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Laws that prevent people with significant histories of domestic violence and abuse from accessing firearms are vital to ensuring victims’ safety.

For the millions of Americans affected by domestic violence every year, an abusive intimate partner’s access to firearms can mean the difference between life and death. In fact, when an abusive partner has access to a gun, a domestic violence victim is five times more likely to be killed. Gun safety laws can save lives and prevent firearms from being used as tools of intimidation, coercion, and abuse by keeping people from accessing guns after they have been convicted of domestic violence crimes or while they are subject to active court orders against domestic violence.

Background

Every year, millions of Americans report experiencing domestic violence.1 Although it disproportionately affects women, domestic violence touches people in every segment of our society.

Firearm access helps to fuel domestic violence. An abusive partner’s access to a firearm is a serious threat to victims of domestic violence, making it five times more likely that a woman will be killed. 2 Domestic violence assaults involving a gun are 12 times more likely to result in death than those involving other weapons or bodily force.3

Guns Make Domestic Violence Deadly

  • Every year, more than 600 American women are shot to death by intimate partners—roughly one every 14 hours.4
  • In fact, firearms are used to commit more than half of all intimate partner homicides in the United States.5
  • The death toll extends to mass shootings. In more than half of mass shootings where four or more people were killed, the shooter killed an intimate partner, and one analysis found that nearly a third of mass shooters had a history of domestic violence.6

Serious Nonfatal Consequences

  • Nearly 1 million women alive today report being shot or shot at by an intimate partner.7
  • About 4.5 million women alive today report that an intimate partner threatened them using a gun.8
  • In nearly two thirds of cases in which a gun was present in a home where an abusive partner and victim cohabitated, the abusive partner used the firearm against the victim, usually threatening to injure or kill her.9

With our high rates of domestic violence-related gun violence, the U.S. is the most dangerous country in the developed world when it comes to women and guns. Women in the U.S. are 21 times more likely to be killed with a gun than women in other high-income countries.10

Strengthening Federal and State Laws

Background checks help prevent people with significant histories of domestic abuse from getting guns. One in nine background check denials are connected to domestic abuse,11 and more than 300,000 people with demonstrated records of domestic abuse have been blocked from buying guns by the federal background check system since its inception.12

Yet federal law does not require a background check to be performed before every sale of a gun, including sales by unlicensed, private sellers. This allows people who would fail a firearm background check due to their domestic violence record to turn to private sellers to access guns. For more information, see our page on Universal Background Checks.

Gun safety laws can save lives by restricting access to firearms by people with demonstrated history of domestic violence and abuse: States that restrict access to guns by people subject to active domestic violence restraining orders have seen a 13% reduction in intimate partner homicides involving firearms.13 Importantly, these laws can be further strengthened by closing additional loopholes.

  • More than half of all intimate partner homicides are committed by dating partners.14 Research shows that when states broaden their firearm prohibition laws beyond federal law to cover abusive dating partners, the states experience a 16% reduction in intimate partner gun homicides.15
  • States that require that people subject to domestic violence-related protective orders to provide proof that they actually relinquished their firearms (relinquishment laws) are linked to a 16% reduction in intimate partner gun homicides.16 For more information see our page about firearm relinquishment.
  • States with laws which cover emergency protective orders in addition to final protective orders experience a 16% reduction in intimate partner gun homicides.17
  • Additionally, current federal law does not prohibit people convicted of misdemeanor stalking crimes from having guns. One study of female murder victims in 10 cities found that 76% of women murdered and 85% who survived a murder attempt by a current or former intimate partner experienced stalking in the year preceding the murder.18 Given that stalking is a strong predictor of future violence, closing the so-called “stalking gap” could help protect women from intimate partner homicides.

Laws that comprehensively protect victims of domestic violence enjoy broad bipartisan support. A 2017 survey found that 81% of Americans support laws prohibiting a person subject to a domestic violence restraining order from having a gun for the duration of the order.19

Summary of Federal Law

Federal law prohibits purchase and possession of firearms and ammunition by people 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.20

The Lautenberg Amendment

4.5m
Women threatened with a gun by an intimate partner
4.5 million women alive today in the United States report that an intimate partner used a gun to threaten them.

Source

Susan B. Sorenson and Rebecca A. Schut, “Nonfatal Gun Use in Intimate Partner Violence: A Systematic Review of the Literature,” Trauma, Violence, & Abuse 19, no. 4 (2018): 431–442.

The Lautenberg Amendment prohibits people convicted of certain domestic violence crimes from buying or owning guns. 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.21 In addition, the offender must fit one of the following criteria:

  • Be a current or former spouse, parent, or guardian of the victim.
  • Share a child in common with the victim.
  • Be a current or former cohabitant with the victim as a spouse, parent, or guardian.
  • Be similarly situated to a spouse, parent, or guardian of the victim.22

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.23

Protective Orders and Prohibited Purchasers

16%
fewer intimate partner gun homicides
Laws requiring people who have abused their partners to turn in their guns are linked to 16% fewer intimate partner gun homicides.

Source

A. M. Zeoli, et al., “Analysis of the Strength of Legal Firearms Restrictions for Perpetrators of Domestic Violence and Their Associations With Intimate Partner Homicide,” American Journal of Epidemiology 187, no. 11 (2018): 2365–2371.

Federal law also prohibits some people who are subject to domestic violence protective orders from purchasing or possessing firearms and ammunition. The prohibition applies only if the protective order was issued after notice and a hearing, and only if the order protects an “intimate partner” or a child of the respondent subject to the court order.24 An “intimate partner” includes a current or former spouse of the respondent, a person who has a child in common with the respondent, or an individual with whom the respondent currently or previously cohabitated.25

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Notification to Domestic Violence Offenders

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.26 The 2005 VAWA did not, however, require states or local governments to establish a procedure to ensure that people convicted of domestic violence crimes or subject to domestic violence protective orders actually relinquish their firearms.

Summary of State Law

Many states have adopted laws that fill gaps in federal law by more comprehensively restricting access to firearms and ammunition by people who commit domestic abuse.

Restricting Access to Guns by People Convicted of Domestic Violence Misdemeanors

States have closed the gaps in federal law pertaining to people who commit misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence by enacting laws that:

  • Prohibit domestic violence misdemeanants not covered by federal law from buying or possessing guns and/or ammunition.
  • Authorize or require courts to order people convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors to relinquish their guns and/or ammunition.
  • Require officials to submit records regarding domestic violence offenses to databases used for firearm purchaser background checks.
State Domestic Violence Misdemeanor Firearm Prohibitions27
StateDomestic violence misdemeanor prohibitionFirearm Relinquishment for domestic violence misdemeanors
Law requiring reporting of domestic violence misdemeanors to NICS
AlabamaYes 28
ArizonaYes (when convicted person is serving probation)29
CaliforniaYes 30Yes* 31
ColoradoYes 32Yes 33
ConnecticutYes 34Yes* 35
DelawareYes 36
District of ColumbiaYes 37
HawaiiYes 38Yes* 39
IllinoisYes 40Yes 41
Yes 42
IndianaYes 43
IowaYes 44Yes 45
KansasYes 46
LouisianaYes 47Yes 48
MassachusettsYes 49Yes* 50
Yes 51
MaineYes 52
MarylandYes53Yes54
MinnesotaYes 55Yes 56
Yes 57
NebraskaYes 58
NevadaYes 59Yes* 60
New JerseyYes 61Yes 62
New MexicoYes 63
New YorkYes 64Yes* 65
Yes 66
OregonYes 67Yes 68
PennsylvaniaYes 69Yes* 70
Rhode IslandYes 71Yes 72
South CarolinaYes (3 year prohibition)73
South DakotaYes 74
TennesseeYes 75Yes 76
TexasYes 77
UtahYes 78
VermontYes79
WashingtonYes 80
West VirginiaYes 81
States with an * generally require relinquishment by everyone convicted of firearm-prohibiting crimes, including domestic violence offenses

Domestic Violence Misdemeanor Firearm Prohibitions

As noted above,82 federal law prohibits purchase and possession of firearms and ammunition by people convicted of a “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence,” but defines that term narrowly.

