Can I purchase a gun with an expired restraining order on

Discussion in 'GA Laws and Politics' started by mtber1172, Dec 26, 2010.

  1. mtber1172

    mtber1172 Member

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    my record?

    I'm hoping you guys can help. I'm looking at purchasing a firearm, but last year, I had a restraining order placed against me by an ex-girlfriend who decided that since I wouldn't answer her calls and e-mails, to lie and tell the judge that I had been harassing her as a way to get back at me. The order expired in September and she didn't reapply to have it extended. Outside of that, I have a clean record, never been in trouble, etc.

    Now I'm looking to get a handgun for home protection, due to several break ins in the area. I'm just a little confused about the law. Am I understanding it correctly that if you are currently under the ruling of a restraining order, that you can't possess a firearm or is it that if you've ever had a restraining order put on you (even expired ones) that you can't buy a gun?

    Thanks for any help.

    Jason
     
  2. CountryGun

    CountryGun New Member

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    I'm thinking it would depend on what reason she gave on the order. If she said anything like you'd struck her, or threatened her, you're probably screwed. If none of that happened, but that's what she said, you'd better be prepared to sue. Otherwise, with just an accusation, she may have ruined your life for a while.
     

  3. mtber1172

    mtber1172 Member

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    On the order, she said that I had been calling her and texting her and e-mailing her. The ironic part was, she didn't have any evidence. But the judge said to me "any time a young lady comes into my court and says she is being harassed by a partner, I lean towards the side of good judgment and grant their wish".

    The order was for 1 year only and expired in September, so that's what I'm trying to figure out. The way the law seems to read is, if you're currently under the ruling of a protective/restraining order, you can't buy a guy (they make you turn in ones you have if you have any at the time of your hearing), but I can't see any reason why I couldn't purchase one now that the order has expired. It's not a criminal offense. It was a civil case. No abuse involved, etc.
     
  4. CountryGun

    CountryGun New Member

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    I want to be quick to point out that I am not an attorney, and I do not have a legal mind. MP, gunsmoker, et. al., would be only too quick to point that out.

    I think you probably should've filed some sort of action at the time she filed the restraining order. Are you sure she even filed it? It might have well been her parents. My other thought is that "expired" is expired. You might want to inquire of the court clerk as to whether there is even a court record. "Not written,....not done."

    It's not wise to deal in hypotheticals, but they are thought provoking. I'll be watching this thread closely, and I wish you well.
     
  5. CountryGun

    CountryGun New Member

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    BTW: Welcome to the forum! Stick around. There are tons of brilliant friends on here, as well as the few dummies you'd expect to show up anywhere.
     
  6. mtber1172

    mtber1172 Member

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    She filed the restraining order, because her name was on all the court documents and she's the one that showed up to court. I pretty much didn't have any say in the courtroom. It was her telling the judge her side of the story. Then I told mine and that's when I asked the judge if there was any evidence of my wrongdoing. That's when he said what he said about a young woman in his court being scared, etc. I pretty much couldn't win, no matter what.

    That's a good idea about contacting the court clerk. I'll do that first thing in the morning. I was thinking that since it was a civil case and no criminal charges were ever brought and now that it's expired, that it wouldn't show up on a background check. But I still don't know for sure and I don't even want to attempt to buy a gun without knowing first.

    Thanks for your thoughts!
     
  7. mtber1172

    mtber1172 Member

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    <--- One of those dummies! :lol:

    Thanks and I look forward to checking the place out.
     
  8. kwikrnu

    kwikrnu Banned

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    iA restraining order is civil and not criminal, and if it expired it should not affect your right to keep or bear arms anymore. IANAL. I would think you are good to buy or sell firearms.

    It is a sad state of affairs when someone can come into civil court with no evidence and the judge rule rights be taken because of it. ROs are in common use for divorces and other situtations where women want to "get back" at men.
     
