Know the Laws: Virginia
UPDATED October 2, 2012
WomensLaw.org strongly recommends that you get in touch with a domestic violence advocate in your community for more information on gun laws in your area. Go to the VA Where to FInd Help page to find help.
No. Under Federal law, if your abuser has been convicted of a felony or a domestic violence misdemeanor, s/he cannot have or buy a gun.* If you're not sure if your abuser has been convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor, see What crimes are considered domestic violence misdemeanors?
It is also illegal for a convicted felon to possess or transport a gun under VA state law.**
* 18 USC 922 (g) (9)
** VA Code Sec. 18.2-308.2(A)(i)
A crime is considered a domestic violence misdemeanor under Federal law if it:
A felony under Federal law is a crime that is punishable by a prison sentence of more than one year. * Under VA state law, a felony is an offense that is punishable with death or confinement in a state correctional facility. **
* 18 USC 227 (A) 3559
** Va. Code §18.2-8
Domestic violence misdemeanor and Felony records are open to the public, but they are not always easy to access. If you know the exact courthouse where your abuser may have been convicted, you can go to the courthouse and ask the clerk of court for access to those records.
Domestic violence misdemeanor and Felony records are also kept in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NCIS). However, no one other than law enforcement officials and licensed firearm sellers are allowed to search the NCIS. Your local police department may be willing to search NCIS for you if you ask, but they are not required to do so.
To read more about the NCIS, please see the question, What will happen if my abuser tries to purchase a gun?