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Legal Information: Federal

Domestic Violence in the Military

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Laws current as of June 21, 2024

Will the military take away the abuser's firearms?

If the abuser has a misdemeanor conviction for domestic violence or a felony conviction in a civilian court, a conviction for most offenses at a general court-martial, or a conviction for domestic violence at a special court-martial, then it is unlawful for that person to possess firearms. Certain CPOs may also make it illegal for a person to possess a firearm.1 In these situations, the military will:

  • remove any government-issued firearms and ammunition;
  • suspend or take away the abuser’s right to have government-issued firearms and ammunition; and
  • tell the Service member to get rid of any personally owned firearms and ammunition due to it being illegal to have them.2

A Service member or civilian employee of the military can also be placed on a “do not arm” list for a variety of other reasons, which would temporarily prevent access to government-issued firearms. If they are not placed on a “do not arm” list, Service members may continue to use firearms in the line of duty even if subject to a CPO, but not following one of the criminal convictions mentioned above.3

If you have 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 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)
2 See Department of Defense Instruction 6400.06
3 18 U.S.C. §§ 925(a)(1); 922(d)(9), (g)(9)