I have an emergency order of protection (EOP) against the abuser. Do I have to wait until I receive a permanent order before the abuser's gun is taken away?
It depends. Under AZ state law, you can ask the judge to write in your emergency order that the abuser cannot have a gun and if the judge believes that the abuser (defendant) may cause you physical injury or death, the judge can include in the emergency order that the abuser cannot have or buy a gun.1 Therefore, be sure to speak up and tell the judge your fears and ask that the guns be removed.
However, if there is no specific mention of a firearm restriction in the emergency order, then you may have to wait until you are given a permanent order. For the guns to be taken away in a permanent order, the judge only has to believe that the abuser is a threat to you or anyone else protected in the order.2
There could be a slight possibility that it may be illegal under federal law to have a firearm while there is a temporary order of protection. If the judge gave you an ex parte temporary order of protection (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 order of protection, it is possible that it is ILLEGAL for him/her to have a gun under federal law.3 The order of protection must also meet certain other requirements, though. Read I have a permanent order of protection against the abuser. Can s/he keep a gun or buy a new gun? to find out more.
While waiting for the court to issue you a permanent order, you can take steps to keep yourself safe. Please see our Safety Tips page for information on keeping safe, especially in rural areas.
1 A.R.S. § 13-3624(D)(4)
2 A.R.S. § 13-3602(G)(4)
3 18 USC § 922(g)(8)