Does having an Order for Protection against me let me keep my guns?

Hunting and enjoying the outdoors are ways of life especially in Minnesota.  Having an Order for Protection against someone can have a serious impact on his or her ability to keep guns whether for sport or personal protection.

An Order for Protection activates a specific federal statute, 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(8), prohibiting a person who has an Order for Protection against him or her from owning or possessing a firearm.  This statute specifically states it is unlawful for any person to own or possess a firearm:

(8) who is subject to a court order that:

(A) was issued after a hearing of which such person received actual notice, and at which such person had an opportunity to participate;

(B) restrains such person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner of such person or child of such intimate partner or person, or engaging in other conduct that would place an intimate partner in reasonable fear of bodily injury to the partner or child; and

(C) (i) includes a finding that such person represents a credible threat to the physical safety of such intimate partner or child; or

          (ii) by its terms explicitly prohibits the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against such intimate partner or child that would reasonably be expected to cause bodily injury; or

Thus, an Order for Protection that includes a finding that the person who is violent represents a threat to the person applying for the Order for Protection or the court orders a person cannot use force against the victim, then the alleged violent person cannot possess firearms.

The person who has the Order for Protection against him or her must (1) receive actual notice of the hearing and (2) was given the chance to participate in the court hearing. What if the person who has the Order for Protection against him or her chooses to not go to the court hearing?  The answer is this.  That person cannot avoid the firearm ban simply by not attending the hearing.  The federal law will prohibit firearm possession and ownership by the mere fact he or she received actual notice, for example the Order for Protection application which has a hearing date on it.

The prohibition against firearms ends when the Order for Protection ends.

Law enforcement and military personnel are exempt from this federal law.

If you have questions about Orders for Protection, contact experienced family law attorney Jessica L. Sterle at (218) 722-2655 to schedule a consultation.