Nevada Gun Law Summary

Rifles and Shotguns
  • Permit to purchase rifles and shotguns? No.
  • Registration of rifles and shotguns? No.
  • Licensing of owners of rifles and shotguns? No.
  • Permit to carry rifles and shotguns? No.
Handguns
  • Permit to purchase handgun? No.
  • Registration of handguns? No.* 
  • Licensing of owners of handguns? No.
  • Permit to carry handguns? Yes.

* As of October 1, 2007, Clark County requires individuals who are in the county for more than sixty days to register their handguns with local law enforcement. Registration of newly acquired handguns must be within seventy-two hours after taking title by purchase, gift or other transfer.

Caution: This summary is meant for general purposes only. Firearm laws frequently change.

Purchase

No state permit is required to purchase a rifle, shotgun or handgun.

Any person who sells or barters any pistol or revolver capable of being concealed upon the person to a child under the age of 18 years with reckless disregard of whether the child is under 18 years old, or has knowledge or reason to believe that the child is under 18 years old, is guilty of a category B felony.

Possession

    No state permit is required to possess a rifle, shotgun or handgun.

    A minor under 18 years of age may not possess a firearm unless accompanied by or under the immediate charge of an adult.

    It is unlawful for a person convicted of a felony to own a pistol or possess any firearm.

    It is unlawful to carry or possess any firearm while on the property of the University and Community College System of Nevada or a private or public school or while in a vehicle of a private or public school without written permission.

    It is unlawful to control or actually possess a firearm while intoxicated or under the influence of a controlled substance.

Carrying

It is unlawful to carry concealed upon the person a handgun or other firearm without a permit to carry. State law does not prohibit the open carrying of a firearm, but one should exercise caution when carrying a firearm in public.

Exceptions to carrying a concealed firearm include:

  • Sheriffs, constables, marshals, peace officers, policemen, and special police officers.
  • Any person summoned by a peace officer to assist in making arrests or preserving the peace while actually engaged in assisting the officer.
  • Members of the Armed Forces of the U.S. when on duty.
The sheriff shall issue a permit to carry a firearm concealed to any person qualified to possess a firearm under state and federal law who:
  • Submits an application;
  • Is at least 21 years of age;
  • Is not a felon or otherwise precluded from owning a firearm;
  • Has demonstrated competence with a firearm by presenting a certificate or other documentation to the sheriff which shows that applicant successfully completed a course approved by the sheriff issuing the permit, or successfully completed a course in firearm safety offered by a federal, state or local law enforcement agency, community college, university or national organization that certifies instructors in firearm safety.

    Such a course must include instruction in the use of each firearm to which the application pertains.

An application must be completed and signed under oath by the applicant. The signature must be witnessed by an employee of the sheriff or notarized by a notary public. The application must include:

  • The name, address, place and date of birth, social security number, occupation and employer of the applicant,
  • A complete set of fingerprints taken by the sheriff or his agent;
  • A frontal-view colored photograph taken by the sheriff or his agent;
  • Driver’s license or identification card number issued by the department;
  • The make, model and caliber of each authorized semiautomatic firearm to which the application pertains;
  • Permits for revolvers pertain to all revolvers owned and need not be listed separately.
Within 120 days after a complete application is submitted, the sheriff shall grant or deny the application.

If the application is denied, the sheriff shall send the applicant written notification explaining the reasons for the denial. The applicant may seek judicial review of the denial by filing a petition in the district court for the county in which the applicant filed his application.

A judicial review must be limited to a determination of whether the denial was arbitrary, capricious or otherwise characterized by an abuse of discretion. If the application is granted, the sheriff shall issue the permit.

A permit is valid for 5 years.

A non-refundable fee not to exceed $60.00 is charged.

Each permittee shall carry the permit, together with proper identification whenever the permittee is in actual possession of a concealed firearm.

A permittee shall notify the sheriff who issued the permit in writing within 30 days if permanent address changes; or the permit is lost, stolen or destroyed.

An application for the renewal of a permit must be completed and signed under oath by the applicant; contain a statement that the applicant is eligible to receive permit and must demonstrate competence with a firearm.

