gun and bullets on table

When There Are Guns in the House During a Divorce

Everyone’s awareness of gun issues has ramped up significantly since the FL shooting. For couples going through divorce, especially a messy and violent divorce, having guns in the house can be a very big deal.

The Texas church shooting late last year put the spotlight on domestic abuse and guns after it was revealed the Air Force convicted the shooter of spousal abuse but failed to register his conviction.

It’s important for spouses with gun-related concerns to know that there are actions they can take. For example, whenever you get a civil protection order the judge is going to order that guns be removed from the house/car/etc.  The judge will also require proof that the guns have either been sold or are in the possession of an appropriate 3rd party.  So, if you are worried about the presence of your spouse’s guns and are in imminent danger, a protection order is likely worth pursuing.

A judge will typically consider what kinds of guns are at your home (rifles versus pistols…or assault-style weapons), and whether there are children in the home too. Judges are almost always sensitive to the kids/guns equation.

If a wife is fearful of her husband’s access to guns, or vice-a-versa, the judge may order the worried spouse be given possession of the guns during the divorce proceedings. Rarely, our law firm is put in charge of safely housing guns during a divorce. Typically, we turn to a business that specializes in storing guns during divorces and the like.

What happens post-divorce is also an issue to consider.  If there is evidence a parent has been careless with guns, that parent might not be given custody of the children or restrictions on their time with the children may be put in place.

If you’re a gun owner, it’s important you know you will lose your right to own a gun if you’re convicted of felony-level domestic violence.  You’ll also lose your right to possess a gun if a civil protection order is issued.

We expect a result of the heightened gun debate will be that judges will become even more gun-safety focused when it comes to divorce proceedings.