What is a gun violence protective order?
A gun violence protective order is a civil court order that prohibits an individual (the “respondent”) from having firearms or ammunition in his/her custody or control or from owning, buying, or receiving any firearms or ammunition.1
1 HI ST § 134-61
Who can file for a gun violence protective order?
You can file for a gun violence protective order if you are:
- a law enforcement officer;
- the respondent’s “family or household member;”
- a licensed doctor, advanced practice registered nurse, psychologist, or psychiatrist who has examined the respondent;
- an educator who works at a school or other learning institution to which the respondent has a connection; or
- the respondent’s co-worker.1
You are the respondent’s “family or household member” if you:
1. are the respondent’s:
- current or former spouse;
- current or former reciprocal beneficiary, which is someone with whom the respondent has a significant personal, emotional, and economic relationships but is prohibited from legally marrying;2
- relative by blood or adoption;
- current or former dating partner;1
2. have a child in common with the respondent; or
3. currently live or formerly lived with the respondent, including as an adult roommate or romantic partner.2
1 HI ST § 134-61
2 HI ST §§ 134-61; 572C-4
What types of orders are there? How long do they last?
There are two types of gun violence protective orders: ex parte orders and one-year orders.
Ex parte gun violence protective orders: The judge will issue an ex parte gun violence protective order if s/he finds that the respondent is at risk of harming him/herself by owning, buying, or receiving a firearm or ammunition or by having a firearm or ammunition in his/her custody or control. The respondent does not need to be in the courtroom or have notice of the case for you to get an ex parte order. The ex parte order will last until the court hearing for a one-year gun violence protective order, which will be scheduled within 14 days.1
One-year gun violence protective orders: The judge can issue a one-year gun violence protective order after the respondent receives notice and has the opportunity to be present for a hearing in court. At the hearing, the judge will decide if there is a significant danger that the respondent will cause bodily injury to him/herself or others by owning, buying, or receiving a firearm or ammunition or by having a firearm or ammunition in his/her custody or control. The order will last for one year.2
1 HI ST § 134–64(f), (i)
2 HI ST §§ 134-65(c); 134-61
What protections can I get in a gun violence protective order?
In a gun violence protective order, the judge can order that the respondent not:
- own, purchase, have, receive, or transfer ownership of any firearm or ammunition;
- attempt to purchase, receive, or transfer ownership of any firearm or ammunition; and
- have any firearm or ammunition in his/her custody or control.1
After the order is issued, the respondent will have a chance to voluntarily give up his/her firearms or ammunition. If the judge believes that the respondent has firearms or ammunition that s/he has not given up, the judge can issue a search warrant so that law enforcement can remove the firearms or ammunition.2
1 HI ST §§ 134–64(g)(1); 65(d)(1)
2 HI ST § 134–67(a), (d)