Domestic Violence & Guns

Civil Restraining Orders/Injunctions

In Wisconsin, there are two provisions available to prevent an intimate partner from having a gun. If it will make you safer, you can ask the court to order a partner to surrender his gun/guns or to use a protective order to stop him.her from buying or possessing a gun.

Temporary:  In Wisconsin, if you file a domestic abuse temporary restraining order, the court may include any “appropriate remedy.”¹ Therefore, in your petition for a hearing, you should tell the court if your partner has a gun or has threatened you with one, and ask the court to stop your partner from purchasing or possessing firearms.

Final: Wisconsin domestic abuse restraining order law says that under a “final” order/injunction must surrender their firearms and may not possess a gun.² The Wisconsin harassment restraining order law also allows you to request the surrender of firearms.³

Federal law also says that anyone under a “final” order may not possess a gun.* In your petition, you can ask the court to use its authority under Wisconsin law to protect you and your family and to remind your partner verbally about the federal prohibition against possession of firearms.*

After a criminal Conviction

Wisconsin state law does not specifically address the issue of guns and domestic violence convictions. However, federal law says that if your partner is convicted of any felony or a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence, it is illegal for him to obtain or possess a gun.*

(¹ WI ST 813.12//.//² WI ST 813.12(4)(m) and WI ST 941.29// ³ WI ST 813.125(4)(m)//* 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(8)//* 18 U.S.C. § 921 (a)(33)(A) and 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(9). The crime need not specifically fall under a domestic violence statute-any assault or battery against a domestic partner is enough, See U.S. v. Ball, 7 Fed. Appx. 210 (4th Cir. Apr. 4, 2001), cert. denied 122 S. Ct. 226(2002) and U.S. v. Barnes, 295 F.#d 1354 (DC Cir. 2002).

Information accurate as of June 2003

Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence

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