If you are a victim and your abuser has a gun or you feel unsafe for other reasons, it is important to work with a victim advocate. The following organizations can help you find an advocate free of charge:
- The National Domestic Violence Hotline at (800) 799-SAFE;
- VictimConnect at (855) 484-2846;
- Any of the local domestic violence programs listed here.
It is also helpful to have a lawyer assist you, particularly when you are seeking an order for protection against domestic abuse. You can find a lawyer using the Nevada Bar’s website. If you cannot afford a lawyer, information about free- and low-cost legal help is available from Nevada Legal Services or any of the other organizations listed here.
How to Get Protection
What kinds of orders for protection against domestic abuse are available in Nevada?
Nevada courts can issue two types of orders for protection against domestic abuse. In both of these orders, the court can help protect you from gun violence or threats of gun violence by an intimate partner:
- Temporary orders for protection against domestic abuse1*
- Extended orders for protection against domestic abuse2*
Courts can order whatever relief* they believe is necessary to protect you,3 including prohibiting the adverse party* from purchasing or possessing* firearms and requiring the adverse party to get rid of his/her/their guns. Adverse parties subject to extended orders for protection against domestic abuse are prohibited from buying or acquiring firearms,4 and courts may prohibit them from possessing firearms and require them to get rid of their firearms with 24 hours of being served* with the order.5
How can you get an order for protection against domestic abuse?
Click here to see if you are eligible for an order for protection from abuse in Nevada.
You can find out more about how to get protection at WomensLaw.org.
You can find your local court here.
Court forms can be found here.
What do I do if I do not qualify for protection as a victim of domestic violence but I still need protection from someone?
If you do not qualify for protection as a victim of domestic violence but need protection from someone (including a stranger, an acquaintance, or another person not covered under a domestic violence protection order), you might qualify for some other type of order. Contact VictimConnect at (855) 484-2846 or a lawyer for more information. You can find a lawyer using the Nevada Bar’s website. If you cannot afford a lawyer, information about free- and low-cost legal help is available from Nevada Legal Services or any of the other organizations listed here.
How can the court help protect you?
In Nevada, adverse parties*to extended orders for protection from domestic abuse are prohibited from purchasing or acquiring guns for as long as the order lasts.6 Courts can also prohibit adverse parties from possessing* firearms and require them to turn over their firearms to local law enforcement, to a third person designated by the court, or to a federally licensed firearms dealer.7 If the court orders this, the adverse party must:
- Get rid of their firearms within 24 hours of being served* with the order; and
- Provide a receipt to the court proving they got rid of their firearms within 72 hours of being served with the order or within one business day, whichever is later.8
Nevada courts can also order whatever relief* they deem necessary to protect you – this means that if your case is not fully covered under the law cited above, a court might still protect you from gun violence.9 Some of the things a court can order include:
- Prohibiting the adverse party from purchasing or possessing firearms (temporary orders for protection from domestic abuse);
- Ordering the adverse party to turn over his/her/their firearms to local law enforcement immediately;
- Ordering law enforcement to retrieve the adverse party’s firearms if the adverse party fails to turn them in;
- Requiring the adverse party to appear before the court to self-report turning over their firearms as ordered;
- Directing law enforcement to follow up with the adverse party to make sure the adverse party turned over their guns as ordered;
- Scheduling a follow up compliance hearing* to ensure that the adverse party has not accessed additional firearms since the order was issued;
- Ordering law enforcement to go to your home at scheduled times to check in on your safety;
- If the guns are shared marital property, the court can order the sale of the guns and divide the money between you;
- Ordering the adverse party to stay away from you, your children, your family, and anyone else in immediate danger, based on the threats and/or actions of the adverse party;
- Ordering the adverse party not to hurt you or threaten to hurt you in the future;
- Anything else you need to be safe.
How will the court know what you need to protect you from the adverse party’s firearms violence?
In your application* and during any of the hearings* you participate in when you are seeking protection, you will have the opportunity to tell the court about the adverse party’s* threats or acts of abuse, especially ones involving firearms. Every situation is different, and it is important to talk to a lawyer about your specific situation. You can find a lawyer using the Nevada Bar’s website. If you cannot afford a lawyer, information about free- and low-cost legal help is available from Nevada Legal Services or any of the other organizations listed here.
Your story will help the court decide what relief* to give you. Whether you are filling out court forms or speaking directly to the court, it is important to tell the court about the violence you experienced (working with your lawyer, if you have one), especially if the adverse party used or threatened to use a firearm against you, a member of your family, any member of the community, or your pet. Among other things, this may include telling the court:
- About incidents of physical violence or threats of physical violence and include dates wherever you can;
- How the adverse party used firearms to hurt or threaten you, your family, your pet(s), or anyone in the community;
- If you fear that the adverse party may use firearms violence or threats of firearms violence in the future;
- If the adverse party has threatened to harm him/her/themself. This may be a sign that the adverse party intends to use a dangerous weapon like a firearm against you, themself, or other people;
- If you can, the type(s), number, and location of firearms the adverse party has access to.