Many civil protection orders, especially in domestic violence cases, ban the target from possessing guns. Courts generally uphold these as permissible restrictions, at least when the order is based on a finding that the target had committed a violent act or had threatened violence; see, e.g., U.S. v. Bena (8th Cir. 2011). But the matter is not entirely clear, especially since such orders can often be entered on just a finding of preponderance of the evidence, following relatively truncated procedures where the defendant doesn’t have a lawyer. (This makes them different from felony convictions or even violent misdemeanor convictions, which require proof beyond a reasonable doubt, and in which the defendant generally has been represented by a lawyer.)
Here’s an illustration of a possible right-to-bear-arms limit on such orders, from Cee v. Stone (Ohio Ct. App. Nov. 27, 2017):
On January 6, 2017, [Alexa] Cee filed a petition for an ex parte CPO [civil protection order], which was granted by the trial court. A full hearing on the petition was held on January 18, 2017. Following the hearing, the magistrate granted the CPO, which included restrictions on Stone’s right to possess a firearm and to consume alcohol. Stone filed objections to the magistrate’s decision, arguing that the magistrate erred in granting the CPO, erred in restricting his right to possess a firearm, and erred in restricting his consumption of alcohol. On April 13, 2017, the trial court overruled the objections regarding the granting of the CPO and the restrictions on the right to possess a firearm. However, the trial court granted the objection regarding the restriction on the consumption of alcohol and amended the CPO to reflect the change….
by Eugene Volokh