I have a temporary order against the abuser. Can s/he have or buy a gun?
The law says that anyone who has a court order against them that says that the abuser cannot contact, threaten, or physically abuse the petitioner cannot have, control, or transfer any gun or ammunition.1 The abuser will have to give any guns that s/he has to law enforcement to hold onto while the order is active or s/he could be charged with a misdemeanor.2 If you temporary order has these restrictions, then the abuser likely cannot have a gun.
However, if there is a good reason shown for the abuser to have a gun and the temporary order specifically allows possession of a firearm, then the abuser may be allowed to have a gun.1
1 Haw. Rev. Stat. § 134-7(f)
2 Haw. Rev. Stat. § 134-7(g)
I have an order for protection against the abuser. Can s/he have a gun or buy a gun?
In Hawaii, if an order for protection says that the abuser cannot contact, threaten, or physically abuse you, then the abuser cannot have, control, or transfer any gun or ammunition. The abuser will have to give any guns s/he has to law enforcement to hold onto while the order is active or s/he could be charged with a misdemeanor.1
Additionally, if an abuser is not allowed to have a gun under federal gun laws, which may restrict an abuser’s ability to have a gun when a protection order is in place, then s/he cannot legally have or buy a gun under Hawaii’s laws.2
1 Haw. Rev. Stat. § 134-7(f), (g)
2 Haw. Rev. Stat. § 134-7(a)
Is there anything I can do to make it more likely that the abuser's gun is taken away when I get an order for protection?
Depending on the judge in your case, there may be some things you can do to increase the chances that the judge will require that an abuser’s guns are taken away. Keep in mind these tips may or may not result in the outcome that you are hoping for. Every judge is different. However, here are a few suggestions that may help:
- If the abuser has a gun, tell the judge how many guns s/he has, and if s/he has ever shown you the guns or displayed them as a way to intimidate you and maintain control over you.
- Ask the judge to specifically write in your order for protection that the abuser cannot own, buy or have a gun while the order is in effect. The form that you will have to fill out to petition for an order for protection will have a place where you can request additional protections. You can ask that the abuser’s gun(s) be taken away in that section.
- 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 add language that the abuser cannot keep his/her guns while the order for protection is in effect, you may also want to ask that the judge:
- require the abuser to give his/her guns to the police, or require the police to go to the abuser’s house and get them;
- make it clear to both you and the abuser how long the guns will be kept away from the abuser; and
- order that the police notify you when the guns are returned to the abuser.
- If the gun restriction is granted, check to make sure that it is written on your order before leaving the courthouse.