If the abuser has been convicted of a crime, can s/he keep or buy a gun?
Under Mississippi state law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to possess a firearm.1
Mississippi state law also says that in order for a person to get a license to carry a concealed handgun (or stun gun), the applicant cannot:
- be convicted of a felony in any state;
- have had an adjudication of guilt withheld or a suspended sentence on any felony (unless it has been more than three years since probation or any other conditions set by the court have been fulfilled); and
- be a fugitive from justice.2
1 MS Code § 97-37-5(1)
2 MS Code § 45-9-101(2)
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?