Legal Information: District of Columbia

State Gun Laws

Updated: 
May 10, 2016

I have a temporary (ex parte) protection order against the abuser. Can his/her gun be taken away?

Maybe, but not likely.  Washington, D.C. law does not prohibit an abuser who has a temporary protection order against him/her from possessing a firearm.  However, you may be able to request in your petition for a temporary protection order that the judge prohibit the abuser from possessing a gun while the order is in effect since there is a section where the petitioner can request additional protections.  It may be helpful if you list the known firearms that s/he has (or the possible access to firearms) and specifically request in your paperwork that the abuser be prohibited from possessing firearms while your temporary order is in effect.

Federal law may also prohibit the abuser from having a firearm while a temporary order is in effect unless the judge gave you an ex parte temporary protection order (without advance notice to the abuser), which is commonly done.  However, if the judge scheduled a court hearing and gave notice of the hearing to the abuser before giving you the temporary protection order, it is possible that it is illegal for him/her to have a gun under federal law.  The protection order must also meet certain other requirements, though.  Read I have a final order of protection against the abuser. Can his/her gun be taken away? (in our Federal Gun Laws section) to find out more.