Legal Information: Federal

Federal Gun Laws

Updated: 
February 25, 2016

The abuser has a gun. Is that legal?

Under federal law, there are two situations that make it illegal for the abuser to buy, own or have a gun in his/her possession.

First, if the abuser has been convicted of a felony or a domestic violence misdemeanor, s/he can never legally buy, own or have a gun.1

Second, if you have a final order of protection against the abuser (assuming the order meets certain requirements), it is illegal for the abuser to buy, own, or have a gun in his/her possession during the period of time that you have the order of protection.2  Read I have a final order of protection against the abuser. Can his/her gun be taken away? to find out more.

Please note that this is a federal law, which is enforced and prosecuted by federal law enforcement.  However, many states have similar laws and have their own rules which may be stricter, or less strict.  Please check your state's rule on this website and/or talk to an advocate at a domestic violence organization in your area about whether state law or federal law may be of more help to you and how to report violations of these laws.

1 18 USC § 922(g)(1),(9)
2 18 USC § 922(g)(8)