Some of these laws may exceed federal law in various ways, including by broadening the definition of “domestic violence.” For instance, some include in their definitions of domestic violence a violent misdemeanor against: a former or current dating partner of the offender, someone with whom the offender has had a romantic relationship, or any present or former household member or cohabitant of the offender. Other laws include in their definitions of domestic violence a violent misdemeanor against any family member, regardless of whether the victim resides with the offender.83

The strongest laws prohibit the 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.84 Connecticut, Hawaii, and New York also use this approach. For more information about these laws, see our summary on Firearm Prohibitions.

Domestic Violence Misdemeanor Firearm Relinquishment

Seventeen states that prohibit domestic violence misdemeanants from possessing guns also authorize or require surrender of guns and/or ammunition after conviction of a domestic violence misdemeanor. For a description of these laws, see our page on Firearm Relinquishment.

Domestic Violence Misdemeanor Reporting to NICS Databases

Four states have recently enacted laws designed to ensure records regarding domestic violence crimes that fall within the federal definition of a “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence” are submitted to the federal and/or state 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 for inclusion in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).85Illinois86 and Minnesota87 have similar laws. Massachusetts requires courts to transmit records of certain domestic violence offenses to the Department of Criminal Justice Information Services for inclusion in NICS.88

RESTRICTing ACCESS TO GUNS BY People SUBJECT TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PROTECTIVE ORDERS

States have closed the gaps in federal law pertaining to people who are subject to domestic violence protective orders by enacting laws that:

  • Authorize or require courts to prohibit people subject to protective orders due to domestic violence from buying or possessing firearms.
  • Authorize or require courts to order the removal or surrender of firearms when a protective order is issued.

Domestic Violence Restraining Order Firearm Prohibitions

The strongest laws prohibit anyone subject to a court-issued protective order from purchasing or possessing firearms. Some states, however, only authorize courts to prohibit gun purchase and possession by people who perpetrate domestic abuse instead of all people subject to protective court orders (such as restraining orders protecting against workplace violence). Others apply firearm restrictions to some but not all types of protective orders.89

Domestic Violence protective orders can be issued after notice and a hearing, or they can be issued in emergency circumstances without a full hearing involving the respondent (ex parte). Ex parte orders are temporary and must be followed by a hearing for which the respondent receives notice and an opportunity to appear. Many states require or authorize courts to prohibit the possession or purchase of firearms by people subject to these emergency ex parte orders.

State Domestic Violence Restraining Order Firearm Prohibitions
StateFirearm prohibition for orders after notice and a hearingFirearm prohibition for ex parte orders
Firearm relinquishment requirement
AlabamaYes 90
AlaskaAuthorized, but not required, when certain conditions are met)* 91
Authorized, but not required, when certain conditions are met (Partial) 92
ArizonaAuthorized, but not required, when certain conditions are met* 93Authorized, but not required, when certain conditions are met)94
Authorized, but not required, when certain conditions are met 95
California Yes 96Yes 97
Yes 98
Colorado Yes 99Yes 100
Yes (for orders after notice and a hearing) 101
Connecticut Yes 102Yes 103
Yes 104
Delaware Yes 105
Authorized, but not required, when certain conditions are met 106
District of Columbia Yes 107
Florida Yes 108
Hawaii Yes 109Yes 110
Yes 111
Illinois Yes 112Yes 113
Yes 114
IndianaAuthorized, but not required, when certain conditions are met* 115
Authorized when certain conditions are met 116
Iowa Yes 117
Yes (only when certain conditions are met) 118
Kansas Yes 119
LouisianaYes 120
Yes (only when certain conditions are met) 121
Maine Yes 122Authorized, but not required, when certain conditions are met123
MarylandYes 124
Yes (for orders after notice and a hearing) 125
Massachusetts Yes 126Yes 127
Yes 128
MichiganYes (only when certain conditions are met) 129Authorized, but not required, when certain conditions are met) 130
Minnesota Yes131
Yes (only when certain conditions are met) 132
MontanaAuthorized, but not required, when certain conditions are met) 133Authorized, but not required, when certain conditions are met) 134
Nebraska Yes (only when respondent is violating the order) 135Authorized, but not required136
NevadaAuthorized, but not required, although purchase of new firearms is prohibited upon issuance of a final order137
Authorized when certain conditions are met* 138
New Hampshire Yes 139Authorized, but not required, when certain conditions are met) 140
Yes 141
New MexicoYes (only when certain conditions are met) 142
Yes (only when certain conditions are met) 143
New Jersey Yes 144Authorized, but not required. 145
Yes 146
New York Yes 147Yes (subject to conditions) 148
Yes (only when certain conditions are met) 149
North Carolina Authorized but not required)150Yes (subject to conditions) 151
Yes (only when certain conditions are met) 152
North DakotaAuthorized when certain conditions are met)* 153Authorized, but not required, when certain conditions are met154
Authorized when certain conditions are met 155
Oregon Yes 156
Yes (for orders after notice and a hearing) 157
Pennsylvania Yes158Authorized, but not required, when certain conditions are met159
Yes 160
Rhode Island Yes 161
Authorized, but not required, when certain conditions are met 162
South Carolina Authorized, but not required, when certain conditions are met) 163
South DakotaAuthorized, but not required, when certain conditions are met.* 164Authorized, but not required, when certain conditions are met.165
Authorized when certain conditions are met 166
Tennessee Yes 167
Yes (for orders after notice and a hearing) 168
Texas Yes 169Yes 170
Utah Yes (only when certain conditions are met)171
VermontAuthorized, but not required, when certain conditions are met)* 172
Authorized when certain conditions are met 173
Virginia Yes 174
Yes175

Washington Yes 176Yes (only when certain conditions are met) 177
Yes (only when certain conditions are met) 178
West Virginia Yes 179Yes 180
Wisconsin Yes 181Yes182
Yes (for orders after notice and a hearing) 183
* Note that the federal prohibition on firearm possession may apply even if the court has not chosen to order the respondent to surrender firearms.

Some states broaden who may seek a protective order.184 Many states exceed federal law by including a broader category of domestic violence victims who may apply for a protective order prohibiting firearms. About half the states exceed federal law by allowing victims to seek a 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.

Some states include ammunition. A small number of states also prohibit subjects of domestic violence protective orders from purchasing or possessing ammunition, in addition to firearms.

Selected Local Law

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.
  • A protective order relating to a crime of domestic violence or the intimidation or dissuasion of victim or witness.185

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.
  • Any family member, even if the respondent never resided with the individual.186

Domestic Violence Protective Order Firearm Relinquishment

Twenty-eight states have enacted laws that facilitate the removal of firearms and/or ammunition by people when they become subject to domestic violence-related protective orders.187. About half of these states provide procedures specifying how the respondent must relinquish their weapons for safekeeping while subject to the protective order. Most of those procedures specify that the respondent must relinquish their firearms to law enforcement,188 while other states permit the respondent to relinquish his or her firearms to other designated third parties.189 ) Some states require law enforcement officers to remove firearms after a protective order is issued, while weaker laws authorize (but do not require) judges issuing protective orders to mandate that the respondent relinquish firearms.

