Domestic violence has, unfortunately, been a persistent problem across the United States. That includes our home state of Florida. In some places, when people have a record for domestic violence, they will lose access to their guns. In Florida, it’s a little more complicated. This is a complex and nuanced issue. Anyone involved in a domestic violence case here need to understand it properly.
When is a gun purchase prohibited?
Domestic violence is one of the most serious and complex areas of criminal law. Florida law doesn’t explicitly prohibit people who’ve been convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence from owning guns, but purchasing is complicated. Florida law forces the FDLE to cross-check records. If people have convictions preventing them from gun ownership under federal law, the FDLE must fail them during a background check to purchase a gun in the state.
What about possession?
Possession of guns is restricted for people who have had protective orders issued against them. The order must currently be in force for this to apply. Gun owners who have restraining orders against them know that gun possession is prohibited by Florida and federal law. In fact, it’s printed on the order.
Are guns ever removed from someone’s home?
The threshold to remove guns from an offender’s home is high. The court can order someone who has a protective order to surrender their guns. It’s not required that this be included in any restraining order. Refusing to do so is considered a violation of a protective order.
That said, law enforcement is usually not directed to remove guns from a home. In fact, under Florida law, it’s not explicitly legal for them to do so. Although Florida law complies with federal law, it very much respects gun ownership.