JOHN HOPKINS BLOOMBERG SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH —Firearms and IPV
FACT SHEET - Intimate Partner Violence and Firearms
Policies to Prevent Batterers’ Access to Firearms
Keeping Guns Out of the Hands of Abusers Subject to Restraining Orders In 1994, Congress enacted the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act. This law expanded the list of people prohibited from purchasing and possessing firearms to include individuals subject to a court order restraining them from “harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner” or “engaging in other conduct that would place an intimate partner in reasonable fear of bodily injury.” This restriction applies only to court orders in which the alleged batterer was present (ex parte orders do not apply). Some states implemented policies to prohibit gun ownership for batterers with restraining orders prior to the passage of federal legislation in 1994.
Prohibiting Firearm Purchase by Domestic Violence Misdemeanants
Under federal law established by the Lautenberg Amendment in 1996,c c Section 658 of Public Law 104-208. an individual convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor is prohibited from possessing a firearm.