The Law Center’s 21st Anniversary Dinner – June 25, 2014

Posted on Monday, July 14th, 2014

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Thank you to everyone who joined us for the Law Center’s 21st Anniversary Dinner. We were honored to have the opportunity to award Anne Marks from Youth ALIVE! and Gabrielle Giffords and Mark Kelly for their meaningful work. If you missed the event, watch the highlights and hear what Gabby and the other speakers wanted to share with the crowd:

Thirteen-year-old Sukari Wright, a poet with Youth Speaks, also shared her incredibly moving experience with the crowd:

The Law Center’s Anniversary Dinner is always a meaningful event that brings together our community to honor the exceptional efforts of a few key individuals for their outstanding leadership in the gun violence prevention movement. The dinner, with an audience of 500 – 700 attorneys, legal and business professionals, and advocates for smart gun laws from all over the country, is a truly remarkable event without parallel.

We were pleased to honor Gabrielle Giffords and Mark Kelly as well as Youth ALIVE! for their courageous work on this issue at this year’s event.

Thank you to all who joined us on June 25th as we marked 21 years of the Law Center’s work saving lives with smart gun laws, honored outstanding leadership in our community, and energized the efforts of the national movement.


The Law Center’s 21st Anniversary Dinner
June 25, 2014
The Westin St. Francis | San Francisco

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Dangerous Constitutional Amendment Allows Convicted Felons to Challenge Common Sense Gun Laws

Posted on Friday, July 11th, 2014
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Photo by Brett Duke, NOLA.com The Times-Picayune

This week the Louisiana Supreme Court unanimously upheld a state law prohibiting convicted felons from possessing firearms. Despite this positive outcome, the case actually illustrates the very real dangers of an alarming trend that has recently emerged in certain parts of the country.

Challenges to the law arose after a dangerous and imprudent amendment was made to Louisiana’s constitution in 2012, requiring that all challenged state gun laws be subject to “strict scrutiny” review— the highest level of judicial review that exists. The Louisiana Constitution, like many other state constitutions, recognizes a right to keep and bear arms. However, in 2012, voters approved an NRA-supported amendment—the first of its kind approved in the U.S.—defining the right as “fundamental” and requiring courts to apply “strict scrutiny” when reviewing firearm regulations.

Because of this new “strict scrutiny” requirement, three convicted felons were able to challenge their convictions under a Louisiana statute which generally bars felons from possessing a firearm for ten years after the completion of their sentence. The challengers to the law in this case had been convicted of a variety of crimes including second degree battery, narcotics trafficking, and unauthorized entry of an inhabited dwelling.

The question was whether Louisiana may prohibit convicted felons from possessing firearms after serving their sentences. The Louisiana Supreme Court found “beyond question” that this law serves to protect public safety by keeping firearms out of the hands of those who are more likely to misuse them. In the words of the court, the case demonstrated that “convicted felons are not only at risk to re-offend, but are at risk to re-offend using firearms.” In upholding the law, the court concluded that “common sense and the public safety allow no other result.”

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2014 California Firearms Legislation: New Bills Introduced in Wake of Isla Vista Shooting

Posted on Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

CA State Capitol Building

The Law Center is tracking numerous gun violence prevention measures that are under consideration by the California Legislature. Currently, twelve bills are pending that would strengthen the state’s gun laws and improve public safety. Four bills introduced to weaken the state’s gun laws have already been defeated.

Most recently, in response to the devastating shootings in Isla Vista and a subsequent string of horrific public shootings across the nation, several new bills have been introduced to improve public safety and reduce gun violence. Assemblymember Nancy Skinner introduced a new bill, AB 1014, which would create a “gun violence restraining order” procedure to help keep firearms out of the hands of individuals who pose a substantial likelihood of danger to themselves or others. In addition, Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson has introduced two new bills. SB 505 would require law enforcement officers conducting a “welfare check” on a potentially dangerous person to first search a state database to determine whether the individual owns any firearms. SB 580 would provide more than $15 million to the California Department of Justice to upgrade aging computer systems and to contract with local law enforcement in support of ongoing efforts to remove guns from those who are legally prohibited from owning them.

For more information on the status of bills in other states, visit our 2014 summary of gun bills nationwide. For the full description of existing laws to reduce gun violence in California, visit our summary of California gun laws. The complete text of each bill can be found here.

SB 53 (De Leon): Ammunition Purchase Permitting – SB 53—the Law Center’s priority bill for 2014—would require ammunition sellers to be licensed by the California Department of Justice (“DOJ”). The bill would also require that every ammunition purchaser hold an ammunition purchase authorization issued by DOJ after it conducted a background check on the purchaser. In completing an ammunition sale, a vendor would be required to confirm that every purchaser has a valid ammunition authorization, record identifying information about the purchaser, and submit that information to DOJ. The bill would also require ammunition sales to be completed in face-to-face transactions. This provision would allow online purchases of ammunition so long as the ammunition purchased was shipped to a licensed ammunition seller to complete the transaction.

Status: This bill passed the Assembly Public Safety Committee on June 10, and is currently on the Assembly floor. 

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From Virginia Tech to Isla Vista: New Approaches to Keeping Guns from Dangerous People

Posted on Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

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Join us:

Thursday, July 10th | 3:30 – 5:00 PM
San Francisco Public Library
Koret Auditorium, 100 Larkin St.

Panelists:

Josh Horwitz, JD – Executive Director of the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence
Jeffrey Swanson, PhD – Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at Duke University School of Medicine
Shannon Frattaroli, PhD, MPH – Associate Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Renee Binder, MD – Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at University of California San Francisco
Garen Wintemute, MD, MPH - Professor of Emergency Medicine at the University of California, Davis
Julie Leftwich, JD – Legal Director of the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence

Please send your RSVP to [email protected].

Court Upholds Colorado Laws Banning Large Capacity Magazines and Requiring Background Checks for Private Gun Sales

Posted on Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

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The U.S. District Court of Colorado ruled on Thursday, June 26th that two Colorado laws recently enacted to help reduce gun violence do not violate the Constitution.  Plaintiffs in the case, Colorado Outfitters v. Hickenlooper, challenged Colorado’s newly enacted ban on the possession of ammunition magazines that hold over 15 rounds and a requirement that background checks must be conducted on all private firearm sales.

Chief Judge Krieger, who ruled in the case, noted that the burden placed on the Second Amendment by limiting large capacity ammunition magazines is “not severe” as the law “does not ban any firearm nor does it render any firearm useless.”  The court rejected the plaintiffs’ assertions that large capacity magazines are necessary for self-defense purposes, pointing to an almost complete lack of instances where more than 15 rounds were necessary in a self-defense situation.  The court also highlighted persuasive evidence presented by the state showing that large capacity ammunition magazines are used in a high percentage of gun crimes, including attacks on police officers and mass shootings.  As a result, the court easily found that Colorado’s limit to 15 rounds of ammunition is reasonably related to the important government interest of protecting public safety.

The court also found Colorado’s new requirement to require background checks on all gun sales to be constitutional.  Casting aside plaintiffs’ argument that this requirement was too difficult to comply with, the court noted that “there are more than 600 firearms dealers in Colorado that are actively performing private checks, and…it takes an average of less than fifteen minutes for a check to be processed.”  The court held that the background check requirement was reasonably related to both the reduction of crime and the protection of public safety given that “almost 40% of gun purchases are made through private sales, in person or over the internet; 62% of private sellers on the internet agree to sell to buyers who are known not to be able to pass a background check; and 80% of criminals who use guns in crime acquired one through a private sale.”

