If the abuser has been convicted of a crime, can s/he keep or buy a gun?
In New Mexico, it is a crime for someone to have a gun if the person:
- is a felon and not more than ten years have passed since the person completed his/her sentence; or
- has been convicted of any of the following crimes:
New Mexico state law also says that a person cannot get a concealed handgun license if s/he has been convicted of any of the following crimes:
- s/he received a conditional discharge, a diversion or a deferment or has been convicted of, pled guilty to or entered a plea of no contest (“nolo contendere”) to a misdemeanor offense involving a crime of violence within ten years immediately preceding the application;
- s/he has been convicted of a misdemeanor offense involving driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs within five years immediately preceding the application for a concealed handgun license;
- s/he has been convicted of a misdemeanor offense involving the possession or abuse of a controlled substance within ten years immediately preceding the application;
- s/he has been convicted of a misdemeanor offense involving assault, battery or battery against a household member;
- s/he has been convicted of a felony in New Mexico or any other state or pursuant to the laws of the United States or any other jurisdiction;
- s/he is currently under indictment for a felony criminal offense in New Mexico or any other state or pursuant to the laws of the United States or any other jurisdiction; or
- s/he is a fugitive from justice.2
Note: Federal laws, which apply to all states, restrict an abuser’s right to have a gun if s/he has been convicted of a felony or domestic violence misdemeanor. Go to the Federal Gun Laws page to get more information.
1 N.M.S.A. § 30-7-16(A)(3)
2 N.M.S.A. § 29-19-4(A),(B)
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.
Federal law specifically prohibits possession of a firearm if the person is convicted of any felony or of a domestic violence misdemeanor. Criminal records that would make a person ineligible to purchase a firearm 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?