The renewal fee is $25.00.

The sheriff shall deny or revoke a permit if he determines that the applicant or permittee:

  • Has an outstanding warrant for his arrest;
  • 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 normal faculties are impaired within the previous 5 years;
  • Has been subject to any requirements imposed by a court as a condition to the court’s withholding of the entry of judgment for conviction of a felony or suspension of sentence for the conviction of a felony within the previous 5 years;
  • Has been convicted of a crime involving the use or threatened use of force or violence punishable as a misdemeanor within the previous 3 years;
  • Has been convicted of a crime involving domestic violence or stalking, or is currently subject to restraining order, injunction or other order for protection against domestic violence; and is currently on parole or probation.
The sheriff may deny an application or revoke a permit if he receives a sworn affidavit stating articulable facts based upon personal knowledge from any natural person who is at least 18 years of age that the applicant or permittee has or may have committed an offense or engaged in any other activity which would preclude the issuance of a permit to the applicant or require the revocation of a permit.

If the sheriff receives notification submitted by a court or law enforcement agency, that a permittee or an applicant for a permit has been charged with a crime involving the use or threatened use of force or violence, the sheriff shall revoke or suspend the permit or the processing of the application until the final disposition of the charges. If a permittee is acquitted of the charges, or if the charges are dropped, the sheriff shall restore the permit without imposing a fee.

A permittee shall not carry a concealed firearm while he is on the premises of a public building that is located on the property of:

  1. A public airport
  2. A public school or the property of the Nevada System of Higher Education, unless the permittee has obtained written permission to carry a concealed firearm while he is on the premises of the public building
  3. A public building that has a metal detector at each public entrance or a sign posted at each public entrance indicating that no firearms are allowed in the building


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 system; or any building occupied by any federal, state, county, or 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 herein, the term means only that portion of the building which is so occupied.

It is unlawful to carry a loaded rifle or shotgun in a vehicle that is being used on a public highway. A firearm is loaded if there is an unexpended cartridge or shell in the firing chamber but not when the only cartridges or shells are in the magazine.

State law has been interpreted to allow an individual to carry a firearm in their vehicle as long as it is not actually on the person or in a container carried by the person.

Antiques And Replicas

Nevada statutes are silent on antique and replica firearms. They are treated as ordinary firearms for possession and carrying purposes.

Machine Guns

It is lawful to possess, purchase or sell a machine gun or silencer that is legally registered and possessed in compliance with all federal laws and regulations.

It is unlawful to possess, manufacture, or dispose of a rifle with a barrel under 16 inches in length, a shotgun with a barrel under 18 inches, or a rifle or shotgun with an overall length under 26 inches. Peace officers and persons licensed by the United States Department of the Treasury as importers, manufacturers, collectors or dealers are exempt.

Miscellaneous Provisions

It is unlawful to set any “spring gun” or “trap gun”.

It is unlawful to discharge a firearm at or into any dwelling, structure, vehicle, aircraft, or watercraft.

It is unlawful to change, alter, or remove or obliterate the serial number of any firearm. Possession of such a firearm is prima facie evidence that the possessor has changed, altered, removed or obliterated the serial number.

It is unlawful to hunt from an aircraft, helicopter or motor driven vehicle, including snowmobiles. A paraplegic hunter may shoot from any stopped motor vehicle which is not parked on the traveled portion of a public highway.

It is unlawful to discharge a firearm from, upon, or across any federal or state highway or main or general country road or in any public place where any person might be endangered thereby.

It is unlawful to manufacture or sell any metal penetrating bullet capable of being fired from a handgun.

No county or city may regulate the transfer, possession, registration, and licensing of firearms and ammunition.

The State of Nevada is the only governmental entity in this state that may commence a lawsuit against a manufacturer or distributor of a firearm or ammunition or a trade association related to firearms or ammunition for damages, abatement or injunctive relief resulting from or relating to the lawful design or manufacture of a firearm or ammunition or the marketing or sale of a firearm or ammunition to the public. No person has a cause of action against the manufacturer or distributor of any firearm merely because the firearm was capable of causing serious injury, damage, or death.


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