Basic Facts about Buying a Gun in Las Vegas

If you consider buying a gun in Las Vegas or elsewhere in Nevada, you need to know about the laws that apply. Some categories of individuals are not eligible to purchase a firearm. If you are disqualified from buying a gun, it is illegal for you to purchase one, and criminal penalties may apply.

Las Vegas criminal defense attorney Joseph Gersten knows firearms and is thoroughly versed in the laws that apply to purchase, possession, and use of guns. As an approved Concealed Firearm Instructor for Nevada and Utah, he is certified by the National Rifle Association (NRA) in more than nine (9) disciplines and is uniquely qualified to understand and defend against gun charges. In this discussion, he explains the basic legal requirements for buying a gun in Las Vegas.

Who Is Prohibited From Buying a Gun in Nevada?

Nevada laws and federal laws prohibit certain classifications of individuals from buying or owning a gun, whether a person is a resident or non-resident of the state. If you fall into one of these categories, you should not attempt to purchase a firearm in Las Vegas.

Persons not permitted to buy a gun include a person who has a conviction for any felony or a conviction for stalking or domestic violence. In addition, a person subject to a domestic protective order or under a high-risk protection order may not buy a gun. Laws also prohibit persons addicted to controlled substances and anyone with documented mental health issues, as well as persons illegally in the United States, from purchasing a firearm.

A person must be at least 21 years old to purchase a handgun, and at least 18 years old to purchase other types of firearms. In addition, laws prohibit other classifications of persons from buying a gun, including dishonorably discharged veterans and former U.S. citizens who renounced their citizenship.

If you fall into any of the preceding categories, you will not be able to pass a background check, which is required to purchase a firearm in Nevada. Penalties including fines and jail or prison time may apply if you buy a gun.

Nevada Background Check Requirement

Nevada law does not require a license to buy a gun but it does require that anyone purchasing a gun pass a background check, whether the firearm is purchased from a commercial dealer with an FFL (Federal Firearms License) or a private gun dealer. Certain classes of sales are excluded from the background check requirement. A background check also may not be required if the buyer has a current valid CCW permit. In many cases, a gun buyer will have to complete ATF Form 4473 prior to the background check. Violation of the background check requirement can subject a person to criminal penalties.

If the background check comes back as approved, the buyer may legally purchase a gun. If the check comes back as denied, the buyer cannot purchase a firearm. In some cases, a background check may come back as delayed, which means the buyer will get a response within three days.

If your background check is returned as denied, you may be able to appeal from the denial. You should discuss the matter with a lawyer knowledgeable in Nevada firearms law.

Concealed Carry in Las Vegas

If you buy a gun in Las Vegas, you should be familiar with the laws relating to carrying a concealed weapon in Nevada, in addition to the laws relating to buying a gun. While Nevada is an open carry state, a valid CFP / CCW permit is required to carry a concealed weapon. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) issues CFP / CCW permits that are valid throughout the state. Under a reciprocity agreement, Nevada recognizes CFP / CCW permits from many other states. Concealed carry without a valid permit is a felony in Nevada.

Even if you have a CFP / CCW permit, concealed weapons are prohibited in specific locations in Nevada, including law enforcement agencies, detention facilities (prisons, jails, etc.), courthouses, public airports (and public buildings on airport property), and public buildings with signs prohibiting firearms.

If you carry a firearm in Las Vegas, you should also be familiar with the many other laws that apply to possession of a firearm in Las Vegas. For example, possessing a gun while under the influence of alcohol or drugs — including legally purchased marijuana — is illegal. Any firearm possession charge is a serious matter. The best way to avoid a gun possession charge is to understand all the laws that apply to carrying a gun in Las Vegas.

Schedule a Free Consultation With an Experienced Las Vegas Firearms  Attorney

Las Vegas criminal defense attorney Joseph Gersten represents visitors and residents on all federal and state gun charges in Clark County and in other Nevada jurisdictions. If you encounter an issue buying a gun in Las Vegas or have any other legal concerns about firearms,  contact The Gersten Law Firm to schedule your free consultation.