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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.

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

See the Universal Background Checks in Nevada section for more information about Nevada’s recently enacted law requiring firearm purchasers to pass a background check.

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  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).[]