This case is part of an overall trend in courts across the nation where the vast majority of challenges to common sense gun regulations are rejected.  In the over 900 cases currently being tracked by the Law Center, approximately 96% of Second Amendment challenges were rejected.  This provides further proof that sensible firearm regulations are totally compatible with the Second Amendment.

For more, visit our overview of Colorado’s gun laws or read about limits on ammunition magazines nationwide and background check requirements in states across the country.

Isla Vista Mass Shooting: Preventing Gun Access During a Mental Health Crisis

Posted on Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

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Once again, our hearts are broken after hearing of the shooting rampage Friday night in the college town of Isla Vista. A 22-year-old college student drove around town, shooting from his car, unloading 10-round magazines, and killing three people before shooting himself.  Ultimately, the attack left seven dead and 13 wounded.

The story is one that the nation has seen before — a young man in the midst of a mental health crisis and few legal mechanisms to keep him from accessing dangerous and deadly weapons. The shooter was receiving psychiatric treatment in the months prior to the shooting, and his family had reportedly informed local officials of their concerns about his mental state weeks before the shooting. Rather than focus on his access to guns, however, police officers interviewed him in his home for an evaluation of his mental state.  The officers found him to be “polite and kind” and did not perform a search for weapons.

People who witness another person’s suicidal or violent threats sometimes contact law enforcement, but these warnings rarely result in a gun restrictions under current law.  Even in California, which has some of the strongest gun laws in the country, there is still no legal mechanism for these warnings from family members or other community members to limit the person’s access to guns.

It doesn’t have to be this way. A basic framework already exists for screening gun purchasers:  federal law requires licensed gun dealers to conduct background checks on purchasers. The background check system is currently in the process of transforming from a system that categorically excludes certain people to a system that can be used to impose “temporary holds” on potentially dangerous individuals pending proper evaluation.

We can enact laws that allow for additional evaluation before a potentially dangerous or suicidal person has access to a gun. Some of these proposals involve empowering community members – teachers, school administrators, family members, and law enforcement officers – to speak out about dangerous people so that the person cannot access guns until law enforcement and mental health professionals have completed a thorough assessment.  Other versions of this proposal – called a gun violence restraining order – would allow family members to seek a court order that temporarily restricts a person’s access to guns.  These proposals enjoy broad support from the mental health community and have great potential to reduce both gun homicides and gun suicides as well.  Suicides account for about 60% of gun deaths nationwide.

We at the Law Center are exploring policy options to enable these temporary holds.  They will provide an avenue for family and other community members to bring the issue of guns in the hands of dangerous people to the attention of the authorities, so that temporary gun restrictions can be imposed pending further evaluation of the person’s intent.

For more, visit our analysis of mental health and our nation’s gun laws or read about the latest in gun legislation moving through the California legislature.

Big Second Amendment Victory: District Court Upholds D.C. Firearms Registration Law

Posted on Thursday, May 15th, 2014

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In a lengthy and well-reasoned decision released earlier today, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia upheld every aspect of D.C.’s comprehensive firearms registration program. The court found that the challenged laws, which require residents to register all firearms with local authorities, were sufficiently related to the District’s goals of ensuring public safety and protecting District police. The court noted that the testimony of four expert witnesses for the District provided enough evidence showing the registration system to be an important law enforcement tool that would save lives by preventing criminals from obtaining firearms.

The court brushed aside the gun lobby’s argument that the registration system was invalid because it would be circumvented by criminals. Stating that the argument made “little sense” and would “invalidate any and all gun laws,”  the court emphasized that “[a]lthough the various registration requirements at issue will not prevent all criminals from obtaining firearms, it surely will prevent some from doing so. That is enough.”

The case, known as Heller II, was brought in the aftermath of the landmark Heller decision in which the Supreme Court struck down D.C.’s handgun ban. After Heller, the D.C. Council enacted the Firearms Registration Amendment Act (FRA), which amended what remained of the District’s gun laws in order to create a new and constitutionally compliant scheme for regulating firearms. The plaintiffs, funded and represented by the gun lobby, immediately challenged this new system as violating the Second Amendment. After extensive and costly litigation, the D.C. Circuit Court upheld most aspects of the FRA in 2011, including the District’s ban on assault weapons, large capacity ammunition magazines, and the registration requirement as it applied specifically to handguns. The rest of the case was brought back to the District Court in order to gather more facts.

Today’s decision broadly upholds D.C.’s common sense registration provisions, including mandatory firearms safety training for registered gun owners, a limit of one pistol registration per month, and the various administrative aspects of the system, including in-person registration. The court’s decision reaffirms the notion that, after the Heller decision, legislatures still have great leeway in enacting thoughtful, rational gun laws in order to protect the public and law enforcement officers. This adds to the gun lobby’s ever-growing losing streak of expensive and wasteful Second Amendment challenges to common sense gun laws. Second Amendment challenges have been rejected in 96% of the more than 900 civil and criminal cases tracked by the Law Center across the country since the Heller decision in 2008.

For more, read our information on other cases that have addressed the Second Amendment since the pivotal 2008 Heller case or read our summary of laws that require the registration of firearms.

Mental Health-Related Prohibited Categories in California

Posted on Sunday, May 11th, 2014

California prohibits the following people from purchasing or possessing firearms because of mental health-related issues:

1. Inpatient Treatment: A person who has been admitted to a facility and is receiving inpatient treatment for a mental illness and the attending mental health professional opines that the patient is a danger to self or others. This prohibition applies even if the person has consented to the treatment, although the prohibition ends as soon as the patient is discharged from the facility.1 This prohibition is broader than federal law in that it includes persons voluntarily admitted to a mental facility.

2. Threats of Physical Violence: A person who communicates to a licensed psychotherapist a serious threat of physical violence against a reasonably identifiable victim or victims.2 In 2013, this prohibition was extended from a period of six months to five years after the licensed psychotherapist reports the identity of the person making the threat to local law enforcement. The subject of this prohibition may petition to have it removed.3

3. Adjudication: A person who has been adjudicated to be a danger to others as a result of a mental disorder or mental illness or has been adjudicated to be a mentally disordered sex offender. This prohibition does not apply if the court of adjudication issues, upon the individual’s release from treatment or at a later date, a certificate stating that the person may possess a firearm without endangering others.4

4. Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity: A person who has been found not guilty by reason of insanity of enumerated violent felonies.5

5. Incompetent to Stand Trial: A person who has been found mentally incompetent to stand trial. This prohibition is permanent unless there is a subsequent finding that the person has become competent.6

6. Conservatorship: A person who is currently under a court-ordered conservatorship because he or she is gravely disabled as a result of a mental disorder (or impaired by chronic alcoholism).7 The prohibition ends when the conservatorship ends.8

7. 72-Hour Detention: A person who has been taken into custody, and placed in a county mental health facility where a professional in charge of the facility has assessed that the person cannot be properly served without being detained and evaluated for at least 72 hours, and that the person is a danger to himself or herself or others as a result of a mental disorder.9 This prohibition lasts for five years.10 However, a person barred from firearm possession by this provision may petition the superior court for an order permitting him or her to possess firearms. At the hearing, the state must show by a preponderance of the evidence that the person “would not be likely to use firearms in a safe and lawful manner.”11

8. 14-Day Detention: A person who has been involuntarily committed for intensive mental health treatment for 14 or more days. This prohibition lasts for five years.12 As above, a person barred from firearm possession by this provision may petition the superior court for an order permitting him or her to possess firearms.13 This provision is weaker than federal law because it lasts for five years while the federal prohibition is permanent.

