Under the Federal Gun Control Act of 1968 and passage of the Lautenberg Amendment, individuals who have been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence in state or federal court are generally prohibited from possessing firearms. The enacted statute defines a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence as any state, federal, or tribal misdemeanor that involves “the use or attempted use of physical force, or the threatened use of a deadly weapon.” The addition of the Lautenberg Amendment greatly increased the breadth of coverage provided under federal law, removing a previously existing exemption for police and military personnel as well as applying retroactively, prohibiting any persons convicted of qualifying misdemeanors at any time from purchasing, possessing, or transferring a firearm.

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