Are you being accused of family violence in Fort Worth or anywhere else in Texas? Or, has your loved one already gone to court and obtained a Family Violence Protective Order against you? If your answer is “yes” to either question and you own or intend to own firearms, it’s important for you to understand how an active Protective Order affects your right to bear arms.
If you are named in an active Family Violence Protective Order, you cannot own or possess firearms in Texas. In fact, it’s illegal under both state and federal law. Now let’s take a closer look at what the federal law says: Under 18 USC § 922(g)(8)(9), you cannot possess or own a firearm or ammunition if:
- There is a domestic violence restraining order against you.
- You have been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.
As long as you have been named in a Family Violence Protective Order, the federal ban applies to you. That being said, what does the state law have to say about protective orders and one’s right to bear arms in Texas?
Firearm Ban Under Texas Law
Under TX Family Code Chapter 85.026, if someone is named in a Family Violence Protective Order, he or she cannot possess a firearm. In Texas, there are three types of protective orders that protect the victims of abuse: 1) Temporary Ex Parte Orders, 2) Final Protective Orders, and 3) Magistrate Orders. Under Texas law, if you’re named in any one of these orders, you are banned from possessing or purchasing firearms.
Section 85.026(a) of the Texas Family Code states that every protective order shall contain the following language, “A violation of this order by commission of an act prohibited by the order may be punishable by a fine of as much as $4,000 or by confinement in jail for as long as one year, or both.”