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Guns and Other Weapons

What are some of the laws relating to guns and other weapons?
It is illegal to:

  • Leave a loaded gun where a child can get it.
  • Conceal a gun or dangerous knife on you or in your car without a special permit.
  • Carry a loaded firearm in a vehicle, in a public place or in any other area where it is forbidden.
  • Possess or control a firearm while intoxicated (NRS 202.257).
  • Possess blackjacks, switchblades, dirks or daggers.
  • Make dangerous weapons, or explosives.
  • Carry or use a knife with a blade of 2-inches or longer, whose blade can be fixed or locked. (NRS 202.350).
  • Possess any dangerous weapon on school grounds or a school bus. (NRS 202.265)

Could I get into trouble just for pointing a gun at someone?
Absolutely! Pointing a gun at someone is a misdemeanor called “brandishing.” But, you could also be charged with assault with a deadly weapon, a felony which carries up to six years in prison. Using a weapon to defend yourself against an immediate attack is not a crime. But, you cannot start a fight and claim self-defense. You also cannot escalate a fight and successfully claim self-defense.

Are there any restrictions on where I can practice my shooting?
Yes. Use common sense. Do not shoot where other people could be hurt. But, there are also specific laws. You cannot shoot from a car, or toward a house, car, boat or aircraft. (NRS 202.285) You cannot shoot in any congested area. You cannot shoot at any person.

When you turn 18, you are old enough to buy a rifle or shotgun. (You must be 21 to purchase a handgun). But, if you do possess or have any contact with a gun, be aware of the responsibilities, rules, risks and dangers associated with firearms. An average of 8 children each day die in the United States from gun violence. Suicide accounts for over half of gun deaths in the United States. In 2003, 16,900 Americans took their own lives with guns. And 9 out of 10 suicide attempts with guns succeed. The same year, 11,900 American were killed by others using guns.

What could happen to me if I violate the gun or weapons laws?
Violation of the laws regarding possession of weapons could result in your facing conviction for a misdemeanor and fines and/or jail. But, if you are convicted of using or having a gun while committing another offense, you could face prison. Use of a weapon during an offense doubles your sentence, and disqualifies you from asking for probation. In Nevada, if you use a gun or other dangerous weapon to commit a crime, you will go to prison. (NRS 193.165)

Do I need a license to hunt?
Yes. You must have a license to hunt any bird or animal. (NRS 502.060) When you get your license you will be advised of the times at which you can hunt. Hunting out of season is a crime for which you can be fined or jailed, or both. (NRS 501.015)

How can I safely and legally keep a gun for hunting or protection?

  • Take a gun safety course.
  • Store your gun, unloaded, in a location that is secure.
  • If you will be carrying your gun, concealed, get the proper permit, and keep it with you when you have the gun with you.
  • Keep track of your gun. If it is used in a crime, even without your knowledge, it may be taken and destroyed. And, if you let someone use it, and they hurt someone with it, you could face a lawsuit to take your money or property to pay the injured person's damages.
This guide is an introduction to narrow topics of Nevada law. Keep in mind that federal, state and local laws are constantly subject to change. If you have a legal question or problem, you should consult an attorney.