The Iowa Supreme Court has overturned a district court ruling that said a man under a no-contact order in a divorce case could use a gun for hunting. Jackie and Joseph Weissenburger were in the midst of a divorce in Warren County, and those divorce proceedings included a criminal no-contact order against Joseph Weissenburger.
Several months after the no-contact order went into effect, Joseph filed an application to have the order terminated or at least modified to allow him to possess firearms so he could go hunting with his son. The district court determined in January of 2005 that the no contact order should remain in effect, but the court amended the order so it would not specifically prevent Joseph from using a gun for hunting.
Jackie Weissenburger then challenged the amended order saying it was illegal under the 1994 federal Violence Against Women Act. The Iowa Supreme Court ruled the district court had no power to authorize Joseph to possess firearms in violation of federal law. The justices wrote that once the court determined the no-contact order should continue in effect, Joseph was prohibited under federal law from possessing firearms regardless of whether this prohibition was included in the court’s no-contact order.