The information contained herein shall not be construed as legal advice and is to be used as a reference only. While things mentioned in this section have been stringently researched and taken directly from Federal, State and Local Government websites and law references, always double check Federal, State, and Local Laws, Regulations, Ordinances, and Codes for the appropriate area for full and up-to-date information. Always seek the guidance and counsel from a licensed attorney versed in Federal, State, and Local firearms and/or self-defense law.
Starting in January 2022 the possession, transfer, and/or sale of any firearm, frame, or lower-receiver without a serial number is illegal unless it is an antique, has been permanently rendered inoperable, is a collectable (under federal guidelines), was manufactured prior to 1969, or you are a federally licensed firearms manufacturer or importer.
The manufacturing and sale of (but not possession and use of) metal-piercing ammo capable of being fired from a handgun is illegal. NRS 202.273
There are NO mandatory firearm registrations, there is NO waiting period, there is NO purchase limits or permits.
Possession, Sale, Transfer, Manufacture of “Bump Stock” type devices are illegal.
At the time of this publication, Nevada has no other restrictions on Firearms, Ammo, or Magazines.
You may NOT carry, in a vehicle, a rifle or shotgun with a live cartridge or shell in the firing chamber. There may be live cartridge(s) or shell(s) in an attached magazine.
- Exceptions: does not apply to paraplegics, persons with one or both legs amputated or who have suffered a paralysis of one or both legs which severely impedes walking, or peace officers and members of the Armed Forces of this State or the United States while on duty or going to or returning from duty.
You MAY carry a handgun with one live cartridge in the firing chamber at any time apart from within the Red Rock National Conservation area. In the Red Rock National Conservation Area you may carry a firearm however it must be unloaded with all cartridges as well as the magazine detached from the firearm.
Private Sales/Transfers of Firearms
The sale or transfer of a firearm between two-private parties who are not a Federally Licensed Firearm Dealer (FFL) must be done through a FFL.
- Sales and Transfers to family members (by blood [whole or half], marriage, step, adoption): spouse, domestic partner, parents, children, grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews DO NOT require a background check through a FFL.
- The sale or transfer is an antique firearm, as defined in 18 U.S.C. § 921(16).
- The transfer is to an executor, administrator, trustee, or personal representative of an estate or a trust that occurs by operation of law upon the death of the former owner of the firearm.
A temporary transfer is allowed to a person who is not prohibited from buying or possessing firearms under state or federal law if such transfer:
- Is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm; and
- Lasts only as long as immediately necessary to prevent such imminent death or great bodily harm.
May Temporarily transfer if such transfer is exclusively:
- At an established shooting range authorized by the governing body of the jurisdiction in which such range is located; or
- At a lawful organized competition involving the use of a firearm; or
- While participating in or practicing for a performance by an organized group that uses firearms as a part of the public performance; or
- While hunting or trapping if the hunting or trapping is legal in all places where the transferee possesses the firearm and the transferee holds all licenses or permits required for such hunting or trapping; or
- While in the presence of the transferor.
- The transferor has no reason to believe that the transferee is prohibited from buying or possessing firearms under state or federal law; and
- The transferor has no reason to believe that the transferee will use or intends to use the firearm in the commission of a crime; and
Marijuana, Firearms and Nevada
While yes recreational and medicinal possession and use of Marijuana is legal by Nevada state law, Marijuana is still a Federally Illegal substance and the possession of and/or use of a firearm while in possession of or under the influence of Marijuana is a Federal Offense.
Having a Medical Marijuana card or Possessing/Using/Being Under the Influence of Marijuana of any sort makes you a Prohibited Person and also disqualifies you immediately from being able to get a Carrying Concealed Weapons Permit in Nevada.
Alcohol and Firearms in Nevada
You may be in possession of a firearm and alcohol in Nevada so long as your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) is not above .08. Unless you are monitoring your own BAC or are only having a single drink, we recommend if you are going to drink that you Play It Safe and Secure Your Weapon!
That being said, it is never wise to be in possession of or use a firearm while under the influence of anything that could impair your judgement.
The ONLY Exception to the Use of or Possession of a Firearm while under the influence of alcohol (or any other substance) is if you are in your residence and are in an active self-defense situation.
Open Carry is Legal in Nevada without a license or registration unless otherwise forbidden by a certain federal or state law.
What is Considered Open Carry? The firearm must be easily discernible by an ordinary observer to be that of a firearm. If you are going to open carry, be extremely careful that no part of your clothing (like a jacket or button-open shirt) inadvertently covers your weapon even for a second. For reference, a discernible part of the firearm like the grip, the slide, the trigger, the barrel must be always uncovered and visible.
