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Federal law establishes a baseline national standard regarding individuals’ eligibility to acquire and possess firearms. Under federal law, people are generally prohibited from purchasing or possessing firearms if they have been convicted of a felony or some domestic violence misdemeanors, or if they are subject to certain court orders related to domestic violence or a serious mental condition. However, federal law merely provides a floor, and has notable gaps that allow individuals who have demonstrated significant risk factors for violence or self-harm to legally acquire and possess guns.

Kansas law prohibits any person from possessing a firearm if he or she:

  • Is both addicted to and an unlawful user of a controlled substance;1
  • Has been convicted of a “person felony” (a felony crime committed against or upon a person, such as homicide, rape, battery, kidnapping) or a violation of any provision of the Kansas uniform controlled substance act or a similar violation under the laws of another jurisdiction, or has been adjudicated a juvenile offender because of the commission of an act which if done by an adult would constitute the commission of a “person” felony, or a violation of any provision of the Kansas uniform controlled substances act, and was found to have been in possession of a firearm at the time of the offense;2
  • Has, within the preceding ten years, been convicted of a “nonperson” felony under Kansas law or a similar crime under the laws of another jurisdiction, has been released from imprisonment for such felony or was adjudicated as a juvenile offender because of the commission of an act which if done by an adult would constitute the commission of a “nonperson” felony, and was found not to have been in possession of a firearm at the time of the commission of the offense;3
  • Has, within the preceding five or ten years, depending on the crime, been convicted of a felony under the laws of Kansas or a crime under a law of another jurisdiction which is substantially the same as such felony, has been released from imprisonment for a felony or was adjudicated as a juvenile offender because of the commission of an act which if done by an adult would constitute the commission of a felony, and was found not to have been in possession of a firearm at the time of the commission of the offense;4 or
  • Is or has been a mentally ill person subject to involuntary commitment for care and treatment, or a person with an alcohol or substance abuse problem subject to involuntary commitment for care and treatment, unless the person has received a “certificate of restoration” pursuant to Kansas law.5 Under Kansas law, a person who was previously ordered to involuntary commitment for care and treatment as a mentally ill person or a person with an alcohol or substance abuse problem and who has been discharged from a facility may file a petition in the court where treatment was ordered for a certificate of restoration of the ability to legally possess a firearm.6 The certificate of restoration applies only to the possession of a firearm for the purposes of the state prohibition on firearm possession by the mentally ill and persons with an alcohol or substance abuse problem.7
  • Is a fugitive from justice or an undocumented person unlawfully in the United States;8
  • Has, within the preceding five years, been convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor offense;9 or
  • Is currently subject to certain domestic violence protective orders.10

See the Domestic Violence & Firearms in Kansas section for more information regarding Kansas’s domestic violence firearm laws.

See the Universal Background Checks in Kansas section for information regarding Kansas laws that prohibit people from knowingly selling a firearm to prohibited individuals.

For information on the background check process used to enforce these provisions, see the Kansas Background Check Procedures section.

 See our Firearm Prohibitions policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue. 

  1. Kan. Stat. Ann. § 21-6301(a)(10).[]
  2. Kan. Stat. Ann. § 21-6304(a)(1).[]
  3. Kan. Stat. Ann. § 21-6304(a)(3)(B).[]
  4. Kan. Stat. Ann. § 21-6304(a)(2), (3)(A).[]
  5. Kan. Stat. Ann. § 21-6301(a)(13), (j).[]
  6. Kan. Stat. Ann. § 75-7c26(a).[]
  7. Kan. Stat. Ann. § 75-7c26(d).[]
  8. Kan. Stat. Ann. §§ 21-6301(a)(15), (16).[]
  9. Kan. Stat. Ann. § 21-6301(a)(18).[]
  10. Kan. Stat. Ann. § 21-6301(a)(17).[]