Louisiana

Louisiana Law

Louisiana Domestic Violence Firearm Purchase and Possession Prohibitions

Louisiana prohibits persons convicted of the following offenses from possessing a firearm or carrying a concealed weapon for ten years following the date of completion of sentence, probation, parole, or suspension of sentence:

  1. Domestic abuse battery;
  2. A second or subsequent offense of battery of a dating partner;
  3. Battery of a dating partner involving strangulation; or
  4. Battery of a dating partner involving burning.1

Louisiana prohibits the subjects of the permanent injunctions and protective orders listed below from possessing a firearm for the duration of the injunction or protective order if the injunction or protective order includes (a) a finding that the subject of the injunction or protective order represents a credible threat to the physical safety of a family member, household member, or dating partner, and (b) the injunction or protective order informs the subject of the injunction or protective order that the person is prohibited from possessing a firearm pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(8)* and Louisiana law:2

  1. Post-separation family violence protective order;
  2. Injunction against abuse in proceeding for divorce; or
  3. Domestic violence protective order.

LOUISIANA DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PROTECTIVE ORDER FIREARM REMOVAL

Civil Domestic Violence Protective Orders that Require Removal

Upon the issuance of a permanent post-separation family violence protective order, an injunction against abuse in proceeding for divorce or a domestic violence protective order “the judge shall order the transfer of all firearms and the suspension of a concealed handgun permit of the person who is subject to the injunction or order[.]”3

Individuals Who May Petition for an Injunction or Protective Order

Post-separation family violence protective order

“All separation, divorce, child custody, and child visitation orders and judgments in family violence cases shall contain an injunction … which prohibits the violent parent from in any way contacting the abused parent or the children except for specific purposes set forth in the injunction, which shall be limited to communications expressly dealing with the education, health, and welfare of the children, or for any other purpose expressly agreed to by the abused parent. All such injunctions shall prohibit the violent parent, without the express consent of the abused parent, from intentionally going within fifty yards of the home, school, place of employment, or person of the abused parent and the children, or within fifty feet of any of their automobiles, except as may otherwise be necessary for court ordered visitation or except as otherwise necessitated by circumstances considering the proximity of the parties’ residences or places of employment.”4

“Family violence” is defined to include “but is not limited to physical or sexual abuse and any offense against the person as defined in the Criminal Code of Louisiana, except negligent injuring and defamation, committed by one parent against the other parent or against any of the children.”5

Injunction against abuse in proceeding for divorce

“In a proceeding for divorce, a court may grant an injunction prohibiting a spouse from physically or sexually abusing the other spouse or a child of either of the parties.”6

Domestic violence protective order

An adult alleging abuse by the defendant may petition for a domestic violence7 protective order. Any parent, adult household member, or district attorney may petition for a domestic violence protective order on behalf of a any minor child or any person alleged to be incompetent alleging abuse by the defendant.8

“Domestic abuse” is defined to include “but is not limited to physical or sexual abuse and any offense against the person, physical or non-physical … except negligent injury and defamation, committed by one family member, household member, or dating partner against another.”9

“Family member” is defined to include:

  1. Spouses and former spouses;
  2. Parents and children;
  3. Stepparents, stepchildren; and
  4. Foster parents, and foster children.10

“Household member” is defined as “any person presently or formerly living in the same residence with the defendant and who is involved or has been involved in a sexual or intimate relationship with the defendant[.]”11

“Dating partner” is defined as “any person who is involved or has been involved in a sexual or intimate relationship with the offender characterized by the expectation of affectionate involvement independent of financial considerations, regardless of whether the person presently lives or formerly lived in the same residence with the offender.”12

Removal Process

Upon the issuance of a permanent post-separation family violence protective order, an injunction against abuse in proceeding for divorce or a domestic violence protective order“the judge shall order the transfer of all firearms and the suspension of a concealed handgun permit of the person who is subject to the injunction or order[.]”13

At the time of such order, the court shall “cause all of the following to occur:

  1. Require the person to state in open court or complete an affidavit stating the number of firearms in his possession and the location of all firearms in his possession.
  2. Require the person to complete a firearm information form that states the number of firearms in the person’s possession, the serial number of each firearm, and the location of each firearm.
  3. Transmit a copy of the order to transfer firearms and a copy of the firearm information form to the sheriff of the parish or the sheriff of the parish of the person’s residence.”14

The court shall order the defendant, within 48 hours of the issuance of the order, to:

