibited People policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

California has adopted clear, mandatory, and enforceable relinquishment requirements for individuals subject to civil and criminal domestic violence restraining orders and other civil restraining orders, including civil and workplace harassment, elder abuse, and gun violence restraining orders. The state has also adopted a clear, mandatory, and enforceable relinquishment law to remove firearms from people convicted of or pending trial for firearm-prohibiting crimes.

For more information on relinquishment in the protective order context, see the Domestic Violence & Firearms in California page. For information on people prohibited from possessing firearms in California, see our Prohibited Persons in California page.

Relinquishment of Firearms by People Convicted of Firearm-Prohibiting Crimes

Prior to the passage of a ballot initiative called Proposition 63 in 2016, California law had no clear mechanism to ensure individuals convicted of firearm-prohibiting crimes relinquished their guns after conviction.

In November 2016, California voters passed Proposition 63 to close this gap and made California the first state in the nation to require all people convicted of firearm-prohibiting crimes provide proof to the courts that they sold or transferred their firearms after conviction. Since January 1, 2018, Proposition 63 has required courts to order people convicted of firearm-prohibiting felonies and other serious crimes to relinquish their firearms (through a third-party designee) and to provide these defendants with a standard Relinquishment Form at the time of conviction.1 The form among other things:

  • Informs defendants that they are required to relinquish all firearms within specified time periods by selling or transferring the firearms to a licensed firearms dealer, or by transferring them to local law enforcement.
  • Informs defendants that they are required to declare any firearms that they possessed at the time of conviction and to name a lawful, consenting designee or law enforcement agency to relinquish those firearms on the defendants’ behalf, if applicable.
  • Requires the defendant or designee to file the completed relinquishment form with the court-assigned probation officer, along with receipts from the law enforcement agency or licensed dealer who took possession of the defendant’s firearms, verifying that the offender relinquished all firearms prior to sentencing, as required.2

This law requires an assigned probation officer to notify the court about whether the offender properly relinquished all firearms indicated on the relinquishment form or by California’s automated database of firearm sale records.3 Courts are generally required to verify that relinquishment occurred before final disposition of the defendant’s case.4 If the court finds probable cause that the defendant failed to relinquish all firearms, as required, the court will order the search for and removal of the defendant’s firearms at any location where the judge has probable cause to believe the defendant’s firearms are located.5

This relinquishment process implements best practices from California’s domestic violence protective order and gun violence restraining order laws by providing clear and mandatory procedures to all prohibited criminal offenders, by expressly requiring proof of relinquishment, and by requiring further enforcement action if the offender illegally retains his or her weapons after conviction.

Relinquishment of Firearms by People with Severe Mental Health Impairments

California law requires law enforcement to confiscate weapons found to be under the possession or control of any person who has been detained or apprehended for examination of his or her mental condition, or who is prohibited from possession of firearms by reason of a mental disorder.6 Law enforcement must, upon confiscation, retain custody of the firearm, issue a receipt describing the firearm, and notify the individual of the procedure for return of the firearm.7 Upon release from a mental health facility, the health facility personnel must notify the individual of the procedure for the return of a confiscated firearm.8 Health facility personnel also must notify the confiscating law enforcement agency of the release of the detained individual, and must document that the facility provided notice regarding the procedure for return of any confiscated firearm.9 California law also authorizes the issuance of a search warrant when the property to be seized includes a firearm owned by, or in the possession of, a person who has been detained for examination of his or her mental condition, or who is prohibited from possession of firearms by reason of a mental disorder.10

Recovering Illegally Owned Weapons – “APPS”

California law also requires the state Department of Justice (DOJ) to establish and maintain the Armed Prohibited Persons System (APPS),11 an electronic database of individuals who once legally purchased a firearm, or registered an assault weapon, and then became illegally armed by keeping those weapons after they became prohibited from possessing them under state or federal law. (This occurs, for example, when a gun owner is convicted of a domestic violence offense but fails to relinquish his or her firearms).12

State law requires DOJ, in conjunction with local law enforcement, to conduct enforcement actions to remove firearms from illegally armed individuals identified in APPS.13

The information contained in APPS can only be made available to certain entities–primarily law enforcement agencies–to actively identify persons armed yet prohibited from possessing firearms.14

In 2017 alone, APPS enforcement efforts recovered 3,685 illegally owned firearms, and over 800,000 rounds of illegally owned ammunition.15

Notes
  1. See Cal. Penal Code § 29810(a). ⤴︎
  2. Cal. Penal Code § 29810(b). ⤴︎
  3. Cal. Penal Code § 29810(c)(1)-(c)(2). ⤴︎
  4. Cal. Penal Code § 29810(c)(3). ⤴︎
  5. Cal. Penal Code § 29810(c)(4). For the findings form used by the court for firearm relinquishment, see https://www.courts.ca.gov/documents/cr210.pdf ⤴︎
  6. Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 8102. ⤴︎
  7. Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 8102(a)-(b)(1). ⤴︎
  8. Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 8102(b)(2). ⤴︎
  9. Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 8102(b)(3). The administrative procedures regarding the return of a firearm after an individual’s release from a mental health facility are detailed under Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 8102(c)-(h). ⤴︎
  10. Cal. Penal Code § 1524(a)(10). ⤴︎
  11. Cal. Pen. Code § 30000. State law also refers to APPS as the “Prohibited armed Persons File.” ⤴︎
  12. Cal. Pen. Code § 30005. ⤴︎
  13. Cal. Pen. Code §§ 30005-30015. ⤴︎
  14. Cal. Penal Code § 30000(b), this section references Cal. Penal Code § 11105(b), (c). ⤴︎
  15. See California Department of Justice, “APPS 2017 Annual Report to the Legislature” (Revised Mar. 9, 2018), available at http://oag.ca.gov/sites/all/files/agweb/pdfs/publications/sb-140-supp-budget-report.pdf. ⤴︎

Disarming Prohibited People in Colorado

Colorado law allows for the removal of guns from the hands of domestic abusers. See Domestic Violence and Firearms in Colorado for more information about that law.

Colorado allows for the temporary removal of guns from people who have been found by a court to be a danger to themselves or others. See Extreme Risk Protection Orders in Colorado for more information about that law.

Colorado has no law requiring the removal of firearms from other persons who have become prohibited from possessing them. However, Colorado law provides that, upon the discharge of any inmate from the custody of the Colorado Department of Corrections, the Department must provide a written advisement to the inmate that it is a crime if the person knowingly possesses, uses, or carries upon his or her person a firearm subsequent to the person’s conviction for a felony, or an attempt or conspiracy to commit a felony. Any written stipulation for a deferred judgment and sentence must contain the same written advisement.1

See our Disarming Prohibited People policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 18-12-108. ⤴︎

Disarming Prohibited People in Connecticut

See our Disarming Prohibited People policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Persons Falling into State Prohibited Categories

Generally, whenever a person becomes ineligible to possess a firearm, he or she has two business days from the event causing the ineligibility to transfer any firearm in his or her possession to any person eligible to possess them.1 The person must obtain an authorization number for the sale or transfer from the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection and submit a sale or transfer form to the Commissioner within two business days. The ineligible person may alternatively surrender the firearm(s) to the Commissioner through a local police department.2 The ineligible person must also transfer any ammunition in his or her possession to an eligible person.3 However, pursuant to a law Connecticut adopted in 2016, a person who becomes ineligible because of the issuance of a domestic violence protective order must sell any firearm or ammunition in his or her possession only to a federally licensed firearms dealer or surrender them to the Commissioner through a local police department, within 24 hours of notice of the protective order.4

The Commissioner, in conjunction with the Chief State’s Attorney and the Connecticut Police Chiefs Association, must develop and maintain a protocol to ensure that persons who become ineligible to possess a firearm have transferred the gun to an eligible person, or have delivered or surrendered the firearm to the Commissioner. The protocol must include specific instructions for the transfer, delivery or surrender of guns when the assistance of more than one law enforcement agency is necessary to effect these requirements.5

Gun Possessors Posing Imminent Risk of Injury

For information about Connecticut’s extreme risk law, see Extreme Risk Protection Orders in Connecticut.

