If the abuser has been convicted of a crime, can s/he keep or buy a gun?
Nebraska state law makes it illegal for a person to have or buy a gun if:
- s/he has been convicted of a felony;
- is on probation pursuant to a deferred judgment for a felony;
- has been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence within the past seven years; or
- is a fugitive from justice (any person fleeing to avoid prosecution).1
Also, in order to get a concealed weapons permit in Nebraska, the applicant must:
- 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 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; and
- not be on parole, probation, house arrest, or work release.2
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 NE R.S. § 28-1206(1)
2 NE R.S. § 69-2433(4), (5), (8), (9)
If a law enforcement officer or other government employee is convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor, can s/he have or buy a gun?
No. Law enforcement officers and other government officials who have been convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor or felony cannot have or buy guns for any purpose, including their official duties, according to federal law. 1
1 18 USC § 925(a)(1)
How can I find out if the abuser has been convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor or a felony?
Domestic violence misdemeanor and felony records are open to the public but they are not always easy to access. If you know the exact courthouse where your 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?