Our laws contain notable gaps that allow individuals who have demonstrated a significant risk of violence to possess firearms.
Background check laws are crucial to protecting public health and safety by preventing people from acquiring firearms when they have a significant history of harming themselves or others or are otherwise at elevated risk of violence. Under federal law, meeting certain criteria, such as criminal convictions and court orders, can prohibit individuals from passing a background check. State laws may also establish additional, stronger eligibility standards.
Federal law establishes a baseline national standard regarding individuals’ eligibility to acquire and possess firearms. Under federal law, a person is generally prohibited from acquiring or possessing firearms if, among other things, they have been convicted of certain crimes or become subject to certain court orders related to domestic violence or a serious mental condition. The FBI’s NICS background check system helps to ensure that people subject to these restrictions cannot pass a background check to obtain a firearm—at least in circumstances when a background check is legally required and relevant records have been properly submitted to the background check system.
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.
Since the effective date of the Brady Act in 1994, background checks have blocked over three million attempted gun sales, transfers, or firearm permit applications to individuals who could not legally access a firearm, while still approving 98.5% of firearm background check inquiries.1
However, federal law merely provides a floor, and has notable gaps that allow some individuals who have demonstrated significant risk factors for future violence or self-harm to legally acquire and possess guns.
State laws have an important role to play in keeping this system running smoothly and efficiently. In 2012, the FBI began accepting records identifying people who are prohibited from acquiring or possessing firearms under state, as well as federal, law into the FBI databases used for firearm background checks. This means that federally mandated background checks conducted by licensed firearms dealers may now block firearm sales to individuals who are ineligible to acquire firearms under either federal law or the laws of their state.2
States may also enact laws mirroring federal firearm restrictions in order to allow state law enforcement, prosecutors, and courts to enforce those requirements instead of relying on more limited federal enforcement capacity alone. There is, however, significant variation among different states’ firearm eligibility standards, as discussed in more detail below.
Summary of Federal Law
Federal law establishes a baseline national standard regarding the criteria that make people ineligible to acquire and possess firearms. The federal Gun Control Act of 1968, codified at 18 U.S.C. § 922, generally prohibits the sale to, and possession of firearms by, a person who:
- Has been convicted of, or is under indictment for:
- A federal crime punishable by imprisonment for more than one year (typically a felony)
- A state crime that is not classified as a misdemeanor and is punishable by imprisonment for more than one year
- A state crime that is classified as a misdemeanor under state law and is punishable by more than two years imprisonment3
- Is a fugitive from justice4
- Is “an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance”5
- Though certain states have legalized the use of medical and recreational marijuana, it remains illegal under federal law. Therefore, ATF considers people who use marijuana legally under state law unlawful users of a controlled substance.6
- Is underage (For additional information about federal age restrictions for the purchase and possession of firearms, see our page on the Minimum Age to Purchase and Possess Firearms.)
- Has been found by a court, board, commission, or other lawful authority to be a danger to self or others, or to “lack the mental capacity to contract or manage [their] own affairs,” as a result of their mental condition or illness (This prohibition also expressly applies when a person has been found incompetent to stand trial or not guilty of a crime due to mental incapacity)7
- Has been involuntarily hospitalized or committed to a mental health or substance abuse treatment facility by a court, board, commission, or other lawful authority. (This prohibition does not apply when a person is admitted for treatment voluntarily or when a person is only hospitalized for short-term observation without longer-term commitment or court-ordered treatment.)8
- Is unlawfully in the United States or has been admitted to the US under a nonimmigrant visa
- Has been dishonorably discharged from the US Armed Forces
- Has renounced their US citizenship
- Is subject to an active court order restraining them from harassing, stalking or threatening an intimate partner, their child, or a child of a partner, or from engaging in other conduct that would place an intimate partner in reasonable fear of bodily injury to the partner or child
- Has been convicted of a misdemeanor offense of domestic violence9 (For more detailed information on firearm restrictions—and gaps—related to domestic violence, see our summary on Domestic Violence and Firearms).
