If the abuser has been convicted of a crime, can s/he keep or buy a gun?
Michigan state law says that a person who was convicted of a felony punishable by imprisonment of four years or more can only lawfully have or buy a gun or ammunition if three years have passed since s/he:
- paid all of the s/he was given when convicted;
- has served the term of his/her prison sentence; and
- successfully completed parole or probation.1
If the crime that the person was convicted of is a “specified felony,” then five years must pass since the completion of fines, prison sentence, and probation or parole.2 A “specified felony” means:
- s/he used, attempted, or threatened to use physical force when committing the crime;
- the crime involved a controlled substance, a firearm, or an explosive; or
- the felony is burglary of an occupied dwelling, breaking and entering an occupied dwelling, or arson.3
Michigan state law also says that a person cannot have a license to carry a concealed pistol if s/he:
- has been convicted of a felony, punishable by death or imprisonment of one year or more;
- has been convicted of a crime listed in section 28.425b(7)(h) of the law within the past eight years, or a charge for any of the listed crimes is currently pending;
- has been convicted of a crime listed in section 28.425b(7)(i) of the law within the past three years, or a charge for any of the listed crimes is currently pending;
- has been acquitted of a crime by reason of insanity or mental illness; or
- the licensing board believes that it would be otherwise harmful to the safety of the applicant or others for the applicant to possess a concealed pistol based on clear and convincing evidence of repeated violations of this law, crimes, personal protection orders or injunctions, police reports or other clear and convincing evidence of the actions/ statements of the applicant.4
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 MCL §§ 750.224f(1); 750.224f(3)
2 MCL §§ 750.224f(2); 750.224f(4)
3 MCL §§ 750.224f(10)
4 MCL § 28.425b(7)
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?