Every Civil Protection issued in the District of Columbia also has the following federal warning:
“As a result of this order, it may be unlawful for the respondent to possess or purchase a firearm, including a rifle, pistol, or revolver, or ammunition pursuant to federal law under 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(8). If you have any questions whether these laws make it illegal for you to possess or purchase a firearm, you should consult an attorney.“
Generally, Federal law prohibits the possession of firearms when the person is subject to a court order that was issued by any Court in which the person received notice and had the ability to participate in the hearing.
However, in order to be subject to the Federal Firearm statute certain conditions must be met:
- The order of protection must restrain the person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner of such person or child of such intimate partner or person, or engage in other conduct that would place an intimate partner in reasonable fear of bodily injury to the partner or child; and
- The Order must have a finding that such person represents a credible threat to the physical safety of such intimate partner or child; or by its terms explicitly prohibits the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against such intimate partner or child that would reasonably be expected to cause bodily injury; or who has been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.
A “No Admission consent order” should not violate Federal Law
The Court must make a finding that you made a credible threat to the physical safety of an intimate partner. If you agree without admissions, there is no factual finding. See our blog on consent.
Federal Law does not include dating
The other part of the Federal law is that unlike the District of Columbia law, it defines intimate partner as “the spouse of the person, a former spouse of the person, an individual who is a parent of a child of the person, and an individual who cohabitates or has cohabited with the person.” So you casually dating does not violate federal law as long as you never lived with that person.
You can not possess a firearm in any State if the Judge in DC puts on the order you can not possess a firearm at all
The civil protection order form the court typically uses in the District of Columbia gives firearm warnings not orders. Generally, the Judge in the District of Columbia gives a warning of the federal firearm law and tell you to consult an attorney. The Judge typically give warnings of the law. In fact, on the form order, the possession of the firearm language is listed as “warnings.” If however, the Judge in the District of Columbia states on the order that you may not possess a firearm at all you would be prevented from possessing a firearm in any State because of the full faith credit clause. Furthermore, the petitioner does not have to enroll the order for that to effect (ie. registering the CPO order in Maryland). Registration or filing of protection orders cannot be a prerequisite for enforcement. 18 U.S.C. § 2265(d)(2). Therefore, courts and law enforcement officers must enforce protection orders issued by other states, tribes, and territories, even if they have not been registered or filed in the enforcing jurisdiction.
Every case is different and be mindful that is this just our firm position on the law. This is not legal advice but our general opinion regarding the law. Need more information give us a call and we can go over the specifics of your case and whether you are in violation of the law.