I have a PPO against the abuser. Can s/he keep a gun or buy a new gun?
Probably not. According to MI state and federal law, if you have a PPO that was issued by a state civil court against the abuser that meets federal law requirements, the abuser cannot have a gun in his/her possession or buy a new gun.*
In order for your PPO to qualify under federal law, the defendant (person who the order is against) must:
- Be served (given) notice of the court hearing. In other words, the defendant must have been given paperwork that told him or her about the hearing.
- Have an opportunity to attend the court hearing. Note: The abuser does not have to be at the hearing, but s/he has to have the opportunity to come to the hearing.
- Be an "intimate partner" of the victim, which includes:
- A current or former spouse
- A person with whom you share a child
- A person you live with or have lived with in the past.**
If your PPO has expired, it is no longer a valid order under federal law, which means the firearm ban also does not apply. The expiration date must be stated clearly on the order.***
Note: This law may not apply to law enforcement officials, military personnel, and other government employees who use guns while performing official duties.**** If the abuser is a police officer, member of the military, or someone else who uses a gun for his/her job, talk to your local domestic violence program about your options. To find a shelter or an advocate at a local program, please visit our MI Advocates and Shelters page.
* 18 USC § 922(g)(8); Mich. Laws § 28.425b(7)(d)(iii)
** 18 USC § 921(a)(32)
*** Mich. Laws § 600.2950(11)(d)
**** 18 USC § 925(a)(1)