Notes
  1. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-36k(a). ⤴︎
  2. Id. ⤴︎
  3. Id. ⤴︎
  4. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-36k(b). ⤴︎
  5. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-36n(b). ⤴︎

Disarming Prohibited People in Delaware

See our Disarming Prohibited People policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

For information about Delaware’s extreme risk law, see Extreme Risk Protection Orders in Delaware.

Persons Reported by Licensed Mental Health Practitioners

Under certain circumstances, licensed mental health practitioners are required to report to law enforcement about patients who explicitly threaten to cause serious harm to a person or property or the mental health practitioner otherwise concludes the patient is likely to do so.1 Upon receipt of the information, law enforcement shall use that information to determine whether there is probable cause that the patient is dangerous to him- or herself or others. If so, the law enforcement agency must seek “an order from the Justice of the Peace Court that the individual relinquish any firearms or ammunition owned, possessed, or controlled by the individual,” and refer the the report to the state Department of Justice.2 The Justice of the Peace Court is to issue such an order on a finding of dangerousness by the preponderance of the evidence.3

Domestic Violence and Firearms

Delaware also has laws requiring the surrender or removal of firearms from domestic violence abusers subject to protective orders who have become prohibited from possessing them. See the Delaware Domestic Violence & Firearms section for further information.

Notes
  1. Del. Code Ann. tit. 16 § 5402. ⤴︎
  2. Del. Code Ann. tit. 11 § 1448C(b). ⤴︎
  3. Del. Code Ann. tit. 11 § 1448C(d)(1). ⤴︎

Disarming Prohibited People in Florida

See our Disarming Prohibited People policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

For information on Florida’s extreme risk law, see Extreme Risk Protection Orders in Florida.

Seizing Firearms Before Involuntary Mental Health Examination

In 2018, Florida adopted a law authorizing law enforcement officers to seize firearms and ammunition from people being taken into custody for an involuntary mental health examination.1 Law enforcement officers may request voluntary surrender of firearms or ammunition from people meeting the criteria for an examination, or they “may seize and hold a firearm or any ammunition the person possesses at the time of taking him or her into custody if the person poses a potential danger to himself or herself or others and has made a credible threat of violence against another person.”2

Firearms or ammunition seized pursuant to this law must generally be made available for return no later than 24 hours after the person taken into custody can document that he or she is no longer subject to involuntary examination and has been released or discharged, unless a risk protection order (see above) directs the law enforcement agency to hold the firearms or ammunition for a longer period, or unless the person has become prohibited from purchasing, possessing, or owning firearms.3

Disarming Other Prohibited People

Florida has no other law requiring the removal of firearms from, or the surrender of firearms by, persons who have become prohibited from possessing firearms, including domestic abusers. Florida does, however, consider it a violation of a protective order to refuse to surrender firearms if the court that issued the protective order ordered the abuser to do so.4

Notes
  1. Fla. Stat. §394.463(2)(d). ⤴︎
  2. Fla. Stat. § 394.463(2)(d)(1)-(2). ⤴︎
  3. Fla. Stat. § 394.463(2)(d)(3). ⤴︎
  4. Fla. Stat. § 741.31(4)(a)(8). ⤴︎

Disarming Prohibited People in Georgia

See our Disarming Prohibited People policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Georgia law declares any weapon the possession or carrying of which constitutes a crime or delinquent act to be contraband and forfeited.1 Georgia law also describes the fate of a confiscated weapon when a defendant is found guilty of the illegal possession or carrying of the weapon.2 However, Georgia has no law requiring the removal of firearms when a person initially becomes prohibited from possessing them.

Notes
  1. Ga. Code Ann. § 17-5-51. ⤴︎
  2. Ga. Code Ann. § 17-5-52. ⤴︎

Disarming Prohibited People in Hawaii

See our Disarming Prohibited People policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

For information on laws authorizing the disarmament of individuals involved in domestic violence in Hawaii, see the Hawaii Domestic Violence and Firearms section.

For information about Hawaii’s extreme risk law, see Extreme Risk Protection Orders in Hawaii.

Firearm Permit Denials

Any person denied a permit to acquire a firearm may be required by the chief of police to voluntarily surrender all firearms and ammunition to the chief of police or “dispose” of the firearms or ammunition by selling them to a licensed gun dealer.1 If the applicant fails to surrender or dispose of the guns and ammunition within 30 days of the date the person received notice, the chief may seize the guns and ammunition.2

Prohibited People

Furthermore, any person who is disqualified from the ownership, possession, or control of firearms or ammunition because he or she falls into a federal or state prohibited class on the basis of anything other than mental illness or drug/alcohol addiction, must voluntarily surrender all firearms and ammunition to the chief of police where the person resides or “dispose” of the guns and ammunition by selling them to a licensed gun dealer.3 If the person does not voluntarily surrender or dispose of the firearms or ammunition within seven days from the date of disqualification, the chief of police may seize the guns and ammunition.4

For any person disqualified due to drug/alcohol addiction, mental illness, or emergency or involuntary hospitalization to a psychiatric facility, once the chief of police is notified of the disqualification, he or she shall promptly issue a notice to the disqualified person to immediately surrender all firearms and ammunition. The written notice shall state the reasons for the disqualification, and require the person to immediately surrender all firearms and ammunition to the chief of police. If the individual fails to voluntarily surrender all firearms and ammunition upon receiving notice, the chief of police may seize all firearms and ammunition. The firearms and ammunition shall be held in police custody until the person has been medically documented to be no longer adversely affected or until transferred or sold by the owner.5

Individuals convicted for a third or subsequent offense of violating the state requirement to report the loss or theft of a firearm must surrender all firearm registrations, ammunition, and firearms to the police department for the county within which the person resides within seven days of receiving a notice of violation.6 Upon a failure to surrender, local law enforcement is authorized to seize any firearm registrations, firearm ammunition, and firearms registered to and in possession of the person.7

 

Notes
  1. Haw. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 134-7.3(a). ⤴︎
  2. Id. ⤴︎
  3. Haw. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 134-7.3(b). ⤴︎
  4. Id. ⤴︎
  5. Haw. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 134-7.3(c). ⤴︎
  6. Haw. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 134-29(d)(3)(A). ⤴︎
  7. Id. at (e). ⤴︎

Disarming Prohibited People in Idaho

See our Disarming Prohibited People policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Idaho has no laws requiring the disarming of prohibited persons. Furthermore, the Idaho Constitution generally prohibits “any law permit[ting] the confiscation of firearms, except those actually used in the commission of a felony.”1

Notes
  1. Idaho Const. Art. I, § 11. ⤴︎

Disarming Prohibited People in Illinois

See our Disarming Prohibited People policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

For information about Illinois’s Firearms Restraining Order, see our page on Extreme Risk Protection Orders in Illinois.

In Illinois, gun owners are generally required to possess a Firearm Owner’s Identification (FOID) card. The Department of State Police has the authority to revoke or temporarily suspend a FOID card if the holder loses his or her eligibility to possess guns.1 A person who receives a revocation notice must:2

  • Surrender his or her FOID card to the local law enforcement agency where the person resides. The local law enforcement agency must provide the person with a receipt and transfer the FOID card to the Department of State Police;
  • Complete a Firearm Disposition Record form which must disclose the make, model, and serial number of each firearm owned by the person, the location where each firearm will be maintained during the prohibited term, and if any firearm will be transferred to another person, the name, address and FOID card number of the transferee. A copy of this form must be provided to the person whose FOID card has been revoked and to the Department of State Police.3

A violation of these requirements is a misdemeanor. If a person who receives a notice of revocation fails to comply with these requirements, the local law enforcement agency may petition the circuit court to issue a warrant to search for and seize the FOID card and firearms in the possession of that person.4

A separate provision of Illinois law states that, if a person is convicted of a felony and receives a sentence of probation or a conditional discharge, the person must physically surrender at a time and place designated by the court his or her Firearm Owner’s Identification Card and any and all firearms in his or her possession.5

If a person is charged with certain crimes, including forcible felony, stalking, domestic battery or any violations of the Illinois Controlled Substances Act, a condition of release on bail must be that the individual surrender all firearms in his or her possession to a law enforcement officer designated by the court and surrender his or her FOID card to the clerk of the circuit court.6 The court may forego this condition if the circumstances of the case do not clearly warrant it or when its imposition would be impracticable.7 If the FOID card is confiscated, the clerk of the circuit court must mail the confiscated card to the Illinois State Police.8 All legally possessed firearms must be returned to the person upon the charges being dismissed, or if the person is found not guilty (unless found not guilty by reason of insanity).9

Firearm Seizure Act

Illinois law provides that any person can bring a complaint before a circuit court that a person possessing a firearm or firearms has threatened to use a firearm illegally. If the court is satisfied that there is any danger of such illegal use of firearms, it must issue a warrant requiring the apprehension of the person for appearance before the court, and authorizing the seizure of any firearm in the person’s possession. The court must order any firearm taken from the person to be kept by the state for safekeeping for a stated period of time no longer than one year. The firearm or firearms must be returned to the person at the end of the stated period.10

Domestic Violence Protective Orders

For circumstances when the surrender of firearms are required pursuant to a court’s domestic violence protective order, see the “Removal or Surrender of Firearms When Domestic Violence Restraining/Protective Orders Are Issued” subsection of the Domestic Violence & Firearms in Illinois section.

