Child Custody and Gun Possession

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Most Common Family Law Issues:

Can I Get Child Custody if I Own a Gun?

A parent who own guns and is seeking custody of children after a divorce is likely to face this issue during divorce negotiations. Parents who own guns can have custody of children, but the way the guns are used, stored, and kept could become controversial issues when it comes time to for family courts to decide on custody or visitation issues.

Which Gun Laws Affect Custody Decisions?

Gun control laws and gun storage laws vary by state. Family law courts will be interested in ensuring that children do not have access to guns if they are in the home. Parents who own guns must also abide by all the laws of their state regarding gun ownership. Guns must be licensed and the licenses must be kept up-to-date. Parents who lapse in their legal responsibilities regarding their gun ownership can expect these issues to become part of custody considerations and negotiations.

Which States Deny Custody Because of Gun Ownership?

In early 2015, an Illinois family court placed a condition on a father’s custody request, ordering that no guns could be kept in the house while his daughter was under the age of 18. He appealed and won, on the grounds that the order violated his Second Amendment right to own guns. Since the father owned the guns legally, and stored them according to state and federal regulations, he could not be penalized either by being denied custody or by being forced to relinquish his gun collection.

Do I Need a Lawyer?

Anyone going through a divorce or custody battle should have a knowledgeable family lawyer to represent them, and on issues of gun ownership, it is important that the lawyer have knowledge of your state’s gun laws.

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Last Modified: 04-18-2016 03:36 PM PDT

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