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Disarming your domestic abuser

Many of those with whom we here at Runyon and Runyon have worked with while attempting to obtain a divorce from an abusive spouse in Clarksville continue to fear their abusers long after having left them. If you have suffered through such a relationship, then you may well know that simply distancing yourself from your abusive spouse may not be enough to make you feel secure. A protective order may be needed to help ensure your safety. You may be skeptical, though, that such an order can truly protect you should your spouse threaten you with a weapon such as a firearm.

However, you may be surprised to learn that the state of Tennessee has taken added steps to protect you from gun violence of you feel compelled to seek a protective order. Provided that your grounds for obtaining the order meet the standards set forth by the state, your soon-to-be ex-spouse may lose his or her ability to secure or carry a firearm while the order is in place. The law requires that he or she surrender any firearms in his or her possession to an appropriate party within 48 hours of the order being issued. It also bars him or her from obtaining another firearm while the order is in effect. A refusal to abide by this law could result in him or her facing further criminal charges.

According to the Firearms Declaration form available through the website for the Tennessee state courts, even if your abuser owns a weapon protect by a federal firearms license of the National Firearms Act, he or she must give up access to it while your protective order is in effect.

More information about securing protection from domestic abusers can be found on our site.