Admission to Mental Health Facilities

Any mental hospital that admits a person as an inpatient pursuant to the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Code must confiscate any firearms in the possession of that person at the time of admission, or at any time the firearms are discovered in the person’s possession during the course of hospitalization.11 The hospital must, as soon as possible following confiscation, transfer custody of the firearms to the appropriate law enforcement agency, and give written notice to the person from whom the firearm was confiscated of the identity and address of the law enforcement agency to which it has given the firearm. The law enforcement agency must maintain possession of any firearm it obtains pursuant to this subsection for a minimum of 90 days, and then dispose of the firearm after that period pursuant to state law.12

Notes
  1. 430 Ill. Comp. Stat. 65/8 and 430 ILCS 65/8.3. ⤴︎
  2. DSP must also send a notice of the revocation to all law enforcement agencies with jurisdiction to assist with the seizure of the person’s FOID card. 430 ILCS 65/3.1. ⤴︎
  3. 430 Ill. Stat. Comp. 65/9.5(a), (b). ⤴︎
  4. 430 Ill. Comp. Stat. 65/9.5(c), (d). ⤴︎
  5. 730 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/5-6-3(a)(9). ⤴︎
  6. 725 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/110-10(a)(5). ⤴︎
  7. Id. ⤴︎
  8. Id. ⤴︎
  9. Id. ⤴︎
  10. 725 Ill. Comp. Stat. 165/0.01 et seq. ⤴︎
  11. 720 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/24-6(c). ⤴︎
  12. 720 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/24-6(c). ⤴︎

Disarming Prohibited People in Indiana

See our Disarming Prohibited People policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

For information about Indiana’s extreme risk law, see Extreme Risk Protection Orders in Indiana.

Domestic Violence Perpetrators

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.1 The order may direct the subject person to surrender to law enforcement the firearm and ammunition for the duration of the order. See the Indiana Domestic Violence and Firearms section for further information.

 

Notes
  1. Ind. Code Ann. § 34-26-5-9(c)(4), (f). ⤴︎

Disarming Prohibited People in Iowa

See our Disarming Prohibited People policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Under a law enacted in 2010, an Iowa 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 person to surrender the firearm or ammunition. For more information on the surrender of firearms by domestic violence abusers, see the Iowa Domestic Violence & Firearms section. Iowa has no similar law requiring the surrender of firearms by convicted felons or other individuals prohibited from possessing firearms.

Disarming Prohibited People in Kentucky

See our Disarming Prohibited People policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Kentucky law states that any firearm illegally transferred to a convicted felon is subject to forfeiture.1 Kentucky has no other law requiring the removal of firearms from persons who have become prohibited from possessing them.

Notes
  1. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 237.070(3). ⤴︎

Disarming Prohibited People in Louisiana

See our Disarming Prohibited People policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

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 In 2019, Louisiana expanded the list of domestic violence offenses for which this transfer is required, adding domestic abuse aggravated assault, aggravated assault on a dating partner, and certain felony convictions for crimes committed against family members, household members, and dating partners.2

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).3 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.4

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.5 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.6 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.7

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.8

 

Notes
  1. 2018 La. SB 231 (signed by the Governor May 20, 2018), enacting La. Code Crim. Proc. Ann. § art.1001 et seq. ⤴︎
  2. 2019 LA HB 279, amending La. Code Crim. Proc. Ann. § art.1002. ⤴︎
  3. Id. Art. 1001(B), (C). ⤴︎
  4. Id. Art. 1001(D). ⤴︎
  5. Id. ⤴︎
  6. Id. Art. 1002(A). ⤴︎
  7. Id. Art. 1002(D). ⤴︎
  8. 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. ⤴︎

Disarming Prohibited People in Maryland

See our Disarming Prohibited People policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Maryland law does not establish a clear process to ensure the surrender or removal of guns from violent offenders. Maryland has enacted mandatory laws requiring the relinquishment of firearms by domestic violence abusers, however, as well as an extreme risk protection order law.

Handguns and Assault Weapons

A regulated firearm (handgun or assault weapon) or an assault pistol that is sold, rented, transferred, possessed, received or purchased in violation of state law governing such firearms may be seized by law enforcement as “contraband” and disposed of.1 A handgun that is “worn, carried, or transported” in violation of state laws governing the carrying and transporting of handguns is subject to seizure and forfeiture by law enforcement.2 Ammunition found “in the immediate vicinity” of such a handgun is also subject to seizure.3 Moreover, ammunition “worn, carried, or transported” in violation of state laws governing the carrying and transporting of handguns or penalizing the commission of a crime with a handgun is also subject to seizure and forfeiture.4

A law enforcement officer may conduct a limited search, without a search warrant, if he or she reasonably believes a person: 1) may be wearing, carrying or transporting a handgun in violation of state law; and 2) is a danger to law enforcement or others due to the possession of the handgun.5 The officer must also believe it is impracticable to obtain a search warrant and that “swift measures” are necessary to discover whether the person is wearing, carrying or transporting a handgun.6 If, subsequent to a search, the officer finds that the person is wearing, carrying or transporting a handgun, he or she may demand evidence that the person is lawfully permitted to do so. If no evidence is produced, the officer may seize the handgun and arrest the person.7

After law enforcement seizes a handgun, the officers must attempt to locate the owner.8 Law enforcement has discretion to either return the handgun to the owner or notify the owner that he or she may apply within 30 days for a review to determine whether the owner: 1) “knew or should have known that the handgun was worn, carried, transported, or used” in violation of state laws governing the carrying and transporting of handguns; and 2) is legally permitted to possess the handgun.9

Under Maryland law, if a mental health facility hearing officer enters an order for involuntary commitment and the hearing officer determines that the individual cannot safely possess a firearm based on credible evidence of dangerousness to others, the hearing officer must order the individual who is subject to the involuntary commitment to: 1) surrender any firearms in the individual’s possession to law enforcement; and 2) refrain from purchasing a firearm unless specifically granted relief.10

Machine Guns

Maryland provides that a court may issue a warrant to search for and seize a machine gun that is possessed in violation of state law regulating possession of machine guns.11

 

Notes
  1. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-135. See also Md. Code Ann., Crim. Law § 4-304. ⤴︎
  2. Md. Code Ann., Crim. Proc. § 13-201(1). ⤴︎
  3. Md. Code Ann., Crim. Proc. § 13-201(2)(ii). ⤴︎
  4. Md. Code Ann., Crim. Proc. § 13-201. ⤴︎
  5. Md. Code Ann., Crim. Law § 4-206(a)(1). ⤴︎
  6. Id. ⤴︎
  7. Md. Code Ann., Crim. Law § 4-206(b). ⤴︎
  8. Md. Code Ann., Crim. Proc. § 13-203(a). ⤴︎
  9. Md. Code Ann., Crim. Proc. § 13-203(a)(2), (3), (b). If the owner of a seized handgun timely requests a review, law enforcement must informally review whether the owner knew or should have known of the unlawful use of the handgun. Md. Code Ann., Crim. Proc. § 13-204. If the review results in a decision favorable to the owner, law enforcement must return the handgun to the owner if he or she is legally permitted to possess it. If the handgun is needed as evidence in a criminal case or investigation, it must be returned promptly when the case or investigation ends. If the informal review results in an unfavorable conclusion for the owner, within 30 days of notification of such determination the owner may petition for review by the District Court. Id. See Md. Code Ann., Crim. Proc. § 13-205 for information on seized handguns in criminal cases. ⤴︎
  10. Md. Code Ann., Health, Gen. § 10-632. ⤴︎
  11. Md. Code Ann., Crim. Law § 4-402(c). ⤴︎

Disarming Prohibited People in Massachusetts

See our Disarming Prohibited People policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

For information about Massachusetts’s extreme risk law, see Extreme Risk Protection Orders in Massachusetts.

