Unless you are hunting or acting in self-defense, where and how you may legally use your gun in Nevada is quite limited. In this article, our Las Vegas gun crime lawyers discuss the following types of illegal firearm uses in Clark County, Nevada:
- Using guns to threaten
- Using guns while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Using guns near children
- Using guns in or around buildings or vehicles
- Stolen guns
- Spring guns
For information about carrying concealed weapons laws in Nevada and how to obtain a license, click here on our carrying concealed weapons laws in Nevada page. Also see our article on the Nevada crime of weaponizing a drone.
A good rule of thumb for handing a firearm in Nevada is to never do anything with it that could potentially make another person feel they are about to be hurt by it. Merely drawing a firearm (or any deadly weapon) in a threatening manner is a misdemeanor in Nevada, carrying six months in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.1 And aiming a firearm at a person in Nevada or firing a gun into a place where people might be hurt is a gross misdemeanor in Nevada, punishable by up to a year in Nevada State Prison and/or a $2,000 fine.2
In the same way you cannot drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you cannot physically possess a gun when you are drunk or high in Nevada, either. Even if you are not actually incapacitated, it is automatically illegal to handle a firearm with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.10 or more. Physically possessing a firearm under the influence is a misdemeanor, carrying up to six months in jail and/or a $1,000 fine, but the firearm may not be seized by law enforcement unless it was brandished or used in a way that endangered others. Learn more in our page on Possessing Guns while Under the Influence in Nevada.3
It is a gross misdemeanor to possess gun on the property of the Nevada System of Higher Education or any public school, private school, or child-care facility in Nevada. Penalties include up to a year in jail and/or a $2,000 fine.4
Whether you are shooting a gun to or from a building or a vehicle in Nevada, it is considered a crime, even if no one gets hurt:
The penalties for maliciously firing a gun into a building or car depend on whether the structure or car has been abandoned. If so, it is just a misdemeanor, punishable by six months in prison and/or a $1,000 fine. If they are not abandoned, it is a felony carrying one to six years and/or $5,000 in fines.5 However, if no one was hurt and the shot was fired into a street, theater, hotel, store, bar, or other public resort, then it may be possible to reduce charges to a misdemeanor, with is only up to six months in jail and/or a $1,000 fine. (See our article on the Nevada crime of discharging a firearm in public.).6
Meanwhile, the penalties for maliciously firing a gun within or from a building or a car depend on the location of the incident. If it was an area where the discharge of weapons is otherwise allowed, it is only a misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in jail and/or a $1,000 fine. But if it is in an area that prohibits gunfire, then it is a felony punishable by two to fifteen years and/or $5,000 in fines.7
Intentionally stealing another person's firearm, called "grand larceny of a firearm," is a felony carrying one to ten years and a fine up to $10,000, plus possible restitution.8
Setting up a spring gun is considered criminal in Nevada whether or not someone gets hurt. If no injury occurs, you face a gross misdemeanor, carrying one year in jail and/or a $2,000 fine. If someone does get hurt, you may be charged with a felony carrying one to six years and/or a $5,000 fine. If someone dies but it does not meet the elements of murder in Nevada, penalties include one to ten years in prison and maybe a $10,000 fine.9
Have you been arrested for a crime in Nevada?
Call our Las Vegas gun crime lawyers at 702-DEFENSE (702-333-3673) to set up a free consultation to go over your case. We will research your charges and try to get them dismissed or pled down to lesser offenses. We are also prepared to fight for you in trial.
Go to our Nevada firearm crime laws homepage.