Having a domestic violence conviction on your record could affect your life in many ways. Parents who are convicted of domestic violence may lose the right to see their children. Being convicted of this crime can also make it more difficult to find employment in the future. But, can a domestic violence conviction affect your right to own a gun as well?
Domestic Violence Crimes Involving Firearms
It’s estimated that someone is killed with a firearm in the state of Colorado every 16 hours. Sadly, many victims are killed by people they know intimately. In 2011, around 18% of all homicide victims in Colorado were killed by either a family member or romantic partner. For these reasons, many lawmakers feel it is imperative that guns stay out of the hands of domestic violence offenders.
The Rights of Domestic Violence Offenders
Federal law prohibits anyone who has been convicted of misdemeanor or felony domestic violence from owning a gun. Since domestic violence laws vary by state, it’s important to understand how domestic violence is defined by federal law. The law states that any crime involving the use or attempted use of force against certain parties, such as a spouse or partner, can be considered domestic violence. The use of force does not necessarily need to cause the other person harm in order for the act to be considered domestic violence.
In addition, anyone who is ordered to keep away from a victim by a protective or restraining order is also banned from having a gun.
The state of Colorado passed a law in 2013 that is very similar to the existing federal law. Under the state law, domestic violence offenders cannot purchase or possess guns or ammunition. This law also requires the courts to order anyone who is convicted of domestic violence or subject to a domestic violence protective order (DVRO) to surrender their weapons.
How Domestic Violence Offenders Can Surrender Their Weapons
According to the state law, domestic violence offenders who are ordered to surrender their weapons and ammunition must do so within 24 hours. If the defendant is in custody, the 24-hour time limit begins once he is released. The guns and ammunition can be given to anyone who has passed a firearms background check. Then, the domestic violence offender must submit proof that he surrendered his guns and ammunition to the court within three business days.
If you have been accused of domestic violence, contact Reisch Law Firm at once. Our criminal defense attorneys work tirelessly to protect your rights and achieve the best possible outcome in your case. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.