If the abuser has been convicted of a crime, can s/he keep or buy a gun?
Hawaii state law says that a person cannot have or buy a gun if s/he:
- has been convicted of, or has charges pending for:
- a felony;
- any crime of violence1 (an offense that involves injury or the threat of injury)2; or
- an illegal sale of any drug;
- has been found not guilty of a crime because of a mental disorder, unless the person has been medically documented to no longer have the mental disorder;
- is under 25 and was found by a family court to have committed:
- a felony;
- two or more crimes of violence; or
- an illegal sale of any drug; or
- is a fugitive from justice.1
Also, federal laws, which apply to all states, restrict a person’s right to have a gun under certain circumstances. Go to Federal Gun Laws to get more information.
1 Haw. Rev. Stat. § 134-7(a), (b), (d)
2 Haw. Rev. Stat. § 134-1
How can I find out if the abuser has been convicted of a crime?
Misdemeanor and felony records are open to the public, but they are not always easy to access. If you know the exact courthouse where the 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 (NICS). However, no one other than law enforcement officials and licensed firearm sellers are allowed to search the NICS. Your local police department may be willing to search NICS for you if you ask, but they are not required to do so.
To read more about the NICS, please see What will happen if the abuser tries to purchase a gun?