Legally Selling A Gun In Nevada And What Is An Illegal Gun Sale

The purse of a women with items like gun, watch and lipstick on display

Gun ownership can be tricky in any state including Nevada.

Each state has its own laws, and then there are Federal Laws that can differ from the state laws. It can be very confusing when considering selling a gun and making sure it is a legal gun sale.

As a gun owner in Nevada, you have the right to sell firearms privately, but you must follow a specific set of laws to do so.

If you decide to sell your gun, you must do a thorough background check, and the sale must take place through a licensed firearms dealer.

You must also be aware of who can legally own a gun in Nevada. There are a group of people who cannot legally own a gun due to certain circumstances.

Illegal gun sales occur when these important steps are bypassed, which can happen when selling firearms to people who are prohibited from owning a gun or failing to conduct the necessary background checks.

If you sell a gun illegally in Nevada, the charges and penalties can be severe and can lead to jail time. If you find yourself in legal trouble over a gun sale, seeking experienced legal counsel like The Defenders law firm can be crucial. The Defenders can help navigate the complexities of the case and work toward the best possible outcome.

If you are facing illegal gun sale charges, contact our office today.  Our team of experienced criminal defense attorneys will fight for your rights and ensure that you receive a fair trial.

Who Can Own a Gun in Nevada

In Nevada, your eligibility to own a gun is subject to both state and federal regulations. Understanding who can possess a firearm is vital for complying with the law.

Who is Eligible to Own a Gun in Nevada?

  • You must be at least 18 years old to legally own rifles and shotguns.
  • You must be 21 years old to own a handgun.
  • Only U.S. citizens and legal residents can possess a firearm in Nevada.

To avoid criminal charges for an illegal gun sale, the law requires a background check of the buyer to sell a gun legally in Nevada. Also, all gun sales, even if they are private, need to be done through a licensed gun dealer. You cannot just sell a gun to another person without going through the proper legal process.

Who Cannot Own a Gun in Nevada

There are certain groups of people that cannot legally own a gun in Nevada. If any of the list below includes you or the person trying to buy the gun, then it would be considered an illegal sale.

  1. Convicted Felons: If you have been convicted of a felony, you cannot own or possess a gun.
  2. Domestic Violence Offenders: Those with a conviction for domestic violence are barred from gun ownership.
  3. Drug Users/Addicts: If you are a user or addict of controlled substances, owning a gun is illegal for you.
  4. Mentally Ill Individuals: People considered to be mentally-ill or have been committed to any mental health facility cannot legally possess firearms.
  5. Fugitives from Justice: If you’re a fugitive, possessing a gun is off-limits for you.
  6. Undocumented Immigrants: Non-U.S. citizens who are in the country illegally may not own firearms.
  7. Dishonorably Discharged Military Personnel: Those discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions are also barred.
  8. Restraining Order Recipients: You’re not allowed a gun if you’re the subject of a restraining order for stalking, harassing, or threatening an intimate partner or their children.

Understanding who is restricted from owning a gun is critical to ensure you’re in compliance with the law and avoid facing criminal charges. If in doubt about your eligibility to own a firearm in Nevada, you should speak with a lawyer before buying a gun.

Legal Requirements for Selling a Gun in Nevada

To legally sell a firearm in Nevada, you must adhere to both state and federal regulations. This compliance ensures responsible transactions and reduces the risk of firearms reaching individuals not permitted to own them.

Age and Background Checks

  • You must be at least 18 years old to sell a rifle or shotgun.
  • To sell a handgun, you must be at least 21 years old.
  • A background check is required when you sell a firearm to another unlicensed person. This must be performed by a licensed firearms dealer.
  • Maintain proper documentation of the sale, which might include forms provided by the dealer that conducted the background check.
  • It is illegal to sell a firearm without a required background check.
  • Avoid selling to persons you know or have reasonable cause to believe are prohibited from owning firearms.

Steps to Sell a Gun Legally in Nevada

To sell a gun legally in Nevada, follow these essential steps:

  1. Determine Eligibility: Check that both you, the seller, and the buyer meet all legal requirements to own a firearm in Nevada. This includes being over 18 for rifles and shotguns, over 21 for handguns, and not having any prohibiting conditions like certain criminal convictions.
  2. Contact a Licensed Dealer: All gun sales in Nevada must be through a licensed gun dealer.
  3. Completing Forms: A dealer will require the buyer to perform a background check to determine that the buyer is legally eligible to buy a gun.
  4. Wait for Approval: There is a waiting period while the background checks are being performed.
  5. Record Keeping: There are records that a gun owner should keep including the bill of sale.

Selling a gun without complying with these legal procedures is considered illegal and may lead to severe penalties.

