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Know the Laws: Kansas

UPDATED August 3, 2016

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Please consider getting in touch with a domestic violence advocate in your community for more information on gun laws. To find help, please click on the Where to Find Help tab at the top of this page.

Basic info

back to topWhat is the difference between federal and state gun laws?

In these gun laws pages, we refer to both "federal gun laws" and "state gun laws."  The major difference between the two has to do with who makes the law, who prosecutes someone who violates the law, and what the penalty is for breaking the law.

One reason why it is important for you to know that there are these two sets of gun laws is so that you can understand all of the possible ways that the abuser might be breaking the law, and you can better protect yourself.  Throughout this section, we will be referring mostly to state laws.  Be sure to also read our Federal Gun Laws pages to see if any federal laws apply to your situation as well.  You will need to read both state and federal laws to see which ones, if any, the abuser might be violating.

If you are calling the police because you believe the abuser has violated a gun law, you do not necessarily need to be able to tell the police which law was violated (state versus federal) but local police cannot arrest someone for violating federal law, only for violating state/local laws.  Only federal law enforcement, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (“ATF”), can arrest someone for violating federal laws. If the local police believe that a state law is being violated, they could arrest the abuser and hand the case over to the state prosecutor.  If the local police believe a federal law is being violated, hopefully, the police department will notify the ATF or perhaps the U.S. Attorney’s office in your state (which is the federal prosecutor).  For information on how you can contact ATF directly to report the violation of federal gun laws, go to Who do I notify if I think the abuser should not have a gun?  If the abuser is breaking both state and federal laws, s/he might be prosecuted in both state and federal court.

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back to topI am a victim of domestic violence and the abuser has a gun. Is this legal?

Possibly not.  If you have a protection from abuse order (PFA) against the abuser, or if the abuser has been convicted of a felony or domestic violence misdemeanor, then federal law states that it is illegal for the abuser to buy, own or have a gun in his/her possession.*  Note: There are certain requirements that your PFA order must meet for it to qualify under federal law.  See the next question to read more about what those requirements are.

If you are not sure if the abuser has been convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor, see What crimes are considered domestic violence misdemeanors?  To read the definition of a felony, see What is the definition of a felony?

In addition, Kansas state law says that it is illegal for the following people to own or possess a firearm:

  1. under certain circumstances, someone under age 18;
  2. a person who is addicted to (and illegally using) drugs;
  3. a person who is/was mentally ill or an alcohol/drug abuser and subject to involuntary commitment for care and treatment;**
  4. a person who has been convicted of a "person felony," which are various drug crimes (listed in sections K.S.A. 21-5701 through 21-5717 of the law); or convicted of any violation of the uniform controlled substances act prior to July 1, 2009;
  5. someone who was a "juvenile offender" of an act which comes under the "person felony" crimes or uniform controlled substances act prior to July 1, 2009, AND was in possession of a firearm when s/he committed the crime;
  6. someone who was convicted of certain felonies within the past 5 or 10 years, or has been released from imprisonment for a felony; or someone who was a juvenile offender for these felonies AND had a gun at the time of the crime.***

* 18 USC Sec. 922(g)(8),(9)
** Kan. Stat. Ann.§ 21-6301(a)(10),(13),(14)
*** Kan. Stat. Ann.§ 21-6304(a)

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