Firearm restrictions related to domestic violence vary by state

State laws regarding the possession and purchase of firearms and ammunition by people convicted of domestic violence crimes vary. Under federal law, these things are prohibited. Further, federal law mandates that those convicted of domestic violence surrender all firearms currently in their possession.

Kentucky’s state laws aren’t as stringent as federal law. People convicted of domestic violence misdemeanor crimes aren’t prohibited from possessing guns or ammunition, nor are they required to surrender them.

Those subject to protective orders that are related to domestic violence aren’t prohibited from buying or possessing guns. However, their license to carry a concealed weapon will be suspended. Further, anyone who takes out one a protective order can request that they be notified if the subject of that order purchases a gun.

The laws in Tennessee regarding the possession of firearms by those convicted of domestic violence or who are the subject of protective orders are considerably more stringent. Anyone convicted of a domestic violence offense may be prohibited from possessing a firearm. So may anyone who is the subject of a protective order as defined under federal law.

They must also surrender any weapons in their possession. They may surrender them to a third party as long as that person is legally allowed to possess a gun.

If you are facing an order of protection or have been convicted of a domestic violence-related crime, regardless of which state you live in, you don’t want to make the situation worse by illegally possessing or purchasing a firearm. Criminal defense attorneys licensed to practice in the state where you live can advise you of any restrictions regarding firearms so that you don’t make the situation worse for yourself.

Source: Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, “Domestic Violence & Firearms in Kentucky,” accessed Jan. 13, 2016

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