How to obey orders prohibiting guns and firearms

If you have or own any guns or firearms, you must complete the steps below. If you don't own any guns or firearms, do not try to get or buy any until the orders against you end. 

You must obey all the orders made by the judge. If you do not follow the orders, you could be arrested and charged with a state or federal crime.

Before you start

Review a copy of the restraining order very carefully for information about guns or firearms

If the judge granted a restraining order against you to protect the other side only from financial abuse, you may not have to follow the steps below. Look for court orders about what you need to do with guns or firearms on one of these forms:

  • Form EA-110, item 8;
  • Form EA-130, item 10; or  
  • Form EA-730, which will have orders attached.

It's important to read your restraining order forms very carefully. If you have been ordered to turn in any guns or firearms and you don't do so within 24 hours, you could be arrested for violating the restraining order or charged with a state or federal crime.

  • Decide what you want to do with your firearms and ammunition

    If you have or own firearms, you must do one of the following within 24 hours of being served with the restraining order:

    • Turn your firearms over to local police 
    • Sell your firearms to a licensed gun dealer
    • Store your firearms with the police or a licensed gun dealer (you'll likely have to pay a fee for storage)

    If you do not do so within 24 hours you could be arrested for violating the restraining order or charged with a state or federal crime.



    The judge can grant you an exception that would allow you to carry a specific firearm for work purposes only. Right now you must follow the orders the judge made. You can ask for an exception at your hearing date or in writing on form EA-120. You should talk with a lawyer, or get more information from your local Self-Help Center about this exception.
  • Have police or licensed gun dealer complete required form

    You must prove to the judge that you turned in, sold, or stored all firearms you own or have. 

    To do this, print out a form called Proof of Firearms Turned in, Sold, or Stored (form EA-800).

    • You fill out items 1, 2, 7, and the case number.
    • Have the police officer or licensed gun dealer complete item 4 or 5, and item 6.
    Yes, if it has the same information that is included on form EA-800. You will need an original form to file with the court.
  • File the form with the court clerk

    a member of the public showing documents to a court clerk

    Once the form is complete, make a copy and file the original with the court clerk right away. It must be filed within 48 hours from when you were served with the restraining order. There is no fee to file this form.

    You can file your form at the courthouse listed on the court papers that you got from the other side (for example, the court is listed on page 1 on form EA-109).

    At the courthouse, you’ll file the forms by giving the original and your copy to the court clerk. The clerk will keep the original, stamp your copy, and return the copy to you for your records.

    illustration of documents being placed in a "drop box"

    Some courts have a drop box that you can use. A drop box can be located inside or outside the courthouse. If you put your court papers in a drop box make sure include the original plus 2 copies, and use an envelope or rubber band to keep all your papers together. If you use a drop box, you will still have to return to the courthouse to pick up your court papers.

    Using a drop box may not be the fastest way to get your papers reviewed by a judge. If you need your papers right away, take your forms to a court clerk.

    Some courts allow online filing. You can find out if your court has online filing by visiting your court’s website. 

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