Gun Rights and Domestic Violence Charges

The FBI said in a report that domestic abuse incidents increased by 10 percent in 2016. In response, several laws were instated to protect potential victims from all forms of assault. Now, ‘assault’ and domestic violence are a little different than the layman’s idea.

According to federal institutions, domestic abuse or intimate partner violence can be anything from physical, verbal, emotional, sexual, or economic abuse to threats of abuse. All of which, can land you in some rather lengthy legal battles with state and federal agencies, provided your actions fall beneath these banners.

Changes to federal gun laws have been in the news recently. Here’s a breakdown of some revised regulations focused on felons and domestic abuse offenders.

Gun Rights for DV-Charged Citizens

The Domestic Violence Offender Gun Ban was signed into law nearly ten years ago to keep more guns out of the hands of domestic abusers. And for a decade, it worked—until people started exploiting a loophole that required proof of cohabitation. The so-called boyfriend loophole allowed abusers who weren’t related to their victims to buy guns legally if they weren’t married or living together.

However, due to a recent bill, convicted domestic abusers can no longer purchase firearms. What was once known as the “boyfriend loophole”, is closed. Any abuser regardless of the relationship with the victim cannot legally own a firearm.

The downside to this law is for those who pled out of federal charges. If you have a misdemeanor conviction on your record, you may not be able to own a gun, even if the crime was minor. Even if a person’s misdemeanor conviction is no longer on the record, they are still prohibited from owning a gun under state and federal law.

Such cases can be significant headaches for those who have moved away from their colored pasts. Thankfully, for some, there might be a helpful exception.

Potential Time-Lapse Exceptions in Domestic Violence

There are a few exceptions to the general rule that prohibits people from owning guns after a domestic violence conviction, even though many people believe there should be no gun ownership allowed for individuals convicted of a domestic violence act.

If a person is subject to a domestic violence or harassment restraining order, the prohibition on gun ownership may only be temporary while the order is in effect. In those instances, they will be required to relinquish their firearms. This can be either to law enforcement or a registered dealer for safekeeping.

Sometimes restraining orders are lifted or modified so victims can get their guns back. Suppose a citizen wants to give themself the ability to own firearms again. In that case, they can make an appointment with a local dealer to file a “Destruction of Records” form to ensure that gun records are destroyed. It is imperative that this paperwork be done in person and not over the phone, as there have been cases where individuals have tried to file these forms over the telephone with little success. If you need further legal advice on such subjects, contact us at The Bantner Firm.