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Family Violence and Gun Rights

The prevalence of domestic violence in this country is alarming. Three in ten women and one in four men have been a victim of intimate partner violence — including physical assaults, stalking and sexual violence — in their lifetime. In the majority of these cases, the abuser did not use a weapon. However, an abusive partner with a firearm is more likely to cause serious or deadly harm, which is why federal and state laws restrict the gun rights of domestic violence offenders.

Anyone convicted of a felony assault charge loses the right to own a firearm, but the 1996 federal Domestic Violence Offender Gun Ban also prohibits the possession of firearms or ammunition by anyone who has been:

  • Issued a restraining order against stalking, harassing or threatening an intimate partner
  • Issued a restraining order against stalking, harassing or threatening the child of an intimate partner
  • Convicted on domestic violence misdemeanor charges

It is also illegal to sell or give a gun to a person in these circumstances.

There have been several cases challenging the constitutionality of permanently revoking the right to bear arms based on a misdemeanor charge. Supporters of the amendment point out that firearms pose an exceptional risk to domestic violence victims, who are predominantly women. The two viewpoints will have a chance to make compelling arguments when the U.S. Supreme Court hears a challenge to this amendment in January 2014.

Incidents of intimidation or physical assault that involve a weapon can be particularly terrifying, but you can take action against any type of family violence. If someone has threatened or harmed you or your children, contact law enforcement immediately to speak with a qualified family law attorney about the best options for protecting your right to be safe and secure.

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Robert Reid McInvale
Attorney at Law

Robert Reid McInvale is an experienced family law attorney with a comprehensive practice in Houston. He provides dedicated and strong advocacy for his clients, helping them with all the issues surrounding their divorce, separation, child custody, and other marriage and family matters. Attorney McInvale—Reid to clients and friends—seemed destined for a law career. Born while his father was attending Emory University Law School, Reid grew up in Manchester, GA. His father was the city attorney for many years, as well as head of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce. It is in the family blood to become lawyers and help people get justice. U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall is part of the McInvale family tree.

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