Is there anything I can do to make it more likely that the abuser's gun is taken away when I get an Order of Protection?
Here are a few things that may help:
- If the abuser has a gun, tell the judge how many guns s/he has, and if s/he has ever threatened you with a gun(s).
- Ask the judge to specifically write in your order of 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 of protection will have a place to ask that the abuser’s gun(s) be taken away. Make sure you ask for it.
- Before leaving the courthouse, check to make sure that the gun restriction is written on your order.
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 of 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.
- Order that the police notify you when the guns are returned to the abuser.2
1 Americans for Gun Safety; "Domestic Violence and Guns: A Guide to Laws that can Remove Guns from a Domestic Abuser." Note: This organization is now called Third Way, and no longer publishes this article on their site.