I do not have a protection order against the abuser, and s/he has not been convicted of any crimes, is there anything I can do?
It depends. In Washington, even if you don't have a protection order that prohibits the abuser from having a gun and the abuser has not been convicted of any crime, the following people cannot possess or buy a gun:
- someone who has been involuntarily committed for mental health treatment;
- a person under 18 years of age who does not qualify for an exception; or
- someone pending trial, appeal, or sentencing for a “serious offense.”* For more information on what crimes are considered “serious offenses,” see I am a victim of domestic violence and the abuser has a gun. Is that legal?
If none of these situations apply, you can still make a plan for your safety. See our Staying Safe page for more information. You can also contact your local domestic violence organization for additional help. You may want to talk to them about whether leaving the area - either long term or for a little while - might help improve your safety. See our WA Advocates and Shelters page to find a local domestic violence organization near you.
For additional information on gun laws in Washington, you can go to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence website.
* RCW § 9.41.040(2)(a)(iii),(iv),(v)