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Legal Information: Federal


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June 25, 2013

Will the military take away the abuser's firearms?

If the abuser is a member of the military or is a civilian employee of the military and has:

  • a misdemeanor or felony conviction for a crime of domestic violence in a civilian court, or
  • a conviction for a crime of domestic violence at a general or special court-martial,

then the military can:

  • take any government-issued firearms and ammunition, and
  • suspend the individual’s authority to possess government-issued firearms and ammunition.*

The military will not take away firearms for:

  • summary court-martial convictions,
  • nonjudicial punishment,
  • deferred prosecutions in civilian courts, or
  • determinations of "substantiated" abuse by the FAP Case Review Committees.*

Since MPOs are issued administratively by the commander, they are considered "nonjudicial." So, if you have an MPO, the military will not take away the abuser's firearms unless s/he also has a conviction of domestic violence.*

Note: It is also important to note that this removal of guns is not always enforced.

* See Family Advocacy Program Commander's Guide, pages 39 to 45