Advocates say domestic violence is a "prevalent" issue in the North Country.
On Thursday, agencies got a lesson in gun rights.
For domestic violence advocates, state and federal laws can be tough to navigate.
Thursday, they learned about gun possession and those under orders of protection. The Clinton County STOP Domestic Violence Task Force meets once a month to discuss issues that arise concerning domestic violence in the area.
Thursday’s topic: gun laws.
Whenever someone is under an order of protection, otherwise known as a restraining order, that person is not allowed to use or be in possession of a firearm while the order is in place.
This is a federal law, written on every order of protection. Violating it would be a felony.
“It is a federal crime to possess that if there's an order of protection against you,” said Clinton County Asst. District Attorney Nick Evanovich. “It's on the order of protection. Many times, it's not fully explained though. But even if it's not explained, it's not an excuse."
On the state level, many times judges will instruct a person under an order of protection to turn in a gun.
That makes it a misdemeanor with the state if violated.
Some agency representatives at the meeting on Thursday were unaware of the law and say, they know of plenty of people under orders of protection who still possess guns.