If you have learned that a protective order has been issued against you in Texas, you do have to give up your firearm. Owning a firearm is illegal in Texas when there is a protective order against you. There are 254 counties in Texas. Each one has a different procedure for ensuring that those under protective orders do not obtain guns and give up their existing firearms once the protective order begins.
There is not always a simple procedure for surrendering guns at the county level. Each county also has different rules for storing or returning guns once the protective order has been lifted. If you have been placed under a protective order, one of the best things you can do is discuss your case with an experienced criminal defense lawyer to advise you of your legal rights and what steps you should take.
What is a Protective Order?
There are three different types of protective orders in Texas. Usually, protective orders involve alleged victims of stalking, domestic violence, or sexual assault. These victims can petition the court for a protective order restraining the alleged abuser from being around them or contacting them. Temporary ex parte orders cover up to 20 days. Final protective orders keep the accused from contacting the victim and can last up to two years. Magistrate emergency protective orders can be issued when someone is arrested for domestic or family violence. These difficulties remain in place between 31 and 61 days.
Texas’ Firearm Ban for Those Under Protective Orders
Under Texas law, if you have been put under a protective order, you are not allowed to possess a firearm, even if you legally purchased and owned the firearm. Any of the protective orders listed above fall under this law. As long as the protective order is active, you cannot purchase or possess a firearm. Every Texas protective order has this rule written on it and states that if you violate it, you can expect fines up to $4,000 and a jail sentence of up to 12 months. It is also illegal for anyone convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence crime in Texas to possess a firearm.
If a protective order has been issued against you, you can contact local law enforcement officials to learn about the procedure for surrendering your firearm. Your firearm must be surrendered until the protective order is lifted. Additionally, if someone gives you a firearm as a gift, you will need to surrender that firearm until the protective order is completed.
Discuss Your Case With an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer
Violating this rule has significant consequences, so it is best to discuss your case with a lawyer and try to challenge the protective order while complying with the law. If you have been charged with domestic violence or facing a protective order, contact the criminal defense lawyers at Abel Law Firm today to schedule your initial consultation and learn more about how we can fight for you.