General Relinquishment Requirements

Under Massachusetts law, local FID card licensing authorities must revoke a person’s FID card following the occurrence of any event that renders the cardholder prohibited from possessing firearms.1 Upon receipt of the written notice of revocation from the licensing authority, the prohibited person must “without delay” deliver or surrender all firearms and ammunition in his or her possession to the licensing authority where he or she resides.2

After taking possession of those firearms, the licensing authority may transfer possession of the weapons to a licensed firearms dealer for storage purposes. The dealer must issue a receipt to the prohibited person, who is liable to the dealer for reasonable storage charges. Through the dealer, the prohibited person may then transfer any relinquished firearms to a person lawfully permitted to purchase or take possession of the weapon. After a year in storage, or 90 days of unpaid storage charges, relinquished firearms must be sold at public auction by the state police. After deduction and payment for storage charges and all costs associated with the surrender and transfer of the firearms, any surplus proceeds must be immediately returned to the prohibited person.3

Since 2014, Massachusetts law has also provided a standard process for law enforcement agencies to petition a court to seek the denial or suspension of a FID card from a person who is “unsuitable” to possess firearms because they are a public safety risk. For more information about this process, see the Massachusetts Licensing of Gun Owners section.

Domestic Violence Protective Orders

For information regarding relinquishment of firearms from abusers subject to domestic violence protective orders in Massachusetts, see the Domestic Violence & Firearms in Massachusetts section.

 

Notes
  1. Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 140, § 129B. ⤴︎
  2. Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 140, § 129D. ⤴︎
  3. Id. ⤴︎

Disarming Prohibited People in Minnesota

See our Disarming Prohibited People policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

See the Domestic Violence & Firearms in Minnesota  section for information about disarming domestic abusers.

Defendants in Cases of Crimes Against the Person

For the release of a defendant pending trial or hearing in cases involving crimes against the person, a judge may order as a condition of release that the person surrender to local law enforcement any firearms owned or possessed by the person, and the defendant may not live in a residence where others possess firearms.1

Any firearm surrendered will be inventoried and retained by local law enforcement and must be returned to the owner upon his or her acquittal, when charges are dismissed, or if no charges are filed. If the gun owner is convicted, the firearm must be returned when the court orders the return or when the person is discharged from probation and has his or her civil rights restored.2

Notes
  1. Minn. Stat. § 629.715, subd. 2. ⤴︎
  2. Id. ⤴︎

Disarming Prohibited People in Missouri

See our Disarming Prohibited People policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

For persons convicted for committing or attempting to commit a felony in which a firearm is used in any manner, Missouri law authorizes, but does not require, the convicting court to order the confiscation and disposal, or sale or trade to a licensed firearms dealer, of any firearms or ammunition used in the commission of the crime or found in the possession or immediate control of the defendant at the time of his or her arrest.1

Missouri has no other law requiring the removal of firearms from individuals prohibited from possessing them.

Notes
  1. Mo. Rev. Stat. § 571.095. The proceeds of any sale or gains from trade shall be the property of the police department or sheriff’s department responsible for the defendant’s arrest or the confiscation of the firearms and ammunition. Id. If the firearms or ammunition are not the property of the convicted felon, they shall be returned to their rightful owner if he or she is known and was not a participant in the crime. Id. ⤴︎

Disarming Prohibited People in Montana

Domestic Violence Incidents

Montana law requires a peace officer responding to a call about a partner or family member assault to seize a weapon used or threatened to be used in the alleged assault.1 See the Montana Domestic Violence & Firearms section for further information.

Montana has no other laws requiring the surrender or removal of firearms from persons who have become prohibited from possessing them.

Notes
  1. Mont. Code Ann. § 46-6-603(1). ⤴︎

Disarming Prohibited People in Nebraska

See our Disarming Prohibited People policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Nebraska law states that any firearm in the possession of a person who is violating Nebraska’s minimum age laws “shall be confiscated by a peace officer or other authorized law enforcement officer,” and “held by the agency employing such officer until it no longer is required as evidence.”1 Nebraska has no other laws requiring the removal of firearms from persons who have become prohibited from possessing them.

Notes
  1. Neb. Rev. Stat. § 28-1204.02. ⤴︎

Disarming Prohibited People in Nevada

See our Disarming Prohibited People policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

For information about Nevada’s extreme risk law, see Extreme Risk Protection Orders in Nevada.

Relinquishment Of Firearms By People Convicted Of Firearm-prohibiting Crimes

Under Nevada law, if a prohibited person is convicted of a crime, the court in which the person is convicted must order the person to surrender any firearm that the person owns or possesses, to a designated law enforcement agency, a person designated by court order or a licensed firearm dealer.1 The person must, within 24 hours of service of the order:

  • Surrender any firearm that the person owns or possesses to the appropriate local law enforcement agency designated by the court (the agency must provide the person with a receipt including a description and serial number of the firearm surrendered, this receipt must be presented to the court within 3 days);
  • Surrender any firearm that the person owns or possesses to a person designated by the court  (within 3 days, the person surrendering his or her firearms in this manner must provide to the court and the appropriate local law enforcement agency the name and address of the person designated in the order and a written description and serial number of each firearm surrendered to such person);
  • Sell or transfer any firearm the person owns or possesses to a licensed firearm dealer (the dealer shall provide the person with a receipt which includes a description and serial number of each firearm sold or transferred and the within three days the person must provide the receipt to the court and appropriate local law enforcement agency); or
  • Submit an affidavit informing the court that he or she does not own or possess any firearm and acknowledging that failure to surrender, sell or transfer any firearm he or she owns or possesses is a violation of the order and of Nevada law.2

If there is probable cause to believe that the person has not surrendered, sold or transferred any firearm that the person owns or possesses within 24 hours after service of the court order, then the court may issue and deliver to any law enforcement officer a search warrant authorizing the law enforcement officer to enter and search any place where there is probable cause to believe any firearm is located and seize the firearm.3

See the Nevada Domestic Violence & Firearms section for further information about how Nevada law disarms persons who have been convicted of domestic violence or who are subject to a domestic violence restraining order.

Notes
  1. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 202.361. ⤴︎
  2. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 202.361. ⤴︎
  3. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 202.361(5). ⤴︎

Disarming Prohibited People in New Hampshire

See our Disarming Prohibited People policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

New Hampshire has no law requiring the removal of firearms from persons who have become prohibited from possessing them, except when a court issues a domestic violence protective order. For laws governing the procedure for surrender of firearms by a person subject to a protective order, see the section entitled Domestic Violence and Firearms in New Hampshire.

Disarming Prohibited People in New Jersey

See our Disarming Prohibited People policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

For information on New Jersey’s extreme risk law, see our page on Extreme Risk Protection Orders in New Jersey.

Disarming Domestic Abusers

In early 2017, New Jersey enacted a law that requires certain domestic abusers to surrender their firearms and permits. As of August 1, 2017, individuals convicted of a crime or offense involving domestic violence will be required to arrange for the immediate surrender to a law enforcement officer of any firearm that has not already been seized or surrendered and any firearms purchaser identification card or permit to purchase a handgun possessed by the defendant. Within five days of the conviction order, the defendant may arrange to sell any surrendered firearm to a licensed firearms dealer. Within ten days of the entry of the order, the dealer must take possession of that purchased firearm from the law enforcement agency to which the firearms were surrendered. Upon conviction, any card or permit issued to the defendant shall be deemed immediately revoked.

