If the abuser has been convicted of a crime, can s/he have a gun?
Oregon state law says that it is illegal for a person convicted of a felony or a “qualifying misdemeanor” to have a gun in his/her possession at any time.1 A qualifying misdemeanor means physical force was used or attempted, or the person threatened use of a deadly weapon against the victim.2
Also, if the abuser applies for a license to carry a concealed handgun, that license will not be granted if s/he:
- is a convicted felon;
- has been convicted of a misdemeanor within the four years prior to the application for a gun license;
- has been convicted of a drug offense or participated in a court-supervised drug diversion program (although there can be an exception for a one-time misdemeanor conviction for marijuana);
- has an outstanding warrant for arrest;
- is on pretrial release (while awaiting a criminal trial for a felony); or
- is a registered sex offender in any state.3
If the abuser already has a concealed handgun permit, the permit can be canceled (revoked) by the sheriff for any of the reasons listed above.4 For contact information for your local sheriff’s department, go to our Oregon Sheriff Departments page.
Federal laws, which apply to all states, also restrict a person’s right to have a gun if s/he has been convicted of certain crimes. Go to Federal Gun Laws to get more information.
1 Or. Rev. Stat. §§ 166.250(1)(c); 166.255(1)
2 Or. Rev. Stat. § 166.255(1)(b)
3 Or. Rev. Stat. § 166.291
4 Or. Rev. Stat. § 166.293(3)
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.
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.
You can read more about the NICS in What will happen if the abuser tries to buy a gun when s/he isn’t supposed to?