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Legal Information: Nevada

State Gun Laws

Updated: 
November 13, 2019

If the abuser uses a gun for his/her job, can his/her gun be taken away?

It depends.  Even though as part of an extended order for protection, a judge can prohibit the abuser from possessing a gun, the law allows an exception for a respondent who is required to use a firearm as part of his/her employment.  The judge can allow the abuser to have a firearm in his/her possession if s/he proves that his/her employer requires him/her to use or possess a firearm as an essential part of the job.  However, the employer will have to provide for storage of the firearm during any period when the abuser is not working.1  Federal law, which applies to all states, also makes an exception for an abuser who is a law enforcement officer, military employee or government employee - s/he may still be able to continue to use a gun for work purposes (but not for personal use) even if you have an order for protection against him/her.2 

However, under both Nevada state law and under federal law, which applies to all states, if the abuser has been convicted of a felony or a domestic violence misdemeanor, the abuser can never buy or have a gun, even if s/he is a police officer, a military employee, or anyone who uses a job as part of his/her employment.2

If you are confused or not sure whether the abuser can still use a gun for work purposes, you can talk to a domestic violence advocate in your area or call the National Center on Protection Orders and Full Faith & Credit to find out more information: 1-800-903-0111 ext. 2. To find a domestic violence advocate in your area, please go to our NV Advocates and Shelters page. 

1 N.R.S. § 202.360(1),(2)
2 N.R.S. § 33.031(3)
3 N.R.S. § 202.360(1); 18 USC § 925(a)(1)

What is the penalty for having a firearm in violation of the law?

A person who possesses a firearm and meets one of the following is guilty of a category B felony (and can be sent to prison for between 1 to 6 years and subject to a fine of up to $5,000) - if s/he:

  • has been convicted in Nevada or any other state of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence (as defined in our Federal Gun Laws section);
  • has been convicted of a felony in Nevada or any other state;
  • is a fugitive from justice; or
  • is an unlawful user of, or addicted to, any controlled substance.1

A person who possesses a firearm and meets one of the following is guilty of a category D felony (and can be sent to prison for between 1 to 4 years and subject to a fine of up to $5,000) - if s/he:

  • has been adjudicated as mentally ill or has been committed to any mental health facility; or
  • is illegally or unlawfully in the United States.2

If someone possesses a firearm in violation of the terms of an order for protection, s/he is guilty of a gross misdemeanor and can be sentenced to up to 1 year in jail and up to a $2,000 fine.3 

Note: Under federal law, anyone who owns, has or buys a gun in violation of the federal firearm law can be punished by a fine, jail time for up to 10 years, or both.4  For more information, see our Federal Gun Laws page.

However, as with any criminal case, although the law sets out a specific amount of jail/prison time, the actual sentence that the abuser gets may depend on many different factors.

1 N.R.S. § 202.360(1)
2 N.R.S. §§ 202.360(2); 193.130(2)(d)
3 N.R.S. §§ 33.031(4); 193.140
4 18 USC § 924(a)(2)

I do not have an order for protection against the abuser and s/he has not been convicted of a crime. Can s/he have a gun?

It depends.  Under Nevada law, even if a person was not convicted of a crime and there is no current order for protection, a person cannot own or have in his/her possession if s/he:

  • is a fugitive from justice; 
  • is an unlawful user of, or addicted to, any controlled substance;1
  • has been adjudicated as mentally ill or has been committed to any mental health facility; or
  • is illegally or unlawfully in the United States.2

If one of these describes your situation, talk to someone in your area to find out how the law is being enforced.  If none of these situations apply, you can still make a plan for your safety.  See our Staying Safe page for more information. You can also contact your local domestic violence organization for additional help. You may want to talk to them about whether leaving the area - either long term or for a little while - might help improve your safety.  To find a shelter or an advocate at a local program, please visit the NV Advocates and Shelters page.

For additional information on gun laws in Nevada, you can go to the Giffords Law Center website.

1 N.R.S. § 202.360(1)
2 N.R.S. § 202.360(2)

I've read through all of this information, and I am still confused. What can I do?

Trying to understand both federal and state law can be confusing.  There are people who can help you better understand the law and your rights under the law.  You can:

  • contact the National Center on Protection Orders and Full Faith & Credit to get more information about the federal firearm law and how it applies to you: 1-800-903-0111 ext. 2;
  • contact us by writing to our Email Hotline;
  • contact a local domestic violence organization in your area.