A law enforcement officer accepting a surrendered firearm shall provide the defendant with a receipt, and the defendant must provide a copy of the receipt to the prosecuting attorney within 48 hours of service of the order. The defendant must also attest under penalty of perjury that any firearms he or she owned or possessed at the time of the order have been transferred and that the defendant currently does not possess any firearms. The defendant alternatively may attest under penalty that he did not own or possess a firearm at the time of the order and currently does not possess a firearm. If the court, upon motion of the prosecutor, finds probable cause that the defendant has failed to surrender any firearm, card, or permit, the court may order a search for and removal of these items at any location where the judge has reasonable cause to believe these items are located.1

The 2017 law also creates a process for disarming people subject to domestic violence restraining orders. As of August 1, 2017, individuals subject to temporary restraining orders that specifically prohibit the respondent from possessing firearms, or restraining orders issued after a hearing on the merits, must dispose of their firearms according to the following procedures: A law enforcement officer shall accompany the individual, or proceed without the individual if necessary, to any place where he or she stores firearms. The officer shall take custody of the firearms.2

Any person whose firearm has been seized and not returned will be denied any permit to purchase a handgun or Firearms Purchaser Identification Card.3

Ineligible Firearms Purchaser Identification Card Holders

A Firearms Purchaser Identification Card (FPIC) is valid for the purchase of multiple long guns until a holder becomes subject to any of the prohibited categories under New Jersey Statutes Annotated § 2C:58-3c.4 If an FPIC holder becomes ineligible, his or her FPIC automatically becomes void and the holder must return it within five days to the Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. Failure to return the FPIC in this manner subjects the ineligible holder to criminal liability. Moreover, an FPIC may be revoked by the Superior Court of the county where it was issued, after notice and a hearing, if the court finds the holder ineligible to purchase or possess firearms. The county prosecutor of any county, the chief police officer of any municipality, or any citizen may apply to the court for revocation of a FPIC.5

Persons Reported by Licensed Mental Health Practitioners

Under certain circumstances, licensed mental health practitioners are required to take actions to prevent harm by patients who make specific, credible threats of physical violence against reasonably identifiable persons including notifying law enforcement of the threat. ((N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2A:62A-16(b).)) Upon receipt of the information, law enforcement shall use that information to ascertain whether the patient has been issued a firearms purchaser identification card, permit to purchase a handgun, or any other permit or license authorizing possession of a firearm. If so, or if there is information indicating that the patient otherwise may have access to a firearm, law enforcement may use the information to determine whether the patient has become subject to a firearms prohibition. See Prohibited Purchasers Generally in New Jersey to learn more about which categories of people are prohibited from purchasing and possessing firearms in New Jersey.

If law enforcement determines that the patient is prohibited from purchasing or possessing firearms, any identification card or permit issued to the patient shall be void and subject to revocation by the Superior Court. If the court confirms that the patient is prohibited from possessing firearms and revokes the patient’s firearms identification card, the court may order the patient to surrender to the county prosecutor any firearm owned by or accessible to the patient and order the prosecutor to dispose of the firearms.6

Notes
  1. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:25-27(c)(1), effective August 1, 2017. ⤴︎
  2. N.J. Stat. Ann. §§ 2C:25-28(j), effective August 1, 2017; 2C:25-29(b), effective August 1, 2017. ⤴︎
  3. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:58-3c(8). ⤴︎
  4. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:58-3f. ⤴︎
  5. Id. ⤴︎
  6. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2A:62A-16(e). ⤴︎

Disarming Prohibited People in New Mexico

See our Disarming Prohibited People policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

In 2019, New Mexico enacted laws requiring some abusers subject to domestic violence protective orders to relinquish any firearm already in or subject to the their possession or control to a law enforcement agency, officer, or federal firearms licensee for the duration of the domestic violence protective order,1 within 48 hours of receiving service of the order.2 Law enforcement officers are also directed to remove firearms subject to the order of protection that are relinquished by the respondent, in plain sight, or discovered pursuant to a lawful search.3  More information about these removal requirements and procedures is available on our Domestic Violence & Firearms in New Mexico page.

In New Mexico, a handgun possessed or transported by a person under age 19, in violation of state law4 is subject to seizure and forfeiture by law enforcement.5

New Mexico has no other laws expressly requiring the relinquishment or removal of firearms from persons who have become prohibited from possessing them.

Notes
  1. N.M. Stat. Ann. § 40-13-5(A)(2). ⤴︎
  2. N.M. Stat. Ann. § 40-13-13(A). ⤴︎
  3. N.M. Stat. Ann. § 40-13-13(B. ⤴︎
  4. See N.M. Stat. Ann. § 30-7-2.2. ⤴︎
  5. N.M. Stat. Ann. § 30-7-2.3. ⤴︎

Disarming Prohibited People in New York

See our Disarming Prohibited People policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

For information about New York’s extreme risk law, see Extreme Risk Protection Orders in New York.

New York allows a prohibited individual to voluntarily surrender firearms to a designated local law enforcement agency with immunity from the charge of illegal firearm possession.1

New York law declares any firearm unlawfully possessed to be a nuisance,2 and sets out the procedure that must be used if such a firearm comes into the possession of any police officer or peace officer.3

A revocation of a firearms license occurs if the licensee, at any time, becomes ineligible to receive a license under New York law. An official revoking a license must “notify immediately the duly constituted police authorities of the locality,” and must give written notice to the executive department of the division of state police.4

Relinquishment of Firearms by People Convicted of Firearm-Prohibiting Crimes

New York law states that the conviction of a firearms licensee for a felony or “serious offense” operates as a revocation of the license. Upon a conviction for such an offense, the convicting court must also order the defendant to surrender all firearms, and inform the relevant law enforcement authorities of the order.5 Upon receiving the surrendered firearms, the law enforcement authority must inform the court of the surrender.6

Where a defendant is convicted of an offense which would require the seizure of firearms or the revocation of a firearms license, the judge pronouncing the sentence must demand surrender of any such license and of all firearms.7

Relinquishment of Firearms by People with Severe Mental Health Impairments

New York law requires mental health professionals to make a report to law enforcement authorities if an individual they are treating is, in their judgment, likely to engage in conduct that will cause serious harm to themselves or to others. The Department of Criminal Justice Services, when it determines that any person named in such a report possesses a license to carry a firearm, should inform “the appropriate licensing official” who must then issue an order to suspend or revoke the license.8

Where a defendant is found (by verdict or plea) to be not responsible by reason of mental disease or defect or to be “incapacitated” as defined by New York law, the court must revoke the defendant’s firearm license and inquire about the existence and location of any firearms in the defendant’s possession. The court must direct the surrender of any such firearms.9

Surrender of Firearms Upon Issuance of a Domestic Violence Protective Order

Temporary Protective Order

Whenever a family court issues a temporary protective order, the court must suspend the respondent’s license, declare the respondent ineligible to receive a license, and order the immediate surrender of all firearms, when the court has good cause to believe that:

  1.  The respondent has a prior conviction of any “violent felony offense”;
  2. The defendant was previously found to have willfully violated a protective order and the violation involved the infliction of physical injury, the threatened use of a deadly weapon, or the commission of a “violent felony offense”; or
  3. The respondent has a conviction for stalking.

The court must also suspend respondent’s firearm license, declare respondent ineligible to receive a license, and order the surrender of all firearms where the court finds a substantial risk that the respondent may use or threaten to use a firearm against the person protected by the protective order.10

Protective Order

Whenever a family court issues a protective order, the court must revoke the respondent’s license, declare the respondent ineligible to receive a license, and order the immediate surrender of all firearms, when the court finds that the conduct which resulted in the issuance of the protective order involved:

  1. The infliction of physical injury;
  2. The use or threatened use of a deadly weapon; or
  3. Behavior constituting any “violent felony offense.”

The court must also suspend or revoke respondent’s firearm license, declare respondent ineligible to receive a license, and order the surrender of all firearms where the court finds a substantial risk that the respondent may use or threaten to use a firearm against the person protected by the protection order.11

Failure to Obey Protective Order or Temporary Protective Order

Whenever a respondent is found to have willfully failed to obey a protective order or temporary protective order, the court shall revoke any existing firearms license possessed by respondent, declare the respondent ineligible for such a license, and order the immediate surrender of all firearms, where the willful violation of the order involved:

  1. The infliction of physical injury;
  2. The use or threatened use of a deadly weapon;
  3. Behavior constituting any “violent felony offense”; or
  4. Behavior constituting stalking.

