I am a victim of domestic violence and the abuser has a gun. Do I have legal options for getting the gun away from the abuser?
North Carolina law says that a person cannot have or buy a gun if s/he:
- Is on probation and does not have the court’s written permission to possess a firearm;1
- Has been convicted of a felony;2
- Has been found not guilty of a crime by reason of insanity;
- Has been determined to not have the mental capacity to proceed in a criminal case;3
- Is an illegal drug user or an addict;
- Has been found to be mentally incompetent by a judge or has been committed to any mental institution;
- Is an illegal immigrant in the United States or has renounced his or her citizenship; or
- Has been discharged from the armed forces under dishonorable conditions.4
If any of these situations apply to the abuser, it may be illegal for him/her to have a gun. Also, if you have a domestic violence protective order (DVPO) against the abuser, you can ask the judge to order that the abuser cannot have or buy a gun as part of the DVPO. Go to I have a domestic violence protective order (DVPO) against the abuser. Can s/he keep a gun or buy a new gun? for more information.
In addition, federal laws, which apply to all states, restrict an abuser’s right to have a gun if you have a restraining order against him/her that meets certain requirements. Go to Federal Gun Laws for more information.
1 NCGS § 15A-1343(b)(5)
2 NCGS § 14-415.1(a)
3 NCGS § 14-415.3(a)
4 NCGS § 14-404(c)