Nevada Does Not Recognize Constitutional Carry. To carry a concealed weapon, you must have a valid Carrying Concealed Weapons (CCW) permit.
Carrying Concealed Weapon (CCW) Permits/Laws
Carrying a concealed firearm is legal in Nevada if you have a valid CCW permit. Nevada is a SHALL ISSUE state. This means if you are not a prohibited person and meet all requirements then you will most likely get your Permit when you apply for it.
What is Considered Concealed? Any firearm carried UPON a person that is not easily discernible by an ordinary observation is considered concealed carry. Basically, if someone, like a law enforcement officer, looks at you and can’t tell you are carrying a firearm then it is considered concealed. NRS 202.350(8)(a) For further reference on 'discernable', see 'Open Carry' above.
If you are going to open carry, be extremely careful that no part of your clothing (like a jacket or button-open shirt) inadvertently covers your weapon even for a second.
Carrying (or even touching for that matter) a purse, bag, or any container with a firearm concealed within it is considered being in possession of concealed firearm. If it is within general proximity to you and/or in the same structure (car, home, building, etc.) and that item is not actively in your possession (any part of your body holding or touching the item containing the firearm) it is okay. There is some debate if it is in a gun case if that is actually considered carrying concealed since there is no known case law for this. To be safe, transport your firearm either openly (if you don’t have a CCW Permit) or in a locked case/safe with it unloaded (or if in an unlocked case if it is being carried promptly) from a personal vehicle to a residence, Federal Firearms Licensed shop, or range. Don’t just roam around or linger with it in public.
If you should be stopped by law enforcement while doing so be upfront and clear with them and hopefully you shouldn’t have any issues.
You CANNOT carry a concealed weapon in your residence without a permit, no exceptions.
CCW Permits are for Handguns Only. Though there is a separate permit for carrying knives in Clark County, having one for one is not good for the other. As far as CCW knife laws, as far as we are aware of, knife specific CCW's are required in Clark County and we are not aware of any other municipality that requires the same but that does not mean they do not exist elsewhere and we implore you, and others, to check the local municipality laws, codes, and ordinances and/or seek the guidance of a licensed Nevada attorney with knowledge of local laws, codes, or ordinances of your specific area, or areas you travel to, if deciding to carry a knife concealed. Nevada has no preemption for knives like it does for firearms.
You must have your permit and your state issued identification card on you at all times while carrying a concealed weapon.
You must apply for your permit with Sheriff’s Office in the County in which you currently reside. The Sheriff’s Department has 120 days from the date your application has been accepted by them AND you have submitted your fingerprints to them.
You Must Be 21 Years Old to be Eligible to apply for a CCW Permit. If you are 18-21 years of age and you are Active-duty military and are/or have an honorable discharge you are eligible.
Must have valid state ID or driver’s license issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) with current address.
Nevada military residents will need active military ID or current orders for proof of residence.
If born outside of the United States, an additional form of identification is required:
- United States passport
- Nationalization Certificate
- Permanent Resident Alien Registration card
- Certificate of Born Abroad
- Employment Authorization Card
- I-94 with Nevada hunting license
***Must be an original, no photocopies***
Required Course to Get Your CCW Permit
You MUST Complete an IN-PERSON Nevada certified firearm’s training course by a certified firearms instructor within your County prior to submitting your application.
- Initial application – 8-hour class (must include live fire qualification)
- Renewal application – 4-hour class (must include live fire qualification)
Permits are good for 5 Years. There is NO Grace Period for Expiring Permits. If your permit expires you cannot carry concealed until you have renewed your permit. You have 364 days after the permit expires to renew but will have to pay a late fee (fee dependent on your sheriff's department). After 364 days you must retake the full 8-hour course and do the full application process again. Plan accordingly and start scheduling your renewal class at least 6 to 8 months before it expires and submit your renewal application to your Sheriff’s Office no later than 4 months (120 days) before expiration.
What If I Am Visiting Nevada from Another State?
For Non-Residents (Visitors): Nevada officially recognizes CCW permits from these states:
Idaho Enhanced Permit
Mississippi (Enhanced permits only)
North Dakota (Class 1 only)
South Dakota (Enhanced permits only)
You Must Abide by All Nevada State and Federal Firearm Laws and Regulations While in the State of Nevada.
Reasons Why You May Not Be Granted a CCW in Nevada
- You are a fugitive from justice and/or have a warrant out for your arrest.