Court-Ordered Evaluations and Counseling: California law provides a process by which any individual may request a designated county agency to petition a court to order an evaluation to determine whether a person is, as a result of mental disorder, a danger to others, or to him or herself, or is gravely disabled (unable to meet his or her own physical needs). If the court grants the petition, an evaluation is performed. If, after the evaluation, the subject is deemed to be a danger to self or others or gravely disabled, he or she will be prohibited from purchasing or possessing firearms and referred for voluntary treatment, ordered detained for 14 days for intensive inpatient treatment, or recommended for conservatorship.14

For further information on:

• The categories of persons prohibited from purchasing or possessing firearms, see the Prohibited Purchasers Generally in California section.

• The background check process in California, see the Background Checks in California section.

• The reporting of mental health information for firearm purchaser background checks, see the Mental Health Reporting in California section.

  1. Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 8100(a). []
  2. Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 8100(b); see also Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 8105(c). Licensed psychotherapists are required to immediately report such threats to local law enforcement which, in turn, is required to immediately report the information to the California Department of Justice. Id. []
  3. Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 8100(b). []
  4. Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 8103(a). []
  5. Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 8103(b). []
  6. Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 8103(d). []
  7. Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 8103(e)(1). []
  8. Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 8103(e)(1), (2). This provision appears to be weaker than federal law, which permanently prohibits a person who lacks the appropriate mental capacity to contract or manage his or her own affairs. It appears that where the period of firearm prohibition has ended under California but not federal law, the subject remains prohibited because the federal prohibition is still in effect. In practice, much depends on whether the record of the mental health prohibition remains in the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System. []
  9. Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 8103(f)(1). []
  10. Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 8103(f)(3). []
  11. Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 8103(f)(5), (6). []
  12. Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 8103(g)(1). []
  13. Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 8103(g)(4). []
  14. Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code §§ 5200-5213. []

Mental Health Reporting in California

Posted on Sunday, May 11th, 2014

Federal law prohibits possession of a firearm or ammunition by any person who has been “adjudicated as a mental defective” or involuntarily “committed to any mental institution.”1 No federal law, however, requires states to report the identities of these individuals to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (“NICS”) database, which the FBI uses to perform background checks prior to firearm transfers.

As noted in the section entitled Mental Health-Related Prohibited Categories, persons with specific mental health issues are barred by California law from possessing, purchasing, receiving, attempting to purchase or receive, or having control or custody of any firearm.2 With certain limited exceptions, courts must immediately report to the California Department of Justice (“DOJ”) when they adjudicate someone to be a danger to others as a result of a mental disorder or mental illness, a mentally disordered sex offender, not guilty of a crime by reason of insanity, or mentally incompetent to stand trial.3 Mental health facilities must immediately report to DOJ whenever, as a result of a mental disorder or impairment by chronic alcoholism, any individual is taken into custody and determined to be a danger to himself, herself or others, or gravely disabled.4 Commencing July 1, 2012, facilities must submit a report of an individual taken into custody and determined to be a danger to himself, herself or others to DOJ electronically.5 This requirement applies both to individuals taken into custody for 72 hours and to individuals detained for 14 days.

Licensed psychotherapists also are required to report to local law enforcement the identity of a person who communicates a serious threat of physical violence against a reasonably identifiable victim or victims.6  Within 24 hours, law enforcement must report this information to DOJ electronically.7 The Department of State Hospitals and mental health facilities in the state must also make available to DOJ all records pertinent to whether a person receiving inpatient treatment is a danger to self or others, even if that person consented to the treatment.8 The reports from mental health facilities, the Department of State Hospitals, and psychotherapists may only be used to determine the person’s eligibility to possess a firearm.9

See our Mental Health Reporting policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

  1. 18 U.S.C. § 922(d)(4). []
  2. Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code §§ 8100, 8103. []
  3. Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 8103(a)(2), (b)(2), (c)(2), (d)(2). []
  4. Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 8103(e)(2), (3), (f)(2), (g)(2). []
  5. Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 8103(f)(2)(B), (g)(2)(B). []
  6. Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code §§ 8100(b), 8105(c). []
  7. Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 8105(c). []
  8. Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 8100(a). []
  9. Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 8105(d). []

Domestic Violence & Firearms Policy Summary

Posted on Sunday, May 11th, 2014

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domestic_animation_FINALGuns pose a particular threat in the hands of domestic abusers.1

  • Abused women are five times more likely to be killed by their abuser if the abuser owns a firearm.2
  • Domestic violence assaults involving a gun are 23 times more likely to result in death than those involving other weapons or bodily force.3
  • More than two-thirds of spouse and ex-spouse homicide victims between 1980 and 2008 were killed with firearms.4
  • In 2011, nearly two-thirds of women killed with guns were killed by their intimate partners.5

Domestic violence also plays a role in mass shootings. A study by Mayors Against Illegal Guns of every identifiable mass shooting (shooting in which four or more people were murdered) between January 2009 and January 2013 found that 57% of them involved the killing of a family member or a current or former intimate partner of the shooter.6

The impact of guns in domestic violence situations is not limited to homicides.  A 2004 survey of female domestic violence shelter residents in California found that more than one third (36.7%) reported having been threatened or harmed with a firearm.7  In nearly two thirds (64.5%) of the households that contained a gun, the intimate partner had used the firearm against the victim, usually threatening to shoot or kill her.8

As described below, federal law prohibits abusers who have been convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors and abusers subject to certain domestic violence restraining orders from possessing guns.9 The federal laws intended to prevent access to firearms by domestic abusers have significant limitations, however, and some states have adopted broader laws to address these problems.

1.  Family and Dating Partner Violence:  Domestic violence affects persons in relationships that fall outside the protections of federal law.  For example, dating partners are not within the federal prohibitions unless the partners are/were cohabitating as spouses or have a child in common.  The risk of domestic violence being committed by a dating partner is well-documented.  In 2008, individuals killed by current dating partners made up almost half of all spouse and current dating partner homicides.10  A study of applicants for domestic violence restraining orders in Los Angeles found that the most common relationship between the victim and abuser was a dating relationship, and applications for protective orders were more likely to mention firearms when the parties had not lived together and were not married.11

The current federal prohibitions also do not address violence against family members other than a child or intimate partner, such as an abused sibling or parent. According to data from the U.S Department of Justice, the proportion of family homicides that involve children killing their parents has been increasing, rising steadily from 9.7% of all family homicides in 1980 to 13% in 2008.12

2.  Removal of Firearms:  The federal prohibitions on firearm possession by domestic abusers do not ensure that guns that are already in the possession of an abuser are removed. A March 2013 investigation by the New York Times found that more than 50 people in Washington State were arrested on gun charges in 2011 while subject to protective orders, and that, over a three-year period, more than 30 people in Minnesota were convicted of an assault with a dangerous weapon while subject to protective orders.13 A survey of domestic abusers enrolled in Massachusetts batterer intervention programs between 2002 and 2005 found that perpetrators who continued to possess firearms after they were prohibited from doing so by federal law were more likely to attempt homicide or threaten their partners with guns than domestic violence perpetrators who had relinquished their firearms.14 Studies have also identified numerous instances of individuals killed by domestic abusers using firearms even after those abusers had become prohibited from possessing guns.15

3.  Reporting of Abusers: In order for background checks to prevent abusers from obtaining guns, states must report abusers who fall within prohibited categories to the proper databases. Identifying the abusers to be reported involves a series of complex legal issues that many states have not yet addressed.16 As a result, many states do not comprehensively enter domestic violence protective order and offender information into the proper databases.