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Closing the “Boyfriend Loophole”

1/2
intimate partner homicides by dating partners
Dating partners commit over half of all intimate partner homicides. States that prevent abusive dating partners from owning guns have 16% fewer intimate partner gun homicides.

Source

A. M. Zeoli, et al., “Analysis of the Strength of Legal Firearms Restrictions for Perpetrators of Domestic Violence and Their Associations With Intimate Partner Homicide,” American Journal of Epidemiology 187, no. 11 (2018): 2365–2371.

As discussed above, domestic violence does not occur solely between spouses. Unmarried dating partners may also often be victims of violence and abuse. However, due a major gap in federal gun laws, people who abuse against a dating partner are often legally eligible to access guns even if they would be prohibited from doing so if they committed the same acts against a spouse, child, or other family or household member.

This gap is called the “boyfriend loophole.” In short, it means that people who have been convicted of domestic violence crimes against a dating partner, or who are subject to a restraining order due to abuse of a dating partner, are generally still able to access firearms unless they have lived with their victim or have had a child in common. More specifically, this loophole exists because:

(1) Federal law’s restriction on firearm access by people subject to domestic violence-related protective ordersonly applies if the court order is one that restrains the respondent from abusing an “intimate partner;” that term is defined narrowly under federal law to include the respondent’s spouse or former spouse, an individual who has a child in common with the respondent, or an individual who currently or previously lived with the respondent, but not any other dating partners.190; and because

(2) Similarly, federal law’s restriction on firearm access by people convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors only applies if the person convicted of that crime is the current or former spouse, parent, or guardian of the victim, has had a child in common with the victim, or is “similarly situated to a spouse, parent, or guardian of the victim.”191 (Federal agencies arguably can and should interpret this language regarding individuals “similarly situated to a spouse” to include dating partners, but they have not to date).

This gap in the law allows people who have a demonstrated record of committing violence or abuse against a dating partner to lawfully keep and acquire guns designed to take human life. Armed intimidation, violence, and abuse poses just as much a threat to victims’ safety and wellbeing when the victims are married as when they are unmarried.

States that Partially or Completely Close the Boyfriend Loophole
State Prohibits Dating Partners Subject to Protective Orders
Prohibits Dating Partners Convicted of Domestic Violence Misdemeanors
Alaska192Yes*193
No
Arizona194Yes*195
Yes196
California197Yes198
Yes199
Connecticut200Yes201
Yes202
District of Columbia203Yes204
Yes205
Delaware206Yes207
Yes208
Hawaii209Yes210
Yes211
Illinois212Yes213
Yes214
Kansas215Partial (only if the victim has cohabited with the abusive partner)216
Yes (though only a 5-year prohibition)217
Louisiana218

Maryland
Yes  (Only applies to current dating partners)219

Yes (Applies to someone with whom the victim had a sexual relationship at some point in the 1-year period before the filing of the petition)220
Yes221




Yes222
Massachusetts223Yes224
Yes225
Montana226Yes*227
Yes228
Nebraska229Yes*230
Yes 231
New Hampshire232Yes233
Yes234
New Jersey 235


New Mexico
Yes236


Yes237 
Yes238 

Yes239
New York 240Yes241
Yes242
North Carolina 243Yes244
Yes245
North Dakota 246Yes247
Yes248
Oregon 249Yes250
Yes 251
Pennsylvania 252Yes253
No
Texas 254Yes255
Yes256
Utah 257Yes258
Vermont 259

Virginia
No



















Yes, for criminal protective orders260
Yes261
Washington 262 vYes263
Yes264
West Virginia 265

Yes 266







Yes 267




 
WisconsinYes268
This table documents only whether dating partners are subject to the same restrictions as spouses.
An * indicates a state in which firearm prohibitions are authorized but not required for protective orders and states in which certain conditions must be met for firearms to be prohibited during a protective order.

Allowing Police to Remove Firearms from Domestic Violence Incidents

Twenty states allow 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 general laws regarding law enforcement removal of firearms from people who have become ineligible to possess them, see the section entitled “Removal of Firearms from Individuals Shown to Be Dangerous” in our summary on Firearm Prohibitions.

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

The following states authorize, but do not require, law enforcement to remove firearms at the scene of a domestic violence incident:

The most comprehensive approach requires law enforcement to remove all firearms in the possession, ownership or control of a person who has committed domestic violence when responding to the scene of the crime. For example, in New Hampshire, law enforcement must remove all firearms and ammunition in the abusive partner’s control, ownership, or possession whenever law enforcement has probable cause to believe that a person has been abused.289 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.290

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.291 In California, law enforcement officers who are at the scene of a domestic violence incident that involves 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.292 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. Hawaii police officers may also 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.293

Many states, such as Oklahoma,294 have even weaker laws, and only allow the seizure of firearms used in the incident, and only if the abusive partner is simultaneously arrested.

State laws also vary with respect to the duration of the removal of firearms from people who have committed domestic abuse. 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.295 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 abusive partner are concluded.296 Other states require firearms to be held for a specified time period, such as up to 45 days297 or at least 72 hours.298

Prohibiting Stalkers from Buying or Possessing Firearms or Ammunition

As discussed above, stalking is a strong predictor of future violence. Under current federal law, individuals convicted of felony stalking offenses are prohibited from accessing guns. But individuals convicted of misdemeanor stalking offenses are not prohibited from accessing guns if the stalking offense was not in the context of a domestic relationship. Several states have gone above and beyond federal law to prohibit stalkers from purchasing or possessing guns.

Stalking Misdemeanor Firearm Prohibitions

The following states prohibit purchase and possession of firearms by people convicted of a misdemeanor crime of stalking:

Stalking Protective Order Firearm Prohibitions

Three states prohibit subjects of all stalking protective orders, including ex parte orders, from purchasing or possessing firearms:

Two states prohibit subjects of stalking orders from purchasing or possessing firearms only if the order was issued after notice and a hearing:

