Know the Laws: Maine
UPDATED November 28, 2012
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It depends. If your Protection from Abuse (PFA) order specifically states that your abuser cannot have a gun or buy a new gun, then s/he cannot have a gun. Maine state law says that if you are applying for a PFA order in Maine, the Judge can order your abuser not to have a gun or any other dangerous weapon while the PFA order is in effect.*
Also, Maine state law and Federal law say that if there is a Maine PFA order (or protection order from another state) issued by a civil court against your abuser and the order meets the requirements that are outlined in the Federal Firearm statute, your abuser cannot buy or have a gun.**
Note: It does not have to written on your PFA order that your abuser cannot have a gun in order for the Federal Firearm law to apply.
In order for your PFA order to qualify under Federal law, the defendant (person who the PFA is against) must:
Yes. Even if your abuser is not an "intimate partner" according to the Federal definition, you can still ask the Judge to order that your abuser cannot have or buy a gun.* However, if the Judge does not agree to do so, then your abuser may still be able to have a gun.
* ME Statute: Title 19-A, Section 4007
While it does not need to be written on your PFA order that your abuser cannot buy or have a gun in order for the Federal law to be enforced, it may make it easier if it is written. Not all law enforcement officers are familiar with the Federal law, which means it may be more difficult to have your abuser's guns taken away if there is nothing written on your order that says your abuser cannot have a gun.
There are a couple steps you can take to help make enforcement easier:
It also may be helpful if the judge explains what will happen to the abuser's guns, who will take them, and where they will be held once you leave the courthouse. If the judge agrees to order that your abuser cannot keep his guns while the PFA order is in effect, you may also want to ask that the judge:
Maybe. Your abuser does not have to come to the hearing in order for the law to apply to him, but he does have to be given notice of the hearing and an opportunity to attend.*
If no hearing is scheduled, and/or no notice is given about the PFA order, then the federal firearm law might not apply to your abuser.**
* United States v. Bunnell 106 F. Supp. 2d 60 (D. Me. 2000), aff'd 280 F. 3d 46 (1st Cir. 2002)
** United States v. Spruill 292 F. 3d 207 (5th Cir. 2002)
Maybe. Maine State Law allows a judge to order that the defendant (the person who the order is against) cannot have guns while subject to a Temporary Protection from Abuse order. It is up to the judge to decide whether or not this protection is necessary. If the judge sees your abuser's firearm as a serious enough threat, the judge might decide to order that your abuser give up his gun(s) before the permanent court hearing. You can ask the Judge to do this.
If your Temporary PFA does not prohibit your abuser from having guns, your abuser can most likely keep his guns until a permanent order is issued. Under Federal law, a defendant's gun(s) generally cannot be taken away until a permanent order is in place.*
* There are exceptions, but these are rare. See United States v. Calor 172 F. Supp. 2d 900 (E.D. Ky. 2001), aff'd, 340 F. 3d 428 (6th Cir. 2003)