  9. MyFred

    MyFred Banned

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    HEYYYYYYY!!!!!.... :shattered:
     
  10. mtber1172

    mtber1172 Member

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    Thanks for your thoughts on the matter. I'm thinking along the same lines as you, I just didn't want to go to the gun shop, try and buy one and be turned away because of it. How embarrassing.

    Yes, it is sad that it happens that way, but at the same time, I can understand where the judge was coming from. He has to err on the side of caution. It just stinks because I'm not that kind of person. Never have been and never will be. I could understand it more if I had had a record of domestic violence or something, but I don't.
     
  11. kwikrnu

    kwikrnu Banned

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    The judge isn't supposed to "err on the side of caution". It is a civil matter and and if there was no preponderence of the evidence the lawsuit should have been dismissed. If the woman claimed you emailed her and she provided no proof and you claim you did not the judge should not have ruled as he did. You should have appealed the case to a court of record.

    You may want to check with the court to make sure the woman or court did not extend the order. If not I'm sure you're good to go. IANAL.

    AS far as I know there is no time limit to file for a restraining order so don't make that woman mad or she'll take you to court again and get the order extended or another order plus they'll take the gun you plan on buying.
     
  12. mtber1172

    mtber1172 Member

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    Yeah, I'm going to call tomorrow to see if it was extended or not. From what I've read, if it was extended, I was supposed to have received a notice and the opportunity for a hearing to appeal. I never received anything, so I'm hoping it's been dropped.
     
  13. EJR914

    EJR914 Cheezburger Operator

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    If this judge really did grant the order, and she has no proof, and showed no proof, this judge is absolutely in the wrong. I thought these were supposed to be relatively hard to get, as in you have to show proof of stalking or threatening or something of that manner. Text and phone records are always easy to come by.

    I have no idea what kind of effect this will have on you purchasing or carrying a weapon, but with my limited knowledge, I would think you are good to go. At least you should be.
     
  14. kwikrnu

    kwikrnu Banned

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    In Tennessee ex-parte orders of protection are issued with no proof other than an accusation. Most times in court the man doesn't show up and if he does the judge doesn't explain what an order of protection means as far as gun rights. As was stated many judges err on the side of the woman. Most men don't contest the orders and the orders last a year and are extendable for 5 years after the initial year is over.

    I think it is criminal to remove gun rights for a civil offense. It is a back door way to lower the burden of proof and remove gun rights.
     
  15. mtber1172

    mtber1172 Member

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    Restraining orders are not hard to get at all. At least not here in Georgia. Especially if a woman goes to court and says she's "scared". It wasn't a case of "prove he's bothering you", it was a "I see a pretty girl in my court room who is claiming she's scared, so I'll give her the benefit of doubt". Especially since the guy she is accusing is a good foot and a half taller than her and outweighs her by 125 lbs.
     
  16. stuk in irak

    stuk in irak New Member

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    Since there was no conviction of any type, I would think you shouldn't have any problems.

    Just buy a shotgun, after all those are the BEST weapons for home defense....

    Wait for flames to begin... 3...2...1... :p
     
  17. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    I am guessing you had no lawyer. I'm also guessing you did not hire a lawyer afterward to get it dissolved. Everybody thinks they can do it on their own. Sometimes that works, as we have seen on this forum. More often, it does not, as we have seen on this forum.

    It would be worth a few hundred bucks to me not to be on some federal and state disqualifier list for possession of a firearm for a year, violation of which could send me to federal prison.
     
  18. EJR914

    EJR914 Cheezburger Operator

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    This! I know attorney's are ridiculously expensive, but I really think they are worth it.. especially a good one.
     
  19. mtber1172

    mtber1172 Member

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    You're correct, I didn't have a lawyer. But it had nothing to do with "I can do it on my own" and everything to do with the fact that at the time, I was unemployed and couldn't afford one.

    As far as violation and federal prison, I don't own a firearm and never have. That's why I'm asking what I am, because I want to get one and curious if I will be able to. So your last statement doesn't really apply to my situation.
     
  20. mtber1172

    mtber1172 Member

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    Yes, attorneys are a great thing to have on your side, if can afford one.