What Are My Gun Rights in Nevada?

Last week the United States Supreme Court shot down (no pun intended!) a New York State law that required a person to get a government-issued license to carry a concealed gun in public by providing “proper cause” to carry the gun. New York courts had defined “proper cause” as an applicant showing “a special need for self-protection distinguishable from that of the general community.”

Read more about the case here: Supreme Court expands gun rights, with nation divided | AP News

Read the decision here: 20-843 New York State Rifle & Pistol Assn., Inc. v. Bruen (06/23/2022) (supremecourt.gov)

Closer to home, what are the rights of Nevadans to possess guns in public? Although the Second Amendment was added to the U.S. Constitution in 1789, the U.S. Supreme Court first held in 2008 and in 2012 that you have a constitutional right to possess a handgun in your home for purposes of self-defense. However, 30 years before that, in 1982, Nevada enshrined in its constitution the right of every citizen “to keep and bear arms for security and defense, for lawful recreational use and for other lawful purposes.”

Nevada is considered an “open-carry” State, which means you can carry a gun on your person in public, without the need of any permit, if the gun is readily discernable or viewable and not covered by clothing. If you are carrying a firearm inside of a duffle bag or briefcase that you are holding or carrying, it is considered a concealed weapon. However, carrying a gun in your car—for example, under the car seat, inside the glove compartment or center console—is legal and no permit is required. Carrying a concealed weapon without a permit is a Category C felony and punishable up to 1-5 years in prison.

If you would like to carry a concealed gun in public, you must get a permit, commonly called a “CCW permit.” Nevada is considered a “shall issue” State, which means the local sheriff must issue a concealed-carry permit whenever an applicant satisfies certain threshold requirements. These requirements, detailed in NRS 202.3657, are as follows:

             (1) Twenty-one years of age or older; or

             (2) At least 18 years of age but less than 21 years of age if the person:

  • Is a member of the Armed Forces of the United States, a reserve component thereof or the National Guard; or
  • Was discharged or released from service in the Armed Forces of the United States, a reserve component thereof or the National Guard under honorable conditions;

      (3) Is not prohibited from possessing a firearm pursuant to NRS 202.360; and

(4) Demonstrates competence with handguns by presenting a certificate or other       

     documentation to the sheriff which shows that the applicant:

  • Successfully completed a course in firearm safety approved by a sheriff in this State; 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.

Nevada law does provide that the sheriff can deny an application under certain circumstances, but this denial is subject to judicial review by the district court for the county in which the applicant filed the application for the permit.

If you have been charged for illegally possessing a firearm or carrying a concealed weapon, or have been denied a CCW permit, please call us at the Nobles & Yanez Law Firm at (702) 641-6001.