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Summary of State Law
Some states have enacted stronger eligibility standards than federal law by placing additional limitations on firearm access based on criteria that have been associated with elevated risk of violence or self-harm. As discussed above, the FBI background check system has, since 2012, blocked firearm sales, transfers, and permits to individuals who are prohibited from accessing firearms under state as well as federal law (although the background check system is only as effective as the records reported into the system by each state). Most states have also enacted laws to incorporate at least some federal firearm prohibitions into their state laws.
Felony and Misdemeanor Convictions
All states except Vermont generally restrict firearm access after a person has been convicted of a felony, mirroring federal law in this area, which generally prohibits firearm access after an individual has been convicted of a crime punishable by more than one year in prison. (Vermont prohibits firearm possession after a person has been convicted of “a violent crime,” which includes crimes like murder, stalking, and domestic assault, but not other felonies).10 Most state laws mirror federal law in this area by generally prohibiting firearm access after a person has been convicted of a crime punishable by more than one year in prison.
Many states also prohibit firearm access after a person has been convicted of certain other misdemeanor offenses, often including broader categories of violent or firearm-related crimes.
- New York, for instance, prohibits firearm access after a person has been convicted of specified felonies and other crimes defined as “serious offenses” under state law, including child endangerment, certain disorderly conduct crimes, and certain stalking offenses.
- California and Connecticut prohibit firearm access for a minimum period after a person has been convicted of specified misdemeanors involving violence or misuse of firearms. In 2017, for example, California enacted legislation prohibiting people convicted of misdemeanor hate crimes from accessing guns for 10 years.11
- Illinois prohibits firearm access after a person has been convicted of felony or misdemeanor convictions within the previous five years for battery, assault, aggravated assault, or violation of an order of protection in which a firearm was used or possessed.
- New Jersey generally prohibits firearm access after a person has been convicted of an offense punishable by more than six months imprisonment.
Critically, many, though not all, states also mirror or expand upon federal law’s firearm prohibitions related to domestic violence-related convictions and court orders.
Stalking-Related Offenses and Restraining Orders
Stalking is a strong predictor of future violence. Some stalking situations involve intimate partners or former partners, while other stalking behaviors are engaged in by people unknown to the victims. 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 had been victims of stalking by that individual in the year preceding the murder or attempted murder. 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 did not occur in the context of a domestic relationship. Nine states prohibit firearm access after a person has been convicted of a stalking offense from purchasing or possessing guns.12
Six states also prohibit firearm access by specifically preventing people subject to stalking-related restraining orders from possessing guns.13
In some states, extreme risk protection orders (ERPOs) may also provide a remedy for temporarily removing firearms from someone engaging in stalking or harassing behaviors.14
Court Orders and Adjudications Related to Serious Mental Conditions
Subject to very few exceptions,15 federal and state laws do not prohibit firearm access based on a mental health diagnosis alone. Instead, 34 states and the District of Columbia have laws that restrict firearm access if a court or other authority has made a determination that a person’s mental condition is either serious enough to require involuntary mental health treatment or hospitalization, or to render the person significantly cognitively impaired and/or at significant risk of harming themselves or others with a firearm.
Most states’ laws in this area are broadly similar to federal law,16 though several states have enacted broader firearm restrictions. For example, unlike federal law, the following states prohibit firearm access for specified time periods after a person has been voluntarily hospitalized at a mental health treatment facility:
- Connecticut (for six months)
- Illinois (until the person receives certification that they are not a danger to themselves or others)
- Maryland (until receiving “relief” from the firearm disqualification)
- District of Columbia (for five years)
- Florida (Florida enacted a law in 2013 that prohibits people from possessing firearms if a judge or magistrate has classified them as a danger to self or others based on the fact that they were voluntarily committed, if an examining physician certified that a petition for involuntary commitment would have been filed if the person had not consented to treatment)17
Several other states also have broader mental health-related firearm restrictions than federal law. For example:
- California law prohibits firearm access in a variety of circumstances relating to serious mental conditions, including circumstances where a person has communicated a serious threat of violence against an identifiable individual to a licensed psychotherapist within the last five years.
