If the abuser has been convicted of a crime, can s/he keep or buy a gun?
Wyoming state law says that it is a felony for the following persons to have or use a gun:
- anyone convicted of a violent felony or an attempted violent felony;
- anyone convicted of a felony for causing injury to a peace officer.1
Additionally, Wyoming has a law called the Firearms Freedom Act (FFA), which says that guns that are manufactured in Wyoming and kept in Wyoming at all times are excused from the federal gun laws limitations on firearms.2 However, even with the FFA, a person cannot have or buy one of these guns if s/he was convicted of a felony in any state or territory of the United States.2
It is not clear if Wyoming state lawmakers are allowed to pass a law that says the federal firearms laws do not apply. Please talk to a lawyer who is familiar with the Wyoming FFA for advice about your situation if you believe that the abuser has a Wyoming-made gun that has always been kept in Wyoming.
1 WY ST § 6-8-102
2 WY ST § 6-8-404(c)
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 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?