Under North Carolina law, if the court finds that an act of domestic violence has occurred, the court can issue a protective order. A protective order may require the defendant to turn over all firearms and ammunition to the sheriff, including permits to purchase or carry concealed firearms. Failure to turn over firearms subject to a protective order is a felony.
For some people involved in alleged domestic violence, it may seem like the cards are stacked against them. The police may arrest the wrong person just based on the words of the accuser. The accused may never have intended harm or it may have even been the accuser who was the aggressor. Domestic violence claims are serious and you should contact an experienced North Carolina criminal defense lawyer to fight the charges so you stay out of jail and keep your right to possess a firearm.
Process for Surrender of Firearms in North Carolina
North Carolina Statute § 50B-3.1 provides for requiring the surrender of firearms related to a domestic violence order. This can be related to a permanent protective order after a hearing or as part of an ex parte or emergency protective order. An emergency or ex parte protective order can be issued without the input or response of the defendant.
An ex parte or emergency protective order can require the defendant to surrender all firearms, machine guns, ammunition, and firearms permits, whenever the court finds any of the following factors.
- The use or threatened use of a deadly weapon by the defendant or a pattern of prior conduct involving the use or threatened use of violence with a firearm against persons.
- Threats to seriously injure or kill the aggrieved party or minor child by the defendant.
- Threats to commit suicide by the defendant.
- Serious injuries inflicted upon the aggrieved party or minor child by the defendant.
During a protective order 10-day hearing, the court will inquire of the defendant of the presence over, ownership of, or access to firearms, ammunition, and permits, including the description, number, and location of firearms.
Surrendering Weapons Upon Service of the Order
Upon service of the protection order, the defendant is to “immediately surrender to the sheriff possession of all firearms, machine guns, ammunition, permits to purchase firearms, and permits to carry concealed firearms.”
Can I Get My Guns Back After a Restraining Order?
Generally, the defendant is subject to the gun restrictions as long as the protective order is in effect. The order should provide instructions for retrieving firearms when the protective order is no longer in effect. If the gun restriction is based on an ex parte or emergency order, the defendant may generally retrieve the weapons after the ex parte or emergency order expires.
After an order expires, the defendant may file a motion for return of the firearms. A hearing will be scheduled and the court will determine whether to return the firearms or keep the restrictions in place.
Domestic Violence Criminal Defense in Shelby
At Caulder & Valentine Law Firm, PLLC, we have helped individuals accused of domestic violence fight for their rights and defend them against domestic violence charges that could jeopardize their freedom and rights to see their children. Contact us today for a consultation.