Definition of "Firearms" in Nevada & Registration Rules

Firearms in Nevada comprise every kind of gun including handguns and long guns. Nevada law does not require licenses, mandatory waiting periods or registration to purchase firearms.

Federal law requires licensed firearms dealers to run a background check on prospective purchasers. Dealers may not sell guns to:

  • felons,
  • domestic violence misdemeanants,
  • people adjudicated mentally ill,
  • drug addicts, and
  • fugitives, among others

Nevada recently passed a law mandating background checks for private firearm sales and transfers.

Also see our overview of Nevada firearms crimes for more information on Nevada gun offenses.

Registration is no longer required for handguns in Nevada.

1. What is a firearm in Nevada?

In Nevada law, "firearm" is just another word for gun. A firearm is any device that was designed to be used as a weapon and operates by ejecting a projectile (bullet) through a barrel using explosive or combustive force. In other words, firearms include everything from pistols and revolvers to rifles and shotguns.1

2. Do I need a license to buy guns in Nevada?

No, you do not need a license to own or buy a gun in Nevada.2

But you do need a CCW permit to carry a concealed handgun. See our article on carrying concealed firearms in Nevada

3. Is there a mandatory waiting period for buying a gun in Nevada?

No, there is no mandatory waiting period prior to purchasing a firearm in Nevada.3

Img no guns optimized

4. Do I need a background check to buy a gun in Nevada?

People who wish to purchase firearms from licensed dealers need to submit to a universal background check (a.k.a. Brady background check). Licensed gun dealers may not sell guns to people discovered to be:

  • convicted felons
  • people convicted of domestic violence
  • people under indictment or information for any crime carrying more than one year of prison
  • subjects of restraining orders to protect an intimate partner or his/her child
  • fugitives
  • drug addicts
  • people adjudicated as mentally defective
  • people committed to a mental institution
  • illegal aliens
  • dishonorably discharged veterans
  • people who renounced their U.S. citizenship4

Note that a new law requires background checks for private guns sales as well.5

Felons in possession of a firearm

Convicted felons who try to get a hold of a gun face prosecution for being a felon in possession of a firearm. It is a category B felony in Nevada carrying a punishment of:

Note that the same penalty applies to fugitives or drug users who possess firearms.6

5. Do I need to register my guns in Nevada?

No, Nevada does not require the registration of guns.7

Arrested for a gun crime in Nevada? Call an attorney...

If you are facing charges for a firearms crime, please call our Las Vegas Criminal Defense lawyers at 702-DEFENSE (702-333-3673) for a free consultation. We may be able to negotiate your charges down or dismiss them while saving your gun rights.

Legal References:

  1. NRS 202.253.
  2. NRS 269.222.
  3. Id.
  4. 18 USC § 922(g); Nevada Department of Public Safety gun check information page.
  5. NRS 202.254; Nevada AG Opinion 2016-12.
  6. NRS 202.360.
  7. NRS 269.222.


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