Illegal Gun Sales In Nevada

When you sell a gun illegally in Nevada, you are engaging in transactions that violate state firearm laws. These transactions can range from selling without conducting the required background check to selling prohibited firearms.

Required Processes

As a seller, you are obligated to follow the process of a background check. You must also use a licensed gun dealer.

Prohibited Firearms

It is also against the law to sell guns that are considered illegal to sell including:

  1. Machine guns.
  2. Sawed-off shotguns.

Criminal Charges for Illegal Gun Sales in Nevada

If you sell a gun illegally in Nevada, you may face serious criminal charges. The gravity of these charges generally depends on the specifics of the violation. The penalties of illegal gun sales can be severe including fines and imprisonment.

  • Unlawful Sale of a Firearm: A typical charge if you sell a firearm to someone who is not legally allowed to possess one, such as a convicted felon. This crime can be classified as a Class B felony in Nevada, punishable by:
    • Imprisonment: 1 to 10 years
    • Fine: Up to $10,000
  • Providing a Firearm to a Prohibited Person: Knowingly selling a gun to a person who cannot legally own a gun can lead to criminal charges against the seller.
  • Failure to Conduct a Background Check: Not using the services of a licensed firearms dealer to facilitate the sale and conduct a background check is another violation that may lead to charges.

Legal Consequences

  • Felony Conviction: A felony record can lead to the loss of rights, including the right to vote or own firearms, and can negatively impact employment and housing opportunities.
  • Probation: You may be subjected to a period of probation with conditions imposed by the court.
  • Restitution: You could be ordered to pay restitution if the weapon sold illegally was used in the commission of a crime.

Defenses Against Illegal Gun Sales Charges

In the event you face charges for illegal gun sales in Nevada, various defenses may be available to you. Each case is different, so it is crucial to consult with a law firm experienced in firearms law.

Lack of Knowledge

You may argue that you were unaware the buyer was prohibited from purchasing a firearm. Proof of effort to conduct a background check could support this defense.


If law enforcement induced you to commit the crime, and you would not have otherwise done so, you might claim entrapment.

Legal Transaction Mistake

You could defend yourself by demonstrating that the sale was believed to be legal, and all proper procedures were followed.

You should also consider the circumstances under which you believed the transaction was legal:

  • When you ensured a licensed firearm dealer conducted a background check on the purchaser.
  • If you had no reasonable cause to believe the buyer was ineligible to own a gun under federal or state law.

An experienced attorney can help you navigate these complex legal waters.

How The Defenders Law Firm Can Assist

The Defenders Law Firm can provide the legal guidance and representation you require. As your legal representatives, they focus on several crucial actions:

Case Evaluation: Your situation is unique, and The Defenders will conduct a thorough review of the circumstances and evidence against you.

Legal Strategy: Developing a robust defense strategy based on Nevada’s laws and regulations pertaining to firearms sales is a significant part of their representation.

Representation: They offer zealous representation in court, advocating for your rights and working toward the best possible outcome.

Negotiations: If appropriate, they may negotiate with prosecutors to reduce charges or penalties, leveraging their knowledge of the law to benefit your case.

Guidance: You will receive clear, informed advice on the complexities of your case, helping you to make well-informed decisions.

The Defenders possess a deep understanding of gun laws in Nevada and can assist in formulating a defense strategy tailored to your case. They can investigate whether your rights were violated during the arrest or if procedural errors occurred, potentially leading to charges being reduced or dismissed.

Contact The Defenders for a confidential consultation. We are well-equipped to assist individuals navigating the legal aftermath of a firearms charge in Nevada.

The Defenders Criminal Defense Attorneys - Best of Las Vegas Gold Winner

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the consequences of selling a gun illegally in Nevada?

Selling a gun illegally in Nevada can result in serious criminal charges, including fines and imprisonment. These charges vary depending on the specifics of the violation.

What are some defenses against illegal gun sales charges?

Some potential defenses against illegal gun sales charges include lack of knowledge, entrapment, and proving that all proper procedures were followed in the transaction. Additionally, ensuring all legal processes, such as conducting background checks and using licensed dealers, were followed can also support a defense. Consulting with an experienced attorney is crucial in developing a defense strategy tailored to your case.

Can I defend myself if I sell a gun illegally without knowing it?

Yes, lack of knowledge is one defense that can be used to argue against illegal gun sales charges. However, each situation is unique, so it is best to consult with an experienced attorney for guidance.

What is an illegal gun sale?

An illegal gun sale is any transaction that violates federal or state laws related to the sale of firearms. This can include selling a gun to someone who is prohibited from owning one, not conducting proper background checks, or failing to use a licensed dealer for the sale. In Nevada, these actions can result in serious criminal charges with severe penalties.

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