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.
Federal law specifically prohibits possession of a firearm if the person is convicted of any felony or of a domestic violence misdemeanor. Criminal records that would make a person ineligible to purchase a firearm 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 the question, What will happen if the abuser tries to purchase a gun?
If the abuser has been convicted of a crime, can s/he keep or buy a gun?
According to Idaho state law, people convicted of various crimes cannot get a license to carry concealed weapons and will lose the right to possess a firearm.
Anyone who meets any of the following cannot get a license to carry concealed weapons:
- is currently formally charged with a felony crime;
- has been found guilty in any court of a felony crime;
- is a fugitive from justice;
- has received a withheld judgment or suspended sentence for a felony crime, unless the person has successfully completed probation;
- is currently on probation after having been adjudicated guilty of, or received a withheld judgment for, a misdemeanor offense that involves the intentional use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the person or property of another; or
- is free on bond or personal recognizance pending trial, appeal or sentencing for a crime which would disqualify him/her from obtaining a concealed weapons license.1
In addition, Idaho law says that anyone convicted of any of the following felony crimes permanently loses his/her right to have a firearm:
- aggravated assault;
- aggravated battery;
- assault with intent to commit a serious felony;
- battery with intent to commit a serious felony;
- felony domestic battery;
- felony enticing of children;
- forcible sexual penetration by use of a foreign object;
- felony indecent exposure;
- felony injury to child;
- felony intimidating a witness;
- lewd conduct with a minor or child under sixteen;
- sexual abuse of a child under sixteen;
- sexual exploitation of a child;
- felonious rescuing prisoners;
- escape by one charged with, convicted of or on probation for a felony;
- unlawful possession of a firearm;
- degrees of murder;
- voluntary manslaughter;
- assault with intent to murder;
- administering poison with intent to kill;
- ritualized abuse of a child;
- felonious manufacture, delivery or possession with the intent to manufacture or deliver, or possession of a controlled or counterfeit substance;
- felony threats against state officials of the executive, legislative or judicial branch;
- unlawful discharge of a firearm at a dwelling house, occupied building, vehicle or mobile home;
- unlawful possession of destructive devices;
- unlawful use of destructive device or bomb; or
- attempt, commit any of the above-mentioned crimes.2
If any of these situations apply to the abuser, it may be illegal for him/her to have a gun. Also, federal laws, which apply to all states, also restrict a person’s right to have a gun if s/he has been convicted of a felony or a domestic violence misdemeanor. Go to Federal Gun Laws to get more information.
1 ID Code § 18-3302(11)
2 ID Code § 18-310(2)
What is the penalty for violating the state and federal firearm laws?
Under Idaho state law, carrying a concealed weapon in violation of state law is a misdemeanor and can be punished by jail time of up to six months, a fine of up to $1,000, or both.1 Also, anyone who is convicted of a felony and later possesses a firearm in violation of state law is guilty of another felony and can be punished by imprisonment of up to five years in a state prison, a fine of up to $5,000, or both.2
Also, anyone who has or buys a gun in violation of the federal firearm law can be punished by a fine, jail time for up to ten years, or both.3
1 ID Code §§ 18-3302(14); 18-113
2 ID Code § 18-3316(1)
3 18 USC 924(a)(2)