"Open Carry" Gun Laws in Nevada

Nevada allows the open carry of firearms. No permits are required for open carrying a gun. But Nevada law does mandate permits for carrying concealed weapons.

There are places where guns are prohibited in Nevada (whether the gun is concealed or not). Some of these forbidden locations include:

  • Public schools and colleges
  • Childcare facilities
  • Airport secure areas and airplanes
  • Legislative buildings
  • VA facilities
  • Post offices
  • Federal facilities
  • Hoover Dam

It is also legal to open carry in vehicles, though long guns must remain unloaded. People may also open carry while drinking, but they face prosecution for firearm possession under the influence if their blood alcohol content (BAC) reaches .1 or higher.

In this article, our Las Vegas open carry attorneys answer frequently-asked-questions about when, where, and how people may openly wear firearms on their person in Nevada. Click on a topic to go to that section:

Open 20carry
Open carry of firearms is legal in Nevada.

1. What is open carry in Nevada?

Open carry refers to wearing an unconcealed gun on one's person. Examples of open carry include:

  • wearing a holstered handgun on a belt;
  • slinging a rifle;
  • using an “inside the waistband holster,” where the pistol butt is visible (called the "Virginia Tuck"); or
  • tucking the gun in the waistband without a holster (called "Mexican Carry")

In short, a gun is considered openly carried if it would be discernible by ordinary observation.1

2. Is open carry legal in Nevada?

Yes. It is legal to openly carry firearms in Nevada unless otherwise prohibited by state or federal law (as discussed in detail in the next question).2 Note that people with felony convictions, domestic violence convictions, or certain protection orders against them may not carry guns at all.3

Open carry is legal in Nevada irrespective of whether the firearm is loaded. And open carry does not refer to magazines, which do not have to be carried visibly.4 

Holster 20gun

Also note that permits are not required for a person to open carry lawfully. But people do need permits to carry concealed in Nevada. Carrying a concealed gun without a Nevada-recognized CCW permit is a category C felony, carrying:

Learn more about carrying a loaded gun in Nevada.

3. Where is open carry illegal in Nevada?

Nevada law prohibits all guns (whether openly carried or concealed) in the following locations:

  • Legislative buildings: This includes the Nevada Legislative Building in Carson City and wherever the legislature is conducting business;6
  • Nevada System of Higher Education: This includes all property and parking lots unless the gun carrier gets written permission from the college president. Examples are UNLV and UNR;
  • Child care facilities: This includes both public and private daycares and parking lots unless the gun carrier gets written permission from the head, homeowner or resident;
  • Airport secure areas: This includes employee-only sections and anyplace beyond TSA checkpoints. Examples are McCarran Airport in Las Vegas and the Reno-Tahoe Airport; and
  • Public schools: This includes premises and parking lots unless the gun carrier gets written permission from the school principal.7 Note that federal law prohibits all guns within 1,000 feet of a school zone, not just on the premises.8 In practice, Nevada police rarely enforce this law unless the gun carrier is posing a danger.

Meanwhile, federal law prohibits all guns (whether openly carried or concealed) in the following locations:

  • VA facilities: This includes such locations as hospitals and cemeteries;9 
  • Post offices: This includes parking lots, but it does not include contract stores where there are postal service windows;10
  • Federal facilities: This includes such locations as federal courthouses, national park visitor centers, or any place that the federal government owns or leases11 ;
  • Military bases: There are some exceptions. For example, learn about Nellis firearm rules.
  • Airport secured areas and aircraft;12 and
  • Hoover Dam13

Note that loaded firearms are prohibited at Red Rock National Conservation Area.14 Also see the firearm rules for Great Basin and Lake Mead.

4. Can I open carry even where there are “no guns” signs?

No 20gun 20sign

Yes, as long as the state or federal law does not prohibit open carry in that location. Hanging up a "no guns" sign does not automatically render a building or park gun-free.

The "no gun" signs at the entrance of state and local government buildings refer only to concealed carry. For example, it is legal in Nevada to open carry in state or local museums, libraries, city hall, and the DMV.

However, if a property's owner (or a person of authority) requests a gun carrier to leave the premises and he/she refuses, the gun carrier can be cited for the Nevada crime of trespass.15 Trespass is a misdemeanor in Nevada, carrying

  • up to six (6) months in jail, and/or
  • up to $1,000 in fines.16

In Nevada, many trespass cases occur in casinos and malls.

5. Can I open carry in a car in Nevada?

Yes, Nevada permits open carry while driving. But long guns (such as rifles and shotguns) may not have a cartridge in the chamber while in the vehicle.

(A muzzle-loading rifle or muzzle-loading musket is not loaded if the priming compound or element, including,  without limitation, the priming powder or the unfired primer or percussion cap, is removed from the muzzle-loading rifle or muzzle-loading musket.)17

Rifle 20drunk

6. Can I open carry while drinking or in a bar?

Yes, but it is a misdemeanor in Nevada to possess a firearm with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .1 or higher.18

7. Can children open carry in Nevada?

Usually, no. There are some exceptions where children under 18 may handle guns, usually relating to hunting: Learn more about Nevada juvenile gun laws.19

8. Can non-citizens open carry?

Non-citizens who are permitted to possess guns in the U.S. are subject to the same open carry laws as U.S. citizens. Whether a non-citizen may possess a gun usually depends on his/her resident status...

For example, lawful permanent residents can usually possess firearms, while illegal aliens usually may not. Non-immigrant visa holders may possess guns under certain circumstances.20

Note that firearms offenses are usually deportable, so aliens have to be especially careful about following gun laws. Learn more about immigrants and gun crimes.

Call a Nevada criminal defense attorney...

Arrested for a gun crime in Nevada? Call our Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys at 702-DEFENSE (702-333-3673) for a FREE consultation. We may be able to get the charge reduced or dismissed and save your gun rights. 

Learn more in our firearms crimes main page.

Learn about California open carry laws.

Learn about Colorado open carry laws.

Legal References:

  1. NRS 202.350(8)(a).
  2. NRS 193.120.
  3. NRS 202.360; NRS 33.031; 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(9).
  4. See NRS 202.350.
  5. Id.
  6. NRS 218A.905.
  7. NRS 202.265.
  8. The Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990.
  9. 38 CFR §1.218 (13).
  10. 39 CFR  § 232.1(l).
  11. 18 USC § 930; 54 USC § 104906.
  12. 49 CFR § 1540.111; 49 USC § 46505.
  13. 43 CFR § 423.30.
  14. 43 USC § 1701;43 CFR § 8360.0-7.
  15. NRS 202.3673.
  16. NRS 207.200.
  17. NRS 503.165.
  18. NRS 202.257.
  19. NRS 202.300.
  20. 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(5) and 922(y)(2).


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