How a Domestic Violence Conviction Impacts Gun Rights in Nevada

How a Domestic Violence Conviction Impacts Gun Rights in Nevada
In addition to facing criminal penalties, domestic violence offenders may face many other negative consequences, including termination of his/her right to legally carry a firearm.

Federal and state laws make it illegal for a person convicted of a felony domestic violence charge to own or possess a firearm. But, what happens if the offender is convicted of a misdemeanor offense, such as battery constituting domestic violence? This article explores the consequences of a domestic violence conviction in Nevada on an offender’s right to own and possess a firearm and possible steps to restore those rights.

What Offenses Constitute Domestic Violence in Nevada?

It is important to note that only certain offenses qualify as domestic violence. A battery that constitutes domestic violence is defined by Nevada Rev. Stat. § 200.481 and Nevada Rev. Stat. § 200.485.

Under Nevada law, domestic violence occurs when a person intentionally commits battery against his or her family members, spouses, dating partners, or housemates/cohabitants. Battery is broadly defined as any harmful touching. Examples of battery include hitting, pushing, kicking, slapping, strangling, burning, poisoning, or any other kind of harmful contact.

Domestic Violence Convictions

There are two ways in which an individual may be “convicted” of domestic violence; a guilty plea before trial, or a guilty conviction at trial. In either case, the consequence is the same; a convicted domestic abuse misdemeanant loses the right to own or possess a firearm so long as the conviction remains on his/her record. Thus, even after a conviction, it is still not too late to regain rights, including the right to own and possess a firearm.

A convicted offender may be able to avoid permanently losing the right to own and possess a firearm by a process called record sealing, which involves filing a petition with the court. However, in Nevada you have to wait 7 years before you can seal your record if convicted of domestic violence.

Even an accused – but not yet convicted – domestic violence offender can lose his/her right to own and possess a firearm if that person is subject to an extended order of protection. A Nevada court issuing a domestic violence protective order is authorized (but not required) to include in the order a requirement that the adverse party either sell/transfer a firearm to a licensed firearm dealer or surrender it to law enforcement within 24 hours.

It is illegal for anyone under an extended protective order (TPO) to own/carry a firearm.

Contact Karen Connolly

Are you facing domestic violence charges in Nevada? In 2014, every domestic violence defendant that hired Ms. Connolly had their case dismissed. For a consultation call (702) 678-6700, or request a consultation online using the form below.