What To Do If You Are Accused Of Domestic Violence & In Possession Of A Firearm
Most people know that felons are not allowed to own or possess firearms, but many people are surprised to learn that being accused of lower-level crimes can also restrict your gun rights. Perhaps the most common example of this in South Florida is in a domestic violence case where a judge has issued a restraining order.
Federal law and Florida law both prohibit the purchase or possession of a firearm by any person who has been issued a final injunction or restraining order. Federal law also prohibits the purchase or possession of a firearm when a temporary injunction is in place. Temporary injunctions are often issued in pending cases, even when there is no reason to believe a crime has been committed.
It is up to the person bound by an injunction to ensure he or she complies with the law on weapon possession, which can get kind of tricky since there is no formalized process for turning weapons over. To complicate matters, many local law enforcement officers do not have the resources they would need to proactively enforce injunction-triggered bans.
A recent situation up in Lakeland shows how easily things can get out of hand when someone who has an injunction against them does not turn in their weapons right away.
Domestic violence victim Courtney Irby was arrested and charged with armed burglary and grand theft of a firearm, and ultimately spent five nights in jail, after she brought her estranged husband’s guns to a local police station.
Her soon to be ex-husband, Joseph Irby, was serving time in jail after getting arrested for domestic aggravated battery. He had allegedly rammed his car into Courtney’s while yelling and trying to run her off the road.
A judge issued a temporary injunction, and Courtney took it upon herself to break into Joseph’s apartment, grab his guns, and turn them over to the police. She told the police she did not think he would turn the weapons over himself, so she took action. The cops then arrested her.
The case has caused a public outcry, with victims rights advocates arguing that Courtney should be cleared of all charges, and gun rights advocates urging prosecution. Whatever your opinion of the case, it is clear to us that Courtney should have consulted with a criminal defense attorney before deciding to break into her ex’s apartment and seize his guns.
Contact Our Florida Criminal Defense Attorney
Our firm has helped many clients figure out what to do with weapons they are no longer authorized to possess. We have facilitated the transfer of guns to the police when a domestic violence injunction is imminent and advised clients on the sale of weapons in situations where a ban on gun ownership is going to be permanent.
As someone passionate about shooting sports, there is no other attorney in the Miami area who understands guns and gun culture better than Attorney Antonio Valiente. If you have been charged with a crime, and you have questions about what to do with your weapons, don’t hesitate to contact the Valiente Law Firm to discuss your options.