If the abuser has been convicted of crime, can s/he keep or buy a gun?
Indiana state law says that a person cannot have or buy a gun if s/he:
- has been convicted of a “serious violent felony;”1
- was adjudicated delinquent for a crime that would have been a “serious violent felony” if committed by an adult, and is currently under age 26 or 28 depending on the severity of the crime;2 or
- has been convicted of the crime of domestic battery.3
Also, federal laws, which apply to all states, may restrict an abuser’s right to have a gun. Go to Federal Gun Laws to get more information.
1 IC § 35-47-4-5(c)
2 IC § 35-47-4-9(b)
3 IC § 35-47-4-6(a)
How can I find out if the abuser has been convicted of a crime?
Criminal 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.
Criminal 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 the question, What will happen if the abuser tries to purchase a gun?