If the abuser has been convicted of a crime, can s/he keep or buy a gun?
Virgin Island law says that a person cannot get a license to have a gun if s/he has been convicted of the following crimes:
- s/he has been convicted in any court for a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year;
- s/he has been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence;1
- s/he has been convicted in any state of any crime of violence; any violation of a narcotic law; or a violation of a “harmful drug” law;2 or
- s/he is a fugitive from justice.1
Federal laws, which apply to all states and territories, also restrict a person’s right to have a gun under certain circumstances. Go to Federal Gun Laws to get more information.
1 23 V.I.C. § 456a
2 23 V.I.C. § 458(a)
3 23 V.I.C. §§ 458(a); 451(b)
How can I find out if the abuser has been convicted of a crime?
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 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 NCIS. 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?