Key Legislative Elements

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, people 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.
  • When a person is convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor, the court must order the person to verify that they have relinquished all firearms and ammunition in their possession.
  • 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.
  • In addition to people prohibited by federal law, former or current dating partners, cohabitants, or family members who are subject to a domestic violence protective order are prohibited from purchasing or possessing firearms and ammunition.
  • People subject to an ex parte domestic violence protective order issued before notice or a hearing are prohibited from purchasing or possessing firearms and ammunition.
  • All domestic violence protective orders require law enforcement to remove all firearms and ammunition in the abusive partner’s possession, or under his or her ownership or control.
  • Law enforcement responding to a domestic violence incident are required to remove all firearms and ammunition in the abusive partner’s possession, or under his or her ownership or control.
  1. “Preventing Intimate Partner Violence,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2018, https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/IPV-Factsheet.pdf.[]
  2. J.C. Campbell, et al., “Risk Factors for Femicide in Abusive Relationships: Results from a Multisite Case Control Study,” American Journal of Public Health 93, no.7 (2003): 1089–1097.[]
  3. Linda E. Saltzman, et al., “Weapon Involvement and Injury Outcomes in Family and Intimate Assaults,” JAMA 267, no. 22 (1992): 3043–3047.[]
  4. Federal Bureau of Investigation, Uniform Crime Reporting Program: Supplementary Homicide Reports (SHR), 2014-2018.[]
  5. Id.; See also, James Alan Fox and Emma E. Fridel, “Gender Differences in Patterns and Trends in US Homicide, 1976–2015,” Violence and Gender 4, no. 2 (2017): 37–43.[]
  6. “Ten Years of Mass Shootings in the United States,” Everytown for Gun Safety, November 21, 2019, https://everytownresearch.org/reports/mass-shootings-analysis/; April M. Zeoli and Jennifer K. Paruk, “Potential to Prevent Mass Shootings Through Domestic Violence Firearm Restrictions,” Criminology & Public Policy (2020).[]
  7. Susan B. Sorenson and Rebecca A. Schut, “Nonfatal Gun Use in Intimate Partner Violence: A Systematic Review of the Literature,” Trauma, Violence, & Abuse 19, no. 4 (2018): 431–442.[]
  8. Id.[]
  9. Susan B. Sorenson and Douglas J. Wiebe, “Weapons in the Lives of Battered Women,” American Journal of Public Health 94, no. 8 (2004): 1412–1417.[]
  10. Erin Grinshteyn and David Hemenway, “Violent Death Rates in the US Compared to Those of the Other High-income Countries, 2015,” Preventive Medicine 123, (2019): 20–26.[]
  11. “Background Checks for Firearm Transfers,” United States Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics,  https://bit.ly/2F4vMYw.[]
  12. Id.[]
  13. April M. Zeoli, et al., “Analysis of the Strength of Legal Firearms Restrictions for Perpetrators of Domestic Violence and Their Association with Intimate Partner Homicide,” American Journal of Epidemiology 187, no. 11 (2018).[]
  14. Susan B. Sorenson and Devan Spear, “New Data on Intimate Partner Violence and Intimate Relationships: Implications for Gun Laws and Federal Data Collection,” Preventive Medicine 107 (2018): 103–108.[]
  15. April M. Zeoli, et al., “Analysis of the Strength of Legal Firearms Restrictions for Perpetrators of Domestic Violence and Their Association with Intimate Partner Homicide,” American Journal of Epidemiology 187, no. 11 (2018).[]
  16. Id.[]
  17. Id.[]
  18. Judith M. McFarlane, et al., “Stalking and Intimate Partner Femicide,” Homicide Studies 3, no. 4 (1999): 300–316.[]
  19. Colleen L. Barry, et al., “Public Support for Gun Violence Prevention Policies Among Gun Owners and Non–Gun Owners in 2017,” American Journal of Public Health 108, no. 7 (2018): 878–881.[]
  20. 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(8), (9).[]
  21. 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(33).[]
  22. Id. Also note that the offender must have been represented by counsel or waived the right to counsel and must have been tried by a jury or waived the right to a jury, if the offense entitled the offender to a jury trial.[]
  23. Federal Bureau of Investigation, Federal Denials, November 30, 1998 –April 30 2018, https://www.fbi.gov/file-repository/federal_denials.pdf/view.[]
  24. 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(8).[]
  25. 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(32). The order must also contain a finding that the respondent presents a credible threat to the victim or restrains the respondent from certain specified conduct. 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(8). Most state laws require these elements for the issuance of a protective order.[]
  26. 42 U.S.C. § 3796gg-4.[]
  27. Giffords 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.[]
  28. Ala. Code § 13A-11-72(a).[]
  29. Ariz. Rev. Stat. §§ 13-3101(A)(7)(d), 13-3102(A)(4).[]
  30. Cal. Penal Code § 29805, 30305. This prohibition applies for assault, battery and stalking misdemeanors, even if they are not domestic violence.[]
  31. Cal. Penal Code § 29810(a).[]
  32. Colo. Rev. Stat. §§ 18-1-1001(3)(c), 18-12-108(6)(c)(I), and 18-6-801(8). Colorado uses the federal definition of “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence”. See 18 USCS § 921(a)(33).[]
  33. Colo. Rev. Stat. §§ 18-1-1001(3)(c), 18-12-108(6)(c)(I), and 18-6-801(8). Colorado uses the federal definition of “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence”. See 18 USCS § 921(a)(33).[]
  34. Conn. Gen. Stat. §§ 53a-61, 53a-61a, 53a-96; and 53a-181d. Restriction applies to misdemeanors of: assault in the third degree, assault of an elderly, blind, disabled or pregnant person, or person with intellectual disability, and unlawful restraint, even if they are not domestic violence.[]
  35. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-36k(a).[]
  36. Del. Code Ann. tit. 10, § 901(12); tit. 11, § 1448(a)(7), (d).[]
  37. D.C. Official Code § 22-4503(a)(6). 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).[]
  38. Haw. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 134-1, 134-7(b).[]
  39. Haw. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 134-7.3(b).[]
  40. 430 Ill. Comp. Stat. 65/2(a)(1), (2), 65/8(k), (l); 720 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/12-3.2. This restriction applies only to those convicted of domestic battery.[]
  41. 430 Ill. Comp. Stat. 65/2(a)(1), (2), 65/8(k), (l); 720 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/12-3.2. This restriction applies only to those convicted of domestic battery.[]
