There are domestic-violence related firearms laws in Florida that prohibit respondents to final protective orders from owning firearms and courts may require said persons to surrender their firearms.
Domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. It includes physical violence, sexual violence, threats, and emotional abuse. It is violence occurring at the hands of people known to the victim, such as partners, spouses, ex-spouses, parents, children, boyfriends and girlfriends. An experienced criminal defense attorney at Lewis Law in Port Charlotte can help with next actions involving domestic abuse allegations.
Widespread domestic violence
The harsh reality is that domestic violence affects millions of Americans despite efforts against it, including the issuance of domestic violence protective orders which may be issued if a family/household member commits one of the following acts of violence against another family/household member:
- Assault, aggravated assault, and sexual assault;
- Battery, aggravated battery, and sexual battery;
- Stalking and aggravated stalking;
- False imprisonment; or
- Any other criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death.
Protective order not enough
A protective order is a legal injunction or official document issued by the court to protect someone from future violence by ordering the abuser to stay away from and not contact the victim who requested the order. Legal counsel can explain the four different types of protective orders in the State of Florida that include domestic, repeat, dating and sexual. Domestic violence protective orders intend to protect victims who have a specific, often intimate relationship with the abuser. Abusers can include:
- Current or former spouse;
- Relative by blood or marriage;
- Co-habitant or former co-habitant; or
- Child’s other parent.
Impact of domestic violence
Women in Florida have experienced intimate partner dating violence approximately 34.2% while men have experienced it 24.6% of the time. Guns were used in 56% of domestic violence homicides in Florida from 2006-2012, so it would be wise to have some other means of protecting victims than a protective order, such as stricter laws that limit the possession of guns after a domestic violence allegation or court action revealing facts supporting abuse. Abusers’ access to firearms increases the risk of intimate partner femicide at least five-fold and 72% of all murder-suicides involved an intimate partner where 94% of the victims of these crimes were female.
There are domestic-violence related firearms laws in Florida that prohibit respondents to final protective orders from owning firearms and courts may require said persons to surrender their firearms. Although respondents to final protective orders are not statutorily prohibited from owning firearms, Florida law authorizes the judge issuing a temporary protective order to order whatever relief (s)he deems necessary to protect the victim/survivor. Talk to a criminal defense attorney regarding the firearms laws and how they impact domestic violence charges in your case.
Florida could strengthen its firearms laws to protect victims and survivors by:
- Prohibiting domestic violence, dating violence and stalking misdemeanants from owning firearms;
- Prohibiting respondents to dating violence protective orders from possessing firearms;
- Prohibiting respondents to temporary protective orders from owning firearms;
- Requiring prohibited persons to surrender their firearms upon prohibition;
- Requiring law enforcement responding to domestic violence incidents to confiscate firearms; and
- Requiring background checks for all firearm sales and transfers.
Seek legal counsel
If you have been unjustly accused of domestic violence and have had to surrender your firearms because of a false allegation, contact the Lewis Law Firm for a consultation to see what legal remedies are available to you.
Violence Policy Center (2012). American Roulette: Murder-Suicide in the United States. Retrieved from: www.vpc.org/studies/amroul2012.pdf,
Fla. Stat. §§ 741.31(4)(a)(8)
Fla. Stat. §§ 741.30(6)(a)(7)
Fla. Stat. §§ 741.30(5)(a)
Fla. Stat. § 784.046(6)(a)
Fla. Stat. § 784.046(7)(b)
Fla. Stat. § 790.065(2)(a)(2) & (3).