Federal law prohibits possession of a firearm or ammunition by any person who has been “adjudicated as a mental defective” or involuntarily “committed to any mental institution.”1 No federal law, however, requires states to report the identities of these individuals to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (“NICS”) database, which the FBI uses to perform background checks prior to firearm transfers.

Nevada requires that a court make a record and transmit the record to the Central Repository for Nevada Records of Criminal History (Central Repository), along with a statement that the record is being transmitted for inclusion in each appropriate NICS database, whenever a court or other trier of fact where applicable: 1) accepts a plea of guilty but mentally ill in a criminal case;2 2) finds a criminal defendant guilty but mentally ill;3 3) accepts a verdict acquitting a criminal defendant by reason of insanity;4 4) finds a criminal defendant incompetent;5 5) issues an order involuntarily admitting a person to a public or private mental health facility;6 or 6) finds that a proposed ward is a person with a mental defect.7 The court must transmit the record to the Central Repository within five business days of the plea or determination.8

The Central Repository, upon receiving any of these records, must take reasonable steps to ensure that the information reported in the record is included in each appropriate NICS database.9 Any record of a person’s mental health included in the Central Repository is confidential, not considered a public record, and may not be used for any purpose other than for inclusion in NICS.10

For general information on the background check process and categories of prohibited purchasers or possessors, see the Nevada Background Checks section and the section entitled Nevada Prohibited Purchasers Generally.

See our Mental Health Reporting policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

  1. 18 U.S.C. § 922(d)(4). ⤴︎
  2. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 174.035(8). ⤴︎
  3. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 175.533(3). ⤴︎
  4. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 175.539(4). ⤴︎
  5. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 178.425(6). ⤴︎
  6. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 433A.310(4). ⤴︎
  7. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 159.0593(1). ⤴︎
  8. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 174.035. ⤴︎
  9. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 179A.163(1). ⤴︎
  10. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 179A.165(1). ⤴︎