In 2021, Nevada enacted ghost gun reform legislation (effective January 1, 2022), with provisions regulating both unserialized assembled firearms as well as unserialized unfinished frames and receivers.1 (**As described in further detail below, litigation over Nevada’s unique (and allegedly vague) definition of “unfinished frame or receiver” caused a state court to put some parts of this ghost gun law on hold in December 2021.**)2 Much of Nevada’s ghost gun law, however, is in full effect.
Subject to certain exceptions, Nevada’s law now makes it unlawful to manufacture, assemble, or cause to be manufactured or assembled, an unserialized firearm.3 (“Firearm” is defined for these purposes to mean “any device designed to be used as a weapon from which a projectile may be expelled through the barrel by the force of any explosion or other form of combustion.”)4
Additionally, Nevada law generally makes it unlawful to possess, sell, offer to sell, transfer, purchase, transport, or receive an unserialized firearm (a firearm that is not imprinted with a serial number issued by a firearms importer or manufacturer in accordance with federal law and regulations).5
Nevada’s ghost gun legislation also enacted similar provisions governing unfinished frames and receivers without serial numbers. The law defined “unfinished frame or receiver” for these purposes to mean “a blank, a casting or a machined body that is intended to be turned into the frame or lower receiver of a firearm with additional machining and which has been formed or machined to the point at which most of the major machining operations have been completed to turn the blank, casting or machined body into a frame or lower receiver of a firearm even if the fire-control cavity area of the blank, casting or machined body is still completely solid and unmachined.“)6
The provisions governing unfinished frames and receivers made it generally unlawful to possess, purchase, transport, receive, sell, offer to sell, or transfer an unfinished frame or receiver unless it is required by federal law to be imprinted with a serial number issued by a firearms importer or manufacturer and has been imprinted with the serial number.7 (This provision implicitly makes it unlawful to sell key ghost gun components if they are not regulated as firearms under federal law and subject to state and federal gun safety laws accordingly). ** However, before the law took effect, a state trial court ruled that this portion of the law regulating “unfinished frames and receivers” is unenforceable in its current form due to the allegedly vague definition of “unfinished frame or receiver” provided in Nevada’s law.8
The rest of Nevada’s ghost gun law regarding unserialized firearms is in full effect.
Our experts can speak to the full spectrum of gun violence prevention issues. Have a question? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.Contact
- 2021 NV AB 286, amending Title 15, Chapter 202.
- See Polymer 80, Inc. v. Sisolak, et al., Case No. 21-CV-00690, Order on Motions for Summary Judgment (Nev. 3rd Dist. Dec. 10, 2021).
- Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 202.3635. More specifically, it is unlawful to manufacture, assemble, or cause to be manufactured or assembled, a firearm that is not imprinted with a serial number issued by a firearms importer or manufacturer in accordance with federal law and any regulations adopted thereunder unless the firearm:
(c) Has been determined to be a collector’s item pursuant to 26 U.S.C. Chapter 53 or a curio or relic pursuant to 18 U.S.C. Chapter 44.
- Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 202.253(3).
- Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 202.364. This prohibition is subject to certain exemptions for law enforcement agencies, firearm importer or manufacturers, and for firearms that have been rendered permanently inoperable, or which are antiques, curios or relics, or which were otherwise manufactured before 1969. Id.
- Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 202.253(9).
- Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 202.3625 (governing sale, transfer, offer to sell); 202.363 (governing possession, purchase, transport, and receipt). These prohibitions generally not apply to a federally licensed firearms importer or manufacturer or if the recipient of the unfinished frame or receiver is a licensed importer or manufacturer.
- Specifically, the court found that the law’s definition of “unfinished frame or receiver” was too vague to support criminal penalties. Polymer 80, Inc. v. Sisolak, et al., Case No. 21-CV-00690, Order on Motions for Summary Judgment (Nev. 3rd Dist. Dec. 10, 2021).