4.  Background Checks: The lack of a requirement for a federal background check before every sale of a gun, including sales by unlicensed, private sellers, enables many domestic abusers to obtain the firearms they use against their victims.  In states that require a background check for every handgun sale, 38% fewer women are shot to death by intimate partners.17 For more information about background check requirements, see our summary on Universal Background Checks & the Private Sale Loophole.

State laws that restrict access to firearms by a person subject to a domestic violence restraining order are associated with a significant reduction in the number of intimate partner homicides. One study found that such laws are associated with a 19% reduction in the risk of intimate partner homicides.18

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Policies that protect victims of domestic violence enjoy tremendous public support. A 2006 survey of California residents demonstrated that 70% of men and 84% of women want firearms taken away from domestic violence perpetrators.19  Similarly, a poll published in the New England Journal of Medicine in January 2013 found that 80.8% of people surveyed, including 75.6% of gun-owners, support prohibiting gun ownership for 10 years after a person has been convicted of violating a domestic violence restraining order; the same survey found that 73.7% of gun owners and 72.4% of non-gun owners support prohibiting gun ownership for 10 years after a person is convicted of domestic violence.20

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Federal law prohibits purchase and possession of firearms and ammunition by persons who have been convicted in any court of a “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence” and/or who are subject to certain domestic violence protective orders.21

The federal prohibition that applies to domestic violence misdemeanants was adopted in 1996 and is commonly known as the “Lautenberg Amendment” after its sponsor, the late Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ).  It defines a “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence” as an offense that is a federal, state or tribal law misdemeanor and has the use or attempted use of physical force or threatened use of a deadly weapon as an element.22  In addition, the offender must:

  • Be a current or former spouse, parent, or guardian of the victim; or
  • Share a child in common with the victim; or
  • Be a current or former cohabitant with the victim as a spouse, parent or guardian; or
  • Be similarly situated to a spouse, parent or guardian of the victim.23

A conviction for a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence represents the third-most frequent reason for denial of an application to purchase a firearm by the FBI, after a felony conviction and an outstanding arrest warrant.24  Between November 30, 1998 and January 31, 2014, over 107,000 people convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence were denied purchase of a firearm because of this law.25

The federal law prohibiting subjects of protective orders from purchasing or possessing firearms and ammunition applies only if the protective order was issued after notice to the abuser and a hearing, and only if the order protects an “intimate partner” of the abuser or a child of the abuser or intimate partner.26  An “intimate partner” includes a current or former spouse, a parent of a child in common with the abuser, or an individual with whom the abuser does or has cohabitated.27  Between November 30, 1998 and January 31, 2014, over 45,000 people subject to domestic violence protective orders were denied purchase of a firearm because of this prohibition.28 Research indicates that this prohibition also deters people subject to active protective orders from applying to purchase a firearm.29

The Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act of 2005 (the “2005 VAWA”) required states and local governments, as a condition of certain funding, to certify that their judicial administrative policies and practices included notification to domestic violence offenders of both of the federal firearm prohibitions mentioned above and any applicable related federal, state, or local laws.30 The 2005 VAWA did not require states or local governments to establish a procedure for the surrender of firearms by abusers, however.

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Many states have adopted laws that restrict access to firearms by domestic abusers:

  • More than a dozen states prohibit possession of firearms by domestic violence misdemeanants, and four states specifically require abusers to surrender firearms when convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor;
  • Three states have enacted laws to facilitate the reporting of domestic violence misdemeanants to the database used for background checks;
  • More than two-thirds of the states prohibit firearm possession by abusers who are subject to domestic violence protective orders;
  • About half of the states authorize or require a court that is issuing a domestic violence protective order to require the abuser to surrender firearms; and
  • About a third of the states authorize or require law enforcement officers to remove firearms when they arrive at the scene of a domestic violence incident.

These laws are described in detail below.  Some of these laws apply to ammunition, as well as firearms.

1.         State Laws Prohibiting Domestic Violence Misdemeanants from Purchasing or Possessing Firearms or Ammunition31

As noted above, federal law prohibits purchase and possession of firearms and ammunition by persons convicted of a “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence,” but federal law defines that term narrowly.  Many states go beyond federal law and prohibit purchase or possession of firearms or ammunition by persons with misdemeanor convictions involving a broader class of victims. The strongest laws prohibit purchase or possession of firearms by individuals convicted of violent misdemeanors generally, regardless of the victim’s relationship to the offender.

California, for example, prohibits the purchase and possession of firearms or ammunition by anyone convicted of assault, battery, or stalking without regard to the victim’s relationship to the offender.32  Connecticut and New York also use this approach. For more information about these laws, see our summary on Categories of Prohibited People.33

The following jurisdictions have laws that specifically prohibit firearm purchase or possession by persons convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence offenses:34

Arizona35
Colorado36
Delaware37
District of Columbia38
Illinois39
Iowa40
Louisiana41
Minnesota42
Montana43
Nebraska44
New Jersey45
Tennessee46
Texas47
Washington48
West Virginia49

These laws exceed federal law in the following ways:

  • Some of these laws include in their definitions of “domestic violence,” a violent misdemeanor against a former or current dating partner of the offender, or someone with whom the offender has had a romantic relationship.
  • Some of these laws include in their definitions of “domestic violence,” a violent misdemeanor against any present or former household member or cohabitant of the offender.
  • Some of these laws include in their definitions of “domestic violence,” a violent misdemeanor against any family member, regardless of whether the victim resides with the offender.
  • A few of these laws also prohibit anyone convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence from purchasing or possessing ammunition (in addition to firearms).

Illinois, for example, prohibits firearm and ammunition possession by anyone convicted of “domestic battery,” defined to include certain acts against:

  • Any person related by blood or marriage, or through a child, to the defendant,
  • Any person who shares, or has shared, a dwelling with the defendant,
  • Any person who has, or has had, a dating or engagement relationship with the defendant (excluding casual acquaintances and ordinary fraternization in business or social contexts),
  • Any person with disabilities if the defendant was his or her personal assistant, or
  • Any person with a duty to care for an elderly person or a person with disabilities in that person’s home.50

Illinois also prohibits firearm and ammunition possession by anyone convicted within the past five years of a battery, assault, aggravated assault or violation of an order of protection if the person used or possessed a firearm during the crime, regardless of the person’s relationship with the victim.51

2.         State Laws Requiring or Authorizing Removal or Surrender of Firearms and/or Ammunition When a Person is Convicted of a Domestic Violence Misdemeanor

A small number of states require the surrender of firearms by every individual who has become ineligible to possess them; for a description of these laws, see “Disarming Prohibited Possessors,” in our summary on Categories of Prohibited People. In addition, Colorado,52 Iowa,53 Minnesota,54 and Tennessee55 specifically require surrender of firearms when a person is convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor. In Iowa, for example, a state court that enters a judgment of conviction for a domestic violence misdemeanor and finds that the subject of the order or conviction is in possession of any firearm or ammunition must order the firearm or ammunition to be sold or transferred by a specific date to the custody of a qualified person in this state, as determined by the court.56

3.         State Laws Regarding the Reporting of Domestic Violence Misdemeanants to the Databases Used for Firearm Purchaser Background Checks

