I have a protection order against the abuser. Can s/he keep a gun or buy a new gun?
Under Idaho state law, anyone who has a domestic violence protection order against him/her cannot get a license to carry concealed weapons. The law clarifies that the protection order must restrain him/her from harassing, stalking or threatening an intimate partner, his/her own child, or a child of the intimate partner; or restrain him/her from engaging in other conduct that would place an intimate partner in reasonable fear of bodily injury to the partner or a child.1
Federal laws, which apply to all states, restrict an abuser’s right to have a gun if you have a protection order against him/her that meets certain requirements even if the judge does not specifically include on the order that s/he cannot have a gun. Go to the Federal Gun Laws page to get more information.
1 ID Code § 18-3302(11)(m)
I have an ex parte temporary order against the abuser. Do I have to wait until I receive a final order before the abuser's gun is taken away?
Maybe. If the judge gave you an ex parte temporary 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 order, it is possible that it is ILLEGAL for him/her to have a gun under federal law. The order of protection must also meet certain other requirements, though. Read I have a protection order against the abuser. Can s/he keep a gun or buy a new gun? to find out more.
Is there anything I can do to make it more likely that the abuser's gun is taken away when I get a protection order?
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); and
- Ask the judge to specifically write in your protection order that the abuser cannot own, buy or have a gun while the order is in effect (although this may not be something that the judge will do under Idaho laws).
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 based on the federal law prohibition against possessing guns when a final protection order is in place. If the judge agrees to add language that the abuser cannot keep his/her guns while the protection order 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.