Lautenburg Amendment

Lautenburg Overview

militarydefenseattorneys9.55.33 PM copy18 U.S.C. § 922(d) prohibits the transfer of “any firearm or ammunition to any person whom you know or have reasonable cause to believe . . . has been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.”

18 U.S.C. § 922(g) prohibits “any person . . . who has been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence . . . to receive any firearm or ammunition which has been shipped in interstate or foreign commerce.” 
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Violations of either prohibition are punishable by 10 years confinement, $250,000 fine, or both. 18 U.S.C. § 924(a)(2).

18 U.S.C. § 925 formerly exempted “any firearm or ammunition imported for, sold or shipped to, or issued for the use of, the United States or any department or agency thereof.” This “federal exemption” has been eliminated for individuals “convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.”

Elements of a “Misdemeanor Crime of Domestic Violence,” 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(33).

  1. The person was convicted of a crime classified as a misdemeanor in the jurisdiction where the conviction was entered.
  2. The offense had as an element the use or attempted use of physical force, or threatened use of a deadly weapon.
  3. The offender was at the time of the offense:
    • A current or former spouse, parent or guardian of the victim;
    • A person with whom the victim shared a child in common;
    • A person who was cohabiting with or has cohabited with the victim as a spouse, parent or guardian of the victim;
    • A person who was similarly situated to a spouse, parent, or guardian of victim.
  4. The convicted offender was represented by counsel, or knowingly and intelligently waived the right to counsel.
  5. If entitled to have the case tried by jury, the case was actually tried by a jury or the person knowingly and intelligently waived the right to have the case tried by a jury.
  6. The conviction has not been expunged or set aside, or the convicted offender has not been pardoned for the offense or had civil rights restored, unless the pardon, expungement, or restoration of civil rights provides that the offender may not ship, transport, possess, or receive firearms.