Federal law prohibits certain persons from purchasing or possessing firearms, such as felons, certain domestic abusers, and certain people with a history of mental illness.

Similarly, Nevada prohibits any person from owning or possessing a firearm if he or she:

  • Has been convicted of a felony in Nevada, any other state, or under federal law;
  • Has been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence, as defined by federal law, in Nevada or any other state;
  • Has been convicted of stalking under Nevada law, or convicted of a similar law of any other state that prohibits substantially similar conduct;1
  • Is currently subject to an extended order for protection against domestic violence under Nevada law or an equivalent order in any other state;
  • Is a fugitive from justice;
  • Is an unlawful user of, or addicted to, any controlled substance;
  • Is otherwise prohibited by federal law from having a firearm in his or her possession or under his or her custody or control;
  • Has been adjudicated mentally ill or has been committed to any mental health facility by a court of this State, any other state or the United States;
  • Has entered a plea of guilty but mentally ill in a court of this State, any other state or the United States;
  • Has been found guilty but mentally ill in a court of this State, any other state or the United States;
  • Has been acquitted by reason of insanity in a court of this State, any other state or the United States; or
  • Is illegally or unlawfully in the United States.2

In 2016, Nevada voters approved a ballot initiative to require background checks on private sales of firearms. However, after the FBI announced that it would not conduct background checks in the manner the initiative required it to, the Nevada Attorney General issued an opinion stating that individuals would not be prosecuted for failing to conduct background checks on private sales. Nevada currently lacks an enforceable process to conduct background checks on private sales of firearms.

Nevada does, however, provide that a private person who wishes to transfer a firearm may request that the Central Repository for Nevada Records of Criminal History perform a background check on the transferee. See the Nevada Private Sales section for further information.

See our Prohibited Purchasers policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Under Nevada law, stalking is committed when a person “willfully or maliciously engages in a course of conduct that would cause a reasonable person to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, harassed or fearful for the immediate safety of a family or household member, and that actually causes the victim to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, harassed or fearful for the immediate safety of a family or household member.” Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 200.575. ⤴︎
  2. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 202.360(1), (2). ⤴︎