"Carrying a Concealed Machete" in Nevada law

It is illegal in Nevada to carry a concealed machete without a permit.1 Penalties for “carrying concealed weapons” (“CCW”) include $2,000 in fines and/or possibly 364 days in jail.2 But a skilled Nevada criminal defense attorney may be able to get the charges dismissed.

Scroll down to learn about the Nevada offense of carrying concealed machetes. Topics include the crime's definition, defenses, and penalties.


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Nevada knife laws prohibit carrying a concealed machete without a permit.3 A weapon is “concealed” if it is carried on someone's person in a way meant to go unseen.4 Examples of CCW include:

  • Keeping the machete in a pants pocket
  • Carrying the machete in a backpack or handbag
  • Hiding the machete in underclothing

In addition, the Nevada Supreme Court held that carrying a machete under a jacket qualifies as CCW.5


Nevada residents may apply for a permit to carry a concealed machete.  (Note that these permits are entirely separate from permits to carry concealed firearms.)  Interested residents should contact their local county sheriff in Nevada to obtain a written application.  The applicant needs to explain the reason or purpose he/she wants to carry the concealed weapon.6

Note that sheriffs may now issue permits to carry a concealed switchblade.7 Read more in our article about switchblade laws in Nevada.

Also note that concealed carrying is illegal in the following Nevada locations even with a permit:

  • Public or private schools (or in the vehicles belonging to the schools)
  • Public universities
  • Childcare facilities (or in the vehicles belonging to the facility).  If the childcare facility is in a home, CCW laws apply only during business hours. Furthermore, the facility owner may be able to carry a concealed weapon at anytime as long as he/she has a permit.8

Finally, note that peace officers, security guards, and others authorized by the Nevada System of Higher Education may carry concealed weapons at schools and childcare facilities.9 For more information see our article on Nevada laws for possessing weapons on school property.

It is illegal to carry weapons on the campuses of Nevada-run universities.

Rules for out-of-state residents:

Nevada law does not always recognize out-of-state CCW permits.10 Contact Nevada's Dept. of Public Safety at 775-684-4808 to see if a particular state's CCW permit is valid in Nevada.

People moving to Nevada who have a Nevada-recognized CCW permit from out-of-state can continue to use that permit for the first 60 days of residency.11 After that, they must secure a CCW permit from their local county in order to continue carrying concealed weapons.

Certain law enforcement officials are not subject to Nevada knife prohibitions.


Some government employees are not required to get permits to carry concealed machetes.  These people include:

  • Qualified law enforcement officers and qualified retired law enforcement officers authorized to carry concealed weapons.
  • Sheriffs, constables, marshals, peace officers, correctional officers, special police officers, Nevada police officers, and appointed officers.  (It makes no difference whether the person is active or honorably retired.  But note that “honorably retired” means retired in Nevada after completion of 10 years of creditable service as a member of the Public Employees' Retirement System.  However this does not include former peace officers who retired for disability unless his/her former employer approved his/her fitness to carry a concealed weapon.)
  • Anyone summoned by any peace officer to assist in making arrests or preserving the peace but only while that person is actually helping the peace officer.
  • Full-time paid peace officers carrying out official Nevada state duties.
  • On-duty members of the Armed Forces.12

Laws for other types of knives:

Steak knives, butter knives, and Swiss Army knives are not considered dangerous weapons.13 However, carrying these knives concealed can still violate NRS 202.350:  If the defendant intends to use any knife as a weapon instead of as a tool, he/she can still be criminally liable for carrying a concealed weapon.14

In Clark County specifically, it is illegal to carry concealed any knife with a blade longer than 3 inches.  But there is not a blade length limitation if the knife is carried openly.15 Note that different counties and cities within Nevada may impose their own knife laws that are stricter than Nevada state law.


A possible defense to CCW charges is that the knife in question doe not legally qualify as a machete.

Every concealed weapons case is unique and necessitates its own strategy to fight CCW charges.  One of the most common defenses is that there was no concealment. Perhaps the defendant was carrying the weapon openly and the arresting officer did not realize it.  If the prosecution cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the weapon was concealed, the case should be dismissed.

Note that it is usually not a defense that the defendant was carrying the concealed machete to protect him/herself.  Learn more about Nevada self-defense laws.


Violating Nevada's CCW knife laws for the first time is a gross misdemeanor.

A first-time offense of carrying a concealed machete without a permit is a gross misdemeanor in Nevada. The punishment includes:

  • Up to 364 days in jail, and/or
  • up to $2,000 in jail

Any subsequent offense of carrying a concealed machete without a permit is a category D felony in Nevada. The sentence is:

A second-time offense for carrying a concealed knife carries possible prison time in Nevada.

Note that a defense lawyer may be able to get the charges dismissed or reduced to a misdemeanor in Nevada. Misdemeanors carry a maximum of 6 months in jail and/or up to $1,000 in fines.17

Arrested for carrying a concealed machete in Nevada?

Call an attorney for help…

Call us at 702-DEFENSE

If you have been charged with “carrying a concealed machete” in Nevada, phone our Las Vegas Criminal Defense Attorneys at 702-DEFENSE (702-333-3673) for a free consultation. We will do everything to try to negotiate and litigate the most favorable outcome available for your case.

We represent clients throughout Nevada, including Las Vegas, Henderson, Washoe County, Reno, Clark County, Carson City, Laughlin, Mesquite, Bunkerville, Moapa, Elko, Pahrump, Searchlight and Tonopah.

Also see our related article, Are butterfly knives legal in Nevada?

To learn about California laws for carrying concealed explosive devices, go to our informational articles on Penal Code 21310 & 16470 PC | carrying concealed dirks, daggers, and explosive devices in California.

Legal References:

1 NRS 202.350 (“1. [A] person within this State shall not:…(d) Carry concealed upon his or her person any:…(2) machete;”).

2 NRS 202.350(2)(a).

3 NRS 202.350(1)(d)(2).

4 NRS 202.350(8)(a).

5Huebner v. State, 731 P.2d 1330, 103 Nev. 29 (1987) (Defendant's jacket concealed his knife.)

6 NRS 202.350(3).


8 NRS 202.265.


10 NRS 202.3688.

11 NRS 202.3688(2)(b).

12 NRS 202.350(4).

13Buff v. State, 114 Nev. 1237, 970 P.2d 564 (1998) (Swiss Army knives are not deadly weapons.)

14 Knight v. State, 116 Nev. 140, 993 P.2d 67 (2000).

15 CCO 12.04.180.

16 NRS 202.350(2)(a).

17 NRS 193.150.





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