The court must also suspend or revoke respondent’s firearm license, declare respondent ineligible to receive a license, and order the surrender of all firearms where the court finds a substantial risk that the respondent may use or threaten to use a firearm against the person protected by the protection order.12

Mandatory Court Determination

When a protective order or temporary protective order is issued or when such orders are violated, the court must make a determination regarding the suspension or revocation of a license to carry or possess a firearm, ineligibility to obtain such a license, and the surrender of firearms already possessed.13

License Suspension

Any order suspending a firearms license that is issued in relation to a protective order or temporary protective order will remain in effect for the duration of the protective order, unless modified by the court.14

Order to Surrender Firearms

When a domestic violence order to surrender firearms has been issued, the temporary order of protection or order of protection must specify the place, date and time for the firearms to be surrendered and, to the extent possible, and describe the firearms to be surrendered along with instructions to the receiving authority to notify the court immediately upon surrender. The order must also state whether the firearm license has been suspended, revoked, or that the person subject to the order is ineligible.15

If a respondent promptly surrenders a firearm pursuant to a court order, it is considered a voluntary surrender and the respondent may arrange for the transfer or sale of the firearm to a licensed dealer within a year of surrender. After a year, the firearm is declared a nuisance and can be disposed of by the law enforcement authority who received it.16

Notification

The court that declares a protective order respondent ineligible for a firearms license, revokes or suspends a respondent’s license, or orders the surrender of a respondent’s firearms must notify the police in the relevant locality and give written notice to the state police. The court must notify the statewide registry of orders of protection.17

Right to Hearing

The respondent has a right to a hearing before any revocation, suspension, ineligibility or surrender of firearms is ordered. When an order is issued prior to a hearing, the respondent must receive a hearing within two weeks of the date of the order.18

Notes
  1. N.Y. Penal Law § 265.20(f). ⤴︎
  2. N.Y. Penal Law § 400.05(1). ⤴︎
  3. N.Y. Penal Law § 400.05. ⤴︎
  4. N.Y. Penal Law § 400.00(11)(a). ⤴︎
  5. N.Y. Crim. Proc. Law § 370.25. ⤴︎
  6. Id. 370.25(2). ⤴︎
  7. N.Y. Crim. Proc. Law § 380.96. ⤴︎
  8. N.Y. Penal Law § 400.00(11)(b). ⤴︎
  9. N.Y. Crim. Proc. Law § 330.20(2-a). ⤴︎
  10. N.Y. Fam. Ct. Act § 842-a(1)(a)-(b); N.Y. Crim. Proc. Law § 530.14(1)(b). ⤴︎
  11. N.Y. Fam. Ct. Act § 842-a(2)(a)-(b); N.Y. Crim. Proc. Law § 530.14(2)(b). ⤴︎
  12. N.Y. Fam. Ct. Act § 842-a(3)(a)-(b); N.Y. Crim. Proc. Law § 530.14(3)(b). ⤴︎
  13. N.Y. Fam. Ct. Act §§ 446-a, 552, 656-a, 780-a; 1056-a; N.Y Dom. Rel. Law § 240(3)(h), 252(9). ⤴︎
  14. N.Y. Crim. Proc. Law § 530.14(4). ⤴︎
  15. N.Y. Crim. Proc. Law §§ 530.14(5)(a), (6)(a); N.Y. Fam. Ct. Act § 842-a(5)(a), (6)(a). ⤴︎
  16. N.Y. Crim. Proc. Law § 530.14(5)(b); N.Y. Fam. Ct. Act § 842-a(5)(b); N.Y. Penal Law § 400.05(6). ⤴︎
  17. N.Y. Crim. Proc. Law § 530.14(6)(b)-(d); N.Y. Fam. Ct. Act § 842-a(6)(b)-(d). ⤴︎
  18. N.Y. Crim. Proc. Law § 530.14(7); N.Y. Fam. Ct. Act § 842-a(7). ⤴︎

Disarming Prohibited People in North Carolina

See our Disarming Prohibited People policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

North Carolina requires domestic abusers who have become subject to protective orders to surrender their firearms under certain circumstances. For further information, see the section entitled Domestic Violence and Firearms in North Carolina.

North Carolina law also requires sheriffs to revoke pistol permits (handgun purchase permits) from people who become prohibited from possessing them. 1 As discussed on the Licensing of Gun Owners or Purchasers in North Carolina page, North Carolina generally requires a “pistol purchase permit” in order to lawfully purchase a handgun. 2 That permit can be used to buy one handgun, or expires after five years if it is never used.3 Under North Carolina law, upon the occurrence of any event that renders an active pistol permit holder ineligible to possess the permit, a sheriff is required to provide written notice that the permit has been revoked.4 If a law enforcement officer serves the notice, the officer may take immediate possession of the permit; if the notice is served by someone else or in some other manner, the permit holder will be required to relinquish the purchase permit to the sheriff within 48 hours after receiving the notice.5

However, North Carolina has no other law requiring the disarming of individuals who have become prohibited from possessing firearms, including those who have had to relinquish their pistol purchase permits.

 

Notes
  1. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-404(h). ⤴︎
  2. N.C. Gen. Stat. §§ 14-402 – 14-404. ⤴︎
  3. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-403. ⤴︎
  4. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-404(h)(1). ⤴︎
  5. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-404(h)(2). ⤴︎

Disarming Prohibited People in North Dakota

See our Disarming Prohibited People policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

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 Law enforcement officers are authorized to arrest the respondent if he or she fails to comply.2 For additional information, see the section entitled Domestic Violence and Firearms in North Dakota.

North Dakota has no other law requiring the removal of firearms from persons who have become prohibited from possessing them.

Notes
  1. N.D. Cent. Code § 14-07.1-02(4)(g). ⤴︎
  2. Id.; N.D. Cent. Code § 14-07.1-11. ⤴︎

Disarming Prohibited People in Oklahoma

See our Disarming Prohibited People policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Oklahoma generally has no laws requiring the disarming of prohibited persons.  Oklahoma does require 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.1

 

 

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

Disarming Prohibited People in Pennsylvania

See our Disarming Prohibited People policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

With the exception of persons subject to an active protection from abuse order, Pennsylvania law gives persons prohibited from possessing firearms a “reasonable period of time, not to exceed 60 days from the date of the imposition” of the firearm prohibition, in which to sell or transfer his or her firearms to another eligible person who is not a member of the prohibited person’s household.1

A policy of the Philadelphia Adult Probation and Parole Department provides that anyone under its supervision has 10 days to dispose of a weapon. This policy provides for surrender of firearms to the police department, sale to a licensed firearms dealer, or sale to an eligible person. After the person sells or transfers his or her firearms, he or she is required to provide his or her Probation or Parole officer with a receipt or record of sale.2

For laws governing the procedure for surrender of firearms by a person subject to a protective order, see the section entitled Domestic Violence and Firearms in Pennsylvania.

Notes
  1. 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6105(a)(1)(i). ⤴︎
  2. First Judicial District of Pennsylvania, Adult Probation and Parole Department, Firearms Surrender Policy. ⤴︎

Disarming Prohibited People in Rhode Island

See our Disarming Prohibited People policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

In recent years, Rhode Island has passed legislation to create a standard, enforceable process for disarming certain domestic abusers as well as dangerous people subject to extreme risk protection orders (ERPOs). Rhode Island has no law requiring firearm relinquishment by other people who have become prohibited from possessing them.

Disarming Domestic Abusers

In 2017, Rhode Island comprehensively strengthened its laws governing firearm relinquishment by people convicted of domestic violence crimes or subject to domestic violence protective orders. See the Rhode Island Domestic Violence and Firearms section for further information about these laws.

Extreme Risk Protection Orders

In 2018, Rhode Island also enacted an Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) law, which authorizes law enforcement agencies to petition a court for a civil order preventing a dangerous person from accessing firearms for up to one year. See the Extreme Risk Protection Orders in Rhode Island page for further information about this law.

