Sheriff's Office

Firearms Release Request

EXPECTED FIREARM RETURN TIMES
Each firearm request is reviewed in the order they are received. The Washoe County Sheriff's Office is required to submit certain types of firearms into the Integrated Ballistics Identification System, known as IBIS. There is currently an approximate 6 month backlog on IBIS testing, and this contributes to an increased review time for many firearms. IBIS is not controlled by the Washoe County Sheriff's Office and we do not have the ability to expedite that process. A complete background check of the owner/requestor will also be completed prior to the firearm being released. The time for this depends on many factors to include case dispositions, state database requests, etc.

The Washoe County Sheriff's Office is not able to disclose case details or the status of a case. If your case is denied, you will receive a certified letter in the mail.

FIREARM CASE REVIEW CATEGORIES
Each case will be entered into one of four categories:
  • In-Progress: Firearm returned from IBIS and ETrace, firearm owner background check in-progress.
  • Not In-Progress: Firearm not returned from IBIS and ETrace, case not ready for review.
  • Completed: IBIS and Etrace are completed (if applicable), Firearm history and firearm owner background completed and sent to department lieutenant for final approval.
  • Denied: Under the applicable statutes owner/requestor did not qualify to take possession of the firearm.

FIREARM OWNER BACKGROUND CHECK
The Washoe County Sheriff's Office follows State of Nevada and Federal statute guidelines when conducting background checks. Refer to the Federal Gun Control Act in section 922 (g) or (n) of Title 18, United States Code and Nevada Revised Statute 202.360 for prohibited person outlined categories. The main elements are listed below:

Gun Control Act Prohibited Categories:
922(g) 1- Are Convicted of a Crime Punishable by Imprisonment for a Term Exceeding One year
922(g) 2- Are fugitives From Justice
922(g) 3- Are Unlawful Users of or Addicted to Any Controlled Substance/p>
922(g) 4- Have Been Adjudicated as Mental Defectives or Have Been Committed to a Mental Institution
922(g) 5- Are Aliens and Are Illegally or Unlawfully in the United States
922(g) 6- Have Been Discharged for the Armed Forces under Dishonorable Conditions
922(g) 7- Have Renounced Their U.S. Citizenship
922(g) 8- Are Subject to a Qualifying Protection/Restraining Order
922(g) 9- Have Been convicted in Any Court of a Qualifying Misdemeanor Crime of Domestic Violence
922(n) - Are Under Indictment/Information for a Crime Punishable by Imprisonment for a Term Exceeding One Year For further information on prohibited person, choose a category below.


Gun Control Act
Firearm Possession Prohibition Federal law 
Ownership of possession of firearm by certain persons prohibited
NRS 202.360
Sale, transfer or disposal of firearm or ammunition to certain persons prohibited; purchase of firearm on behalf of certain persons prohibited.
NRS 202.362
Known Member of a Criminal Gang
NRS 193.168

FIREARM HISTORY BACKGROUND CHECK
The firearm return policy is a detailed process that involves firearm history and, in many cases, ballistic testing. Most firearms are sent to the Integrated Ballistics Identification System for testing. The information is entered into the ATF’s National Integrated Ballistic Information Network database. Additionally, firearm information is commonly sent to ETrace. A firearm return request will not be reviewed until the firearm is returned from IBIS and ETrace.

FINAL FIREARM APPROVAL
All firearm dispositions require supervisor approval prior to firearm release to owner/requester.

WHAT DO I NEED TO DO TO GET MY FIREARM RETURNED
Please complete the FIREARMS RELEASE REQUEST AND LAW ENFORCEMENT GUN RELEASE APPLICATION. 
Once your Firearm Release Request and Application is received, the Washoe County Sheriff's Office will send you a notification via e-mail that we are in receipt of your request.

FIREARM’S TAKEN AS EVIDENCE, FOUND PROPERTY OR SAFEKEEPING

Evidence:
If the firearm has been taken as evidence in a crime or suspected crime, it will not be returned until the court case has been concluded. If the court case is completed, obtain an evidence release form from the court and attach it to the Citizen’s Property Release Request Form and submit to the email address firearmsrelease@washoecounty.us.

Found Firearm:
The owner will be given 90 days to prove ownership and claim the firearm. All unclaimed firearms will be destroyed.

Safekeeping:
Firearms that are being held for safekeeping shall be returned to the legal owner upon request and after a firearm background review is completed. Firearms not requested within 90 days will be disposed of. 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Protection Order:
If your firearm is being held by the Washoe County Sheriff's Office due to a protection order, your order must be expired and you must file a motion at the District Court requesting the return of the firearm(s). The Court must grant the motion and generate a Court Order for the release of the firearm(s). It is the owner’s responsibility to drop off the court order with a completed Citizen’s Property Release Request Form to the Washoe County Sheriff's Office (Attention WCSO Firearms Review Unit). firearmsrelease@washoecounty.us

Can Someone Else Pick Up My Firearm?
If you would like someone else to pick up your firearm, we must receive a notarized letter of authorization from you. The person authorized to pick up your firearm will undergo a Federal background check prior to pick-up.

If the firearms owner is deceased, you must have paperwork showing you as the Executor of the Estate, or a Will with a copy of the death certificate. Please include the report number on all paperwork in order for us to help you more efficiently.

I Am A Prohibited Person From Possessing A Firearm, Can I Have My Firearm Returned To Me?
If you are a prohibited person from possessing a firearm, you may not have your firearm returned to you. You may elect to have the firearm destroyed or may be able to transfer the firearm to another person, using a licensed, State of Nevada, gun dealer (owner of the firearm is responsible for all fees associated with the transfer). You must obtain an Affidavit of Abandonment of Firearms Form.
To request a form, e-mail  firearmsrelease@washoecounty.us

I Live Outside Of the Reno, Nevada Area. Can I Have My Firearm Be Mailed To Me?
In some circumstances, items can be mailed to a local law enforcement agency or to a licensed gun dealer. Please e-mail firearmsrelease@washoecounty.us for further details.

All questions related to firearm review case status can be made by e-mailing your questions to
firearmsrelease@washoecounty.us