Secaucus, NJ asked in Domestic Violence for New Jersey

Q: Can civil restraints be used to prevent someone from being able to purchase firearms?

I'm debating whether or not to drop a restraining order against an abusive spouse in favor of civil restraints, because an FRO could create financial strain on our whole family. One thing I'm concerned about is his ability to purchase firearms, however. He has been violent before, but never convicted of anything. Can I stipulate he not be allowed to purchase any if I agree to dropping the RO for civil restraints instead? Would this be enforceable via some kind of registry?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Richard Diamond
Richard Diamond
  • Domestic Violence Lawyer
  • Millburn, NJ
  • Licensed in New Jersey

A: If I were you, the only way that I would dismiss the protections provided to you under the domestic violence laws would be with the entry of a lengthy, detailed consent order ( not an agreement but a court order under a different docket number), which provided you specific protections, including but not limited to barring him from entry into your house, barring him from texting, calling or emailing you except for non-harassing type communications limited only to specific topics ( ie health or expenses for the children) and barring him from the purchase or ownership of any type of firearm.

I would include language in the consent order that says that you have the right to serve the consent order on the county prosecutors office, police department in the township he lives in, the state police, etc with specific direction that he voluntarily agrees to be barred from applying for or owning a firearm and firearms ID card and that you agreed to the dismissal of your DV complaint based on his agreement not to ever seek a firearms ID or firearm. I would also include language in the consent order that says that if he applies for a firearms ID, that you have the right to oppose his request and that you are to be given notice of his application.

I would include language that says that if he does acquire a firearms ID in the future, you have the automatic right to file an application with the court to compel him to relinquish it / sanctions against him for it and for sanctions.

In drafting this consent order, you need to be creative and expansive with the language, putting in paragraph after paragraph of protective language and sanctions for non-compliance including your right to seek a new domestic violence restraining order in the event he violates the protections provided in the document.

To prepare this type of consent order, should be at least 2 1/2 pages long and must be signed by him and signed by the court. Once signed by the court, you need to submit to all of the entities referenced above and make sure in the preamble language you also reference the domestic violence matter docket number and the nature of the threats made to you.

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