An Act To Create a Community Protection Order To Allow Courts To Prevent High-risk Individuals from Possessing Firearms
Sec. 1. 15 MRSA c. 16 is enacted to read:
COMMUNITY PROTECTION ORDERS
§ 401. Definitions
As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.
The fact that an individual has been released from a mental health facility or has a mental illness that is currently controlled by medication does not establish that the individual presents an imminent and substantial risk of serious bodily injury or death to the individual or to another individual for the purposes of this chapter. As used in this subsection, "mental illness" has the same meaning as in section 3318-A, subsection 1, paragraph B.
ISSUE OF TEMPORARY COMMUNITY PROTECTION ORDERS
§ 411. Petition
A law enforcement officer or a family or household member of a high-risk individual may file a petition requesting that the court issue a temporary community protection order prohibiting and enjoining the high-risk individual who is the subject of the petition from having in that individual's custody or control or owning, purchasing, possessing or receiving a firearm or attempting to purchase or receive a firearm. A petition for a temporary community protection order must describe any firearm that the petitioner reasonably believes the high-risk individual possesses or controls.
§ 412. Procedure for issuance of temporary community protection order
§ 413. Contents of order
A temporary community protection order issued pursuant to this subchapter must include all of the following:
"To (name of restrained individual): A hearing will be held, in the District Court, on the question as to whether an extended community protection order is issued against you. You are required to surrender all firearms that you own or possess in accordance with the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 15, section 414 and you may not have a firearm in your custody or control or own, purchase, possess or receive or attempt to purchase or receive a firearm while this order is in effect. You may seek the advice of an attorney as to any matter connected with the order."
§ 414. Effect of temporary community protection order; surrender of firearm
§ 415. Term of order
A temporary community protection order expires 21 days from the date the order is issued.
§ 416. Law enforcement officer responsibilities
Following the issuance of a temporary community protection order and a surrender order by a court pursuant to this subchapter, a law enforcement officer must be directed to serve the community protection order. The law enforcement officer shall:
§ 417. Retention and return of firearm
ISSUE OF EXTENDED COMMUNITY PROTECTION ORDERS
§ 421. Hearing
Within 21 days after the date upon which the restrained individual was served a temporary community protection order, the District Court shall hold a hearing to determine if an extended community protection order should issue. At a hearing under this section, the petitioner has the burden of proving by clear and convincing evidence that both of the following are true:
The prosecutor shall represent a petitioner at a hearing conducted pursuant to this section.
§ 422. Issuance of extended community protection order; term of order
§ 423. Dissolution of community protection order
If the court finds at a hearing under section 421 that there is not clear and convincing evidence to support the issuance of an extended community protection order, the court shall dissolve any temporary community protection order in effect and may not issue an extended community protection order.
§ 424. Return of firearm
Upon the expiration of an extended community protection order pursuant to section 422, subsection 2 or the dissolution of a community protection order pursuant to section 423, any firearm surrendered by the individual who was the subject of the community protection order must be returned to that individual in accordance with section 417, subsection 2.
§ 431. Offense
An individual who owns or possesses a firearm knowing that the individual is prohibited from doing so by a temporary community protection order issued pursuant to subchapter 3 or an extended community protection order issued after notice and a hearing pursuant to subchapter 5 commits a Class D crime. As part of any sentence, the court shall prohibit the individual from having in the individual's custody or control, owning, purchasing, possessing, receiving or attempting to purchase or receive a firearm for a 2-year period to commence upon the expiration of the community protection order.
Sec. 2. 19-A MRSA §4002, sub-§4, as amended by PL 2015, c. 296, Pt. C, §24 and affected by Pt. D, §1, is further amended to read:
This bill creates a community protection order to authorize a court to order a person to surrender that person's firearms temporarily for 21 days or on an extended basis for 180 days when it has been proved that the person poses a danger of causing personal injury to that person or another person. The bill provides that:
1. A law enforcement officer or a family or household member may file a petition for a temporary community protection order, which expires in 21 days. A temporary community protection order may be issued on an ex parte basis. The court is required to hold a hearing to determine if the temporary community protection order should be extended for an additional 180 days;
2. A person who is the subject of a community protection order is required to surrender all firearms in the person's possession to a law enforcement officer. The firearms must be returned to the person at the expiration of the community protection order; and
3. A person who possesses firearms in violation of a community protection order commits a Class D crime. Part of the sentence must include a prohibition on possession of firearms for an additional 2 years.