Is It Legal to Carry a Firearm in Las Vegas?
Nevada open carry laws for firearms apply throughout the state. However, other state and federal laws impose restrictions on where, when, and how you can carry a firearm. If you visit or live in Las Vegas, it’s essential to be aware of the legal restrictions on carrying a firearm here.
Nevada Open Carry Laws for Firearms
State law allows open carry of firearms everywhere in Nevada for persons who are eighteen (18) years of age and over. No registration or permit is required for openly carrying a firearm on your person. (Hunting with a gun does require a license.) Open carry means that a person may visibly carry a firearm, unless a specific federal or state law prohibits it — and there are situations in which open carry is not allowed in Nevada.
Open carry requires the firearm to be seen by ordinary observation. Examples of open carry include slinging a rifle over your shoulder or wearing a gun in a holster or inside the waistband with or without a holster (with the gun butt visible). A permit is not required for open carry, but carrying a concealed firearm in Las Vegas requires a CCW permit.
Open carry does not allow guns in specifically identified locations in Nevada. Prohibited locations include public and private schools, childcare facilities, federal facilities, post offices, airport secure areas and airplane cabins, and legislative buildings. Military bases have their own rules regarding firearms.
National parks allow gun possession when in compliance with Nevada law (and the law of any other state where the park is located), if an individual is not otherwise prohibited from possessing a firearm. Firearms may not be allowed in some specific areas of a park, so it’s best to check the rules of the park you plan to visit before you go.
While no law prohibits firearms on private premises, most casinos, hotels, and resorts in Las Vegas do not allow open or concealed carry on their premises. The establishment can legally ask anyone with a firearm to leave. Refusal to leave constitutes trespass, which is a misdemeanor criminal charge.
Notwithstanding the state’s open carry laws, specific statutory provisions restrict carrying firearms in certain situations. One law is very important for visitors to know: It is illegal to carry a firearm if you are under the influence of alcohol (BAC of 0.08% or more) or drugs (including legally purchased marijuana). Doing so can result in a charge of firearm possession under the influence. Additional laws relating to conduct while in possession of a firearm are discussed below.
Concealed Carry in Las Vegas
A valid CCW permit is required to carry a concealed weapon in Nevada. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) issues CCW permits that are valid throughout the state. Under a reciprocity agreement, Nevada recognizes CCW permits from many other states.
Even with a CCW permit, concealed firearms are prohibited in specific locations, including law enforcement agencies, detention facilities (prisons, jails, etc.), courthouses, public airports (public buildings on airport property), and public buildings with signs prohibiting firearms.
Carrying a concealed firearm without a valid Nevada CCW permit is a serious criminal offense in Las Vegas (and throughout the state).
Firearm Offenses in Las Vegas
In addition to restrictions on where open carry and concealed firearms are allowed, Nevada laws prohibit certain categories of individuals from owning, possession, or carrying a gun. They include persons convicted of a felony, domestic violence, or stalking, as well as illegal immigrants and unlawful users of controlled substances. A court may restrict firearm use in a restraining order as well.
Federal and state laws also prohibit certain types of conduct involving firearms, such as possessing a gun while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, as noted above. For a detailed list of conduct involving guns that may constitute a criminal offense, including the potential penalties, please read our previous blog post, How To Avoid Firearm Criminal Charges in Las Vegas.
Defending Against Firearm Criminal Charges in Las Vegas
Developing a strategy for defending against Las Vegas firearms charges requires analysis of the circumstances and laws relating to the charge, as well as knowledge of practices and policies of the local courts and prosecutors. Las Vegas criminal defense attorney Joseph Gersten is uniquely qualified to understand and defend against gun charges: He is an approved Concealed Firearm Instructor for Nevada and Utah and is certified by the National Rifle Association (NRA) in more than nine (9) disciplines.
In addition, attorney Gersten understands the significant implications that a firearm conviction can have on your future, including how it can affect your employment opportunities. He draws on his extensive investigative, courtroom, and criminal defense experience to explore all available options in finding a resolution to the firearm charges filed against you.
Schedule a Free Consultation with an Experienced Las Vegas Firearm Defense Attorney
Las Vegas criminal defense attorney Joseph Gersten represents visitors and residents on all federal and state firearm criminal charges throughout Clark County and in other Nevada jurisdictions. Contact The Gersten Law Firm to schedule your free consultation.