Gun Possession Charges in Las Vegas: What You Need to Know

If you own a gun and live in or visit Las Vegas, you should understand the federal and Nevada criminal offenses relating to gun possession. Numerous statutes govern how, when, and where you may carry a gun, as well as how firearms may be used. The discussion that follows highlights the primary laws that apply to gun possession in Las Vegas. Other federal or state laws may apply in specific circumstances as well.

Conviction of a gun offense in Nevada can carry substantial penalties, including prison time and fines, in addition to adversely affecting your life in other ways. If you face any type of firearm charge, you should get assistance from a knowledgeable gun charge defense attorney. At The Gersten Law Firm, your first consultation and case evaluation are always free of charge.

Firearm Open Carry in Nevada

Nevada is an open carry state. It is legal to carry a firearm visibly in many places. However, open carry does not allow firearms in certain locations and does not include carrying a concealed weapon.

To carry a concealed weapon in Nevada, you must have a valid Concealed Firearms Permit / Carry Concealed Weapon permit. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) issues CFP / CCW permits valid throughout the state. CFP / CCW information, including reciprocity for out-of-state permits and CFP / CCW prohibited locations, is available on the Nevada State Police website.

Nevada does not have a requirement for firearm registration. A license is not necessary to own or carry a gun, but hunting with a firearm requires a license. Minors younger than 18 years old cannot handle or possess a gun, unless a parent or guardian supervises the minor.

Open Carry and CFP / CCW Limitations

The Nevada open carry law does not permit firearms in some locations, including:

  • Federal facilities and military bases, with some exceptions
  • Public and private schools, without written permission
  • Childcare facilities, without written permission
  • Post offices
  • Legislative buildings
  • Veterans Administration facilities
  • Secured areas in airports and in airplane cabins

In addition, even if you have a CFP / CCW permit, you cannot take a concealed firearm in specific locations, including courthouses, law enforcement agency facilities, public buildings with signage prohibiting firearms, school facilities (without permission), public airports and public buildings on airport property, and prisons, jails, and detention facilities.

National parks recognize state firearm laws, including Nevada open carry and CFP / CCW laws. However, firearms may be prohibited in certain federal facilities within a park, like visitor centers and government offices. You should check the gun rules for a specific park before you visit.

Gun Possession Offenses in Las Vegas

In addition to the limitations on open carry and CFP / CCW permit use, which can result in criminal charges for violations, Nevada and federal laws prohibit certain categories of persons from owning, carrying, or possessing a gun. The categories include individuals convicted of certain domestic violence charges or under a domestic violence restraining order or other protective order that prohibits possession of a firearm.

Numerous Nevada laws establish specific conduct that constitutes illegal firearm use. Las Vegas visitors and residents should be especially aware that possessing a gun while under the influence of alcohol (with a blood alcohol concentration of .08% or higher) or drugs (including legally purchased marijuana) is a chargeable offense under NRS 202.257.

Firearm violations may be either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the charge. Penalties vary widely, depending on the offense. In many cases, you may face substantial prison time and significant fines, in addition to other consequences that can negatively affect employment, housing, and other important parts of your life. Any gun charge should be taken very seriously.

Defending Against Las Vegas Gun Possession Charges

Representation by an experienced gun offense defense lawyer is the best strategy for minimizing the impact of a firearm charge. The strategy for a defense depends on the specific facts of a case. An attorney experienced in defending against firearm charges knows how to gather facts and apply the gun laws to complicated situations. A skilled lawyer also knows the policies and practices of the local courts and prosecutors in gun cases, which factor into determining the most advantageous defense strategy in a particular case.

Nevada firearm defense attorney Joseph Gersten is uniquely qualified to understand and defend against gun charges. In addition to his strong investigative and litigation background, he knows and understands firearms. 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. His background significantly benefits defendants facing any gun charges in Las Vegas.

Schedule a Free Consultation With an Experienced Las Vegas Gun Possession Defense Attorney

Las Vegas criminal defense attorney Joseph Gersten represents visitors and residents on all federal and state gun charges in Clark County and in other Nevada jurisdictions. Contact The Gersten Law Firm to schedule your free consultation.