Three states have recently enacted laws designed to facilitate the reporting of abusers whose crimes fall within the federal definition of a “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence” to the databases used for firearm purchaser background checks.  In 2011, New York enacted a law establishing a procedure to be used in trials for certain violent misdemeanors to determine whether the crime qualifies as domestic violence under the federal definition of that term. If the crime is found to fall within the definition, the clerk of the court must send a written a report to a state agency, who then reports the determination to the FBI (which maintains the database used for firearm purchaser background checks).57 Illinois also enacted a similar law in 2011,58 and Minnesota enacted a similar law in 2013.59

4.         State Laws Prohibiting Subjects of Certain Domestic Violence Protective Orders From Purchasing or Possessing Firearms and/or Ammunition

The following states and D.C. have laws similar to the federal law prohibiting subjects of domestic violence protective orders from purchasing or possessing firearms:60

Alaska61
Arizona62
California63
Colorado64
Connecticut65
Delaware66
District of Columbia67
Florida68
Hawaii69
Illinois70
Indiana71
Iowa72
Louisiana73
Maryland74
Massachusetts75
Michigan76
Minnesota77
Montana78
Nebraska79

Nevada80
New Hampshire81
New Jersey82
New York83
North Carolina84
North Dakota85
Oklahoma86
Pennsylvania87
Rhode Island88
South Dakota89
Tennessee90
Texas91
Utah92
Virginia93
Washington94
West Virginia95
Wisconsin96

As noted above, the federal law prohibiting subjects of protective orders from purchasing or possessing firearms and ammunition applies only if the protective order was issued after notice to the abuser and a hearing, and only if the order protects an “intimate partner” of the abuser, as federal law defines the term. Some state laws are broader, as described below.

a.         Ex Parte Orders:  Many states, including California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia, go beyond federal law by prohibiting firearm purchase or possession by persons subject to domestic violence protective orders issued before notice to the abuser or a hearing (known as “ex parte” orders), or authorize judges to prohibit firearm purchase or possession in certain ex parte protective orders.  Massachusetts, for example, requires a court that is issuing an ex parte order to order the immediate suspension and surrender of any license to carry firearms or firearms identification card which the defendant may hold and order the defendant to surrender all firearms and ammunition which he or she possesses to the appropriate law enforcement official.97

b.         Individuals Who May Seek a Protective Order:98  Many states exceed federal law by including a broader category of victims who may apply for a domestic violence protective order prohibiting firearms. About half the states exceed federal law by allowing victims to seek a domestic violence protective order prohibiting purchase or possession of firearms by:

  • A former or current dating partner or anyone with whom the victim has had a romantic relationship;
  • Any person who is presently or has in the past resided with the victim; and/or
  • Any family member, even if the abuser has never resided with the victim. 

A small number of states also prohibit subjects of domestic violence protective orders from purchasing or possessing ammunition.

In California, for example, a person subject to any one of the following types of court orders is prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition:

  • A domestic violence protective order whether issued ex parte, after notice and hearing, or in a judgment;
  • A temporary restraining order issued to a victim of harassment;
  • A temporary restraining order issued to an employer on behalf of an employee;
  • A temporary restraining order issued to a postsecondary educational institution on behalf of a student;
  • A protective order for an elderly or dependent adult who has suffered abuse, provided the abuse was not solely financial;
  • An emergency protective order related to stalking; or
  • A protective order relating to a crime of domestic violence or the intimidation or dissuasion of victim or witness.99

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

  • A former or current dating partner or any person with whom the individual has had a romantic relationship;
  • Any person who is presently or has in the past resided with the individual; or
  • Any family member, even if the abuser has never resided with the individual.100

5.         State Laws Requiring or Authorizing Removal or Surrender of Firearms or Ammunition When a Protective Order Is Issued101

To ensure that firearms are taken from the homes of abusers, some state laws require abusers to surrender firearms when they become subject to protective orders.  The strongest laws require law enforcement to remove firearms at this point, while weaker laws authorize, but do not require, judges issuing protective orders to include requirements that the abuser surrender firearms.

a.         States Requiring or Authorizing Removal of Firearms and/or Ammunition by Law Enforcement from Abusers Subject to a Protective Order:

A few states directly authorize or require law enforcement officers to remove firearms and/or ammunition from abusers subject to domestic violence protective orders, including ex parte protective orders.

  • In Massachusetts, when law enforcement serves a domestic violence protective order, law enforcement must immediately take possession of all firearms and ammunition in the abuser’s possession, or under his or her ownership or control.102
  • In Hawaii, upon service of a domestic violence restraining order, the police officer may take custody of any firearms and ammunition in plain sight, discovered pursuant to a consensual search, or surrendered by the person.  If the police officer is unable to locate firearms or ammunition registered to that person or known to the victim, the police officer must apply to the court for a search warrant for the purpose of seizing firearms and ammunition.103
  • New Jersey authorizes a judge issuing a domestic violence protective order to order law enforcement to search for and seize any firearm in the abuser’s possession.104
  • In Illinois, when a court issues a domestic violence protective order that triggers the federal firearms prohibition, the court must also issue a warrant for seizure of any firearms in the abuser’s possession.105

b.         States Requiring or Authorizing the Court to Order the Abuser to Surrender Firearms and/or Ammunition: 

Half of the states and D.C. authorize or require a court that is issuing a domestic violence protective order to require the abuser to surrender firearms.  Some of these states also authorize or require firearm surrender provisions in certain ex parte domestic violence protective orders, and some of these states also authorize or require orders requiring the surrender of ammunition.

The following states require abusers subject to at least some domestic violence protective orders to surrender certain firearms in their possession:106

California
Colorado
Connecticut
Hawaii
Illinois
Iowa
Maryland
Massachusetts
Minnesota
New Hampshire
New York
North Carolina
Tennessee
Washington
Wisconsin

Six of these states (California, Illinois, Maryland, New Hampshire, Tennessee, and Wisconsin) require subjects of domestic violence protective orders to surrender all firearms in his or her possession, regardless of the circumstances leading to the order. California’s law authorizes the court to issue a search warrant if the abuser fails to relinquish firearms he or she possesses.

In other states, domestic violence protective orders must direct the abuser to surrender firearms if certain conditions are met. In New York, for example, a court issuing a domestic violence protective order (including an ex parte order) must order the immediate surrender of all firearms owned or possessed by the abuser if the court finds a substantial risk that the abuser may use or threaten to use a firearm unlawfully against the victim, and in other specified situations.107  Note that the federal prohibition on firearm possession may apply even if these state laws do not require the surrender of firearms already in the abuser’s possession.

In addition, the following states and D.C. authorize (but do not require) courts to issue protective orders that direct the abuser to surrender certain firearms in his or her possession in various circumstances:

Alaska
Arizona
Delaware
Florida
Indiana
Nevada
New Jersey
North Dakota
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Dakota

Note that the federal prohibition on firearm possession may apply even if the court has not chosen to order the abuser to surrender firearms.

c.         To Whom Must the Abuser Surrender the Firearms:  About half of the states listed above specify to whom an abuser must surrender his or her weapons for safekeeping during the term of the order.   Among these states, most require or authorize abusers to surrender their firearms to law enforcement. Illinois, for example, requires the abuser to turn over his or her firearms to law enforcement.108 California requires the abuser either to surrender his or her firearms to law enforcement or to sell those firearms to a licensed gun dealer.109 Other states permit the abuser to surrender his or her firearms to other designated third parties.110

6.         State Laws Authorizing Law Enforcement to Remove Firearms or Ammunition at the Scene of a Domestic Violence Incident

About a third of the states require or authorize law enforcement officers to remove firearms when they arrive at the scene of a domestic violence incident. These laws vary in terms of whether removal is required or simply authorized, which firearms must be removed, and the length of time that must pass after the incident before the firearms can be returned.

