I have a final injunction against the abuser. Can s/he keep a gun or buy a new gun?
It is illegal for the abuser to have a gun if you have a final injunction for protection against domestic violence or against stalking/cyberstalking against him/her, except if the abuser is a law enforcement officer, correctional officer or correctional probation officer.1 See I am a victim of domestic violence and the abuser has a gun. Is that legal? for more information.
This gun ban is only valid for the time that your injunction for protection is in effect. The expiration date for your injunction should be on page 2 of your injunction and may either specify a date or say that your injunction is good until further order of the court.
Federal laws, which apply to all states, also restrict an abuser’s right to have a gun if you have a restraining order against him that meets certain requirements. Go to Federal Gun Laws to get more information.
For ways to plan for your safety while you have a temporary injunction, you might want to talk to someone at your local domestic violence program about your options. See FL Advocates and Shelters to find a program in your area and visit our Staying Safe page for more information.
1 F.S.A. § 790.233(1)
I have an ex parte temporary injunction against the abuser. Do I have to wait until I receive a permanent restraining order before the abuser's gun is taken away?
Maybe. You can ask the judge to write in your temporary injunction that the abuser cannot have a gun while you are waiting for a full court hearing. There is a box for the judge to check under section #3, “Firearms” on the fourth page of the temporary order form. If the judge agrees, you can ask the judge to specify a way that the abuser has to surrender his/her weapons. (This can be written under section #3 (b) and (c)).
However, if there is no specific mention of a firearm restriction in the temporary order, then you may have to wait until you are given a permanent injunction, which, under Florida state law, must include a warning to the abuser that it is illegal to have a firearm or ammunition during the time that the permanent injunction is in effect.1
1 F.S.A. § 741.30(6)(g)
Is there anything I can do to make it more likely that the abuser's gun is taken away when I get an injunction for protection against domestic violence?
Florida state law says that anyone with a final injunction for protection against domestic violence or stalking/cyberstalking currently in effect against him/her cannot have or buy a firearm.1 By law, the final injunction for protection should state that it is against the law for the respondent to have any firearm or ammunition in his/her care, custody, possession, or control.2
However, here are a couple things you can ask for in court:
- 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 mark a check next to number 3(b) on page 3 of your injunction, and to write in the county sheriff’s office where the abuser has to surrender his/her guns.
- Before leaving the courthouse, check to make sure that this box is checked on your injunction.
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. The judge can add this information next to number 3(c) on page 3 of your injunction. Therefore, you may also want to ask that the judge:
- Require the police to go to the abuser’s house and get the guns.
- 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.
1 F.S.A. § 790.233(1)
2 F.S.A. § 741.30(6)(g)