I am a victim of domestic violence and the abuser has a gun. Is that legal?
In terms of domestic violence, in particular, if a person used a firearm (or had it in his/her possession) while committing domestic violence, any of the following could apply:
- as part of a final protective order (in civil court), the judge can prohibit the abuser from using firearms and order the abuser to surrender his/her firearms;
- as part of a law enforcement officer’s investigation of a crime involving domestic violence, the officer can temporarily take (seize) any firearms owned or in the possession of the abuser in case they are needed for evidence; or
- as part of the sentencing for being convicted of a crime involving domestic violence, the judge must order the weapon used to be taken away (forfeited).1
It is also illegal for someone to have a firearm that is small enough to be carried as a concealed weapon if s/he was convicted of a felony or was found “delinquent” as a minor for an act that would be a felony if committed by an adult.However, it is no longer illegal if ten years have passed since the person completed any jail sentence, parole, and probation. This applies to all felonies and for most juvenile convictions 2
In addition, under Alaska law, a person cannot get a permit to carry a concealed handgun if s/he:
- is under age 21;
- has been convicted of two or more class A misdemeanors (in any state) within the past six years;
- is currently, or has been within the past three years, ordered by a court to complete an alcohol or substance abuse treatment program.3 (It is also a crime to have a firearm in your possession while your physical or mental condition is impaired due to alcohol or drugs.)4
If any of these situations apply to the abuser, it may be illegal for him/her to have a gun. Also, federal laws, which apply to all states, may restrict an abuser’s right to have a gun. Go to Federal Gun Laws to get more information.
1 Alaska Statute §§ 12.55.015(f); 18.66.100(c)(6), (c)(7); 18.65.515(b)
2 Alaska Statute §§ 11.61.200(a)(1), (b)(1)(c); 12.55.185(18)
3 Alaska Statute § 18.65.705(1), (4), (5)
4 Alaska Statute §§ 11.61.210(a)(1); 11.61.200(a)(7)