  42. 725 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/112A-11.1, 5/112A-11.2.[]
  43. Ind. Code Ann. §§ 35-47-2-1(c), 35-47-4-6. Required for those convicted of battery.[]
  44. Iowa Code §§ 236.2, 708.1, 708.2A, 708.11, 724.15(1), 724.26(2)(a).[]
  45. Iowa Code §§ 236.2, 708.1, 708.2A, 708.11, 724.15(1), 724.26(2)(a).[]
  46. Kan. Stat. Ann. § 21-6301(a)(18), enacted in 2018 by 2017 KS HB 2145. Note that such misdemeanants are only prohibited from possessing guns under Kansas law for five years after conviction.[]
  47. La. Rev. Stat. § 14:95.10. Note that this prohibition applies only to battery offenses, and lasts for 10 years.[]
  48. The offenses that trigger Louisiana’s surrender law are domestic abuse battery, specified convictions for 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. 2018 La. SB 231 (signed by the Governor May 20, 2018), enacting La. Code. Crim. P. Title XXXV, Art. 1001(A)(1), (2).[]
  49. Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 140, § 129B(1)(ii)(f).[]
  50. Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 140, §§ 129B, 129D.[]
  51. Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 265, § 13N; see also Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 209A, § 3D.[]
  52. Me. Stat., 15 § 393(1-B). This prohibition lasts for 5 years, and does not apply to violence committed against dating partners.[]
  53. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-101(b-1); 5-133(b)(1), (c); 5-134(b)(2); 5-205.[]
  54. Md. Code Ann., Crim. Proc. § 6-234 (enacted by 2018 Md. HB 1646.[]
  55. This prohibition applies to those restricted from owning guns according to federal law, Minn. Stat. § 624.713, subd. 1(10)(viii); The length of the prohibition varies. Prohibited people include: those convicted in another state of committing an assault against a family or household member using a firearm within the past three years; Minn. Stat. § 624.713, subd. 1(8); those convicted in Minnesota of assaulting a family or household member using a firearm (the court determines the prohibitive period for this violation) Minn. Stat. § 624.713, subd. 1(9); those convicted of assaulting a family or household member, or of assault in the fifth degree, within the previous three years (whether or not a firearm was used). Minn. Stat. §§ 624.713, subd. 1(12), 609.2242, subd. 3(d), (e). This provision applies to handguns if the person was convicted between August 1, 1992 and 2014. For convictions after the effective date of 2013 Minn. H.B. 3238’s enactment, this prohibition applies to all firearms. Minn. Stat. § 609.2242, subd. 3(e).[]
  56. Minn. Stat. §§ 609.749, subd. 8(e)-(g), 609.2242, subd. 3(f)-(h).[]
  57. Minn. Stat. § 624.713, subd. 5.[]
  58. R.R.S. Neb. §28-1206(1). This prohibition lasts for seven years following conviction. NOTE: (5)(a) For purposes of this section, misdemeanor crime of domestic violence means a crime that: (i) Is classified as a misdemeanor under the laws of the United States or the District of Columbia or the laws of any state, territory, possession, or tribe; (ii) Has, as an element, the use or attempted use of physical force or the threatened use of a deadly weapon; and (iii) Is committed by another against his or her spouse, his or her former spouse, a person with whom he or she has a child in common whether or not they have been married or lived together at any time, or a person with whom he or she is or was involved in a dating relationship as defined in section 28-323.[]
  59. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 202.360(1)(a).[]
  60. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 202.361. []
  61. N.J. Stat. Ann. §§ 2C:25-19(a), (d), 2C:25-26(a), 2C:39-7(b), 2C:58-3(c)(1). An offense under New Jersey law only constitutes a “crime” if a sentence of imprisonment in excess of 6 months is authorized. N.J. Stat. § 2C:1-4.[]
  62. N.J. Stat. Ann. §§ 2C:25-27.[]
  63. N.M. Stat. Ann. § 30-7-16.[]
  64. N.Y. Penal Law §§ 400.00(1), 265.00(17)(c).[]
  65. N.Y. Crim. Proc. Law § 370.25.[]
  66. N.Y. Crim. Proc. Law §§ 370.15, 380.97.[]
  67. Or. Rev. Stat. § 166.255(1)(b).[]
  68. Or. Rev. Stat. § 166.259[]
  69. 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6105(c)(9).[]
  70. 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6105.2.[]
  71. R.I. Gen. Laws §§ 11-47-5(a)(3)– (a)(5), 12-29-5. Rhode Island’s firearm prohibition applies to people who have been convicted of specified domestic violence misdemeanors, including the crimes of simple assault and violation of a protective order. Note, however, that people convicted of these offenses are authorized to petition a district court to regain their firearm rights under state law starting five years after the person completed his or her sentence. R.I. Gen. Laws § 11-47-5.5.[]
  72. R.I. Gen. Laws §§ 11-47-5.4, 12-29-5(d), (h).[]
  73. S.C. Code § 16-25-30(A).Time limits for the prohibition differ based on the offense : the prohibition for criminal domestic violence in the first degree for lasts 10 years; the prohibitions for criminal domestic violence in the second degree with a conclusion by the court that the person caused moderate bodily injury to their own household member and criminal domestic violence in the second or third degree lasts for three years if the judge at the time of sentencing ordered that the person is prohibited from possessing guns; the prohibition for aggravated criminal domestic violence lasts for life life.[]
  74. S.D. Codified Laws § 22-14-15.2. This prohibition lasts for one year.[]
  75. Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-1307(f)(1)(A).[]
  76. Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-13-111. Specific procedures for relinquishment of firearms are detailed under Tenn. Code Ann. § 36-3-625.[]
  77. 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).[]
  78. Utah Code Ann. § 76-10-503(1)(b)(xi).[]
  79. Vermont law prohibits individuals who have been convicted of a violent crime from possessing a firearm. The definition of “violent crime” includes domestic violence misdemeanor offenses including domestic assault, stalking, sexual assault, and aggravated assault crimes. Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 13, § 4017; 5301(7).[]
  80. Wash. Rev. Code Ann. §§ 9.41.010, 9.41.040(2)(a)(i), 10.99.020(3).[]
  81. W. Va. Code § 61-7-7(a)(8). See W. Va. Code § 61-2-28.[]
  82. 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 Regulation.[]
  83. 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.
    • Any person with a duty to care for an elderly person or a person with disabilities in that person’s home.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.

