Domestic Violence Arrests Can Affect Your Firearm Rights in Nevada
If you are facing a Nevada criminal charge involving domestic violence, you need to be aware that a guilty plea or conviction can result in permanently losing your right to own firearms under state law, even if the charge is a misdemeanor. You can also lose that right if you are placed under a domestic violence extended order of protection in Nevada or a similar order in another state.
Nevada Domestic Violence Charges That Can Affect Your Gun Rights
There are two different situations in which domestic violence charges can result in losing your right to own or possess a gun:
- Conviction or guilty plea to a misdemeanor domestic violence charge;
- Being subject to an extended order of protection for domestic violence in Nevada or subject to a similar order in another state.
Nevada law sets out specific domestic violence charges that can result in permanently losing your right to own or possess a gun. They include offenses against:
- Your spouse
- Your former spouse
- A person related to you by blood or marriage
- A person who lives with you
- A person with whom you have a dating relationship
- A person with whom you have a child
- A minor child of any of the above individuals
- A person who is the custodian or legal guardian of the individual’s minor child
Offenses that qualify include:
- Using force or threat of force to compel a person to act or refrain from acting in a legal way
- Sexual assault
- Harassment of any kind, as specified in the statute
- False imprisonment
- Unlawful or forcible entry on another person’s property
Being charged with any offense that qualifies as a domestic violence charge can result in both a criminal charge for the specific offense as well as being placed under an extended order of protection. If you plead guilty to or are convicted of the criminal charge, you permanently lose your right to own or possess a gun, even if the charge is a misdemeanor.
If you are subject to an extended protective order, the ban is effective immediately when the order is entered and lasts as long as the order is in place. The law requires that an individual placed under an extended order for protection surrender, sell, or transfer any firearm that the person owns, possesses, or has under his or her custody or control and provides the procedure for surrendering, selling, or transferring.
In 2017, the Nevada laws applicable to the domestic violation gun prohibition changed. Violation of the gun prohibition — regardless of the reason it was imposed — formerly was a misdemeanor. Now it is a Category B felony. That means if you violate the ban, you will be facing a new felony charge.
In addition, the gun prohibition became mandatory in cases of extended orders of protection in 2017. Formerly, imposing the ban was in the judge’s discretion. It no longer is optional. It is a mandatory ban, effective for as long as the order of protection is in place. The only exception is situations in which you can establish that you only use your gun in your employment.
The 2017 amendments to Nevada laws made them consistent with the domestic violence gun ban in place under federal law.
Avoid Losing Your Gun Rights
The best way to avoid losing your gun rights is to defend vigorously against any charges that may result in losing them. If you are charged with a domestic violence offense or if you are facing the possibility of having an extended protective order issued, you should retain an experienced domestic violence attorney to represent you.
If you are facing a domestic violence charge, your attorney can try to get the charges reduced to lesser charges that do not constitute a domestic violence offense. In cases involving an extended order of protection, your attorney can aggressively defend you in the court proceedings to prevent a temporary protective order from becoming an extended order.
Getting Your Gun Rights Restored
If you plead guilty or are convicted of a domestic violence charge, the gun ban is permanent. It stays in place as long as the charge is on your record. The only way to get the ban removed is to have your criminal record sealed. That cannot be accomplished until seven (7) years after the conviction or plea for a misdemeanor charge and ten (10) years after the conviction or plea for a felony charge.
If an extended order of protection is in place, the gun prohibition is removed only when the order is lifted or expires.
Talk With an Experienced Las Vegas Domestic Violence Defense Attorney
Las Vegas attorney Joseph Gersten has substantial experience in all aspects of domestic violence charges. In addition, he is exceptionally well-qualified to understand the implications of losing your right to own and possess a firearm.
Attorney Gersten is an approved Concealed Firearm Instructor for Nevada and Utah and is certified by the National Rifle Association (NRA) in more than nine (9) disciplines. On account of his personal experience and knowledge, he fully understands the serious impact that a domestic violence charge can have on your future, including how it can affect your gun rights.
When you hire Joseph Gersten to represent you, he will apply his investigative, analytical, criminal defense, and courtroom experience to help you. He understands the importance of aggressively defending against the charges and also the significance of preserving firearm rights for individuals.
The Gersten Law Firm can also assist with getting your record sealed if the required time has elapsed since your plea or conviction. If you are facing domestic violence charges in Las Vegas or elsewhere in Clark County or need request assistance with sealing a criminal record, contact The Gersten Law Firm to schedule a free consultation.