For laws regarding law enforcement removal of firearms from dangerous people generally, see the section entitled “Removal of Firearms from Individuals Shown to Be Dangerous” in our summary on Categories of Prohibited People.

a.         States Requiring or Authorizing the Removal of Firearms at the Scene of a Domestic Violence Incident: 

The following states require, rather than simply authorize, law enforcement to remove at least some firearms at the scene of a domestic violence incident:

California111
Hawaii112
Illinois113
Montana114
Nebraska115
New Hampshire116
New Jersey117
Ohio118
Oklahoma119
Pennsylvania120
Tennessee121
Utah122
West Virginia123

The following states authorize, but do not require, law enforcement to remove firearms at the scene of a domestic violence incident: Alaska,124 Arizona,125 Connecticut,126 Indiana,127 and Maryland.128

b.         Firearms Subject to Removal:  The most comprehensive approach requires law enforcement to remove all firearms in the abuser’s possession, ownership or control.

  • In New Hampshire, law enforcement must remove all firearms and ammunition in an abuser’s control, ownership, or possession whenever law enforcement has probable cause to believe that a person has been abused.129
  • Connecticut authorizes, but does not require, the removal of all firearms and ammunition at the location where domestic violence is alleged to have been committed if the firearms or ammunition are in the possession of the suspect or in plain view.130

Other states allow the removal of only certain firearms, or allow the removal of firearms only if certain conditions are met:

  • In New Jersey, law enforcement must remove firearms observed at the scene if law enforcement has probable cause to believe domestic violence has occurred and reasonably believes these firearms expose the victim to danger.131
  • In California, law enforcement officers who are at the scene of a domestic violence incident involving a threat to human life or a physical assault must take temporary custody of any firearm in plain sight or discovered pursuant to a consensual or other lawful search.132
  • In Hawaii, a police officer who believes that a person recently assaulted or threatened to assault a family or household member must seize all firearms and ammunition that were used or threatened to be used in the commission of the offense, and may seize all firearms in plain view, or discovered pursuant to a consensual search, as necessary for the protection of the officer or any family or household member.133

Many states, such as Oklahoma,134 have even weaker laws, and only allow the seizure of firearms used in the incident, and only if the abuser is simultaneously arrested.

c.         Duration of the Removal:  State laws vary with respect to the duration of the removal of firearms from domestic abusers.

  • Of the states that specify a duration, Ohio law is the strictest, requiring firearms seized at the scene of a domestic violence incident to be given (permanently) to law enforcement, sold at public auction, or destroyed, although this law only applies to firearms used, brandished, or threatened to be used in the incident.135
  • Some states, such as Illinois and Maryland, direct that firearms may only be held so long as they are needed for evidence or until the proceedings against the abuser are concluded.136
  • Some states require firearms to be held for a specified time period:
    • Arizona requires firearms seized at a domestic violence scene be held by law enforcement for at least 72 hours, and up to 6 months if a court finds that return of the firearm may endanger the victim.137
    • New Jersey gives the prosecutor 45 days in which to petition for title of a firearm seized at a domestic violence scene.138

50 State Summary

comprehensive-law-header

The features listed below are intended to provide a framework from which policy options may be considered.  A jurisdiction considering new legislation should consult with counsel.