    []

  84. Cal. Penal Code §§ 29805, 30305. 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).[]
  85. N.Y. Crim. Proc. Law §§ 370.15, 380.97.[]
  86. 725 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/112A-11.1, 5/112A-11.2.[]
  87. Minn. Stat. § 624.713, subd. 5.[]
  88. Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 265, § 13N; see also Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 209A, § 3D.[]
  89. Some additional states require courts to provide domestic violence 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).[]
  90. Ala. Code § 13A-11-72(a).[]
  91. Alaska Stat. §§ 18.66.100(c)(6), (7), 18.66.990(3), (5). Surrender of firearms only if the respondent was in possession of or used a firearm during the commission of the domestic violence. Respondents subject to this order are not prohibited from purchasing firearms.[]
  92. Alaska Stat. §§ 18.66.100(c)(6), (7), 18.66.990(3), (5). Surrender of firearms only if the respondent was in possession of or used a firearm during the commission of the domestic violence. Respondents subject to this order are not prohibited from purchasing firearms.[]
  93. Ariz. Rev. Stat. §§ 13-3601, 13-3602(G)(4), 13-3624(D)(4). Authorized if defendant is a credible threat.[]
  94. Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 13-3624 (D)(4).[]
  95. Ariz. Rev. Stat. §§ 13-3601, 13-3602(G)(4), 13-3624(D)(4). Authorized if defendant is a credible threat.[]
  96. 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.[]
  97. Cal Fam Code § 6389, 6218, 6320, 6321, 6322.[]
  98. 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. California’s law also authorizes the court to issue a search warrant if the respondent fails to relinquish firearms he or she possesses.[]
  99. Colo. Rev. Stat. §§ 13-14-105, 13-14-105.5(11), 18-1-1001(9), 18-6-803.5(c)(I).[]
  100. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 13-14-105.5(11), 13-14-104.5.[]
  101. Colo. Rev. Stat. §§ 13-14-105, 13-14-105.5(11), 18-1-1001(9), 18-6-803.5(c)(I).[]
  102. Conn. Gen. Stat. §§ 29-36f(b), 29-36k, 46b-15, 46b-38a, 53a-217, 53a-217c.[]
  103. Conn. Gen. Stat. §§ 29-36f(b), 29-36k, 46b-15, 46b-38a, 53a-217, 53a-217c.[]
  104. Conn. Gen. Stat. §§ 29-36f(b), 29-36k, 46b-15, 46b-38a, 53a-217, 53a-217c.[]
  105. Del. Code Ann. tit. 10, §§ 1041(2), 1043(e), 1045(a)(8); tit. 11, § 1448(a)(6). Exception for orders issued under Del. Code Ann. tit. 10, § 1041(1) d, e, or h.[]
  106. Del. Code Ann. tit. 10, §§ 1041(2), 1043(e), 1045(a)(8); tit. 11, § 1448(a)(6). Exception for orders issued under Del. Code Ann. tit. 10, § 1041(1) d, e, or h.[]
  107. D.C. Code Ann. §§ 7-2501.01(9B), 7-2502.03(a)(12), 7-2506.01, 16-1001(6)-(9), 16-1005(c)(10). The court is only authorized, but not required, to order the relinquishment of firearms: D.C. Code § 16-1005(c)(10).[]
  108. Fla. Stat. Ann. §§ 741.28, 741.30(1)(e), (6)(g), 741.31(4), 790.233.[]
  109. Haw. Rev. Stat. §§ 134-7(f), 586-1, 586-3.[]
  110. Haw. Rev. Stat. §§ 134-7(f), 586-1, 586-3.[]
  111. Haw. Rev. Stat. § 134-7(f). 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.[]
  112. 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).[]
  113. 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).[]
  114. 750 Ill. Comp. Stat. 60/214. 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 respondent’s possession.[]
  115. Ind. Code Ann. §§ 31-9-2-42, 31-9-2-44.5, 34-26-5-2, 34-26-5-9(c)(4), (f).[]
  116. Ind. Code Ann. §§ 31-9-2-42, 31-9-2-44.5, 34-26-5-2, 34-26-5-9(c)(4), (f).[]
  117. Iowa Code §§ 236.2(2), (4), 236.5(1)(b)(2), 724.26(2), (4). This law matches the federal requirements.[]
  118. Iowa Code §§ 236.2(2), (4), 236.5(1)(b)(2), 724.26(2), (4). Matches federal requirements.[]
  119. Kan. Stat. Ann. § 21-6301(a)(17).[]
  120. La. Rev. Stat. § 46:2136.3. Required if the person presents a credible threat and the order informs them that they are prohibited from possessing a firearm.[]
  121. La. Rev. Stat. § 46:2136.3. Required if the person presents a credible threat and the order informs them that they are prohibited from possessing a firearm; La. Code Crim. Proc. Ann. § art.1002(B).[]
  122. Me. Stat., 15 § 393 (1)(D), tit. 19-A, § 4007(1)(A-1). Required if the order meets the federal requirements.[]
  123. Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 19-A, § 4006.[]
  124. Md. Code Ann., Fam. Law §§ 4-501, 4-506; Pub. Safety § 5-133(b)(12).[]
  125. Md. Code Ann., Fam. Law § 4-506(f).[]
  126. Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 140, §§ 129B(1)(viii), 129C, 131(d)(vi); ch. 209A.[]
  127. Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 140, §§ 129B(1)(viii), 129C, 131(d)(vi); ch. 209A, § 3B. Required if the court finds a substantial likelihood of immediate danger of abuse.[]
  128. Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 209A, § 3B. In Massachusetts, when law enforcement serves a domestic violence protective order, law enforcement must immediately take possession of all firearms and ammunition in the respondent’s possession, or under their ownership or control.[]
  129. Mich. Comp. Laws §§ 28.422(3)(a)(iii)-(v), 600.2950(1)(e), (12), 600.2950a(3)(c), (26).[]
  130. Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. §§ 600.2950(1)(e),(12), 600.2950a(3)(c).[]
  131. Minn. Stat. §§ 260C.201, subd. 3, 518B.01, subd. 6, 624.713, subd. 1.[]
  132. Minn. Stat. §§ 260C.201, subd. 3, 518B.01, subd. 6, 624.713, subd. 1.[]
  133. Mont. Code Ann. §§ 40-15-102(2)(a), 40-15-103(1)(6), 40-15-201(f).[]
  134. Mont. Code Ann. § 40-15-201(1) and (2)(f). This order only authorizes the prohibition of possession of the gun used in the assault.[]
  135. Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 28-1206(1)(a), (4)(b), 42-903, 42-924.[]
  136. Neb. Rev. Stat. § 42-924(1)(g), 42-925(1).[]
  137. Nev. Rev. Stat. §§ 33.018, 33.020, 33.0305, 33.031, 33.033.[]
  138. Nev. Rev. Stat. §§ 33.018, 33.020, 33.031, 33.033[]
  139. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 173-B:1, 173-B:4, 173-B:5(II).[]
  140. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 173-B:4(I).[]
  141. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 173-B:1, 173-B:4, 173-B:5(II).[]
  142. N.M. Stat. Ann. § 40-13-5(A)(2).[]
  143. N.M. Stat. Ann. § 40-13-5(A)(2).[]
  144. 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).[]
  145. “Emergency relief may include . . . forbidding the defendant from possessing any firearm . . . .” N.J. Stat. § 2C:25-28(j); “In proceedings in which complaints for restraining orders have been filed, the court shall grant any relief necessary to prevent further abuse. In addition to any other provisions, any restraining order issued by the court shall bar the defendant from purchasing, owning, possessing or controlling a firearm . . . .The order shall require the immediate surrender of any firearm or other weapon belonging to the defendant. . . .” N.J. Stat. § 2C:25-29(b).[]
  146. N.J. Stat. Ann. §§ 2C:25-28(j), effective August 1, 2017; 2C:25-29(b).[]
  147. 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. Required if court finds: infliction of physical injury (defined as “impairment of physical condition or substantial pain” NY CLS Penal § 10.00(9); the use or threatened use of a deadly weapon; or behavior constituting a violent felony offense.[]
  148. N.Y. Crim. Proc. Law §§ 530.12(1), 530.14(1)(a); N.Y. Fam. Ct. Act § 842-a(1). Required if respondent has a prior conviction of a violent felony; has previously willfully failed to obey a prior order of protection, and the failure involved the infliction of physical injury, the use or threatened use of a deadly weapon, or behavior constituting any violent felony offense; or has a prior conviction of stalking in the first, second, third or fourth degree.[]
  149. 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. Required if court finds: infliction of physical injury (defined as “impairment of physical condition or substantial pain” NY CLS Penal § 10.00(9); the use or threatened use of a deadly weapon; or behavior constituting a violent felony offense.[]
  150. N.C. Gen. Stat. §§ 14-269.8, 50B-1, 50B-3(a)(11), 50B-3.1.[]
