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Nevada Felon: Can You Own a Crossbow? (2024 Law Update)

In Nevada, individuals with felony convictions have the legal right to own, possess, and utilize crossbows, as these weapons are not classified as firearms. This allowance extends to various activities, including hunting, where certain types of crossbows can be used to pursue big game within the state’s regulations.
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What is a Crossbow?

According to Wikipedia, a crossbow is a projectile weapon that employs an elastic launching mechanism, typically comprising a bow-like component known as a prod, affixed horizontally onto a primary frame called a tiller. This handheld device resembles the stock of a long gun and fires arrow-like projectiles termed bolts or quarrels [1].

Crossbows come in three primary variations, each with distinct features and advantages:

  1. Compound Crossbows: These models utilize split risers and cams, similar to those found in compound bows. Known for their popularity, compound crossbows offer a balanced blend of power and precision.
  2. Reverse Draw Crossbows: Characterized by their compact profile and high-speed shooting capabilities, reverse draw crossbows are exceptionally accurate. However, their advanced features come at a premium cost, often double that of compound crossbows.
  3. Recurve Crossbows: Recurve crossbows are the most affordable option, featuring limbs akin to those seen in recurve bows. While they may lack the speed of other types, they boast a wider frame, providing stability and ease of use.

Related Article: Are Brass Knuckles Illegal in Nevada?

Is a Crossbow a Firearm?

It’s a pressing matter since individuals with felony convictions typically forfeit certain constitutional rights, including the right to bear firearms for a specified duration. While some felons may have the opportunity to restore their rights, it’s not always granted. Therefore, it’s crucial to determine the classification of a crossbow—is it considered a firearm or not? Despite having a trigger mechanism and the ability to launch projectiles, crossbows operate without gas or explosions.

According to Help For Felons Org. under federal law, crossbows are not classified as firearms, which is advantageous for felons interested in hunting [2].

If a felon is able to obtain a hunting license in whatever state they reside in, then there should be no issue using a crossbow for that hunting, so long as permits and proper tags are acquired and, of course, the hunting season in open – Help For Felons Org.

Can Prisoners Ever Possess Crossbows?

Crossbows are strictly prohibited for prisoners under the following circumstances:

  • Currently incarcerated in a state prison, county or city jail, detention facility, or any other correctional institution.
  • Undergoing medical or psychiatric treatment at an alternate facility, or in transit to or from such a facility.
  • Under the legal custody of a correctional officer or employee.

These restrictions apply regardless of whether the individual has a clean criminal record or no prior convictions.

Also Read: Can a Felon Own a Gun?

Can a Felon Hunt With a Crossbow During Rifle Season?

According to the Department of Fish and Game regulations, it’s crucial to note that individuals with felony convictions are prohibited from possessing firearms under any circumstances [3]. While crossbows aren’t classified strictly as archery equipment or firearms, they’re recognized as deadly weapons and can be utilized during rifle seasons for hunting purposes. There’s no explicit prohibition against felons using crossbows for hunting.

Department of Fish and Game regulations do not prohibit a felon from using a crossbow to hunt with, however, the person should first check with their parole officer to see if a crossbow violates their conditions of parole.

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