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As you know, Nevada makes it a crime for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to own, possess, or have custody or control over a firearm. It does not matter whether the felony occurred in Nevada or not. It also does not matter whether the gun is unloaded or inoperable.
The only legal way a person who has been convicted of a felony can bear arms in Nevada is if he/she receives a "pardon" from the state. To learn how to apply for a pardon go to the Nevada Board of Pardons Commissioners.
A pardon is a government-issued "forgiveness" of a person's past crime in Nevada. It doesn't erase the conviction from the person's record (only a record sealing can do that). But a pardon can restore the person's civil rights including gun rights that had been suspended due to the conviction. It has a number of benefits -employers are more likely to overlook past indiscretions, and it automatically restores the right to vote and to sit on a jury as well.
Note that people applying for a pardon have to check the box on the pardon application indicating that they want to get their gun rights back. Otherwise, the Pardon Board won't restore any gun rights -even if it grants the pardon!
Note also that if a person has their gun rights restored under a pardon, federal authorities can't used the pardoned conviction to prosecute him/her for "unlawful possession of a firearm" under federal law.
While there's no fee to apply for a pardon, it's a slow process (the pardon board only meets twice a year on average), and there are no guarantees of a pardon being granted. Out of the hundreds of applicants every year, only a very small percentage ever get a pardon. There's no foolproof formula for being granted a pardon in Nevada. The Pardon Board considers each application on a case-by-case basis. Predictably, people with older and minor convictions are more likely to get a pardon than those with newer and serious convictions, so the fact that so much time has passed does benefit you.
When deciding whether to grant a pardon the Pardon Board considers several factors including:
- how much time elapsed since the applicant completed the sentencing requirements
- whether the applicant fulfilled all sentencing requirements, including fines and costs
- whether the applicant had positive life changes since the conviction
- if the applicant has a compelling need for the Pardon (such as to get licensed for a job)
- how the crime impacted the victim, if any
It always looks good to the Pardon Board when the applicant has shown stability, improvement and service in his/her life since the conviction. Applicants should outline all the positive things that have happened to them such as:
- getting a degree
- holding a job
- having a family
- doing community service and charity work
- avoiding arrests
Applicants are encouraged show remorse for their past crimes, rather than explain why they committed them or claim to have been falsely convicted. Applicants are also encouraged to include letters of recommendation from employers or clergymen attesting to their good character.
If you need any clarification or additional information, please reply and I'll be happy to assist you further. Thank you.