  151. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 50B-3.1(a). Required if court finds: the use or threatened use of a deadly weapon by the defendant or a pattern of prior conduct involving the use or threatened use of violence with a firearm against persons; threats to seriously injure or kill the aggrieved party or minor child by the defendant; threats to commit suicide by the defendant; or serious injuries inflicted upon the aggrieved party or minor child by the defendant.[]
  152. N.C. Gen. Stat. §§ 14-269.8, 50B-1, 50B-3(11), 50B-3.1.[]
  153. N.D. Cent. Code §§ 14-07.1-01, 14-07.1-02, 14-07.1-03.[]
  154. N.D. Cent. Code § 14-07.1-03(2)(d). Authorized if the court has probable cause to believe that the respondent is likely to use, display, or threaten to use the firearm or other dangerous weapon in any further acts of violence.[]
  155. N.D. Cent. Code §§ 14-07.1-01, 14-07.1-02, 14-07.1-03.[]
  156. Or. Rev. Stat. § 166.255(1)(a).[]
  157. Or. Rev. Stat. § 166.256.[]
  158. 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. §§ 6108(a.1)(1).[]
  159. 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6107(b)(3). Must demonstrate abuse that involves a firearm or other weapon or an immediate and present danger of such abuse.[]
  160. 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. §§6108(a)(7); 6108.2; and 6108.3.[]
  161. R.I. Gen. Laws §§ 11-47-5(b), 15-15-1, 15-15-3, 8-8.1-3(a)(4), (c).[]
  162. R.I. Gen. Laws §§ 11-47-5(b), 15-15-1, 15-15-3, 8-8.1-3(a)(4), (c).[]
  163. S.C. Code Ann. § 16-25-30(A)(4). Required if the family court judge ordered that the person is prohibited from shipping, transporting, receiving, or possessing a firearm or ammunition.[]
  164. S.D. Codified Laws § 25-10-24.[]
  165. S.D. Codified Laws § 25-10-5(6) authorizes other relief as the court deems necessary. The official form for domestic violence restraining orders in South Dakota explicitly authorizes surrender of firearms to local sheriff, http://ujs.sd.gov/uploads/forms/protection/UJS-091C-Domestic%20Temporary%20Order.[]
  166. S.D. Codified Laws § 25-10-24.[]
  167. Tenn. Code §§ 36-3-625, 39-13-113, 39-17-1307(f)(1)(B).[]
  168. Tenn. Code §§ 36-3-625, 39-13-113, 39-17-1307(f)(1)(B).[]
  169. 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).[]
  170. Tex. Penal Code Ann. §§ 25.07(a), Tex. Fam. Code § 83.001.[]
  171. Utah Code Ann. § 76-10-503(b)(x). Must include a finding that the respondent or defendant represents a credible threat to the physical safety of an an intimate partner or child of the individual; or explicitly prohibit the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force that would reasonably be expected to cause bodily harm against an intimate partner or the child of an intimate partner.[]
  172. Benson v. Muscari (2001) 172 Vt. 1, 769 A.2d 1291 interpreting Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 15, § 1103(c).[]
  173. Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 20, § 2307.[]
  174. Va. Code Ann. §§ 16.1-228, 16.1-253.1, 16.1-253.4, 16.1-279.1, 18.2-308.09, 18.2-308.1:4, 18.2-308.2:2.[]
  175. Va. Code Ann.§ 18.2-308.1:4(C).[]
  176. Wash. Rev. Code Ann. §§ 9.41.040(2)(a)(iii), 10.99.040. Must include a finding that the respondent or defendant represents a credible threat to the physical safety of an an intimate partner or child of the individual; or explicitly prohibit the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force that would reasonably be expected to cause bodily harm against an intimate partner or the child of an intimate partner.[]
  177. Rev. Code Wash. § 9.41.800(4).[]
  178. Wash. Rev. Code Ann. §§ 9.41.040(2)(a)(iii), 10.99.040. Must include a finding that the respondent or defendant represents a credible threat to the physical safety of an an intimate partner or child of the individual; or explicitly prohibit the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force that would reasonably be expected to cause bodily harm against an intimate partner or the child of an intimate partner.[]
  179. W. Va. Code §§ 48-27-204, 48-27-305, 48-27-403(a), 48-27-502(b), 61-7-7(a)(7).[]
  180. W. Va. Code §§ 48-27-204, 48-27-305, 48-27-403(a), 48-27-502(b), 61-7-7(a)(7).[]
  181. Wis. Stat. §§ 813.12(1)(am), (b), (c), (4m), 813.122(5m), 941.29(1)(f), (g), (2)(d), (e).[]
  182. Wis. Stat. § 941.29(1m)(f) referencing § 813.12; Wis. Stat. § 813.12(2), (3).[]
  183. Wis. Stat. §§ 813.12(1)(am), (b), (c), (4m), 813.122(5m), 941.29(1)(f), (g), (2)(d), (e).[]
  184. State laws may also prohibit firearm purchase or possession by people 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.[]
  185. 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.[]
  186. Cal. Penal Code § 29825(d); Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 527.9(d); Cal. Fam. Code §§ 6209 – 6211.[]
  187. Some states also authorize issuance of protective orders that require the respondent to surrender his or her firearms license or to direct law enforcement to remove a firearms license from the respondent. For example, North Carolina requires a judge issuing a domestic violence protective order to direct the respondent to surrender all permits to purchase firearms and permits to carry concealed firearms if certain conditions exist. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 50B-3.1.[]
  188. Illinois, for example, requires the respondent to turn over their firearms to law enforcement. 750 Ill. Comp. Stat. 60/214. California requires the respondent either to surrender their firearms to law enforcement or to sell those firearms to a licensed gun dealer. Cal. Fam. Code § 6389.[]
  189. See, e.g., 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. §§ 6108-6108.3.[]
  190. 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(8); 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(32)(defining “intimate partner”); 27 CFR 478.11.[]
  191. 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(9); 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(33)(defining “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence”); 27 CFR 478.11.[]
  192. Alaska Stat. § 18.66.990(5).[]
  193. Alaska Stat. § 18.66.100(c)(6).[]
  194. Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 13-3601.[]
  195. Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 13-3602(G)(4).[]
  196. Ariz. Rev. Stat. §§ 13-3101(A)(7)(d), 13-3102(A)(4).[]
  197. Cal. Family Code §§ 6211, 6218, 6389.[]
  198. Cal. Penal Code § 29825(a).[]
  199. Cal. Penal Code § 29805.[]
  200. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 46b-38a(2).[]
  201. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-217(a)(4). See also Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-217c(a)(5) for similar prohibitions for “criminal possession of a pistol or revolver.”[]
  202. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-61; Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-61a; Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-96; Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-181d.[]
  203. D.C. Code Ann. § 7-2501.01(9B).[]
  204. D.C. Code Ann. § 7-2502.03(a)(12).[]
  205. D.C. Code Ann. § 7-2502.03(a)(4)(D).[]
  206. Del. Code Ann. tit. 10, § 1041(2)(b).[]
  207. Del. Code Ann. tit. 11, § 1448(a)(6). This provision does not apply to a contested order issued solely upon Del. Code Ann. tit. 10, § 1041(1)(d), (e), or (h), or any combination thereof.[]
  208. Del. Code Ann. tit. 11, § 1448(a)(7).[]
  209. Haw. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 586-1, 586-3.[]
  210. Haw. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 134-7(f).[]
  211. Hawaii prohibits all people convicted of violent misdemeanors from possessing firearm. Haw. Rev. Stat. § 134-7.[]
  212. 725 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/112A-3(3).[]
  213. 725 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/112A-14(b)(14.5)(A).[]
  214. 430 Ill. Comp. Stat. 65/4(a)(2) (ix); 430 Ill. Comp. Stat. 65/8(l).[]
  215. Kan. Stat. Ann.§§ 21-6301(a)(18), 21-6301(m).[]
  216. Kan. Stat. Ann.§§ 21-6301(a)(17), 21-6301(m)(3).[]
  217. A 2018 Kansas law prohibits people convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors from possessing guns for five years after conviction. This law defines “domestic violence” to include the use or attempted use of physical force, or the threatened use of a deadly weapon, against a person with whom the offender is involved or has been involved in a dating relationship or is a family or household member. Kan. Stat. Ann.§§ 21-6301(a)(18), 21-6301(m)(1).[]
  218. Only applies to current dating partners; See 2017 LA HB 223, Section 3.[]
