Being accused of domestic violence can restrict your freedoms. In some cases, these accusations may affect your right to possess a gun.
Like other accusations of violent crimes, allegations of domestic abuse can restrict many rights. But Texas laws governing firearms are not as strict as other states.
Texas does not have laws prohibiting an individual from possessing a firearm if they are convicted of criminal domestic violence upon a current or former dating partner in most cases or for being convicted of threatening to injure a family or household member.
In cases where an individual must relinquish guns or ammunition under Texas or federal law, the state does not have laws ensuring their surrender. There is no explicit requirement or authorization for removing firearms or ammunition at the domestic violence scene.
In general, a person who is subject to domestic-related protective orders issued in Texas or other jurisdictions may not possess firearms after they received notice of the order. These protective orders include final and temporary orders that one party seeks. Family and household members, dating partners and stalking, trafficking and sexual assault victims may receive protection by these orders.
Under Texas law, courts may prohibit individuals from possessing firearms. But the law also prohibits individuals from possessing these weapons after they received notice that a protective order was issued against them.
Every protective order must contain notice to the individual that it is unlawful for any person, other than a law enforcement officer, to possess a firearm or ammunition if the order was issued against them. Many times, courts must also suspend the concealed carry licenses of these individuals.
State law also prohibits individuals who were convicted of some domestic violence misdemeanors from possessing firearms for five years after being released from prison or probation. These laws generally cover individuals convicted of a class A misdemeanor assault for intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causing physical injury to a member of their family or household.
A family includes anyone related by blood or affinity and former spouses, individuals who are parents of the same children and foster children or who are foster parents. A household includes individuals who currently or previously lived together in the same residence.
Texas’ firearm prohibition, however, does not cover individuals convicted of violent assaults against a current or previous dating partner unless the defendant was married or lived with the victim. The prohibition does not cover anyone convicted of threatening a family or household member with impending violent injury.
Anyone convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors governed by firearm prohibitions may not access firearms for five years after their release from confinement or community supervision. But federal law is broader and prohibits anyone convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors from possessing firearms after conviction.
Attorneys can assist individuals charged with domestic violence and the numerous Texas and federal laws covering this offense. They can help protect their rights.