I do not have a protective order against the abuser and s/he has not been convicted of a crime. Can s/he have a gun?
Louisiana residents are required to possess a valid concealed handgun permit issued by the state of Louisiana in order to carry a concealed handgun.1 In addition to the reasons that would make it illegal for a person to possess a firearm or carry a concealed weapon related to criminal convictions or protective orders, the following are are additional reasons why a person would not be able to get a permit to carry a concealed handgun:
- s/he is not a resident of the state;
- s/he is under age twenty-one;
- s/he is suffering from a mental or physical illness (infirmity) due to disease, illness, or intellectual disability that prevents the safe handling of a handgun;
- s/he has been committed, either voluntarily or involuntarily, for the abuse of drugs (a controlled dangerous substance) within the past five years prior to the date the application is submitted;
- s/he is presently charged under indictment or a “bill of information” for a drug-related misdemeanor;
- s/he frequently (chronically and habitually) drinks alcohol to such an extent that his/her normal abilities are damaged (impaired);
- s/he has been admitted, either voluntarily or involuntarily, for treatment as an alcoholic, within the five-year period immediately preceding the date on which the application is submitted, or at any time after the application is submitted;
- s/he is charged under indictment or a bill of information for any crime of violence or any crime punishable by imprisonment for a term of one year or greater (usually, a felony);
- s/he is a fugitive from justice;
- s/he is an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana, depressants, stimulants, or narcotic drugs;
- s/he has been found by a court to be mentally deficient;
- s/he has been committed to a mental institution;
- s/he is an undocumented immigrant;
- s/he was discharged from the Armed Forces of the United States with a discharge characterized as “Under Other than Honorable Conditions”, a “Bad Conduct Discharge”, or a “Dishonorable Discharge;”
- s/he has a history of engaging in violent behavior; Note: If within a ten-year period immediately before the date of the application, there is proof that either of the following are true, it will be assumed that the person has a “history of engaging in violent behavior”:
- the applicant was arrested or charged on three or more occasions for any “crime of violence;” or
- the applicant was arrested or charged on two or more occasions for any crime of violence that may be punished by death;
- s/he is ineligible to possess or receive a firearm under federal law (see The abuser has a gun. Is that legal? in our Federal Gun Laws section for more information); and
- s/he had a permit denied within one year prior to the most recent application or had a permit revoked within four years prior to the most recent application.2
However, even if the abuser cannot get a permit to carry a concealed handgun because of one of the above reasons, s/he may still be able to possess a firearm as long as it is not a handgun and it is not being carried in a hidden (concealed) way.
If none of these situations apply, you can still make a plan for your safety. See our Safety Tips page for more information. You can also contact your local domestic violence organization for additional help. You may want to talk to them about whether leaving the area - either long term or for a little while - might help improve your safety. See our LA Advocates and Shelters page to find a local domestic violence organization near you.
For additional information on gun laws in Louisiana, you can go to the Giffords Law Center website.
Also, federal laws, which apply to all states, restrict an abuser’s right to have a gun under other circumstances. Go to Federal Gun Laws to get more information.
1 LA R.S. 40:1379.3(B)(2)
2 LA R.S. 40:1379.3(C)
I've read through all of this information, and I am still confused. What can I do?
Trying to understand both federal and state law can be confusing, but there are people out there who can help you better understand the law and your rights under the law.
- You can also contact the National Center on Protection Orders and Full Faith & Credit to get more information about the federal firearm law and how it applies to you: 1-800-903-0111, ext. 2.
- You can contact a local domestic violence organization in your area - see our LA Advocates and Shelters page.
- You can write to our Email Hotline.