Federal Resources

Federal Resources Law


Federal law prohibits purchase and possession of a firearm by any person “who has been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.”1

Federal law defines “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence” as “an offense that –

  • (i) [I]s a misdemeanor under Federal, State, or Tribal law; and
  • (ii) [H]as, as an element, the use or attempted use of physical force, or the threatened use of a deadly weapon, committed by a current or former spouse, parent, or guardian of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabiting with or has cohabited with the victim as a spouse, parent, or guardian, or by a person similarly situated to a spouse, parent or guardian of the victim.”2

Federal law prohibits purchase and possession of a firearm by any person “who is subject to a court order that –

  • (A) [W]as issued after a hearing of which such person received actual notice, and at which such person had an opportunity to participate;
  • (B) [R]estrains such person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner of such person or child of such intimate partner or person, or engaging in other conduct that would place an intimate partner in reasonable fear of bodily injury to the partner or child; and
  • (C) (i) includes a finding that such person represents a credible threat to the physical safety of
  • such intimate partner or child; or
    •      (ii) by its terms explicitly prohibits the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against such intimate partner or child that would reasonably be expected to cause bodily injury[.]”3

Federal law defines “intimate partner” to include spouses, former spouses, individuals who share a child in common, and individuals who cohabitate or have cohabited. 4


Federal law does not require the removal of firearms from persons subject to court orders for which firearm purchase and possession are prohibited.

This page was updated May 19, 2020. Please note that data used are the most recent available data.