  • In addition to persons prohibited by federal law, persons convicted of a violent misdemeanor against a former or current dating partner, cohabitant, or family member are prohibited from purchasing or possessing firearms and ammunition (California, Connecticut, Illinois, New York)
  • When a person is convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor, the court must order the person to surrender all firearms and ammunition in his or her possession (Colorado, Iowa, Tennessee)
  • A court that is convicting a defendant of a violence misdemeanor must determine whether the crime falls within the federal definition of “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence,” and, if so, must report the defendant to the databases used for firearm purchaser background checks (Illinois, New York)
  • In addition to persons prohibited by federal law, former or current dating partners, cohabitants, or family members who are subject to a domestic violence protective order are prohibiting from purchasing or possessing firearms and ammunition (California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Utah)
  • Persons subject to a domestic violence protective order issued before notice or a hearing are prohibited from purchasing or possessing firearms and ammunition (California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin)
  • All domestic violence protective orders require law enforcement to seize all firearms and ammunition in the abuser’s possession, or under his or her ownership or control (Illinois, Massachusetts)
  • Law enforcement responding to a domestic violence incident are required to remove all firearms and ammunition in the abuser’s possession, or under his or her ownership or control (New Hampshire)
  • Firearms seized at the scene of a domestic violence incident must be permanently given to law enforcement, sold at public auction, or destroyed (Ohio)
  1. See Center for American Progress, Preventing Domestic Abusers and Stalkers from Accessing Guns (May 9, 2013) at http://www.americanprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/GunsStalkersBrief-3.pdf. []
  2. Jacquelyn C. Campbell et al., Risk Factors for Femicide in Abusive Relationships:  Results from a Multisite Case Control Study, 93 Am. J. Pub. Health 1089, 1092 (July 2003). []
  3. Linda E. Saltzman, et al., Weapon Involvement and Injury Outcomes in Family and Intimate Assaults, 267 JAMA, 3043-3047 (1992). []
  4. Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Dep’t of Justice, Homicide Trends in the United States, 1980-2008, 20 (Nov. 2011), at http://bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/htus8008.pdf. []
  5. Violence Policy Center, When Men Murder Women: An Analysis of 2011 Homicide Data, (September 2013) at http://www.vpc.org/studies/wmmw2013.pdf. []
  6. Mayors Against Illegal Guns, Analysis of Recent Mass Shootings 1 (Jan. 2013), at http://libcloud.s3.amazonaws.com/9/56/4/1242/analysis-of-recent-mass-shootings.pdf. []
  7. Susan B. Sorenson et al., Weapons in the Lives of Battered Women, 94 Am. J. Pub. Health 1412, 1413 (2004). []
  8. Id. at 1414. []
  9. 18 U.S.C. § (g)(8), (9). []
  10. Homicide Trends in the U.S, supra note 4, at 19. []
  11. Katherine A. Vittes et al., Are Temporary Restraining Orders More Likely to be Issued When Application Mention Firearms?, 30 Evaluation Rev. 266, 271, 275 (2006). []
  12. Homicide Trends in the U.S, supra note 4, at 21. []
  13. Michael Luo, “In Some States, Gun Rights Trump Orders of Protection,” The New York Times, March 17, 2013, at http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/18/us/facing-protective-orders-and-allowed-to-keep-guns.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0. []
  14. Emily F. Rothman et al., Gun Possession Among Massachusetts Batterer Intervention Program Enrollees. 30 Evaluation Review 283, 291 (2006). []
  15. See Center for American Progress, Preventing Domestic Abusers and Stalkers from Accessing Guns (May 9, 2013) at http://www.americanprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/GunsStalkersBrief-3.pdf; Michael Luo, “In Some States, Gun Rights Trump Orders of Protection,” The New York Times, March 17, 2013, at http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/18/us/facing-protective-orders-and-allowed-to-keep-guns.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0. []
  16. Whether a crime falls with the federal definition of “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence,” depends on the offender’s relationship with the victim and whether the state was required to prove that the offender used or threatened to use “physical force” within the meaning of the federal law.  For a discussion of these legal issues, see U.S. Dep’t of Justice, Information Needed to Enforce the Federal Prohibition Misdemeanor Crimes of Domestic Violence (Nov. 2007), at http://www.ncdsv.org/images/MCDV_Info%20needed%20to%20enforce%20the%20firearm%20prohibition.pdf. []
  17. Mayors Against Illegal Guns, Gun Laws and Violence Against Women, at http://libcloud.s3.amazonaws.com/9/e9/e/1726/Gun_Laws_and_Violence_Against_Women.pdf. []
  18. April M. Zeoli et al., Effects of Domestic Violence Policies, Alcohol Taxes, and Police Staffing Levels on Intimate Partner Homicide in Large US Cities, 16 Inj. Prev. 90 (2010).  See also Elizabeth R. Vigdor et al., Do Laws Restricting Access to Firearms by Domestic Violence Offenders Prevent Intimate Partner Homicide?, 30 Evaluation Rev. 313, 332 (June 2006). []
  19. Susan B. Sorenson, Taking Guns from Batterers: Public Support and Policy Implications, 30 Evaluation Review 361, 369 (2006). []
  20. Colleen L. Barry et al., Perspective:  After Newtown — Public Opinion on Gun Policy and Mental Illness, 368 New Eng. J. Med. 1077-1081 (March 21, 2013) at http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp1300512?query=featured_home&&. []
  21. 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(8), (9). []
  22. 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(33). []
  23. Id. Also note that a conviction requires that the offender was represented by counsel or waived the right to counsel and was tried by a jury or waived the right to a jury, if the offense entitled the offender to a jury trial. []
  24. Federal Bureau of Investigation, “Federal Denials, November 30, 1998 –January 31, 2014,” at http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/nics/reports/denials-013114.pdf. []
  25. Id. []
  26. 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(8). []
  27. 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(32). The order must also contain a finding that the person presents a credible threat to the victim or restrain him or her from certain specified conduct.  18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(8).  Most state laws require these elements for the issuance of a protective order. []
  28. Federal Bureau of Investigation, “Federal Denials, November 30, 1998 –January 31, 2014,” at http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/nics/reports/denials-013114.pdf. []
  29. Katherine A. Vittes et al., Keeping Guns Out of the Hands of Abusers: Handgun Purchases and Restraining Orders, 98 Am. J. Public Health 828 (May 2008), at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2374807/. []
  30. 42 U.S.C. § 3796gg-4. []
  31. Note that federal law does not require background checks on ammunition purchasers.  For more information on laws governing the transfer of ammunition, see our summary on Ammunition Regulations. []
  32. Cal. Penal Code §§ 29805, 30305. []
  33. California also authorizes courts to prohibit defendants from purchasing or possessing firearms in cases where the defendant is charged with, but not yet convicted of, a domestic violence misdemeanor. Cal. Penal Code § 136.2(a)(7)(B),(d),(e). []
  34. The Law Center is also aware of the following laws that require courts to provide domestic violence misdemeanants notice of the federal law prohibiting firearm possession, but which do not prohibit firearm possession by these individuals, or require them to surrender firearms already in their possession. Ark. Code § 5-26-313; S.C. Code Ann. §§ 16-25-20, 16-25-65, 16-25-30. []
  35. Ariz. Rev. Stat. §§ 13-3101(A)(7)(d), 13-3102(A)(4), 13-3601. []
  36. Colo. Rev. Stat. §§ 18-1-1001(3)(c), 18-12-108(6)(c)(I), 18-6-801(8). []
  37. Del. Code Ann. tit. 10, § 901(12); tit. 11, § 1448(a)(7), (d). []
  38. The District of Columbia prohibits anyone convicted of an “[i]ntrafamily offense” from registering a firearm for five years following the conviction. All firearms in the District must be registered. D.C. Code Ann. 7-2502.03(a)(4)(D). []
  39. 430 Ill. Comp. Stat. 65/2(a)(1), (2), 65/8(k), (l); 720 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/12-3.2; 725 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/112A-3. []
  40. Iowa Code §§ 236.2, 708.1, 708.2A, 708.11, 724.15(1), 724.26. []
