The relationship between Domestic Violence Orders and weapons is generally clear. It becomes more complex, however, when a person requires a weapon for their employment.
If this is the case for you, you should seek legal advice before going to Court or consenting to an Order. We can advise you on what impact the Order will have so you can decide the best way forward.
Police can apply for a Domestic Violence Order (DVO) on behalf of an Aggrieved.
Before the matter is in Court, they can issue the Respondent with a Police Protection Notice (PPN). This is a form of temporary Order to stay in place until the Court decides the application.
The Court can also make a Temporary Protection Order (TPO) to serve until a hearing.
If you are the holder of a Weapons Licence, this Licence will be automatically suspended if:
You cannot appeal or challenge this suspension while the PPN or TPO is in force.
If the Court dismisses or sets aside the TPO or PPN, the suspension ends automatically (Weapons Act, s 27A(5)).
The Court will consider the application and whether to make a final Order.
If the Court makes a final Order, this is permanent for the period of the Order and replaces any temporary Order. If the Respondent holds a Weapons Licence, their Licence will be automatically revoked.
You cannot appeal or challenge the revocation while the Permanent Order is in force.
If this will cause you to lose your employment, you should contact us as soon as you are served with an application. Our Brisbane lawyers can assist you:
We also have successful appeal experience in the District Court, if an Order is already in place.
Some occupations exempt a person from the requirement to hold a Weapons Licence:
The Weapons Act lists several categories of exempt persons, including:
The Domestic and Family Violence Act removes this exemption for some, but not all, of these roles.
For example, a Queensland Police Officer against who a TPO is made will be unable to possess or use a weapon. A member of the Armed Forces in the same position, however, can continue to possess and use a weapon.
The Court can still make specific conditions on the DVO about the use of weapons.
For example, the Court may prohibit a Respondent in the Armed Forces from possessing a weapon. This would then be the case even though the exemption under the Weapons Act still applies.
When hearing an application for a DVO, the Court is required to ask questions about:
The Court must state any information about weapons in the Order. This is to enable Police Officers who may consider the Order to see this information.
On hearing an application for a DVO, the Court can make Orders about treating a wide variety of things as a weapon (Domestic and Family Violence Act s.81).
The Court can make it a condition of the DVO that the Respondent cannot possess a thing or a thing of the same type. The Court can include this condition if they are satisfied that the Respondent has:
If the Court makes such an Order, that thing is taken to be a weapon. It may be dealt with under the DV Act and the Weapons Act as a weapon that the Respondent does not have a Licence for.
Some examples of “things” are:
Section 81 is very broad so can cover any number of “things” used to commit Domestic Violence.
It is important to know your options before an Order is made against you in Court if:
This is even more important if you require a weapon for your job.
You have options available when deciding how to respond to an application for a DVO. Our lawyers will set out your options, including the impact an Order will have.
Often, Respondents consent to an Order without understanding the potential repercussions.
Obtaining quality legal advice will:
You may also need help to ensure the Court makes Orders appropriate to your situation if:
Contact us on 07 3229 4459 to discuss your options and how we can assist if:
Our Brisbane lawyers have answered some common questions below:
Aitken Whyte Lawyers Brisbane
2/414 Upper Roma Street
Brisbane QLD 4000