I have an order of protection against the abuser. Can s/he keep a gun or buy a new gun?
It depends. If your order of protection specifically says that the abuser cannot have a gun or buy a new gun, then s/he cannot have a gun. In order for your order of protection to qualify under federal law, the defendant (the person who is the 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.
- Be an "intimate partner" of the victim, which includes:
- A current or former spouse
- A person with whom you share a child
- A person you live with or have lived with in the past
Note: If your order of protection has expired, it is no longer a valid order under federal law, which means the firearm ban also does not apply. The expiration date should be written at the bottom of page two on your order of protection.
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 their job, talk to your local domestic violence program about your options. See WY Places that Help to find a program in your area.
* 18 USC 921(a)(32)
** 18 USC Sec. 925(a)(1)
** 18 USC Sec. 925 (a)(1)