WomensLaw is not just for women. We serve and support all survivors, no matter their sex or gender.

Legal Information: Federal

Domestic Violence in the Military

View all
June 25, 2013

Will the military take away the abuser's firearms?

If the abuser is a member of the military or is a civilian employee of the military and has:

  • a misdemeanor or felony conviction for a crime of domestic violence in a civilian court, or
  • a conviction for a crime of domestic violence at a general or special court-martial,

then the military can:

  • take any government-issued firearms and ammunition, and
  • suspend the individual’s authority to possess government-issued firearms and ammunition.1

The military will not take away firearms for:

  • summary court-martial convictions,
  • nonjudicial punishment,
  • deferred prosecutions in civilian courts, or
  • determinations of "substantiated" abuse by the FAP Case Review Committees.1

Since MPOs are issued administratively by the commander, they are considered "nonjudicial." So, if you have an MPO, the military will not take away the abuser's firearms unless s/he also has a conviction of domestic violence.1

Note: It is also important to note that this removal of guns is not always enforced.

1 See Family Advocacy Program Commander's Guide, pages 39 to 45