In Texas, victims of dating violence, family violence,
sexual assault, and stalking can ask the court for a protective order, which is sometimes
referred to as a “restraining order” in other states.
If someone has taken a protective order out against you and you’re
a gun owner, you may be wondering, “Can I possess a firearm while
I’m named in a protective order?” We’ll answer that
shortly, but for starters, we’re going to discuss the three types
of protective orders in Texas, which are: 1) Temporary Ex Parte Protective
Orders, 2) Final Protective Orders, and 3) Magistrate’s Orders for
Emergency Protection (MOEP).
Temporary Ex Parte Order: This is a temporary order that orders the abuser from committing further
acts of abuse. It is supposed to protect the victim until the court hearing
for a Final Protective Order. These orders can
last up to 20 days.
Final Protective Order: This order is meant to prevent the abuser from harming the victim and
their children in any way. It also orders the abuser to not contact the
victims in any way. Final Protective Orders can last
up to two years.
Magistrate’s Order for Emergency Protection: These are issued only when someone has been arrested for family violence.
If an MOEP is issued, it’s effective for
31 to 61 days, or
up to 91 days if the abuser used a weapon during the act of violence.
Now that we’ve clarified the three types of protective orders in
Texas, let’s take a look at gun laws and protective orders in Texas.
In Texas, it’s against the law for an abuser to have a firearm while
they are named in an active protective order. Going further, it is a “federal
crime” to possess ammunition or firearms while being named in a
“qualifying protective order.”
TX Family Code Ch.85.026 &
18 U.S.C. Ch 922 (g)(8))
We hope this post answers your questions regarding firearms and protective
orders. If you are facing criminal charges for family violence, or if
you have been named in a Temporary Ex Parte Order and are looking for
legal representation at your hearing, please
contact our Plano criminal defense firm for the
high-caliber representation your situation demands!