- You have Felony convictions.
- You have been Convicted of a crime involving the use/threat of force, including misdemeanors, within 3 years.
- You have been Convicted of a crime involving Domestic Violence or stalking.
- You have a DUI conviction(s) within 5 years.
- You are currently subject to a restraining order or protection against violence
- You are currently on parole or probation.
- You have been declared mentally incompetent and/or have been Admitted into a mental health facility within the past 5 years.
- You are a Medical Marijuana card holder.
- You have been Dishonorably discharged from the military.
- You are prohibited (by state or federal law) from possessing a firearm.
- You are Unlawfully in the United States.
- Have provided any False statements on application.
What If I Carry Concealed Without a Permit?
Carrying firearm concealed without a valid permit is a category C felony in Nevada and could lead to:
- one to five years in prison, and/or
- up to a $10,000 fine
Where Can and Can’t I Carry & What About Those “No Firearms/Weapons” Allowed Sign?
You can legally carry just about anywhere here in our great state of Nevada. So, let’s clarify where and what it is prohibited.
First Things First, let’s get this one out of the way: No Firearms Signs in Nevada, in most instances, carry No Weight of Law and you may carry without technically breaking any laws.
HOWEVER, if a premises has a No Firearms or Weapons sign posted, and they are aware that you have a firearm in your possession, they can ask you to leave and/or secure your firearm. If an employee of that premises ask you to leave, YOU MUST DO SO. If you do not comply, they can call law enforcement and you can, and most likely will, be cited or arrested for (at a minimum) TRESPASSING.
Something To Also Keep in Mind Should You Decide to Buck That ‘No Weapons/Firearms’ sign: Even if you do comply after getting caught with a weapon where the proprietor has placed that ‘No Weapons/Firearms’ sign… they can, at their discretion, choose to bar (86/trespass) you from ever returning, even without your firearm. This can be done verbally or in writing.
See that same sign at a local city/county/state park or recreation center? Unless it falls under what’s outlined below under the “Public Buildings” heading then those signs have no barring at all as state law preempts those signs and bars them from being enforced and has no expiration.
NRS 202.3673 specifically states that a CCW Permit Holder MAY carry a concealed firearm while they are on the premises of any public building/property UNLESS PROHIBITED SPECIFICALLY BY LAW (see ‘Where You Can’t Carry’ below)
As defined by NRS 202.3673, “Public building” means any building or office space occupied by:
- Any component of the Nevada System of Higher Education and used for any purpose related to the NSHE;
- The Federal Government, the State of Nevada or any county, city, school district or other political subdivision of the State of Nevada and used for any public purpose. If only part of the building is occupied by an entity described in this subsection, the term means ONLY that portion of the building which is so occupied.
Where You Can’t Carry
No Concealed Weapons Allowed:
- Any PUBLIC (State/Local Government Owned/Ran) buildings with metal detectors or signs prohibiting firearms at each public entrance, or places where carrying concealed firearms is prohibited by federal or state law.
The above is only applicable to carrying concealed weapon as NRS 202.3673 only addresses carrying a concealed weapon in. Open Carry is NOT prohibited in these locations unless otherwise notated as a Prohibited location below.
For Example, All State-run DMV offices have ‘No Firearms Allowed’ signs posted at their entrances. You may not carry concealed there even if you have a CCW permit however you may still legally Open Carry your firearm.
POSSESSION of ANY Firearm, Openly Carried or Concealed, is PROHIBITED At:
- All Schools/Colleges/Universities (private and public; to include parking lots; without written permission from NHSE Facility/Branch President, School Principal, Childcare Designee; or is Residing Owner of Home -based Childcare); Extends to vehicles of such facilities (Buses/Transportation Vehicles);
- All Federal Buildings/Property Including (but not limited to):
Post Offices [to include parking lots];
- Secure Areas of Airports Including the areas at and past TSA checkpoints and all non-public areas *DO NOT Bring Your Weapon to the Security Checkpoint/Gate, If You Do It Is Already Too Late… You Can and Most Likely Will Be Arrested on Federal Firearms Charges if Discovered and/or Caught by TSA or Law Enforcement*
- Buildings inside National Parks
- Non-Public areas of Public Buildings
- Any State Legislative Building when the Legislature is conducting business (without written permission);
- Libraries Where and When Posted
- Jails, Prisons, and Detention Facilities
- Childcare Facilities (including home-based, without written permission).
