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Gun Owners Losing Rights in 'Family' Law Loophole

Can an incident that isn’t considered “family violence” in a criminal court cost you your gun rights? The shocking answer is yes!

Texas criminal law defines “family” as two people who have or have had a dating relationship, members of the same family, or are members of the same household.

Under this legal definition, if your former spouse starts dating someone new, you and the new boyfriend or girlfriend would not be “family.”

However, civil courts use a different law to define “family violence.” Under this different definition you and your former spouse’s new boyfriend or girlfriend WOULD be considered “family.” Now, a civil court can make a finding of family violence between you and this stranger that would prohibit you from owning or possessing firearms or ammunition.

Here’s how it plays out in the real world. Let’s say you and your former spouse’s new boyfriend or girlfriend get into a physical altercation; under criminal law, you could be charged with assault, but not family violence assault. A charge of plain assault in this case won’t cause you to lose your gun rights in a criminal court. However, the new boyfriend or girlfriend can apply for a protective order which allows a civil judge to make a finding of family violence against you.

When this happens, it will cause you to lose the right to possess firearms or ammunition for the length of the protective order.

Be careful, this loophole could cost you your Second Amendment rights! If you are under investigation or charged with a crime, it is essential to speak with an attorney and obtain competent legal representation. Protect your rights. Protect your record.

Author: Leslie Rebescher

DISCLAIMER: The information on this website does not contain legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. Every case is different, and this material is not a substitute for, and does not replace the advice or representation of, a licensed attorney.

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Walker & Taylor, PLLC is located in Houston, TX and serves clients in and around Harris, Galveston, Fort Bend, Montgomery, Liberty, Brazoria, and Chambers Counties.

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