If the abuser's gun is taken away, what will happen to it?
If the judge orders that the abuser’s gun be taken away as part of a protective order, s/he will have to give up any guns in his/her possession and will have to surrender any other guns to the law enforcement agency chosen by the judge within a reasonable amount of time.1 When the protective order expires, the abuser can go to the law enforcement agency that took the gun to get it back.
If the abuser’s gun is taken away by police at the scene of a domestic violence incident, which can happen whether or not the gun was used during the incident, the law enforcement officer will store the gun until the court proceedings related to the incident are over. When the case involving the domestic violence incident is over, the abuser can get the gun back unless s/he has been ordered to surrender the gun in a protection order2 or there is another legal reason that the gun cannot be returned – for example, if the abuser is convicted of a crime based on the domestic violence that would make gun possession illegal.
1 MD Code, Family Law §§ 4-505(a)(2)(viii); 4-506(f)
2 MD Code, Family Law § 4-511