Can Someone Own a Gun After a Domestic Violence Charge?
The Connection between Gun Rights and Domestic Violence
Both federal and state laws exist that prevent convicted felons from owning firearms. The State of Nevada has its own set of rules when it comes to someone who has been arrested or convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence charge. It helps to understand how this offense can affect your rights to gun ownership.
Domestic Violence Offender Gun Ban
Nevada is fairly strict when it comes to gun ownership and domestic violence offenses. In fact, if someone is convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence charge, he or she can no longer own guns.
The law has no exceptions to the rule, including needing to carry a firearm for employment.
The ban comes from a federal law called the “Domestic Violence Offender Gun Ban,” also known as the “Lautenberg Amendment.” This law makes it illegal for any person who is convicted of domestic violence to own, transport or use guns or ammunition. The law also makes it illegal for a person who is under a restraining or protective order to own, use or transport guns or ammunition. This federal ban applies to all 50 states, including Nevada.
Once an individual either pleads guilty to a domestic violence charge or is convicted after trial of a court, the judge then issues the conviction on the defendant’s record.
One thing that should be understood when it comes to a domestic violence condition is that it will not “drop off” that person’s record after a certain period of time, which would mean the individual could eventually own a gun again. Instead this conviction will stay on that person’s record, as will the gun ban as a result of the conviction.
Concealed Firearm Permit
Nevada also has a concealed firearm permit law which allows men and women who are over the age of 21 to legally carry firearms that are concealed. A permit, of course, is required to be able to carry a concealed weapon.
A domestic violence charge can cause the application for this permit to be rejected and the permit itself can be revoked once a conviction is made. It should go without saying that if someone cannot own a firearm, they cannot conceal carry it either.
However, NRS 202.3657 also allows law enforcement to revoke someone’s concealed weapon permit if that person has been convicted of a crime “involving the use or threatened use of force or violence punishable as a misdemeanor.” This language not only includes a domestic violence misdemeanor, but also simple battery and simple assault, as well.
Therefore, even if the defendant pleads to a lesser offense of simple battery, he or she may not be subject to the complete gun ban that goes along with a domestic violence misdemeanor conviction, but his or her concealed firearms permit may still be revoked for a period of three years.
Concealed carry permits can also be revoked from DUI convictions, stalking or restraining order adjudications, as well as suspended felonies or probation sentences.
In addition, the defendant’s concealed carry permit can also be revoked if he or she has been charged but not yet convicted of domestic violence. Under NRS 202.3657, a concealed weapons permit can also be revoked if a person has a warrant out for his or her arrest, or if he or she has been formally charged with a disqualifying offense to carry a concealed weapon, such as battery, stalking, or domestic violence.
Restoring Gun Rights
Because the law tends to be fairly strict when it comes to gun rights and crimes involving violence, it is of extreme importance that a criminal defense attorney be hired to protect that person’s rights.
Avoiding a domestic violence conviction is the top priority when it comes to ensuring that the defendant does not fall under the gun ban. Even if the individual has to plead down to a lesser crime that involves a temporary revocation of his or her concealed carry permit, that is ideal as compared to a permanent weapons ban.
If someone has been charged formally with a disqualifying crime, resulting in a suspension or revocation of a concealed carry permit, once the charges are dismissed, the person can apply to have their permit restored.
The gun ban applies in situations where a person is convicted of domestic violence. If, however, that conviction is expunged, the ban may be lifted. In Nevada, this process is known as record sealing under NRS 179.245. Under this law, a person who is convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor may file a petition to seal his or her record after seven years.
This period starts running from the date the case was closed or the date he or she was released from jail, whichever was later. A case has reached closure after the defendant has completed the court-ordered requirements or the defendant is sentenced to serve jail time and no later court dates are set.
If the individual has been charged with a felony domestic violence crime and has been convicted, this period of time is 12 or 15 years, depending on the category of the felony. If an individual is considering petition to have his or her record sealed, an attorney is recommended to help prepare the paperwork.
Contact Us Today
If you are the victim of domestic violence or are being accused of domestic violence, let Dan and his team go to work for you. Call 24/7 to schedule a free consultation: (702) 848-5000