Disarming Prohibited People in South Carolina

See our Disarming Prohibited People policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

South Carolina does not have a law requiring the confiscation of firearms owned by a person when he or she has become prohibited from possessing firearms. However, firearms or ammunition must be confiscated if they were involved in a violation of the prohibition against possession by a person who has been convicted of a violent felony offense.1  Similarly, firearms or ammunition must also be confiscated if they were involved in a violation of the prohibition against possession by a person who has been adjudicated as a mental defective or committed to a mental institution.2

When a person loses his or her gun eligibility because he or she is adjudicated as a mental defective or is committed to a mental institution, the court must provide to the person or the person’s representative, as appropriate, a written form that conspicuously informs the person or the person’s representative of the prohibition on possession of firearms  or ammunition.3

Disarming Dangerous People by Court Order

South Carolina prohibits handgun possession by any “person who by order of a circuit judge or county court judge of this State has been adjudged unfit to carry or possess a firearm, such adjudication to be made upon application by any police officer, or by any prosecuting officer of this State, or sua sponte, by the court, but a person who is the subject of such an application is entitled to reasonable notice and a proper hearing prior to any such adjudication.”4

Notes
  1. S.C. Code § 16-23-500. ⤴︎
  2. S.C. Code § 23-31-1040. ⤴︎
  3. S.C. Code § 23-31-1040. ⤴︎
  4. S.C. Code § 16-23-30. ⤴︎

Disarming Prohibited People in Tennessee

See our Disarming Prohibited People policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Tennessee law states that any weapon that is possessed, used or sold in violation of the law shall be confiscated by a law enforcement officer and declared to be contraband by a court of record exercising criminal jurisdiction.1

Domestic Violence Convictions

Persons convicted of 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.2

Domestic Violence Orders of Protection

If a domestic violence order of protection is granted in a manner that fully complies with 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(8), the person subject to that order must lawfully terminate physical possession of all firearms he or she possesses, such as by transferring his or her firearms to a third party who is not prohibited from possessing firearms, within 48 hours of the granting of the order.3 Such respondents must also file an affidavit with the court attesting that they relinquished all firearms, as required, and is prohibited under state law from knowingly failing to surrender to law enforcement or lawfully transfer all firearms.4 Such individuals may re-assume possession of the dispossessed firearm at such time as the order expires or is otherwise no longer in effect.5

 

Notes
  1. Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-13-1317. ⤴︎
  2. Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-13-111. Specific procedures for relinquishment of firearms are detailed under Tenn. Code Ann. § 36-3-625. ⤴︎
  3. Tenn. Code Ann. § 36-3-625. ⤴︎
  4. Tenn. Code Ann. § 36-3-625(h)(1), (2). ⤴︎
  5. Tenn. Code Ann. § 36-3-625(a)(2). ⤴︎

Disarming Prohibited People in Texas

See our Disarming Prohibited People policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

In 2013, Texas enacted a law authorizing a peace officer who takes certain mentally ill persons into custody because they pose a substantial risk of serious harm to self or others to immediately seize any firearm found in possession of the person.1

The officer who seizes the firearm is required to immediately provide the person a written copy of the receipt for the firearm and a written notice of the procedure for the return of a firearm.2 The law enforcement agency holding the firearm must then, as soon as possible, but not later than the 15th day after the date the person is taken into custody, provide written notice of the procedure for the return of a firearm to the last known address of the person’s closest immediate family member as identified by the person or reasonably identifiable by the law enforcement agency, sent by certified mail, return receipt requested.3 The written notice must state the date by which a request for the return of the firearm must be submitted to the law enforcement agency.4 The clerk of the court is required to subsequently advise the law enforcement agency, upon request, whether the person taken into custody was released.5

Not later than the 30th day after the clerk of the court informs the law enforcement agency that the person taken into custody was released, the law enforcement agency must (1)  conduct a background check of state and national criminal history record information to verify whether the person may lawfully possess a firearm under 18 U.S.C. Section 922(g); and (2)  provide written notice to the person by certified mail that the firearm may be returned to the person on verification that the person may lawfully possess the firearm.6

If the clerk of the court informs the law enforcement agency that the person taken into custody was ordered to receive inpatient mental health services, the law enforcement agency must provide written notice to the person by certified mail that the person: (1)  is prohibited from owning, possessing, or purchasing a firearm under 18 U.S.C. Section 922(g)(4); (2) may petition the court that entered the commitment order for relief from the firearms disability; and (3) may dispose of the firearm in the manner provided by Tex. Code Crim. Proc. Art. 18.191(f).7

Texas has no other law requiring the removal of firearms from persons who have become prohibited from possessing them.

Notes
  1. Tex. Health & Safety Code § 573.001(g).  Under Texas law, a peace officer may take a person into custody without a warrant if the officer: (1)  has reason to believe and does believe that (A)  the person is a person with mental illness; and (B) because of that mental illness there is a substantial risk of serious harm to the person or to others unless the person is immediately restrained; and (2) believes that there is not sufficient time to obtain a warrant before taking the person into custody. Tex. Health & Safety Code § 573.001(a). ⤴︎
  2. Tex. Code Crim. Proc. Art. 18.191(a). ⤴︎
  3. Tex. Code Crim. Proc. Art. 18.191(b). ⤴︎
  4. Id. ⤴︎
  5. Tex. Code Crim. Proc. Art. 18.191(c). ⤴︎
  6. Tex. Code Crim. Proc. Art. 18.191(d). ⤴︎
  7. Tex. Code Crim. Proc. Art. 18.191(e). ⤴︎

Disarming Prohibited People in the District of Columbia

See our Disarming Prohibited People policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Other than the Extreme Risk Protection Order, the District of Columbia has no other laws specifically requiring the removal of firearms from persons who have become prohibited from possessing them.

A police officer, in the course of a lawful arrest or lawful search, who discovers a dangerous article he or she reasonably believes is a nuisance, must take possession of the article and surrender it to the property clerk of the Metropolitan Police Department.1 A “dangerous article” includes a handgun, machine gun and sawed-off shotgun.2 A dangerous article unlawfully owned, possessed, or carried is a nuisance.3

Notes
  1. D.C. Code Ann. § 22-4517(b), (c). ⤴︎
  2. D.C. Code Ann. § 22-4517(a). ⤴︎
  3. D.C. Code Ann. § 22-4517(b). ⤴︎

Disarming Prohibited People in Utah

See our Disarming Prohibited People policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Utah requires a law enforcement officer who responds to an allegation of domestic violence to confiscate the weapon or weapons involved in an incident of domestic violence.1 See the Utah Domestic Violence & Firearms section for further information.

Utah does not have any other laws mandating the surrender or removal of firearms from persons who have become ineligible to possess them.

In 2012, Utah created an affirmative defense to the charge of transfer of a firearm by a prohibited person that the person transferred the firearm within 10 days of becoming a prohibited person.2

Utah does allow cohabitants3 of a gun owner (“owner cohabitant”) to voluntarily relinquish the owner cohabitant’s firearms to law enforcement if the cohabitant believes that the owner cohabitant or another cohabitant with access to the firearm is an immediate threat to himself or herself or others.4 Law enforcement may hold the firearm for up to 60 days but must return the firearm to the owner cohabitant if he or she requests it prior to the expiration of the 60 day period.5

Notes
  1. Utah Code Ann. § 77-36-2.1(1)(b). ⤴︎
  2. Utah Code Ann. § 76-10-503(7). ⤴︎
  3. Cohabitants are defined as individuals 18 years of age or older residing in the home who is living as if a spouse of the owner cohabitant; is related by blood or marriage to the owner cohabitant; has one or more children in common with the owner cohabitant; or has an interest in the safety and wellbeing of the owner cohabitant. Utah Code Ann. § 53-5c-201(1). ⤴︎
  4. Utah Code Ann. § 53-5c-201(2). ⤴︎
  5. Utah Code Ann. § 53-5c-201(3). ⤴︎

Disarming Prohibited People in Virginia

See our Disarming Prohibited People policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Virginia has no law generally requiring the removal of firearms from, or the surrender of firearms by, persons who have become prohibited from possessing them, although a 2020 law provides a process for the surrender of firearms by a person who has become subject to a final protective order. See Domestic Violence and Firearms in Virginia for further information. Another 2020 Virginia law provides for the issuance of substantial risk orders and the temporary removal of firearms by people subject to these orders. See Extreme Risk Protection Orders in Virginia for more information about that law.