- Illinois prohibits firearm access in a variety of circumstances related to serious mental conditions, including after a person has been hospitalized in a psychiatric facility, has been found to be mentally or developmentally disabled, or has been found to be impaired by a mental condition “of such a nature that it poses a clear and present danger to the applicant, any other person or persons or the community.”18
- Maryland law prohibits firearm access by a person who is suffering from a mental condition and has a history of violent behavior against others, unless they have received a certification from the Maryland Health Department restoring their firearm eligibility.
- Hawaii is one of the few states that has a law prohibiting firearm access based on a diagnosis alone. State law prohibits firearm access possession by a person who is or has been diagnosed as having a “significant behavioral, emotional, or mental disorder,” until they are no longer affected by the condition.19
Additional information about laws pertaining to submission of records to firearm background check systems or the availability of mental health records for background checks is contained in our summary on Mental Health Reporting.
Drug and Alcohol Addiction and Offenses
Federal law prohibits firearm access by individuals who are “unlawful users of or addicted to a controlled substance.” Twenty-eight states and the District of Columbia also restrict firearm access by individuals grappling with substance abuse disorders, those who have been convicted of certain drug-related crimes, and/or people under the active influence of controlled substances from purchasing or possessing firearms. Additionally, twenty states and the District of Columbia prohibit people grappling with alcohol abuse disorders, those who have been convicted of alcohol-abuse-related crimes, and/or people under the active influence of alcohol, from purchasing or possessing firearms.
Twenty-seven states prohibit individuals from accessing firearms for a temporary period after they have been adjudicated or convicted of certain offenses as juveniles.
State Laws Restricting Access to Firearms
|State||Violent or Gun-Related Misdemeanors||Serious Mental Condition20||Drug Abuse21||Alcohol Abuse|
|New Jersey 52||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|New Mexico 53|
|New York 54||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|North Carolina 55||Handguns*||Handguns*|
|Rhode Island 61||Yes||Yes|
|South Carolina 62||Yes||Handguns*||Handguns*|
|South Dakota 63||Yes|
|West Virginia 70||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Wyoming 72||Yes 73|
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Disarming People who Become Prohibited from Accessing Firearms
Federal law does not provide a standard process to ensure that individuals who have become prohibited from possessing firearms actually relinquish them. Most states expressly authorize law enforcement to remove firearms when they are discovered in the possession of a person who is prohibited from possessing them. However, only a few states have a more proactive process in place to ensure that individuals lawfully relinquish their firearms after becoming prohibited from possessing them. For more information about this topic, see our page on Firearm Relinquishment.
Risk-Based Removal Laws
In addition, several states have enacted laws, generally referred to as extreme risk protection orders, which allow law enforcement officers or family or household members to petition a court for an order to have firearms temporarily removed from an individual who poses a significant risk of harm to self or others. For more information on this type of law, see our summary on Extreme Risk Protection Orders.
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.
- At a minimum, firearm eligibility standards are at least as extensive as federal law, to allow state and local resources to assist in implementation and enforcement.
- Access to firearms is restricted for at least a temporary period after a person has been convicted of violent, firearm-related, and other serious felonies and misdemeanors, including domestic violence offenses and hate crimes.
- Access to firearms is restricted after a person has been found to pose a significant risk of harm to themselves or others, including when individuals have been found to be severely cognitively impaired as a result of their mental condition or ordered to receive mental health treatment.
- A procedure exists to allow law enforcement officials and a person’s family or household members to petition courts for an extreme risk protection order, which temporarily suspends a person’s access to firearms if a court has determined they pose a significant risk of harming themselves or others.
