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Legal Information: Pennsylvania

State Gun Laws

Updated: 
February 5, 2020

I have an ex parte temporary PFA order against the abuser. Can s/he have a gun?

The judge can order the abuser’s guns to be taken away in an ex parte temporary PFA order if based on your petition, the judge believes that:

  1. during the abuse, a firearm or other weapon was used; or
  2. there is an immediate and present danger of abuse. To determine whether an “immediate and present danger of abuse” exists, the judge will consider a number of factors, including, but not limited to:
  • if the temporary PFA order will protect you without ordering the abuser to give up his/her guns;
  • whether the abuser has violated a PFA order in the past;
  • whether past or present abuse to the you or your children resulted in injury;
  • whether the abuse occurred in public;
  • whether the abuse included:
    • threats of abuse or suicide;
    • killing or threatening to kill pets;
    • an escalation (increase) of violence;
    • stalking or obsessive behavior;
    • sexual violence; or
    • drug or excessive alcohol use.1

Therefore, if any of these factors apply to your situation, be sure to include this information in your petition and specifically mention that you want the abuser’s guns to be removed.

If there is no specific mention of a firearm restriction in your temporary order, then you may have to wait until you are given a final PFA order.

1 23 Pa.C.S.A. § 6107(b)(3)