Overview of the Issue
Firearms and Domestic Violence
The Gun Control Act Of 1968, The Violence Against Women Act (1994), and The
Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act Of 1997.
- The Gun Control Act of 1968, (18 U.S.C. Section
221(g), states that it shall be unlawfulfor a certain class of persons
to possess firearmsand that any such possession shall be a felony. Persons
in this class are:
- Convicted felons.
- Users or persons addicted to controlled substances.
- Persons adjudicated as mental defective or have been committed to any mental institution.
- Illegal aliens.
- Persons dishonorably discharged from the Armed Forces.
- Persons who have renounced their citizenship.
Exempted from the possession clause of the Gun Control Act of 1968 were agencies of theUnited States or any department or agency thereof or State or any department, agency, or political subdivision thereof.
- The Omnibus Crime Bill of 1994, a subsection
of which is the Violence Against Women Act, amended the Gun Control Act (18 USC 922(g) by adding two
more classes ofpersons to the list of persons prohibited frompossessing firearms.
- A person who is subject to a court order that restrains such person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner.
- A person who has been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.
Note: The exemption for government agencies still applied in 1994 with the passage of the Violence Against Women Act.
- The Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act of 1997(The Lautenberg Bill).
Effective September 30, 1996, the exception granted under (18 U.S.C. Section 922(g) does not apply to persons subject to a family protection order or convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.