From the moment an individual has been charged with domestic violence, Michigan law imposes restrictions on their gun rights. If you are charged with domestic assault or are subject to a personal protection order (PPO), your ability to obtain a gun license, purchase, transport, or conceal carry a pistol is prohibited. While it’s true that the court may incorporate exceptions to the rule depending on the type of employment you have that requires a gun, it isn’t easy. Speak with the knowledgeable attorneys of Coontz Law in Lansing, MI, about your case right away to determine how to best defend and protect your gun rights.
How Do Domestic Violence Charges Affect My Gun Rights in Lansing, MI?
Regardless of your guilt or innocence, if you have charges of domestic violence brought against you, your ability to buy a gun is revoked. Worse, if you have a Concealed Pistol License (CPL), it too will be suspended until the final disposition of your case is determined.
When you attend your first hearing in court, it’s common practice for the judge to enter a “No Contact Order” (NCO) to prevent you from contacting your accuser. State law says that those under a domestic violence-related NCO cannot own, possess, receive, or purchase a gun nor apply for or use their CPL.
Technically, Michigan law relies on the court to make it illegal for those with a PPO against them to have a firearm. Judges have the discretion to include such restrictions within the protection order itself, thus making it illegal for the respondent to have a gun during the indicated length of the restraining order. This is also true for those under an Order of Probation who pled guilty or no contest to domestic violence charges at trial.
What if My Orders Don’t Specify Any Gun Restrictions?
Even if your order doesn’t specifically mention the issues of firearm ownership, if there is an NCO within the charges or PPO, then federal restrictions will likely apply. Under 18 U.S.C. 922(A) & (B), anyone under order to refrain from stalking, harassing, abusing, or otherwise threatening an intimate partner from possessing a gun. This federal law is just one more reason you should consider hiring an experienced Lansing criminal defense attorney well-versed in 2nd Amendment gun rights and domestic violence law.
Can I Have a Concealed Pistol License if I Have a PPO Against Me?
You are not eligible to get a Concealed Pistol License if you have an active PPO against you. Also, if you currently have a CPL, you can expect the CPL Board to suspend your license until the order has been lifted.
If you receive a domestic violence conviction, you won’t be able to apply for a CPL for at least eight years under Michigan law. But that’s a bit misleading because in truth, you won’t ever be able to get a CPL with that DV conviction on your record. This is because you can’t get a CPL if you are federally disqualified from owning a gun. And a domestic violence conviction revokes your federal gun rights. There is no mechanism under federal law to get your rights back, which means you need to seek a pardon from the Governor or a Clean Slate expungement from a court to have a chance at getting your rights back.
Consequences of Violating Domestic Violence Gun Restrictions in Michigan
If caught having a concealed weapon or other firearms while under restriction from a PPO or domestic violence conviction, the penalties you could face are severe. Those who violate their orders can face felony charges.
For instance, those who have a revoked CPL due to a PPO or domestic abuse charge/conviction can face up to 5 years in prison and pay fines up to $2,500. Additionally, the pistol will be seized and likely forfeited to the state for the violation. One can also face federal charges for violating 18 U.S.C. 922 (A)(B) and (G). This is why you should always follow any orders you receive to the letter and consult with a highly trained attorney with a successful track record in this area of law.
Protect Your Gun Rights and Freedom with a Skilled Lansing Criminal Defense Attorney
Don’t risk your freedom and gun rights by assuming the domestic violence charges or PPO against you doesn’t affect your ability to own firearms. Contact Coontz Law today to set up a consultation to discuss your situation and find out what steps are necessary to restore your 2nd Amendment rights.