Both commercial and private gun dealers in Nevada must run background checks on purchasers before going through with the gun sale.
Background checks may take up to three (3) days. Some of the disqualifications for buying a gun include being either:
- under 18 (or 21 for handguns);
- a convicted felon or domestic violence misdemeanant;
- an undocumented non-citizen;
- a fugitive; and/or
- a drug addict
Currently, there is no background check required for buying ammunition.
In this article, our Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys answer frequently-asked-questions about background checks for Nevada gun sales. Click on a topic to jump to that section.
- 1. Do I have to get a background check to buy a gun in Las Vegas, Nevada?
- 2. How does a background check for buying a gun work in Las Vegas, Nevada?
- 3. Is there a mandatory wait-time to buy a gun in Las Vegas, Nevada?
- 4. Will I pass the background check to buy a gun in Las Vegas, Nevada?
- 5. Can I appeal if I do not pass the background check to buy a gun in Las Vegas, Nevada?
- 6. Are background checks required for private gun sales in Las Vegas, Nevada?
- 7. Do I need a background check to buy bullets in Las Vegas, Nevada
- 8. Do I need a license to buy a gun in Las Vegas, Nevada?
Yes, even if it is a private gun sale.1 Note that Nevadans with current and valid CCW (carrying concealed weapons) who buy from a licensed dealer just have to fill out the 4473 form.2
Before a gun dealer can sell a gun to a purchaser, the dealer runs a “Brady background check” through the Nevada Department of Public Safety (NDPS). In determining whether a purchaser passes the background check, the NDPS searches both state and federal records, including those in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (“NICS”) database.3
If the purchaser passes the background check, the dealer may proceed with the gun sale.
No. But sometimes the background check can take up to three (3) days to complete. This delay is often due to the purchaser having a similar name to someone else who may be prohibited from possessing a firearm, and NDPS staffers simply need more time to research.
If the background check exceeds three (3) days, the seller may sell the person the gun without having to wait any longer.4
The following people will not pass a background check to buy a firearm in Nevada:
- People under the age of 18 (or under 21 for handguns);
- People who have been adjudicated mentally ill;
- Convicted felons;
- People convicted of domestic violence;
- Illegal aliens;
- Dishonorably discharged veterans;
- Former U.S. citizens who renounced their citizenship;
- People who are subject to a court order restraining them from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner or his/her child;
- People who are under indictment or information for a felony;
- Fugitives; and
- Drug addicts5
Prospective gun purchasers who wish to check their criminal history prior to trying to buy a gun are advised to consult an attorney. An attorney can help with pursuing a NDPS records request and an FBI records request.
- 18 U.S.C. § 922(t)(1).
- 18 U.S.C. § 922(t)(3), 27 C.F.R. § 478.102(d).
- Nevada Point of Contact Firearm Program.
- U.S. General Accounting Office, Gun Control: Implementation of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System 13 (Feb. 2000).
- NRS 202.360; Nevada Senate Bill 124 (2017).
- Nevada Senate Bill 143 (2019); Bill Dentzer, “Sisolak signs Nevada gun background checks bill into law,” Las Vegas Review-Journal (February 15, 2019).