  1. Transfer all firearms in their possession to the sheriff; and
  2. Send copy of the order and firearm information form to the sheriff.15

At the time of transfer, the sheriff and the defendant shall complete a proof of transfer form.16 The sheriff shall retain a copy of the form and provide a copy to the defendant.17 If the defendant does not possess firearms or own firearms, the defendant shall complete a declaration of nonpossession form.18

The defendant must file the copy of the proof of transfer form or declaration of nonpossession form with the clerk of court of the parish in which the order was issued within 5 days of transferring their firearms.19

Once a firearm or firearms has been transferred to the Sheriff, the defendant may opt to have a third party, who does not live with the defendant at the time of transfer, receive and hold the transferred firearms.20 Such third party shall complete a firearms acknowledgment form that, at a minimum:

  1. Informs the third party of the relevant state and federal laws;
  2. Lists the consequences for noncompliance; and
  3. Asks if the third party is able to lawfully possess a firearm.21

The sheriff shall determine the manner in which firearms shall be transferred to the third party.22 If the sheriff transfers firearms to a third party, the sheriff “shall advise the third party that return of the firearm to the person before the person is able to lawfully possess the firearms pursuant to state or federal law may result in the third party being charged with a crime.”23

“The sheriff shall keep a record of all transferred firearms including but not limited to the name of the person transferring the firearm, date of the transfer, the manufacturer, model, serial number, and the manner in which the firearm is stored.”24

Storage and Fees for Storage

For each firearm transferred to the sheriff, the sheriff shall offer the following options to the defendant:

  1. Allow a third party to receive and hold transferred firearms as detailed above;
  2. Store the transferred firearms in a storage facility with which the sheriff has contracted for the storage of transferred firearms;
  3. Oversee the legal sale of the transferred firearms to a third party; or
  4. The sheriff may receive and hold transferred firearms.25

The sheriff may charge a reasonable fee for:

  1. The storage of firearms in a storage facility with which the sheriff has contracted;
  2. Overseeing the legal sale of the transferred firearms;
  3. Storing the transferred firearms themselves.26

The sheriff shall not be liable for damage to transferred firearms except for cases of willful or wanton misconduct or gross negligence, though the sheriff shall “exercise due care to preserve the quality and function of all firearms transferred[.]”27 The sheriff shall also not be liable for damage caused by the third party to whom the firearms were transferred.28

Return of Firearms

When the defendant is no longer prohibited from possessing a firearm under state or federal law, they may file a motion with the court seeking an order for the return of the transferred firearms.29 If the court, upon reviewing the motion, determines that the defendant is no longer prohibited from possessing a firearm under state or federal law, the court shall order the transferred firearms to be returned to the defendant.30 Such order shall include the date on which the defendant is no longer prohibited from possessing a firearm and a copy shall be forwarded to the sheriff.31

A sheriff or third party to whom firearms were transferred may not return a transferred firearm to the defendant before receiving an order from the court.32

Penalties for Violation

Upon a first conviction for violation of a post-separation family violence protective order, an injunction against abuse in proceeding for divorce or a domestic violence protective order, “which does not involve a battery or any crime of violence … against the person protected by the protective order, the offender shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned for not more than six months, or both.”33

Upon a second or subsequent conviction for violation of a post-separation family violence protective order, an injunction against abuse in proceeding for divorce or a domestic violence protective order, “which does not involve a battery or any crime of violence …against the person protected by the protective order, regardless of whether the current offense occurred before or after the earlier convictions, the offender shall be fined not more than one thousand dollars and imprisoned with or without hard labor for not less than fourteen days nor more than two years.”34

A person who is convicted for violation of a post-separation family violence protective order, an injunction against abuse in proceeding for divorce or a domestic violence protective order “where the violation involves a battery or any crime of violence … against the person for whose benefit the protective order is in effect, shall be fined not more than one thousand dollars and imprisoned with or without hard labor for not less than three months nor more than two years.”35

A person who is convicted for violation of a post-separation family violence protective order, an injunction against abuse in proceeding for divorce or a domestic violence protective order “where the violation involves a battery or any crime of violence … against the person for whose benefit the protective order is in effect, and who has a conviction of violating a protective order or of an assault or battery upon the person for whose benefit the protective order is in effect during the five-year period prior to commission of the instant offense, regardless of whether the instant offense occurred before or after the earlier convictions, the offender shall be fined not more than two thousand dollars and imprisoned with or without hard labor for not less than one year nor more than five years.”36

This page was updated September 6, 2018. Please note that data used are the most recent available data.