I have a temporary protective order against the abuser. Can s/he have a gun?
As part of a protective order case, a judge can specifically order that the abuser not buy or have a firearm in his/her possession. So, if this is ordered in your temporary protective order, the abuser cannot legally have a gun.1
However, if there is no specific mention of a firearm restriction in the temporary protective order, then it may still be legal for the abuser to have a gun under Oklahoma state law.
1 22 O.S. § 60.3(A)
I have a protective order against the abuser. Can s/he keep a gun or buy a gun?
Oklahoma state law does not automatically make it illegal for a person to have a gun if there is a protective order issued against him/her. A judge does have the option of including a firearm restriction in a protective order however. If there is a firearm restriction included in a protective order, then the respondent in that order cannot have a gun during the period of time that the order is in effect.1
In addition, in Oklahoma, a person subject to a protective order cannot get a handgun license, which is needed to carry a handgun, for three years from the date the order is issued even if the order expires before three years. However, if the order is canceled or dismissed by a court within those three years, then s/he does not have to wait three years. S/he can qualify for a handgun license to 60 days from the date the order is canceled or dismissed.2
Also, federal laws, which apply to all states, restrict a person’s right to have a gun under certain circumstances. Go to Federal Gun Laws to get more information.
Is there anything I can do to make it more likely that the abuser's gun is taken away when I get a protective order?
Depending on the judge in your case, there may be some things you can do to increase the chances that the judge will require that an abuser’s gun is taken away. Keep in mind these tips may or may not result in the outcome that you are hoping for. Every judge is different. However, here are a few suggestions that may help:
- If the abuser has a gun, tell the judge how many guns s/he has, and if s/he has ever shown you the guns or displayed them as a way to intimidate you and maintain control over you.
- Ask the judge to specifically write in your protective order that the abuser cannot own, buy or have a gun while the order is in effect. The form that you will have to fill out to petition for a protective order will have a place where you can request additional protections. You can ask that the abuser’s gun(s) be taken away in that section.
- 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. 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.
- If the gun restriction is granted, check to make sure that it is written on your order before leaving the courthouse.