In the early 90s, I owned a home in New Jersey. My girlfriend and her 7 year old daughter lived with me. A friend of hers let me know that my girlfriend was being unfaithful. I confronted my girlfriend in a calm voice, deciding that the relationship was over. I let her know that her and her daughter could stay in my house until they found somewhere to go. She was a law enforcement officer.

She picked up a drink from the counter, and threw it across the room. She then called 911. When the police arrived, she told them I had abused her, and pointed at the drink she threw stating I did it. She left for the courthouse to file for a restraining order. The police confiscated my firearms, and then let me know that I needed to head to the courthouse to answer the charges.

The first hearing went quick, and I asked for an emergency hearing to address the temporary restraining order she got against me, since it kept me from my home. The judge granted my request, and scheduled the hearing for three days later.

In the second hearing, the judge stated that I was the credible person, and told her she had 48 hours to vacate my home. I was also to be present when she packed, and any contested property would stay with me. She could go to court to prove ownership.

Six months later I petitioned the court to remove the restraining order so I could get my firearms back. My ex showed up, and said she never felt threatened by me. The judge removed the restraining order.

I went in with my life, finishing 23 years of Army Reserve service. I had long guns, and they were owned legally. I married an awesome lady in 1996, and we remain in love. We moved to a new town in NJ in 2010, and I went to the local PD to change my firearms ID card address to adhere with the law. I filled out the forms, got my fingerprints captured, and forgot about the application.

A month later I got a call from the PD asking why I lied on my application. There was an Final Restraining Order from 1993. I said that couldn’t be, and recounted the events to him. I also pointed out that I retired from the USAR in 2004, and held a Top Secret security clearance during my service. An FRO would have made me ineligible to serve, and I’d have been discharged. He said he was throwing out my application, or he’d have to arrest me. I should get it fixed.

Try getting cooperation when you have a Final Restraining Order due to domestic violence. Of course it wasn’t true, but anyone in the system I talked to treated me like I was not just a woman beater, but a lying woman beater. It took 9 months for my local PD to finally give me a docket number to work from. I hadn’t kept any records from that period of my life, so I had nothing to support my claims. I retained an attorney, and about 6 months later I got my day in court. The restraining order was vacated.

I went back and filled out the change of address at my local PD. I checked the box that I had seen a psychiatrist in the past, where I was diagnosed ADHD. I no longer visited a therapist, and had a good job, great life, and standing in my community. The PD required me to get a psych evaluation. I found a psychiatrist who did safety assessments for schools, and met him twice. He wrote a letter stating I was not a threat for violence to myself or others. Keep in mind that this whole time I possessed long guns, which was illegal due to my license standing. If I was a threat, I already had guns.

I don’t resent the psych evaluation, but I do resent the fact that a bureaucrat inputting data into a computer checked the wrong box.

I now split my time between Massachusetts and Florida, and have concealed carry permits in both states.