A CCW permit holder is not prohibited from carrying a concealed firearm while they are on the premises of a public building listed above if they:
- Are a Judge at a Courthouse where they preside
- Are a Prosecuting Attorney
- Are an Employee of the Public Building (unless expressly banned by employer); or
- Has received written permission from the person in control of the public building to carry a concealed firearm while the permittee is on the premises of the public building.
Brandishing/Drawing Your Weapon
While no Nevada laws specifically mention brandishing, NRS 202.320 says no person shall draw or exhibit any deadly weapon in a rude, angry or threatening manner not in necessary self-defense, or shall not in any manner unlawfully use a weapon in any fight or quarrel when in the presence of two or more people.
Castle Doctrine, Stand Your Ground, Self-Defense
Generally, Nevada law permits people to fight back in self-defense against such crimes as assault and battery, battery domestic violence, home invasion, and attempted murder. That is not all-inclusive and certain conditions must be met to be considered lawful self-defense.
Nevada does not technically use the term ‘Castle Doctrine’ in any laws, it does however provide specific Castle Doctrine law wording in a couple of laws:
NRS 200.120 and NRS 200.130 defines justifiable homicide as the necessary self-defense of oneself or another and specifically includes while in the defense against a person who enters an occupied habitation or motor vehicle with the intent of committing a violent crime against any person, being, or property.
The statue defines a ‘Crime of Violence’ as any crime for which there is a substantial risk that force or violence may be used against a person or property of another in the commission of the felony.
The statue also states that a person may defend with deadly force and are not required to retreat if that person:
- Is not the original aggressor (did not start or escalate the confrontation);
- Has the right to be at the location; and
- Is not in the midst of a criminal activity;
There has to be a reasonable fear of immediate death or significant bodily harm from the aggressor.
Bare fear is not sufficient to justify use of deadly force. The fear must be reasonable, and circumstances must be sufficient to lead a reasonable person to believe that there is an imminent threat of death or injury from the aggressor.
There must be rebuttable presumption that the circumstances were sufficient to excite the fears of a reasonable person and that the person killing really acted under the influence of those fears and not in a spirit of revenge.
The person must:
- Knew or reasonably believed that the person who was killed was entering unlawfully and with force, or attempting to enter unlawfully and with force, the occupied habitation or occupied motor vehicle, of another;
- Knew or reasonably believed that the person who was killed was committing or attempting to commit a crime of violence; and
- Had not provoked the person who was killed.
Killing in Self-Defense
Under NRS 200.200 If a person kills another in self-defense, it must be clear that:
- The danger was so urgent and pressing that, in order to save the person’s own life, or to prevent the person from receiving great bodily harm, the killing of the other was absolutely necessary; and
- The person killed was the assailant, or that the slayer had really, and in good faith, endeavored to decline any further struggle before the mortal blow was given.
Children and Firearms in Nevada
In Nevada, and for the purpose of these laws, a child is defined for these statues as anyone Under the Age of 18 and who is not a member of the United States Armed Forces (Military).
Storage of Firearms Where Children Are/May Be Present:
It is a misdemeanor if you negligently store or leave a firearm at a location under his or her control; and knows or has reason to know that there is a substantial risk that a child prohibited from handling or having in his or her possession or under his or her control any firearm pursuant to this section may obtain such a firearm. NRS 202.300
A child may not be in possession of, handle, or have within their control a firearm unless:
- They are accompanied by or under charge of their parent/guardian or with a responsible adult authorized by their parent/guardian
If they are over the Age of 14, they may handle or have in their possession or control a rifle, shotgun, or firearm capable of being concealed that is not fully automatic if authorized in writing by their parent/guardian and is:
- Attending a hunting or firearms safety course
- At a licensed range
- At a shooting competition
- Is hunting (with a valid hunting license)
- Traveling to any of the above (with the firearm unloaded)
- On real property owned by an adult (with permission from adult owner)
- At their place of residence
As far having permission in writing from their parent or guardian, NRS 202.300 only relates to handling or having in their possession or control of a concealable firearm, but we think it is safer to apply this to all applications listed above.
A child cannot possess a loaded firearm:
- In a vehicle
- In any residence, building or within any area designated by a county or municipal ordinance as a populated area unless it is a licensed range or for immediate self-defense of self or others
Discharge of Firearms in Nevada
Target shooting is generally allowed on BLM-administered public lands, as long as it is done in a safe manner, without damaging natural resources or improvements on public lands. Across all BLM-administered lands, discharging or using firearms, weapons, or fireworks is not allowed on developed recreation sites and areas except at sites specifically designated for that purpose. Check with your local BLM office for any additional restrictions on shooting.
