‘Red Flag’ gun law now in effect in Nevada

Nevada state capitol building in Carson City

Nevada state capitol building in Carson City

Among the laws that took effect Jan. 1 is the “red flag” sections of AB291 allowing law enforcement or a concerned family member to get an order temporarily seizing firearms that belong to someone who poses a serious risk of personal injury to himself or others.

Supporters including Assemblywoman Sandra Jauregui, D-Las Vegas, say the law could prevent killings but in other states that have passed similar legislation, it has been more effective in preventing suicides than assaults and murders.

In addition to law enforcement, family members including domestic partners and those in a relationship with a person can seek an order temporarily taking the person’s weapons or an extended order if he or she “has probable cause to believe that a person poses a risk of causing personal injury to himself or herself or another person.”

That order can be issued by a court with or without notice to the person involved but only after a hearing before the court that must occur within seven calendar days after the application is filed.

If the subject of the order fails to surrender his or her weapons, the court can issue a search warrant.

In addition, that order must be transmitted to the Central Repository so that any law enforcement official dealing with that person can determine that he or she is not allowed to have a firearm.

If the subject of the order isn’t the owner of the weapon, the owner can keep it as long as he or she agrees to store it in a place such as a safe where the subject can’t get it.

The subject can get his or her weapons back after the order is dissolved as long as it is confirmed the they are eligible to own and possess a firearm under state and federal law.

Other parts of AB291 have been in effect since the bill was passed at the end of the 2019 Legislature — specifically the ban on bump stocks and other devices designed to turn a semi-automatic firearm into what is effectively a machine gun. Those devices were used in the Las Vegas October 1 massacre. Jauregui was one of the people attending that concert on the Las Vegas Strip that resulted in the shooting deaths of 59 people and wounding of numerous others.

Also in effect since the end of session is the language reducing the amount of alcohol a person can have in their system while in possession of a firearm from 0.1 percent to 0.08 percent, matching Nevada’s existing DUI statutes.


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