I have an order of protection against the abuser. Can s/he have or buy gun?
Although Wyoming does not have specific gun restrictions that apply when an order of protection is in place, you can still ask the judge to include a provision in your order that forbids the abuser to have, own, or buy a gun. The judge is allowed to grant “other injunctive relief” that is necessary to protect you, which can include gun restrictions.1
There is a box on both the ex parte order of protection form and the final order of protection form which allows the judge to order that the abuser cannot have or buy a gun.2 If the judge includes gun restrictions in your order, then it may be unlawful for the abuser to have or buy a gun. In addition, federal law, which applies to all states, makes it illegal to have a firearm when a final order of protection is in place. Go to Federal Gun Laws to get more information.
Is there anything I can do to make it more likely that the abuser's gun is taken away when I get an order of protection?
Depending on the judge in your case, there may be some things you can do to increase the chances that the judge will require that an abuser’s guns are taken away. Keep in mind these tips may or may not result in the outcome that you are hoping for. Every judge is different. However, here are a few suggestions that may help:
- If the abuser has a gun, tell the judge how many guns s/he has, and if s/he has ever shown you the guns or displayed them as a way to intimidate you and maintain control over you.
- Ask the judge to specifically write in your protective order that the abuser cannot own, buy or have a gun while the order is in effect. The form that you will have to fill out to petition for a protective order will have a place where you can request additional protections. You can ask that the abuser’s gun(s) be taken away in that section.
- It also may be helpful if the judge explains what will happen to the abuser’s guns, who will take them, and where they will be held once you leave the courthouse. If the judge agrees to add language that the abuser cannot keep his/her guns while the protection order is in effect, you may also want to ask that the judge:
- require the abuser to give his/her guns to the police, or require the police to go to the abuser’s house and get them;
- make it clear to both you and the abuser how long the guns will be kept away from the abuser; and
- order that the police notify you when the guns are returned to the abuser.
- If the gun restriction is granted, check to make sure that it is written on your order before leaving the courthouse.