- Access to firearms is restricted for people subject to domestic violence restraining orders and other civil and criminal court orders issued for the protection of named parties or the public from acts of violence, including orders protecting witnesses against threats and intimidation.74
- Access to at least some firearms is restricted for people under the age of 21.75
- Selling or transferring a firearm to a person who is ineligible to possess firearms is unlawful.76
- A state agency identifies individuals who have become ineligible to possess firearms and state law provides standard procedures to verify that such individuals have relinquished any firearms in their possession.
Extreme risk protection orders provide a proactive way to temporarily restrict a person showing clear warning signs of violence from accessing firearms.
Laws that prevent people with significant histories of domestic violence and abuse from accessing firearms are vital to ensuring victims’ safety.
Minimum age laws prevent young people and those around them from falling prey to preventable gun violence and suicide.
- “Since the effective date of the Brady Act on February 28, 1994, through December 31, 2015, nearly 197 million applications for firearm transfers or permits were subject to background checks and more than 3 million applications (1.5%) were denied.” Jennifer Karberg, et al., “Background Checks for Firearm Transfers, 2015—Statistical Tables,” US Department of Justice: Bureau of Justice Statistics, November 2017, https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/bcft15st.pdf.
- Criminal Justice Information Services Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Department of Justice, National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) Operations 2012, http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/nics/reports/2012-operations-report.
- Federal law prohibits firearm access by people who have been convicted of, or who are under indictment for, a “crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year.” Somewhat confusingly, however, federal law’s definition of this term expressly does not include: 1) any federal or state offenses pertaining to antitrust violations, unfair trade practices, restraints of trade, or other similar offenses relating to the regulation of business practices, or 2) any State offense classified by the laws of the state as a misdemeanor and punishable by a term of imprisonment of two years or less. 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(20). The term also does not apply in certain situations where a person has had their eligibility to possess firearms restored by a court or other authority. Id.
- This term is defined in federal law as “any person who has fled from any State to avoid prosecution for a crime or to avoid giving testimony in any criminal proceeding.” Under federal regulations, the term also includes “any person who knows that misdemeanor or felony charges are pending against [them] and who leaves the State of prosecution.” 18 USC § 922(y)(1); 27 CFR § 478.11.
- Federal regulation defines this term, in part, to mean:
“A person who uses a controlled substance and has lost the power of self-control with reference to the use of controlled substance; and any person who is a current user of a controlled substance in a manner other than as prescribed by a licensed physician. . . An inference of current use may be drawn from evidence of a recent use or possession of a controlled substance or a pattern of use or possession that reasonably covers the present time, e.g., a conviction for use or possession of a controlled substance within the past year; multiple arrests for such offenses within the past 5 years if the most recent arrest occurred within the past year; or persons found through a drug test to use a controlled substance unlawfully, provided that the test was administered within the past year.” 27 C.F.R. § 478.11.
- See Wilson v. Lynch, 835 F.3d 1083 (9th Cir. 2016); Arthur Herbert, “Open Letter to all Federal Firearms Licensees,” Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, September 21, 2011, https://www.atf.gov/firearms/docs/open-letter/all-ffls-sept2011-open-letter-marijuana-medicinal-purposes/download.
- Federal law, enacted in 1968, still uses archaic and offensive terminology to prohibit firearm access by people who have been “adjudicated as a mental defective.”
Federal regulations define that term to mean:
(a) A determination by a court, board, commission, or other lawful authority that a person, as a result of marked subnormal intelligence, or mental illness, incompetency, condition, or disease
(1) Is a danger to himself or to others; or
(2) Lacks the mental capacity to contract or manage his own affairs.Federal regulation also expressly clarifies that this firearm prohibition applies to:
(1) A finding of insanity by a court in a criminal case; and
(2) Those persons found incompetent to stand trial or found not guilty by reason of lack of mental responsibility pursuant to [specified articles] of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. 27 CFR § 478.11.
- Federal law generally prohibits firearm access by people who have previously been “committed to a mental institution.” Federal regulations define this term as:
“A formal commitment of a person to a mental institution by a court, board, commission, or other lawful authority. The term includes a commitment to a mental institution involuntarily. The term includes commitment for mental defectiveness or mental illness. It also includes commitments for other reasons, such as for drug use. The term does not include a person in a mental institution for observation or a voluntary admission to a mental institution.” 27 C.F.R. § 478.11.
