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Legal Information: New Hampshire

State Gun Laws

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February 10, 2020

I have a Temporary/ Ex parte PO order against the abuser. Do I have to wait until I receive a permanent order before my abuser's gun is taken away?

Maybe. NH state law allows a judge to order your abuser to give up any guns or deadly weapons that s/he has while the temporary (ex parte) order is in place.1  The judge can also prohibit your abuser from buying a gun while the temporary order is in place, and may even issue a warrant to have your abuser’s home searched if there is reason to believe that the guns have not been given up.2  It will be up to a judge to decide if any of these orders are necessary for your safety.

If there is no specific mention of a firearm restriction in the temporary (ex parte) order, then you may have to wait until you are given a permanent order. Under federal law, if the judge gave you an ex parte temporary order of protection (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 of protection, 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 Protective Order against my abuser. Can s/he keep a gun or buy a new gun? to find out more.

1 N.H. Rev. Stat. 173-B:4(1)(a)(9)
2 N.H. Rev. Stat. 173-B:4(II)