I have a temporary protective order against the abuser. Can his/her gun be taken away?
Alaska state law does not allow a judge to order the removal of the guns as part of an emergency protective order or a temporary ex parte order. Removal of guns can only be ordered as part of a final protective order.1
In addition, under federal law, if the judge gave you an ex parte temporary protective order (which means that no advance notice was given to the abuser), which is commonly done, it could still be LEGAL for him/her to have a gun under federal law. However, if the judge scheduled a court hearing and gave notice of the hearing to the abuser before giving you the temporary protective order, it is possible that it is ILLEGAL for him/her to have a gun under federal law.2
1 Alaska Statute §§ 18.66.110(a); 18.66.100(c)(6), (c)(7)
2 18 USC § 922(g)(8)
I have a final protective order against the abuser. Can s/he keep a gun or buy a new gun?
Under Alaska state law, the judge can prohibit the abuser from using firearms and order the abuser to surrender his/her firearms as part of a final protective order.1
In addition, federal laws, which apply to all states, restrict a person's right to have a gun under certain circumstances, including when there is an order of protection that was issued after notice to the abuser and a hearing. Go to Federal Gun Laws to get more information.
1 Alaska Statute § 18.66.100(c)(6), (c)(7)
Is there anything I can do to make it more likely that the abuser's gun is taken away when I get a protective order?
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.