I have an extended order for protection against the abuser. Can s/he keep a gun or buy a new gun?
It is a crime in Nevada for someone to have a firearm if there is a Nevada extended order for protection against domestic violence against him/her -- or a similar order from another state. However, the order for protection must include a statement that the abuser is prohibited from having or using a firearm while the order is in effect.*
When you get an extended order for protection, the judge can specifically prohibit gun possession as one of the terms of your order. The judge can also order the abuser to give up all of his/her firearms within 24 hours of service (receipt) of the order. The abuser can either give the firearms to law enforcement or sell/transfer them to a licensed firearm dealer.** If the judge has "probable cause" to believe that the abuser has not surrendered, sold or transferred any of his/her firearms within 24 hours after service of the order, the judge can issue a search warrant that:
- allows law enforcement to enter and search any place where there is probable cause to believe any firearms are located; and
- seize (take) the firearms.***
In addition, federal laws, which apply to all states, restrict an abuser's right to have a gun if you have a protective order against him/her that meets certain requirements even if the judge does not specifically include on the order that s/he cannot have a gun. Go to the Federal Gun Laws page to get more information.
If you are afraid for your safety, talk to your local domestic violence program about your options. Go to the NV Advocates and Shelters to find a program in your area.
* N.R.S. § 202.360(1)(d)
** N.R.S. §§ 33.031(1); 33.033(1)
*** N.R.S. § 33.033(5)
I have a temporary order against the abuser. Can s/he have a gun?
Most likely, yes. Under federal law, if the judge gave you an ex parte temporary order for protection (which means that no advance notice was given to the abuser), which is commonly done, it could still be legal for him/her to have a gun under federal law. However, if the judge scheduled a court hearing and gave notice of the hearing to the abuser before giving you the temporary order for protection, it is possible that it is illegal for him/her to have a gun under federal law. The order of protection must also meet certain other requirements, though. Read I have a final order of protection against the abuser. Can his/her gun be taken away? to find out more (in our Federal Gun Laws section.)
Is there anything I can do to make it more likely that the abuser's gun is taken away when I get an order for protection?
Here are a few things that may help:
- If the abuser has a gun, tell the judge how many guns s/he has, and if s/he has ever threatened you with a gun(s);
- Ask the judge to specifically write in your order for protection that the abuser cannot own, buy or have a gun while the order is in effect. The form that you will have to fill out to petition for an order for protection will have a place where you can request additional protections. You can ask that the abuser’s gun(s) be taken away in that section; and
- Before leaving the courthouse, check to make sure that the gun restriction is written on your order.
It also may be helpful if the judge explains what will happen to the abuser's guns, who will take them, and where they will be held once you leave the courthouse. If the judge agrees to add language that the abuser cannot keep his/her guns while the order for protection is in effect, you may also want to ask that the judge:
- Require the abuser to give his/her guns to the police, or require the police to go to the abuser's house and get them;
- Make it clear to both you and the abuser how long the guns will be kept away from the abuser; and
- Order that the police notify you when the guns are returned to the abuser.