- 18 U.S.C. § 922(b)(1), (d), (x)(1).
- 13 V.S.A. §§ 4017, 5301.
- 2017 Ca. AB 785; Cal Pen Code § 29805.
- California (Cal. Penal Code §§ 29805, 646.9)
Connecticut (Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-217, 53a-181d)
Hawaii (Haw. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 134-1, 134-7(b).)
Minnesota (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)
New York (N.Y. Penal Law §§ 265.00(17)(b), 265.01(4), 120.45, 120.50. This prohibition applies only to long guns. However N.Y. Penal Law §§ 400.00(1) prohibits the issuance of a license to carry handguns to individuals convicted of these stalking offenses, effectively prohibiting them from possessing handguns as well.);
North Dakota (N.D. Cent. Code § 62.1-02-01(b), 12.1-17-07.1. Required only if a stalking misdemeanor was committed with a dangerous weapon; the prohibition lasts for five years.)
Oregon (Or. Rev. Stat. § 166.255(1)(c), 163.732, effective 1/1/19)
Pennsylvania (18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6105(b), 2709.1)
Rhode Island (R.I. Gen. Laws §§ 11-47-5(a)(4)(ii), 11-52-4.2. Applies only to cyberstalking offenses).
- California (Cal. Penal Code § 646.91(c)(4)(B).)
Nebraska (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. R.R.S. Neb. § 28-311.03)
Virginia (Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-308.1:4, 18.2 – 60.3. This protective order is issued when the respondent is convicted of stalking;
West Virginia, 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;
Wisconsin, 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).
- For example, see Florida, Fla. Stat. § 790.401(3)(b), (c)(10); (4)(c) where stalking can be a justification for seeking an ERPO.
- Hawaii is an exception, as the state prohibits firearm access by anyone who has been diagnosed with a “significant behavioral, emotional, or mental disorder,” until they are no longer affected by the condition. Haw. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 134-7(c)(3).
- 18 U.S.C. § 922.
- 2013 Fla. HB 1355 (Approved by the Governor June 28, 2013), amending Fla. Stat. § 790.065.
- The phrase “clear and present danger” is defined to include any person determined by one of a group of designated mental health professionals, school administrators, or law enforcement officers to pose a clear and imminent risk of serious physical injury to self or another, or to demonstrate threatening physical or verbal behavior.
- Haw. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 134-7(c)(3).
- This list does not include states that only prohibit individuals from accessing firearms if they have been found not guilty by reason of insanity or incompetent to stand trial in a criminal case..
- A “Yes” is given below for any state that restricts firearm access based on recent use or abuse of controlled substances, or drug-related misdemeanor convictions. A “Yes” is not given to states, such as South Dakota and Washington, that only prohibit firearm access in the drug-related context when individuals have been convicted of a drug-related felony since felony convictions are generally firearm-prohibiting under federal law and the laws of most states.
- Ala. Code § 13A-11-72.
- Alaska Stat. § 11.61.200.
- Ariz. Rev. Stat. §§ 13-904(A)(5), (H), 13-3101(A)(7), 13-3102(A)(4), 13-3113.
- Ark. Code §§ 5-73-103, 5-73-132.
- Cal. Penal Code §§ 23515, 29800-30010; Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code §§ 8100, 8101, 8103, 8105.
- Colo. Rev. Stat § 18-12-108.
- Conn. Gen. Stat. §§ 29-36k, 29-36n, 29-38c, 53a-217, 53a-217c.
- Del. Code tit. 11, § 1448, tit. 24, § 903.
- D.C. Code §§ 7-2502.02 – 7-2502.03, 7-2502.08, 22-4503.
- Fla. Stat. §§ 790.23, 790.233, 790.235, 790.065, 394.463(2)(d).
- Ga. Code §§ 16-11-131.
