I am a victim of domestic violence and the abuser has a gun. Is that legal?
Possibly. Both federal law and Nebraska state law prohibit certain persons from having and buying guns.
Nebraska state law says that it is illegal for anyone to possess a firearm who:
- has been convicted of a felony,
- is on probation pursuant to a deferred judgment for a felony;
- is a fugitive from justice (any person fleeing to avoid prosecution),
- has been convicted within the past seven years of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence; or
- is the subject of a current domestic violence protection order, harassment protection order, or sexual assault protection order and is knowingly violating such order.1
Also, in order to get a concealed weapons permit in Nebraska, the applicant must meet all the following requirements:
- be at least twenty-one years of age;
- not be prohibited from purchasing or possessing a handgun according to federal law 18 USC § 922, which includes the prohibition against a respondent in a protection order case from possessing a firearm;
- meet certain vision (eyesight) requirements;
- not have been convicted of a felony under the laws of Nebraska or any other state;
- within the past 10 years, not have been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of violence under the laws of Nebraska or any other state;
- within the past 10 years, not have been found to be a “mentally ill and dangerous person” under the Nebraska Mental Health Commitment Act or a similar law in another state;
- not be currently adjudged mentally incompetent by a court;
- be a resident of this state for at least the past one hundred eighty days;
- within the past 10 years, not have had a conviction of any Nebraska law relating to firearms, unlawful use of a weapon, or controlled substances (drugs) or of any similar laws of another state;
- not be on parole, probation, house arrest, or work release; and
- provide proof of firearm training.2
In addition, if you have a protection order against the abuser, or if the abuser has been convicted of a felony or of a domestic violence misdemeanor, then federal law states that it is illegal for your abuser him/her to buy or have a gun in his/her possession.3Note: There are certain requirements that your protection order must meet for it to qualify under federal law. See I have a protection order against my abuser. Can s/he keep a gun or buy a new gun? to read more about what those requirements are. If you are not sure if the abuser has been convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor, see What crimes are considered domestic violence misdemeanors? To read the definition of a felony, see What is the definition of a felony?
1 NE ST § 28-1206(1)(a), (1)(b)
2 NE ST § 69-2433
3 18 USC § 922(g)(8), (g)(9)