I have a protective order against the abuser. Can s/he keep a gun or buy a new gun?
No. According to federal law, if you have a protective order that was issued by an Oklahoma civil court against the abuser (and meets federal requirements), s/he cannot have a gun in his possession, or buy a new gun.*
In order for your protective order order to qualify under federal law, the defendant (person who the protective 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; and
- Be an "intimate partner" of the victim, which includes:
- A current or former spouse;
- A person with whom you share a child; or
- A person you live with or have lived with in the past.
If your protective order order has expired, it is no longer a valid order under federal law, which means the firearm ban also does not apply. In addition, Oklahoma state law says that a person subject to a protective order order cannot have a gun for up to three (3) years from the date the order is issued, or sixty (60) days from the date the order is canceled.**
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. See OK Places that Help to find a program in your area.
* 18 USC § 922(g)(8)
** 21 O.S. § 1290.11(A)(8)
*** 18 USC § 925(a)(1)