How states are trying to help
State laws passed during the past two years that are intended to make it harder for people convicted or suspected of domestic violence to access firearms:
Alabama: Republican Gov. Robert Bentley approved a measure banning possession of firearms by those convicted of domestic violence offenses, stalking or child abuse, as well as by some individuals who are subject to domestic abuse protection orders.
Delaware: Democratic Gov. Jack Markell signed a bill in October that bans people who commit misdemeanor domestic violence crimes against their current or former dating partners or roommates from possessing guns for five years. The law, which goes into effect Jan. 1, 2017, also will require certain people who are subject to protective orders to surrender their weapons within 24 hours.
Louisiana: Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal signed a law in 2014 that prohibits firearm possession for those convicted of "domestic abuse battery" for 10 years after the completion of the sentence. The law also prohibits some people who are subject to domestic violence protective orders from owning guns.
Maine: A law passed in 2015 prohibits people who are convicted of domestic violence crimes from owning guns for five years after completion of their sentences. Legislators overrode a veto by Republican Gov. Paul LePage, who said the ban wasn't long enough.
Massachusetts: Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick signed a law in 2014 that prohibits individuals convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors from buying or owning firearms.
Minnesota: Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton signed a law in 2014 banning gun ownership among those who are subject to domestic abuse and child abuse protective orders. It also requires removal or surrender of their firearms.
Nevada: Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval approved a change in 2015 that prohibits people who are convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence crimes and those who are subject to protective orders from buying and owning guns.
New Hampshire: Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan signed a law in 2014 that made domestic violence a specific crime, which triggers the loss of firearms rights upon conviction.
Oregon: Democratic Gov. Kate Brown signed a law in 2015 that bans gun possession by individuals convicted of force and threats of force against relatives. The law also prohibits individuals who are subject to stalking and domestic violence protective orders from owning firearms.
South Carolina: Republican Gov. Nikki Haley signed a law in 2015 that prohibits those convicted of domestic violence from possessing firearms and ammunition, for several years or for life depending on the severity of the crime.
Vermont: Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin signed a law in 2015 that prohibits individuals convicted of domestic assault, stalking, and sexual assault from owning firearms.
Washington: Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee signed a law in 2014 that makes those subject to certain protective orders ineligible to own and purchase firearms.
Wisconsin: Republican Gov. Scott Walker signed a law in 2014 designed to ensure that those who are subject to domestic violence restraining and protective orders surrender their firearms.