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Nevada Gun Control Laws

Nevada, with its Old West history of gunslingers and mining towns, has an interesting history with gun laws. So how does the Silver State govern gun ownership? Here is a brief introduction to gun control laws in Nevada.

Nevada law defines a firearm as any device designed to be used as a weapon from which a projectile can be expelled through the barrel by the force of any explosion or other form of combustion. A firearm that can be concealed — that is, a handgun — is one with a barrel less than 12 inches long.

Limited Authority

Nevada has a "limited authority" to regulate firearms. It does not require permits, firearm registration, or owner licenses for firearm owners. Firearms can generally be carried openly throughout Nevada, though carrying a loaded rifle or shotgun inside a vehicle on or along a public road is illegal.

A 'Shall Issue' State

Nevada — like Texas, Florida, Colorado, and Oregon — is a "shall issue" state, which means concealed carry permits must be issued to all qualified applicants. Applicants must be 21 and older.

Nevada Gun Laws at a Glance

Learn more about Nevada gun control laws in the table below. See Details on State Gun Control Laws for more general information.

Relevant Statutes (Laws)

Nevada Revised Statutes, Title 15, Chapter 202, Sections 202.253 through 202.369
  • Background check required for certain sales or transfers of firearms between unlicensed persons - Section 202.2547
  • Possession of a dangerous weapon on property or in the vehicle of school or child care facility - Section 202.265
  • Unlawful import, sale, manufacture, transfer, receipt, or possession of certain semiautomatic firearms, devices, or parts that modify semiautomatic firearms - Section 202.274
  • Possession, manufacture, or disposition of short-barreled rifle or short-barreled shotgun - Section 202.275
  • Changing, altering, removing, or obliterating serial number of a firearm prohibited - Section 202.277
  • Manufacture, importation, possession, or use of dangerous weapon or silencer; carrying a concealed weapon without a permit; penalties; issuance of a permit to carry a concealed weapon - Section 202.350
  • Ownership or possession of a firearm by certain persons prohibited; penalties - Section 202.360
  • Application for permit; eligibility; denial or revocation of permit - Section 202.3657
  • Permittee to carry permit and proper identification when in possession of a concealed firearm; penalty - Section 202.3667
  • Permittee authorized to carry a concealed firearm while on premises of public building; exceptions; penalty - Section 202.3673

Illegal Arms

The following firearms are prohibited in Nevada:
  • Any device that allows a semiautomatic firearm to operate like an automatic firearm or materially increases the firearm's rate of fire
  • Short-barreled rifle
  • Short-barreled shotgun
  • A defaced firearm (a firearm with a serial number that has been changed, altered, removed, or obliterated)
  • A machine gun, unless authorized by federal law
  • A silencer

Waiting Period

Nevada does not have a waiting period to purchase a firearm.

Who May Not Own

A person shall not own or possess any firearm if the person:
  • Has been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence
  • Has been convicted of a felony
  • Has been convicted of stalking and the court entered a finding in the judgment of conviction or admonishment of rights that the victim has an ongoing fear of harm
  • Is currently subject to an extended order for protection against domestic violence
  • Is a fugitive from justice
  • Is an unlawful user of, or addicted to, any controlled substance;
  • Is otherwise prohibited by federal law from possessing a firearm
  • Has been adjudicated as mentally ill or has been committed to any mental health facility by a court
  • Has entered a plea of guilty but mentally ill
  • Has been found guilty but mentally ill
  • Has been acquitted by reason of insanity
  • Is illegally in the United States

License Required?

No license is required to purchase or own firearms in Nevada.

Concealed Carry License Required?

In Nevada, a person much have a concealed carry permit and must carry the permit and identification to carry a concealed firearm legally.

Open Carried Allowed?

Nevada does not prohibit open carry.

Eligibility for a Concealed Carry License

A sheriff shall issue a concealed carry permit to an applicant who:
  • Is 21 years old or older or who is at least 18 years old and a member of, or honorably discharged from, the military;
  • Is not prohibited from possessing a firearm under Nevada law; and
  • Demonstrates competence with handguns by presenting a certificate that shows successful completion of an approved firearm safety course
The sheriff shall deny an application or revoke a permit if the applicant or permittee
  • Has an outstanding arrest warrant
  • Has been judicially declared incompetent or insane
  • Has been voluntarily or involuntarily admitted to a mental health facility during the immediately preceding 5 years
  • Has habitually used intoxicating liquor or a controlled substance to the extent that his or her normal faculties are impaired
  • Has been convicted of a crime involving the use or threatened use of force or violence punishable as a misdemeanor during the immediately preceding 3 years
  • Has been convicted of a felony
  • Has been convicted of a crime involving domestic violence or stalking, or is currently subject to a restraining order, injunction, or other order for protection against domestic violence
  • Is currently subject to an ex parte or extended order for protection against high-risk behavior
  • Is currently on parole or probation from a conviction
  • Has, within the immediately preceding 5 years, had an entry of judgment for a conviction of a felony withheld or a suspended sentence for the conviction of a felony
  • Has made a false statement on any application for a permit or for the renewal of a permit
  • Has been discharged or released from the military under conditions other than honorable conditions and is less than 21 years of age

Machine Gun Laws

Nevada prohibits owning or possessing a machine gun unless the machine gun is authorized by federal law.

Penalties for Illegal Firearm Possession

  • Possessing a semiautomatic firearm, short-barreled rifle, short-barreled shotgun, or a defaced firearm is a category D felony punishable by 1 year to 4 years imprisonment and up to a $5,000 fine
  • Possessing a machine gun or silencer or carrying a concealed firearm without a license are category C felonies punishable by 1 year to 5 years imprisonment and up to a $10,000 fine
  • A person who possesses a firearm when prohibited by Nevada law will be guilty of either a category D or category B felony, depending on the reason for the prohibition. If it is a category B felony, the offender shall be punished by imprisonment of 1 year to 6 years and up to a $5,000 fine

Penalties for Illegal Possession on or Near School Grounds

Possessing a pistol, revolver, or another firearm on school property is a gross misdemeanor punishable by up to 1-year imprisonment and up to a $2,000 fine.

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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Facing Gun Crime Charges in Nevada?

If you face Nevada or federal gun charges, you can protect yourself and your right to own a firearm by calling a local criminal defense attorney. Find a professional who can help today through our lawyer directory.

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