Research has proven that the presence of a gun increases the risk of an intimate partner homicide. In 2016, Virginia lawmakers enacted a law to reduce the legal loopholes associated with final domestic violence protective orders and firearm possession. This law states that the subject of a final domestic violence protective order is prohibited from owning, purchasing, or transporting a firearm for the duration of the order. In fact, upon being served, the subject has 24 hours to sell or voluntarily surrender their firearms to friends, family members, or local law enforcement officials. Approximately 65 law enforcement agencies across the state have agreed to temporarily store firearms for anyone subject to permanent protective orders.
Virginia law, does not, however:
- Require courts to notify the subjects of domestic violence protective orders that they’re prohibited from possessing firearms
- Prevent people convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors from purchasing, owning, or transporting firearms or ammunition (unlike federal law)
- Prohibit subjects of nine other types of protective orders from possessing firearms
- Require the removal of firearms from the scene of a domestic violence incident
This measure is intended to supplement various federal firearms laws, including 18 U.S. Code § 922(g)(8) (possession of a firearm while subject to a protective order) and 18 U.S.C. § 922(d)(8) (transfer of a firearm to person subject to a protective order. Also, it’s important to recall that anyone convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor is prohibited from owning, transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm per federal law. The only exception is if the offender is pardoned or the conviction is expunged.
Protect Your Future. Retain Experienced Legal Representation Today.
If you’ve been accused of domestic violence, it’s imperative that you reach out to a qualified attorney as soon as possible. Charges of domestic violence are taken very seriously in Virginia, and the legal consequences can have a detrimental impact on all facets of your life. At The Law Offices of Daniel J. Miller, our attorney can represent your interests and explain the laws associated with protective orders. We can also help if you’ve been wrongfully accused of violating a protective order. When your future is on the line, don’t hesitate to give our firm a call!