- Haw. Rev. Stat. § 134-7.
- Idaho Code § 18-3316.
- 405 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/1-116, 405 Ill. Comp. Stat 5/6-103.1 – 6-103.3, 430 Ill. Comp. Stat. 65/1.1, 2, 4, 8 – 8.2, 9 – 9.5.
- Ind. Code §§ 35-47-2-7, 35-47-4-1, 35-47-4-5, 35-47-4-6, 35-47-14-1 – 35-47-14-9, 35-47-4-9.
- Iowa Code §§ 724.15, 724.26.
- Kan. Stat. §§ 21-6301(a)(10), (13), 21-6304.
- Ky. Rev. Stat. §§ 237.070, 527.040.
- La. Rev. Stat. § 14:95.1.
- Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 15, § 393.
- Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety §§ 5-101, 5-133, 5-133.3, 5-205, 5-206.
- Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 140, §§ 129B, 129C, 129D, 131, 131E, 131F.
- Mich. Comp. Laws §§ 28.422, 28.426, 750.224f.
- Minn. Stat. §§ 518B.01, 609.224, 609.2242, 609.749, 624.713, 624.719.
- Miss. Code §§ 97-37-5, 97-37-13.
- Mo. Rev. Stat. § 571.070.
- Mont. Code §§ 45-8-313.
- Neb. Rev. Stat. § 28-1206.
- Nev. Rev. Stat. § 202.360.
- N.H. Rev. Stat. §§ 159:3, 173-B:5.
- N.J. Stat. §§ 2C:1-4, 2C:39-7, 2C:58-3.
- N.M. Stat. § 30-7-16.
- N.Y. Penal Law §§ 265.00, 265.01, 400.00; N.Y. Crim. Proc. Law §§ 330.20, 380.96; N.Y. Mental Hygiene Law § 9.46.
- N.C. Gen. Stat. §§ 14-402, 14-404, 14-415.1, 14-415.3, 14-269.8.
- N.D. Cent. Code § 62.1-02-01.
- Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.13.
- Okla. Stat. tit. 21, §§ 1283, 1289.10, 1289.12.
- Or. Rev. Stat. §§ 166.250(1)(c), 166.270, 166.470.
- 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6105.
- R.I. Gen. Laws §§ 11-47-5, 11-47-6, 11-47-7.
- S.C. Code §§ 16-23-30, 23-31-1040.
- S.D. Codified Laws §§ 22-14-15, 22-14-15.1, 22-14-15.2.
- Tenn. Code §§ 39-17-1307, 39-17-1316, 39-17-1321.
- Tex. Penal Code §§ 46.04, 46.06(a)(3), Tex. Health and Safety Code § 573.001, Tex. Crim. Proc. Code Art. 18.191.
- Utah Code § 76-10-503(1)-(3).
- Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 13, § 4017.
- Va. Code §§ 18.2-308.1:1 – 18.2-308.1:5, 18.2-308.2-18.2-308.2:01(b).
- Wash. Rev. Code §§ 9.41.010, 9.41.040, 9.41.171, 9.41.175, 71.05.182.
- W. Va. Code § 61-7-7.
- Wis. Stat. §§ 51.20 (13)(cv), 51.45(13)(i)(1), 54.10(3)(f)(1), 55.12(10)(a), 941.29.
- Wyo. Stat. §§ 6-8-102, 6-8-404.
- In 2010, Wyoming enacted a “Firearms Freedom Act” purporting to exempt from federal regulation any firearm manufactured commercially or privately in Wyoming and that remains exclusively within the borders of Wyoming. The Act prohibits possession of such firearms by certain mentally ill individuals.
- Additional information about laws governing domestic violence-related prohibitions is contained in our summary on Domestic Violence and Firearms.
- Additional information about laws governing minimum age to purchase and possess firearms is contained in our summary on the Minimum Age to Purchaser and Possess Firearms.
- Additional information about laws limiting sales to ineligible individuals is contained in our summary on Trafficking & Straw Purchasing.