US Forest Service Land
The US Forest Service has basic rules for shooting that must be followed with additional local restrictions specific to the Spring Mountains. The Code of Federal Regulations (title 36), states that recreational shooting can take place on National Forest lands under these conditions:
- You are at least 150 yards from a residence, building, campsite, developed recreation area or occupied area.
- You are not shooting across or on a Forest Service Road or an adjacent body of water.
- You are not shooting into or within a cave.
- You are not shooting in any manner or place where any person, property, or resource is exposed to injury or damage as a result of such discharge.
- You are not firing any tracer bullet or incendiary ammunition.
There are a few additional specific rules for shooting in the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area, in addition to the US Forest Service regulations listed above:
- Fireworks, exploding targets, and incendiary or tracer ammo are PROHIBITED on public lands.
- Shooting is prohibited within 2 miles of paved roads, and 1 mile of forest roads and trails. This applies to surrounding BLM land and Clark County as well.
- Lovell Canyon is currently closed to shooting.
Generally speaking, the above restrictions mean there is no safe place to target shoot within the well-used Kyle and Lee canyons, as well as Lovell Canyon. The further out you go while following these rules, the safer it can be. Carrying of firearms is still regulated by federal, state, and local laws and the person in possession, as well as any participant, should make sure they are aware of all regulations and possess any necessary licenses, permits, and hunting tags.
You cannot discharge a firearm on any designated National Park area unless hunting with a valid license during open seasons.
State, City, Local Municipalities Restrictions
Clark County has closed most of the Las Vegas Valley to recreational target shooting. In addition, Clark County adopted an ordinance in 2015 (12.04.230) that bans shooting within half a mile of a highway or within 500 feet of a public or private road, improved trail or designated campground or picnic area located throughout the unincorporated areas of Clark County.
Washoe County has designated lands in and around the Reno-Sparks area as a congested area. Discharge of any firearm within the congested area is prohibited. It is unlawful to discharge any shotgun, air rifle or B-B gun within 1,000 feet of any dwelling, and any gun, pistol, rifle or other firearm within 5,000 feet of any occupied dwelling.
Further information may be obtained from the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office website or on the Washoe County Sheriff's App in the Apple App store or the Google Play store. Both apps have a geo-referenced map that shows shooting closure areas.
Other Nevada Counties may have ordinances restricting the discharge of firearms. Always check with local authorities.
Off Limits Examples (not all-inclusive):
- Any Nevada State Park
- Any National Park, Conservation Area, or Wildlife Refuge
- Land Owned by the Military, Department of Energy, Nevada National Security Site, Etc.
- Kyle, Lee and Lovell Canyons
- Corn Creek (Mile Marker 103 to 105)
- Las Vegas/Nellis Dunes
- Apex Area
- Lake Mead National Recreation Area (unless hunting during open season with license)
- Sloan National Conservation Area (outside of marked shooting area)
- Majority of the Boulder City Valley
- Mojave National Preserve
- Red Rock National Conservation Area
- Tribal Land (without permission from the Tribe)
Nevada Discharge of Firearms Laws
It is a Misdemeanor if you maliciously, wantonly (carelessly without the thought to the safety of others) or negligently discharge or cause to be discharge any type of firearm, in or upon any public street or thoroughfare, or in any theater, hall, store, hotel, saloon or any other place of public resort, or in any place where any person might be endangered thereby, even if it results in no injury.
You CANNOT willfully and maliciously discharge at or into any structure, house, room, apartment, tenement, shop, warehouse, store, mill, barn, stable, outhouse or other building, tent, vessel, aircraft, watercraft, vehicle, vehicle trailer, semitrailer or house trailer, railroad locomotive, car or tender:
You CANNOT maliciously or wantonly discharge or maliciously or wantonly cause to be discharge a firearm while in, on or under a structure or vehicle.
- A person who lawfully shoots at a game mammal or game bird pursuant to subsection 2 of NRS 503.010.
- A person who discharges a firearm in a lawful manner and in the course of a lawful business, event or activity.
You CANNOT aim any type of firearm, whether loaded or not, at a person nor can you discharge any firearm, air gun or other weapon in a public place or in any place where any person might be endangered thereby, although an injury does not result. Unless such act was in self-defense and you or other were in the immediate threat of death or serious bodily harm.
You CANNOT discharge firearm from, upon, across or over federal or state highway or main or general county road. Federal highway, state highway as described in NRS 408.285. Main or general county road as designated in NRS 403.170.