In the aftermath of the Route 91 Harvest Festival massacre last year, Nevada’s gun laws have been under increased scrutiny. Nevada’s gun laws are among the most permissive in the United States. However, there are some important limits. Nevada residents who own firearms or are thinking about buying one should take a moment to understand the state’s rules.
Protections for gun ownership
Gun ownership in Nevada is expressly protected by both the federal and state constitutions. The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution provides that “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Similarly, article 1, section 11 of the Nevada State Constitution, enacted in 1982, states that “[e]very citizen has the right to keep and bear arms for security and defense, for lawful hunting and recreational use and for other lawful purposes.”
In keeping with the permissive spirit of the state Constitution, Nevada has neither licensing nor registration requirements for firearms. Prior to June 2015 Clark County required owners to register handguns under the so-called “blue card” system. Among other things, the blue card system required first-time handgun owners to wait 72 hours before taking possession of their firearm. Senate Bill 175 preempted Clark County’s registration laws. One effect of SB 175 was that all existing registration records were destroyed.
Open carry and concealed carry
To carry a concealed weapon in Nevada one must have a concealed carry permit. Nevada is a “shall issue” state with respect to concealed carry permits, meaning that individuals who meet the requirements for a permit may obtain one without further official intervention. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department issues permits for Clark County residents. The requirements for a permit are straightforward: the applicant must be 21 years of age or older, must be able to lawfully possess a firearm, and must complete a firearms safety course.
Open carry of firearms is legal in Nevada. SB 175 preempted local laws that restricted open carry in Las Vegas. State law prohibits firearms at schools, including K-12 and college campuses. NRS 202.265. Owners and operators of private property are within their rights to ask people with firearms to leave the premises or disarm.
Nevada restricts gun ownership for certain individuals
Despite the state’s liberal gun ownership rules, many people in Nevada are not legally allowed to possess firearms. These include:
- Convicted felons who have not received a pardon.
- People convicted of crimes of domestic violence or stalking.
- People subject to an existing restraining order or other order intended to protect against violence.
- People who have been dishonorably discharged from the military.
- People who are legally insane or mentally incompetent.
- People who are not in compliance with United States immigration laws.
- People who use controlled substances prohibited under federal law, including marijuana.
Note that even though marijuana is legal for recreational and medicinal use in Nevada, its prohibition under federal law also brings federal restrictions on gun ownership to bear against users.
GGRM is a Las Vegas law firm
The law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has served the Las Vegas community for over 45 years. If you have questions about Nevada’s gun laws and how they may affect your rights, our attorneys are here to help. For a free consultation reach out to us today at 702-388-4476 or contact us through our website.