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Fifteen 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 Disarming Prohibited People.

The prohibition applies only if the protective order was issued after notice to the abuser and a hearing, and only if the order protects an “intimate partner” of the abuser or a child of the abuser or intimate partner.

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.

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

The strongest laws prohibit anyone subject to a domestic violence protective order from purchasing or possessing firearms.For the millions of American women and children affected by domestic violence every year, guns in the hands of domestic abusers pose a serious and lethal threat.In fact, when an abuser has access to a gun, a domestic violence victim is five times more likely to be killed.Some states, however, only authorize courts to prohibit gun purchase and possession by domestic abusers, and some apply the prohibitions to some but not all types of protective orders.orders are temporary and must be followed by a hearing for which the respondent receives notice and an opportunity to appear.

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For more information, see our page on Universal Background Checks.