Beware Nevadans, Senate Bill 175 not only expanded gun rights, it added a new class of persons prohibited from owning a firearm under Nevada law. See NRS 202.260. Section 3 of SB 175 prohibits a person who has been convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence as defined in 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(33) from possessing or having custody or control of a firearm.
What many people fail to realize is that a misdemeanor offense in Nevada does not carry the right of a trial by a jury of your peers. Nevada employs bench trials for misdemeanor domestic violence offenses. This means one person, a judge, not a jury of your peers, determines if you lose your Second Amendment Right.
The new amended NRS 202.360 reads as follows:
Sec. 3. NRS 202.360 is hereby amended to read as follows:
202.360 1. A person shall not own or have in his or her possession or under his or her custody or control any firearm if the person:
(a) Has been convicted in this State or any other state of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence as defined in 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(33);
(b) Has been convicted of a felony in this State or any other state, or in any political subdivision thereof, or of a felony in violation of the laws of the United States of America, unless the person has received a pardon and the pardon does not restrict his or her right to bear arms;
[(b)] (c) Is a fugitive from justice; or
[(c)] (d) Is an unlawful user of, or addicted to, any controlled substance.
A person who violates the provisions of this subsection is guilty of a category B felony and shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for a minimum term of not less than 1 year and a maximum term of not more than 6 years, and may be further punished by a fine of not more than $5,000.
2. A person shall not own or have in his or her possession or under his or her custody or control any firearm if the person:
(a) Has been adjudicated as mentally ill or has been committed to any mental health facility; or
(b) Is illegally or unlawfully in the United States.
A person who violates the provisions of this subsection is guilty of a category D felony and shall be punished as provided in NRS 193.130.
3. As used in this section:
(a) “Controlled substance” has the meaning ascribed to it in 21 U.S.C. § 802(6).
(b) “Firearm” includes any firearm that is loaded or unloaded and operable or inoperable.
This bill has passed and is effective now.
So why no jury, well the Supreme Court of Nevada considers a misdemeanor offense a petty offense and therefore no right to a jury trial attaches, even though one loses his or her Second Amendment Right. For more information on the reasoning behind this see State v. Smith, 672 P.2d 631 (Nev. 1983).
Whether you agree or not with the new amendment, the reality is that if you have a misdemeanor conviction of a domestic violence you are prohibited from having a firearm in Nevada. It also is a felony offense to be in possession, custody or control of a firearm.
One should be aware of this because one may now be in violation of NRS 202.360 or if one is faced with a misdemeanor domestic violence charge he or she may want to fight it if one values their Second Amendment Right.