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What are the laws regarding domestic violence and firearms?

Pushing, slapping and other forms of physical abuse are scary for many Georgia residents. So, when firearms are used in a domestic violence dispute, the results can be fatal, especially for women. In fact, assaults that involve the use of a firearm are up to 12 times more likely to result in death. But what are the laws regarding firearm use during a family law dispute?

The law is quite strict when it comes to firearm use among those convicted of misdemeanors or domestic violence crimes. Those under these categories are not allowed to own a gun. In addition, those who have a restraining order against them are not legally allowed to possess firearms. Anyone who sells or loans a gun to someone who is not allowed to use one may also be punished.

There are some exceptions to this law, however. For example, if a person uses a gun as part of his or her profession - such as a police officer or military personnel - then the ban doesn't apply. The abuser must be a spouse, current or former, your child's parent or someone you once lived with. The abuser must know about the restraining order, which should be specific enough to include the abuser's name and prohibit certain types of behavior.

It's important to understand that each state has its own gun control and domestic violence laws. The police should be called in the event of a life-threatening emergency, but for long-term protection, a restraining order may be necessary.

Source: FindLaw, "Domestic Violence: Firearms," accessed April 25, 2015

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