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Can you carry a loaded gun in your car in Nevada?

Posted by Neil Shouse | May 14, 2018 | 0 Comments

It depends on the firearm. Nevada law permits people to keep loaded handguns in their vehicles. Handguns include smaller guns such as revolvers and pistols.

Meanwhile, Nevada law does not permit people to drive with loaded rifles or shotguns. People may drive with long-guns that have loaded magazines; however, a cartridge may not be in the firing chamber.[1] 

Below is some more information about when and where people may carry guns in their vehicles in Nevada:

Open carry v. concealed carry in vehicles in Nevada

People who do not have valid and current CCW (carrying concealed weapon) permits are not required to keep their guns visible in a vehicle unless they are physically carrying the gun. Therefore, carrying a gun concealed in a holster, pocket, or purse is legal only if the person has a CCW permit. (Under Nevada law, a car is not considered an extension of the home like it is in some other states.)

Otherwise, it is legal for people with or without CCW permits in Nevada to keep their guns concealed in the glove compartment, trunk, center console, or elsewhere in the vehicle whether it is visible or not. If the person does not have a CCW permit, a person may still keep a gun concealed in luggage, a backpack, or other case in the vehicle as long as he/she is not physically carrying it.

Carrying a concealed firearm without a current and valid CCW permit is a category C felony in Nevada. The maximum penalty includes:

Learn more about Nevada open carry laws and Nevada concealed carry laws.

Traffic stops when the driver has a gun in the vehicle in Nevada

If a driver is pulled over in Nevada, the driver has no duty to inform the police if there is a gun in the car. However, police may be able to perform a pat-down and seize a gun temporarily if the officer believes a crime has been committed or the officer's safety is threatened.[3]

Note that CCW permit holders are required to show their permit if:

  • They are carrying concealed, and
  • The officer asks whether they are carrying concealed[4]

Driving to work in Nevada with a gun in the vehicle

Private employers have their own rules about whether they allow guns on the premises, including in vehicles. Employees who violate these rules may not necessarily face criminal charges, but the company may discipline them or terminate their employment.

Therefore, people who travel with guns in their vehicles are encouraged to keep them in a locked compartment not visible to others and out of reach of children.

Driving to school in Nevada with a gun in the vehicle

Nevada law prohibits guns at public schools, colleges, and child care facilities (with rare exception). It does not matter if the guns are safely locked in a case in the car. People who violate this law face gross misdemeanor charges of:

  • up to $2,000 in fines, and/or
  • up to 364 days in jail[5]

Learn more about Nevada firearm laws.


Legal References:

  1. NRS 503.165.
  2. NRS 202.350.
  3. NRS 171.123.
  4. NRS 202.3667.
  5. NRS 202.265.

About the Author

Neil Shouse

Southern California DUI Defense attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT).

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