NRS 33.0305 is the Nevada law that prohibits people named in extended protection orders (EPOs) from acquiring new firearms. And NRS 33.031 requires some of these people to surrender their old guns within 24 hours of the EPO being issued.Courts typically impose EPOs in cases of alleged domestic violence. EPOs usually last for one year. People named in EPOs face felony charges if they buy or keep any guns in violation of court orders.
(Note that people convicted of battery domestic violence (NRS 200.485) are required to surrender their firearms permanently. It makes no difference if they are subject to an EPO or not.)
Below our Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys answer frequently-asked-questions about restraining orders and gun rights in Nevada.
1. Can people with EPOs against them get new guns?
No. Subjects of an extended restraining order — called adverse parties — may not buy or acquire new guns while the Nevada EPO is in effect.1
2. Can people with EPOs against them keep their guns?
Nevada courts decide this on a case-by-case basis. In determining whether to order adverse parties to relinquish their guns, the court considers:
- Their history of domestic violence;
- If they have used firearms in the commission of a crime; and
- Whether they have used firearms to harass or hurt others
When people are ordered to surrender their guns, the court can make limited exceptions if guns are necessary for their job. Specifically, guns may be allowed if:
- Their occupation requires using or having guns;
- They possess guns only while on the job; and
- Their employer stores the guns while they are not working2
3. What is the penalty?
It is a category B felony to keep or acquire a firearm in violation of an EPO. The punishment is:
- 1 – 6 years in Nevada State Prison, and
- Up to $5,000 in fines (at the judge’s discretion)3
But prosecutors may be willing to reduce or dismiss the charges as part of a plea bargain.
4. What is the procedure for surrendering guns?
Adverse parties who have been ordered to relinquish their guns must take one of the following four measures:
- Give their guns to local police as designated in the court order. The police will provide a receipt with the guns’ descriptions and serial numbers;
- Give their guns to another person designated in the court order. The adverse party must inform the court and local police of this person’s name and address as well as the guns’ descriptions and serial numbers;
- Sell or give away the guns to a licensed firearms dealer. The dealer will provide a receipt with the guns’ descriptions and serial numbers. If the guns were transferred, the receipt will indicate whether the transfer is temporary or permanent. The receipts must be given to the court and local police; or
- Submit an affidavit informing the court they have no guns and acknowledging the penalties for failing to surrender any guns.
People ordered to surrender their firearms have 24 hours from the issuance of the EPO to do so. Then they must notify the court and local police (if necessary) within 72 hours or one business day of the surrender, whichever is later.4
If there is probable cause that adverse parties still have their guns, courts can grant police a search warrant. The police may then search locations where there is probable cause to believe the guns may be. And they can seize any guns they find as evidence.5
5. Can the criminal record get sealed?
Yes. A conviction for violating an EPO by having a firearm should be sealable five years after the case ends. Or if the charge gets dropped, then there is no waiting period required before requesting a record seal.6
Learn about how to get a Nevada criminal record seal.
6. What are the immigration consequences?
Any gun-related crime — especially a felony — is a deportable offense.7 Non-citizens charged with having a gun in violation of an EPO are advised to seek legal counsel. An attorney may be successful in getting the charge dismissed and saving the immigrant’s residence status.
Have you been arrested?
If you are facing criminal charges, contact our Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys for a free consultation. Call us or submit the query form on this page.
Also see our article on violating restraining orders (NRS 33.100).