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Legal Information: Federal

Domestic Violence in the Military

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Updated: 
October 9, 2019

Will the military take away the abuser's firearms?

If the abuser has a misdemeanor or felony conviction for domestic violence in a civilian court, or a conviction for domestic violence at a general or special court-martial, then the military can:

  • remove any government-issued firearms and ammunition; and
  • suspend the abuser’s authority to possess government-issued firearms and ammunition.

This applies if the abuser is a member of the military or a civilian employee of the military.

The military will not take away firearms for:

  • summary court-martial convictions;
  • deferred prosecutions in civilian court;
  • determinations of “met criteria” abuse by the FAP Incident Determination Committee (IDC); or

nonjudicial punishment, including a military protective order (MPO). Note: Commanders can use their authority to limit the abuser’s access to firearms, but an MPO does not legally require the commander to do so.1

If you have obtained an MPO and you are concerned about the abuser’s access to firearms, you can work with your FAP victim advocate to create a safety plan to reduce your risk. You may also want to file for a civil protection order (CPO) which can make it illegal for the abuser to have firearms.

1 See Department of Defense Instruction 6400.06, May 26, 2017, Enclosure 2