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Gun Violence Statistics

An estimated 1.4 million Texans have a state regulated license to carry. In 2018, One Hundred and Seventy-Four women in Texas were killed by male intimate partners 59% of the murders were by firearms. Family violence is defined by the Texas Family Code as: (1) violence by a member of the family or household against another member of the family or household, (2) abuse by a member of the family or household against a child of the family or household, or (3) dating violence against a member of a dating relationship or third party. Tex. Fam. Code 71.0021. If family violence has occurred before, then these risks are real, and you should consider filing an emergency ex-parte protective order immediately upon filing for divorce and implementing a safety plan to deal with the weapons in your home. 

Safety Plan

Although rare, gun violence during divorce proceedings do occur and you should be aware of this risk at the beginning of your divorce proceeding.  Especially, if your spouse has committed domestic violence in the past. If you are preparing to file for divorce, prior to filing, take an inventory of all weapons owned and/or possessed by your spouse.  Determine a safety plan on how to deal with these weapons.  The safety plan should consider someone you can call in case of an emergency and a place to store the weapons during the divorce. If you can safely remove the weapons from your home, do so. You can store the weapons with another family member or friend in a secure place. If placing the weapons with a family member is not an option, you can remove the weapons and put them into a storage locker for safe keeping. If none of the above scenarios are an option for you, some police departments will store weapons for safe keeping until there is a further directive, so call your local police department and determine whether they are willing to take the weapons. 

Protective Orders

There are three types of family violence protective orders: (1) temporary ex part protective order, (2) final protective order, (3) a magistrate’s order of emergency protection.  To obtain a temporary ex part protective order there needs to be a clear and present danger of family violence.  Notice is not required, and a hearing is not required unless a kick-out order is requested.  The protective order will last up to 20 days unless extended.  Civil and criminal enforcement is available with an ex parte protective order. If an ex parte protective order is granted it prohibits the person from possessing a firearm, unless the person is a peace officer, as defined by Section 1.07, Penal Code, actively engaged in employment as a sworn, full-time paid employee of a state agency or political subdivision.  If the person fails to abide by the protective order, they can face criminal charges, fines, and jail time. 

Contact A Family Law Attorney

Your best weapon in any family law case is to have an excellent family law attorney to advise and represent you.  At Albin Oldner Law, PLLC, we have the experience, the expertise, and the compassion you need if you find yourself or your child in an dangerous situation.  For more information or to schedule your appointment for a consultation contact us or give us a call at (214) 423-5100 to discuss how we can assist you in taking that first step.

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