If the abuser has been convicted of a crime, can s/he keep or buy a gun?
Kansas state law says that it is illegal the following criminals to own or possess a gun:
- someone who, within the past five years, has been convicted of a misdemeanor for a domestic violence offense in Kansas or a similar misdemeanor crime in another state. A domestic violence offense includes an offense where the abuser uses or attempts to use of physical force, or threatens to use a deadly weapon and is committed against a person with whom the abuser is involved or has been involved in a dating relationship or is a family or household member;
- someone who is a fugitive from justice, which means that the person knows that there is a warrant issued for him/her for committing a felony;1
- a person who has been convicted, or adjudicated as a juvenile offender, of a “person felony,” which are various drug crimes listed in sections K.S.A. § 21-36a01 through 21-36a17 of the law, or convicted of any violation of the Uniform Controlled Substances Act prior to July 1, 2009;
- a person who has been convicted, or adjudicated as a juvenile offender, of a “person felony” other than the ones referred to above, without using a firearm while committing the crime, and less than three years have passed since completing the sentence;
- someone who was convicted, or adjudicated as a juvenile offender, of certain other felonies listed in subsection (3)(A)(i) of Kansas Stat. § 21-6304 and less than eight years have passed since completing the sentence; and
- someone who was convicted, or adjudicated as a juvenile offender, of any other “nonperson felony” and less than three months have passed since completing the sentence.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, may restrict an abuser’s right to have a gun. Go to Federal Gun Laws to get more information.
1 Kan. Stat. § 21-6301(a)(15), (a)(18), (m)(1), (m)(2)
2 Kan. Stat. § 21-6304(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.
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 the question, What will happen if the abuser tries to purchase a gun?