If the abuser has been convicted of a crime, can s/he keep or buy a gun?
Ohio state law says that a person cannot have or buy a gun if s/he:
- is a fugitive from justice;
- has been indicted or convicted of any felony drug offense, or has been found to have committed such an offense as a minor;1
- is a “violent career criminal,” meaning s/he has been convicted of two or more unrelated violent felonies in the prior eight years;2
- has been indicted or convicted of a violent felony, or has been found to have committed such an offense as a minor. The following are considered violent felonies:
- aggravated murder;
- voluntary manslaughter;
- involuntary manslaughter;
- felonious assault;
- aggravated assault;
- making terroristic threat;
- aggravated robbery;
- has been indicted or convicted of one of the following crimes but only as a felony, not as a misdemeanor, or has been found to have committed such an offense as a minor:
Also, under Ohio state law, a person cannot get a concealed handgun license if:
- s/he was convicted of, pleaded guilty to, or adjudicated a delinquent child for committing the following crimes in Ohio or similar crimes in another state;
- domestic violence; 4
- certain drug-related offenses(you can see which drug offenses in the statute, section (D)(1)(e));
- assault, when the victim is a peace officer;
- s/he is currently under indictment for, or otherwise currently charged with:
- within the past three years, s/he was convicted of, plead guilty to, or was adjudicated a delinquent child for committing a misdemeanor offense of violence (other than a few specific crimes, which you can read about in the statute, section (D)(1)(f));
- within the past five years, s/he has been convicted of, pleaded guilty to, or adjudicated a delinquent child for committing two or more violations of the crimes of assault or negligent assault;
- within the past ten years, s/he has been convicted of, pleaded guilty to, or adjudicated a delinquent child for committing a violation of the crime of resisting arrest.5
Also, Ohio state law says that if a deadly weapon (including a firearm) is used while committing a domestic violence crime or while violating a protection order, the police officers who come to the scene of the crime have the right to take (seize) the weapon.6
In addition, federal laws, which apply to all states, restrict a person’s right to have a gun under certain circumstances. Go to Federal Gun Laws to get more information.
1 Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.13(A)
2 Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.132
3 Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.132(A)(2)
4 Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.125(D)(1)(s)
5 Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.125(D)(1)
6 Ohio Rev. Code § 2935.03(h)
How can I find out if the abuser has been convicted of a crime?
Criminal convictions 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?