  219. Id.[]
  220. Md. Family Law Code Ann. § 4-501(m).[]
  221. La. Rev. Stat. § 14:95.10.[]
  222. Md. Code Ann., Pub Safety §§ 5-101(b-1); Md. Family Law Code Ann. §§ 6-233.[]
  223. Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 209A, § 1.[]
  224. See Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 209A, § 3B.[]
  225. Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 140, § 129B(1)(i)(f); see also Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 140, §§ 129B; 131; ch. 265 § 13N.[]
  226. See Mont. Code Ann. § 45-5-206(2)(b).[]
  227. Mont. Code Ann. § 40-15-116; 40-15-102; and Mont. Code Ann. § 40-5-206(2).[]
  228. Mont. Code Ann. § 40-5-206(2).[]
  229. Does not apply to same-sex relationships. Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 28-1206(5), 28-323(8).[]
  230. Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 28-1206(5), 28-323(8).[]
  231. Neb. Rev. Stat. § 42-903(3).[]
  232. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 631:2-b(III)(b).[]
  233. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 173-B:5(II).[]
  234. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 631:2-b(III)(b).[]
  235. N.J. Stat. Ann. §§ 2C:25-19d.[]
  236. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:25-29(b).[]
  237. N.M. Stat. Ann. § 30-3-11(A), (B).[]
  238. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:39-7b(1), (2).[]
  239. N.M. Stat. Ann. § 40-13-2.[]
  240. See N.Y. Penal Law § 265.00(17); N.Y. Crim. Proc. Law §§ 530.11.[]
  241. N.Y. Fam. Ct. Act § 842-a(1), (2), § 828(1)(a), (3); N.Y. Crim. Proc. Law §§ 530.12(1), 530.14(1)(a), (2). See also N.Y. Penal Law § 400.00(1)(e), (11).[]
  242. N.Y. Penal Law §§ 400.00(1), 265.00(17).[]
  243. Does not apply to abusive partners in same-sex relationships. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 50B-1(b).[]
  244. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 50B-3.[]
  245. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-33.(d); 50B-1(b)(6).[]
  246. N.D. Cent. Code § 14-07.1-01(4).[]
  247. N.D. Cent. Code § 14-07.1-02(4)(g).[]
  248. N.D. Cent. Code § 14-07.1-01; 12.1-17-01.2.[]
  249. Or. Rev. Stat. §§ 166.255, 135.230.[]
  250. Or. Rev. Stat. § 166.255(1)(a).[]
  251. Or. Rev. Stat. § 166.255(1)(b).[]
  252. 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6105(c)(9)(iv).[]
  253. 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6105(c)(6); 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6102.[]
  254. Tex. Fam. Code §§ 71.0021, 71.003, 71.005, 71.006.[]
  255. Tex. Pen. Code § 25.07(a).[]
  256. Tex. Fam. Code §§ 71.004, 71.0021,.[]
  257. Utah Code Ann. §§ 77-36-1(4), 78B-7-102(2), (5), 78B-7-106, and 78B-7-107(2).[]
  258. Utah Code Ann. § 76-10-503(1)(b)(x); Utah Code Ann. §§ 77-36-1(4).[]
  259. Indirectly. Any person who commits misdemeanor stalking, sexual assault or aggravated assault offenses is prohibited from possessing firearms. See Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 13, §§ 5301(7), 1062-63, 3252-53, 1024.[]
  260. Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-308.1:4(B) (citing Va. Code Ann. § 19.2-152.10).[]
  261. Any person who commits misdemeanor stalking, sexual assault or aggravated assault is prohibited from possessing a firearm. Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 13, §§ 4017(d)(3), 5301(7).[]
  262. See Wash. Rev. Code Ann. §§ 9.41.010(5); 10.99.020(3); and Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 26.50.010(6).[]
  263. Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 9.41.040(2)(a).[]
  264. Wash. Rev. Code Ann. §§ 9.41.010(13), 26.50.010(7).[]
  265. W. Va. Code §§ 61-2-9(b), (c), 61-7-7(a)(8), 48-26-210, 48-27-204.[]
  266. W. Va. Code § 61-7-7(a)(7).[]
  267. W. Va. Code § 61-7-7(a)(8). See W. Va. Code § 61-2-28.[]
  268. Wis. Stat. § 813.12(1)(am).[]
  269. Cal. Penal Code §§ 18250-18500, 33850-33895.[]
  270. Haw. Rev. Stat. §§ 134-7.5, 709-906.[]
  271. 725 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/112A-30(a)(2), 750 Ill. Comp. Stat. 60/304(a)(2).[]
  272. Mont. Code Ann. § 46-6-603.[]
  273. Neb. Rev. Stat. § 29-440.[]
  274. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 173-B:10.[]
  275. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:25-21(d).[]
  276. Ohio Rev. Code Ann. §§ 2935.03(B)(3)(h), 2981.12(A)(2).[]
  277. Okla. Stat. tit. 22, § 60.8.[]
  278. 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 2711.[]
  279. Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 36-3-620, 39-17-1317.[]
  280. Utah Code Ann. § 77-36-2.1(1)(b).[]
  281. Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 10.99.030(3).[]
  282. W. Va. Code § 48-27-1002.[]
  283. Alaska Stat. § 18.65.515(b).[]
  284. Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 13-3601.[]
  285. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 46b-38b(a).[]
  286. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-33-1-1.5.[]
  287. Md. Code Ann., Fam. Law § 4-511.[]
  288. Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 13, § 1048(a)(1).[]
  289. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 173-B:10.[]
  290. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 46b-38b(a).[]
  291. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:25-21(d).[]
  292. Cal. Penal Code §§ 18250-18500, 33850-33895.[]
  293. Haw. Rev. Stat. §§ 134-7.5, 709-906.[]
  294. Okla. Stat. tit. 22, § 60.8.[]
  295. Ohio Rev. Code Ann. §§ 2935.03(B)(3)(h), 2981.12(A)(2).[]
  296. 725 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/112A-30(a)(2), 750 Ill. Comp. Stat. 60/304(a)(2); Md. Code Ann., Fam. Law § 4-511.[]
  297. New Jersey gives the prosecutor 45 days in which to petition for title of a firearm seized at a domestic violence scene. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:25-21(d).[]
  298. Arizona requires firearms seized at a domestic violence scene to 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. Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 13-3601.[]
  299. Cal. Penal Code §§ 29805, 646.9.[]
  300. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-217, 53a-181d. This prohibition includes ammunition.[]
  301. Haw. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 134-1, 134-7(b). This prohibition includes ammunition.[]
  302. Minn. Stat. § 609.749, subd. 8(a)-(c). This prohibition lasts for 3 years, but can be increased to last up to the respondent’s lifetime if a firearm was used during commission of the stalking.[]
  303. N.M. Stat. Ann. § 30-7-16.[]
  304. N.Y. Penal Law §§ 265.00(17)(b), 265.01(4), 120.45, 120.50. Applies only to long guns. However N.Y. Penal Law §§ 400.00(1) prohibits the issuance of a license to carry handguns to these misdemeanants, effectively prohibiting the possession of handguns as well.[]
  305. N.D. Cent. Code § 62.1-02-01(b), 12.1-17-07.1. Required only if misdemeanor was committed with a dangerous weapon; the prohibition lasts for five years.[]
  306. Or. Rev. Stat. § 166.255(1)(c), 163.732, effective 1/1/19.This prohibition includes ammunition.[]
  307. 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6105(b), 2709.1.[]
  308. R.I. Gen. Laws §§ 11-47-5(a)(4)(ii), 11-52-4.2. Applies only to cyberstalking.[]
  309. Cal. Penal Code § 646.91(c)(4)(B).[]
  310. Fla. Stat. § 790.401(3)(b), (c)(10); (4)(c). This is an Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO), however in Florida, stalking can be a justification for seeking an ERPO.[]
  311. R.R.S. Neb. § 28-311.09, 28-1206. This is a harassment protective order. However, Nebraska’s description of stalking includes harassment as an integral component: “Any person who willfully harasses another person or a family or household member of such person with the intent to injure, terrify, threaten, or intimidate commits the offense of stalking. § 28-311.03”.[]
  312. W. Va. Code § 53-8-7(a)(2)(A)(ii), (d)(1)(F), 53-8-4(a)(2), 61-2-9a. Authorized if: a weapon was used or threatened to be used in the commission of the offense predicating the petitioning for the order; the respondent has violated any prior order as specified under this article; or the respondent has been convicted of an offense involving the use of a firearm.[]
  313. Wis. Stat. § 813.125(4)(a)(2), 940.32. This is a harassment protection order. Wisconsin’s definition of harassment includes stalking: Wis. Stat. § 813.125(1)(am)(1).[]