  41. La. Rev. Stat. § 14:95.10 (as reenacted by 2014 La. H.B. 753 (signed by Governor May 22, 2014) ). []
  42. Minn. Stat. §§ 609.2242, 624.713, subd. 1. []
  43. Mont. Code Ann. § 45-5-206.  In Montana, the court may prohibit an offender from “possession or use of the firearm used in the assault.”  Mont. Code Ann. § 45-5-206(7). []
  44. Nebraska prohibitions firearm possession by domestic violence misdemeanants for seven years following conviction. Neb. Rev. Stat. § 28-1206(1)(b), (4)(a). []
  45. N.J. Stat. Ann. §§ 2C:25-19(a), (d), 2C:25-26(a), 2C:39-7(b), 2C:58-3(c)(1). []
  46. Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 39-13-111(a), (b), (c)(6), 39-17-1307(f)(1)(A). []
  47. Texas prohibits firearm possession by domestic violence misdemeanants for five years following release from confinement or community supervision. Tex. Fam. Code Ann. § 71.001 et seq.; Tex. Penal Code Ann. §§ 22.01, 46.04(b). []
  48. Wash. Rev. Code Ann. §§ 9.41.010, 9.41.040(2)(a)(i), 10.99.020(3). []
  49. W. Va. Code § 61-7-7(a)(8). []
  50. 430 Ill. Comp. Stat. 65/2(a)(1), (2), 65/8(l); 720 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/12-3.2(a)(1), (2), 725 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/112A-3. []
  51. 430 Ill. Comp. Stat. 65/2(a)(1), (2), 65/8(k). []
  52. Colo. Rev. Stat. §§ 18-1-1001(3)(c), 18-12-108(6)(c)(I), 18-6-801(8). []
  53. Iowa Code §§ 236.2, 708.1, 708.2A, 708.11, 724.15(1), 724.26. []
  54. Minn. Stat. § 609.2242, subd. 3. []
  55. Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 39-13-111(c)(6), 39-17-1307(f)(1)(A). []
  56. Iowa Code § 724.26(4). []
  57. N.Y. Crim. Proc. Law §§ 370.15, 380.97. []
  58. 725 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/112A-11.1, 5/112A-11.2. []
  59. Minn. Stat. § 624.713, subd. 5. []
  60. Some additional states require courts to provide protective order defendants notice of the federal law prohibiting firearm possession, but do not prohibit firearm possession by these individuals, or require them to surrender firearms already in their possession.  See, e.g., Ark. Code § 9-15-207(b)(3). []
  61. Alaska Stat. §§ 18.66.100(c)(6), (7), 18.66.990(3), (5). []
  62. Ariz. Rev. Stat. §§ 13-3601, 13-3602(G)(4), 13-3624(D)(4). []
  63. Cal. Penal Code §§ 136.2, 1524(a)(11), 18250, 29825(d), 30305; Cal. Civ. Proc. Code §§ 527.6(t), 527.9; Cal. Fam. Code §§ 6211, 6218, 6304, 6306(a),  6389. []
  64. Colo. Rev. Stat. §§  13-14-105, 13-14-105.5, 18-1-1001(9), 18-6-803.5(c)(I). []
  65. Conn. Gen. Stat. §§ 29-36f(b), 29-36k, 46b-15, 46b-38a, 53a-217, 53a-217c. []
  66. Del. Code Ann. tit. 10, §§ 1041(2), 1043(e), 1045(a)(8); tit. 11, § 1448(a)(6). []
  67. D.C. Code Ann. §§ 7-2501.01(9B), 7-2502.03(a)(12), 7-2506.01, 16-1001(6)-(9), 16-1005(c)(10). []
  68. Fla. Stat. Ann. §§ 741.28, 741.30(1)(e), (6)(g), 741.31(4), 790.233. []
  69. Haw. Rev. Stat. §§ 134-7(f), 586-1, 586-3. []
  70. 430 Ill. Comp. Stat. 65/2(a)(1), (2), 65/8.2; 725 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/112A-3, 5/112A-14(b)(14.5); 750 Ill. Comp. Stat. 60/201, 60/214(b)(14.5), 60/217(a)(3)(i). []
  71. Ind. Code Ann. §§ 31-9-2-42, 31-9-2-44.5, 34-26-5-2, 34-26-5-9(c)(4), (f). []
  72. Iowa Code §§ 236.2(2), (4), 236.5(1)(b)(2), 724.26(2), (4). []
  73. La. Rev. Stat. § 46:2136.3 (as reenacted by 2014 La. H.B. 753 (signed by Governor May 22, 2014) ). []
  74. Md. Code Ann., Fam. Law §§ 4-501, 4-506; Pub. Safety § 5-133(b)(12). []
  75. Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 140, §§ 129B(1)(viii), 129C, 131(d)(vi); ch. 209A. []
  76. Mich. Comp. Laws §§ 28.422(3)(a)(iii)-(v), 600.2950(1)(e), (12), ), 600.2950a(3)(c), (26). []
  77. Minn. Stat. §§ 260C.201, subd. 3, 518B.01, subd. 6,  624.713, subd. 1. []
  78. Mont. Code Ann. §§ 40-15-102(2)(a), 40-15-103(6), 40-15-201(f). []
  79. Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 28-1206(1)(a), (4)(b), 42-903, 42-924. []
  80. Nev. Rev. Stat. §§ 33.018, 33.020, 33.031, 33.033. []
  81. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 173-B:1, 173-B:4, 173-B:5. []
  82. N.J. Stat. Ann. §§ 2C:25-19, 2C:25-28(f), (j), 2C:25-29(b), 2C:39-7(b)(3), 2C:58-3(c)(6). []
  83. N.Y. Crim. Proc. Law §§ 530.11, 530.12, 530.14; N.Y. Fam. Ct. Act §§ 812, 822, 828(3), 842-a; N.Y. Penal Code § 400.00. []
  84. N.C. Gen. Stat. §§ 50B-1, 50B-3(11), 50B-3.1. []
  85. N.D. Cent. Code §§ 14-07.1-01, 14-07.1-02, 14-07.1-03. []
  86. Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 22, § 60.11. []
  87. 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6105; 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. §§ 6102, 6107 – 6108.3. []
  88. R.I. Gen. Laws §§ 15-15-1, 15-15-3. []
  89. S.D. Codified Laws § 25-10-24. []
  90. Tenn. Code §§ 36-3-625, 39-13-113, 39-17-1307(f)(1). []
  91. Tex. Penal Code Ann. §§ 25.07, 46.04; Tex. Fam. Code Ann. §§ 71.001 et seq., 85.022(b)(6), (d); Tex. Crim. Proc. Code Ann. art. 17.292(c)(4). []
  92. Utah Code Ann. §§ 78B-7-102.78B-7-106(2)(d), 78B-7-107(2), 78B-7-402(3), 78B-7-404(3)(b),(5). []
  93. Va. Code Ann. §§ 16.1-228, 16.1-253.1, 16.1-253.4, 16.1-279.1 ,18.2-308.1:4, 18.2-308.2:2. []
  94. Wash. Rev. Code Ann. §§ 9.41.800, 10.99.040, 26.50.010, 26.50.070. 2014 Wa. ALS 111 (effective June 2014). []
  95. W. Va. Code §§ 48-27-204, 48-27-305, 48-27-403(a), 48-27-502(b), 61-7-7(a)(7). []
  96. Wis. Stat. §§ 813.12(1)(am), (b), (c), (4m) 941.29(1)(f), (g), (2)(d), (e). []
  97. Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 209A, § 3B. []
  98. State laws may also prohibit firearm purchase or possession by persons subject to anti-stalking protective orders that do not depend on the relationship between the offender and the victim.  These laws are not discussed here. []
  99. Cal. Penal Code §§ 136.2, 1524(a)(11), 18250, 29825(d), 30305; Cal. Civ. Proc. Code §§ 527.6(t), 527.9; Cal. Fam. Code §§ 6211, 6218, 6304, 6306(a), 6320-6322, 6389. []
  100. Cal. Penal Code § 29825(d); Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 527.9(d); Cal. Fam. Code §§ 6209 – 6211. []
  101. Some states also authorize issuance of protective orders that require the abuser to surrender his or her firearms license or to direct law enforcement to remove a firearms license from the abuser.  For example, North Carolina requires a judge issuing a domestic violence protective order to direct the abuser to surrender all permits to purchase firearms and permits to carry concealed firearms if certain conditions exist. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 50B-3.1. []
  102. Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 209A, § 3B. []
  103. Haw. Rev. Stat. § 134-7(f). []
  104. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:25-29b(16). []
  105. 750 Ill. Comp. Stat. 60/214. []
  106. For relevant citations, see the section entitled “State Laws Prohibiting Subjects of Certain Domestic Violence Protective Orders from Purchasing or Possessing Firearms or Ammunition” above. []
  107. N.Y. Fam. Ct. Act § 842-a. []
  108. 750 Ill. Comp. Stat. 60/214. []
  109. Cal. Fam. Code § 6389. []
  110. See, e.g., 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. §§ 6108-6108.3. []
  111. Cal. Penal Code §§ 18250-18500, 33850-33895. []
  112. Haw. Rev. Stat. §§ 134-7.5, 709-906. []
  113. 725 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/112A-30(a)(2), 750 Ill. Comp. Stat. 60/304(a)(2). []
  114. Mont. Code Ann. § 46-6-603. []
  115. Neb. Rev. Stat. § 29-440. []
  116. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 173-B:10. []
  117. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:25-21(d). []
  118. Ohio Rev. Code Ann. §§ 2935.03(B)(3)(h), 2981.12(A)(2). []
  119. Okla. Stat. tit. 22, § 60.8. []
  120. 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 2711. []
  121. Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 36-3-620, 39-17-1317. []
  122. Utah Code Ann. § 77-36-2.1(1)(b). []
  123. W. Va. Code § 48-27-1002. []
  124. Alaska Stat. § 18.65.515(b). []
  125. Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 13-3601. []
  126. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 46b-38b(a). []
  127. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-33-1-1.5. []
  128. Md. Code Ann., Fam. Law § 4-511. []
  129. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 173-B:10. []
  130. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 46b-38b(a). []
  131. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:25-21(d). []
  132. Cal. Penal Code §§ 18250-18500, 33850-33895. []
  133. Haw. Rev. Stat. §§ 134-7.5, 709-906. []
  134. Okla. Stat. tit. 22, § 60.8. []
  135. Ohio Rev. Code Ann. §§ 2935.03(B)(3)(h), 2981.12(A)(2). []
  136. 725 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/112A-30(a)(2), 750 Ill. Comp. Stat. 60/304(a)(2); Md. Code Ann., Fam. Law § 4-511. []
  137. Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 13-3601. []
  138. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:25-21(d). []