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Las Vegas Criminal Defense

Mass Shootings Changing How Prosecutors Pursue Gun Violence Charges


Like everything, gun crimes are becoming more politicized than ever. With the rise in mass shootings, including the Mandalay Bay shooting in 2017, prosecutors all over the country are taking aim at gun violence and illegal firearms possession. If you’ve been arrested and charged with a gun crime, including unlawful possession, you can’t afford to take any chances. You could face more than 6 years in prison in Nevada. So, call Lobo Law today to speak to an attorney about your weapons charge.

Prosecution in the Wake of Mandalay Bay 

Even now, over a year and a half after the mass shooting at Mandalay Bay that claimed the lives of 59 people, gun laws have not really changed in Nevada or anywhere in America. With the exception of several local and limited amendments proposed by various lawmakers, the law is still very much the same. However, prosecutors are taking a much stronger stance on unlawful gun ownership and possession. Notably, consider just how broad illegal possession can be in Nevada.

NRS 202.360 – Possession of a firearm by a felon/prohibited person

This crime occurs when a felon is caught with a firearm. Under this law, certain people are prohibited from even having a firearm under their control or in their possession. But it’s a bit more expansive that what it may seem. For instance, if you have a felony conviction from Nevada or any other state, you are not allowed to have a firearm in your possession. But certain misdemeanors are also included, including most convictions for domestic violence and drug related offenses.

What is Possession? 

Possession is far more than actually “carrying” a gun. Here are a few examples of ways that innocent people can get caught up in these charges:

  • Riding in a vehicle with someone who has a gun
  • Someone brings a weapon into your home and you don’t know it
  • Someone leaves a gun in your trunk, glove box, or bags after borrowing a car
  • A dating partner leaves their gun at your home

In situations like these, many people have inadvertently been arrested and charged with serious weapons charges without even realizing they ever had a weapon in their “possession.” Fortunately, like most crimes, there must be some actual intent. This is where having an attorney can help.

Other People Who Cannot Possess a Gun 

Think the law just bars felons? Think again. Under NRS 202.360, there are actually a lot of individuals who cannot have a weapon in the state:

  • Anyone who has been adjudicated mentally incompetent or is a ward of the court
  • Anyone who has been acquitted of a crime by reason of mental insanity
  • Anyone who has pleaded guilty but mentally ill in this or any other state
  • Anyone who is illegally in the United States
  • People with orders of protection against them
  • Fugitives who are wanted by law enforcement
  • Any person who unlawfully uses or is addicted to a controlled substance

This last category should be troubling to anyone who really thinks about it. What exactly is an addictive controlled substance? No doubt, alcohol is a controlled substance, as are many street drugs. Therefore, some overzealous prosecutors could argue that an alcoholic is unable to exercise full Second Amendment rights in Nevada.

If you have been charged with crimes involving weapons possession, call Lobo Law to speak with a skilled Las Vegas weapons charges lawyer about your options for avoiding prison. Unlawful possession of firearm by a felon or prohibited person is a Category B felony in Nevada and carries up to 6 years in prison and a $5,000 fine. Let us help you today.


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