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Nevada’s hate and gun laws have significant gaps that allow people to keep and access guns, including assault weapons, after they have been convicted of violent hate crimes.

Access to Guns for People Convicted of Hate Crimes in Nevada
Violence with Severe Bodily InjuryViolence with Bodily InjuryOther Crimes Involving Intentional Use of ForceThreats with Deadly Weapons
Other Credible Threats to Physical Safety
u003cstrongu003eFederal Lawu003c/strongu003eVery limited or no accessSome accessSome accessSome access
Significant access
u003cstrongu003eState Lawu003c/strongu003eVery limited or no accessSome accessSome accessSome access
Significant access

Nevada law imposes longer prison terms for certain offenses committed as hate crimes “by reason of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation or gender identity or expression” of the victim. (Ethnicity and gender are not included as protected categories).1 When committed as hate crimes, specified misdemeanors like assault, battery, and harassment are instead treated as “gross misdemeanors,” punishable by up to 364 days imprisonment.2

Federal law generally prohibits people from accessing firearms if they have been convicted of a felony punishable by over one year in prison, or a state law misdemeanor punishable by more than two years.3 Misdemeanors and gross misdemeanors in Nevada are not punishable by a term long enough to trigger federal firearm restrictions.4

Like federal law, Nevada prohibits firearm access by people convicted of felonies, as well as people convicted of most stalking offenses.5 As a result, people convicted of violent hate crimes are generally only prohibited from accessing guns in Nevada, under state and federal law, if they have been convicted of felonies, and they are prohibited under state law if they have been convicted of stalking. Nevada generally classifies violent crimes as firearm-prohibiting felonies if they involve substantial bodily harm or assault or battery with a deadly weapon.6

However, people convicted of violent hate-motivated misdemeanors generally remain eligible to access guns in Nevada, under state and federal law, including hate crimes involving intentional infliction of bodily injury,7 use of force to intimidate,8 brandishing or discharging a firearm in a threatening manner,9 and other credible threats of violence.10


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  1. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 193.1675; 207.185. Nevada law also authorizes judges to impose an additional prison term, if a person uses a firearm or other deadly weapon in the commission of a crime. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 193.165. However, this extended sentence may not exceed the sentence imposed for the crime and runs consecutively with the sentence for the underlying offense, meaning that people convicted of violent misdemeanors involving the use of a firearm are still not subject to state or federal firearm restrictions.[]
  2. Id.;Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 193.140. Misdemeanors are otherwise punishable by up to six months imprisonment. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 193.150. []
  3. 18 U.S.C. § 922 (g)(1); 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(20)(B).[]
  4. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 193.130; 193.140; 193.150.[]
  5. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 202.360(1)(a), (b), (c).[]
  6. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 200.481(2)(b), (e) (felony “Battery”); 200.471(2)(d) (felony “Assault”); 200.280 (felony “Mayhem”). []
  7. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 200.481(2)(a); 207.185 (gross misdemeanor hate-motivated “Battery”). []
  8. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 200.471(2)(a) 207.185 (gross misdemeanor hate-motivated “Assault”).[]
  9. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 202.290; 202.320. []
  10. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 200.571; 207.185 (gross misdemeanor hate-motivated “Harassment” involving threats of violence).[]