A concealed weapon permittee convicted of an offense that would disqualify that person from obtaining a permit is required to forfeit his permit (but not his firearm) and surrender it to the court that issued it.1 Upon receipt by the Central Criminal Records Exchange of a record of the arrest, conviction or occurrence of any other event that would disqualify a person from obtaining a concealed handgun permit, the Central Criminal Records Exchange must notify the court that issued the permit of the disqualifying arrest, conviction or other event. Upon receipt of such notice of a conviction, the court must revoke the permit and promptly notify the State Police and the person whose permit was revoked of the revocation.2 Notably, many of the events that disqualify an individual from obtaining a concealed weapons permit also disqualify the individual from possessing firearms altogether.

Notes
  1. Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-308(J). ⤴︎
  2. Id. ⤴︎

Disarming Prohibited People in Washington

See our Disarming Prohibited People policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Domestic Violence and Other Protective Orders

Courts must order respondents to certain types of protective orders (domestic violence, stalking, harassment, and others) issued after a noticed hearing to immediately surrender firearms and concealed pistol licenses. For more information about disarming individuals subject to these provisions, see Domestic Violence & Firearms in Washington.

For information about Washington’s extreme risk law, see Extreme Risk Protection Orders in Washington.

Other Alternatives for Disarming

Washington also enables courts to disarm dangerous individuals in other ways. State superior courts and courts of limited jurisdiction may order forfeiture of a firearm proven to be:

  • Found concealed on a person not authorized to carry a concealed pistol;
  • Commercially sold to any person without an application as required by state law;
  • In the possession of a person prohibited from possessing the firearm under state law;
    • In 2018, voters approved a measure that requires the department of licensing to verify annually that people who have acquired pistols or ‘semiautomatic assault rifles’ remain eligible to possess them, and to take steps to ensure anyone found ineligible does not remain in possession of firearms.1
  • In the possession or under the control of a person at the time he or she committed or was arrested for committing a felony or committing a nonfelony crime in which a firearm was used or displayed;
  • In the possession of a person who is in any place in which a concealed pistol license is required, and who is under the influence of any drug or intoxicating liquor;
  • In the possession of a person free on bail or personal recognizance pending trial, appeal, or sentencing for a felony or for a nonfelony crime in which a firearm was used or displayed;
  • In the possession of a person found to have been mentally incompetent while possessing the gun when apprehended or who is thereafter committed under state law;
  • Used or displayed by a person in the violation of a proper written order of a court of general jurisdiction; or
  • Used in the commission of a felony or of a nonfelony crime in which a firearm was used or displayed.2

Law enforcement officers of the state or of any county or municipality may confiscate a firearm found to be in the possession of a person under any of the circumstances specified above.3

Individuals who have been detained for a 72-hour evaluation and treatment on the grounds that the person presents a likelihood of serious harm are prohibited from possessing guns for six months after the date of detention.4 The detained individual must immediately surrender, for the six-month period, any concealed pistol license and any firearms that he or she possesses or controls to the sheriff of the county or the chief of police of the municipality in which the person is domiciled.5

Surrendered Firearms

Any confiscated firearm may be surrendered only: 1) to the prosecuting attorney for use in subsequent legal proceedings; 2) for disposition according to an order of a court having jurisdiction; or 3) to the owner if the proceedings are dismissed or the court otherwise directs.

In 2015, Washington enacted a law requiring that a law enforcement agency must, before returning a confiscated firearm:

(a) Confirm that the individual to whom the firearm will be returned is the individual from whom the firearm was obtained or an authorized representative of that person;

(b) Confirm that the individual to whom the firearm will be returned is eligible to possess a firearm;

(c) Ensure that the firearm is not otherwise required to be held in custody or otherwise prohibited from being released; and

(d) Ensure that twenty-four hours have elapsed from the time the firearm was obtained by law enforcement.6

This law also provides that a family or household member may request to be notified when a law enforcement agency returns a privately owned firearm to the individual from whom it was obtained or to an authorized representative of that person.7 This notification may be made via telephone, email, text message, or another method that allows notification to be provided without unnecessary delay.8 If a family or household member has requested to be notified, a law enforcement agency must:

(a) Provide notice to the family or household member within one business day of verifying that the individual from whom the firearm was obtained is eligible to possess and receive the firearm; and

(b) Hold the firearm in custody for seventy-two hours from the time notification has been provided.9

Once these requirements have been met, the law enforcement agency must release the firearm to the individual from whom it was obtained or an authorized representative of that person upon request without unnecessary delay.10

For laws governing the procedure for surrender of firearms by a person subject to a protective order, see the section entitled Domestic Violence and Firearms in Washington. See also the Mental Health Reporting in Washington section for additional court notices restricting the possession of a firearm.

Notes
  1. Washington Proposition 1639, effective July 1, 2019. ⤴︎
  2. Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 9.41.098(1). ⤴︎
  3. Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 9.41.098(4). ⤴︎
  4. Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 71.05.182. ⤴︎
  5. Id. at 2(b). ⤴︎
  6. 2015 Wa. SB 5381, Sect. 2(1). ⤴︎
  7. 2015 Wa. SB 5381, Sect. 1. ⤴︎
  8. Id. ⤴︎
  9. 2015 Wa. SB 5381, Sect. 2(3). ⤴︎
  10. 2015 Wa. SB 5381, Sect. 2(2). ⤴︎

Disarming Prohibited People in West Virginia

See our Disarming Prohibited People policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

West Virginia law authorizes an arresting officer to seize all weapons that are possessed in violation of a valid protective order, subject to the requirements of the state and federal Constitutions.1 See the West Virginia Domestic Violence & Firearms section for further information.

Once an individual has been adjudicated as a mental defective or involuntarily committed to a mental institution, he or she “shall be duly notified” that they are to immediately surrender any firearms in their ownership or possession; provided, however, that the mental hygiene commissioner or circuit judge must first make a determination of the appropriate public or private individual or entity to act as conservator for the surrendered property.2

West Virginia does not have any other laws mandating the surrender or removal of firearms.

Notes
  1. W. Va. Code § 48-27-1002(e)(3). ⤴︎
  2. W. Va. Code § 61-7-7(a)(4). ⤴︎

Disarming Prohibited People in Wisconsin

See our Disarming Prohibited People policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Wisconsin state courts that order a person committed for mental health-related treatment must order the person not to possess firearms and order the seizure of any firearm owned by the individual, if the court determines that the person is prohibited by federal law from possessing a firearm.1 In lieu of gun seizure, the court may designate a person to store the firearm until the order has ended.2

In addition, if a state court: 1) appoints a guardian for an individual; 2) orders protective services for or protective placement of an individual; or 3) orders treatment and services, including involuntary commitment, for an individual incapacitated by alcohol or suffering from alcoholism, the court must determine if that person is prohibited from possessing a firearm because he or she has been adjudicated as a mental defective or committed to a mental institution under federal law.3 If the person is deemed prohibited, the court must order the person not to possess firearms, and order the seizure of any firearm owned by the individual.4 As an alternative to seizing the firearms, the court may designate a person to store the firearms until the order expires or is canceled by the court.5

Wisconsin law allows individuals in any of these categories to petition a court for an order restoring the person’s eligibility to possess firearms and providing for the return of the seized firearms.

For information about removing firearms from domestic violence protective order defendants, see Domestic Violence and Firearms in Wisconsin.

Notes
  1. Wis. Stat. § 51.20(13)(cv)(1). ⤴︎
  2. Wis. Stat. § 51.20(cv)(3). ⤴︎
  3. Wis. Stat. §§ 51.45(13)(i)(1), 54.10(3)(f)(1), 55.12(10)(a). ⤴︎
  4. Wis. Stat. §§ 54.10(3)(f)(1), 55.12(10)(a). ⤴︎
  5. Wis. Stat. §§ 54.10(3)(f)(3), 55.12(10)(c). ⤴︎