Under NRS 202.350, it is a Category C felony offense to carry a concealed weapon without a valid CCW permit. A conviction is punishable by a sentence of up to 5 years in state prison.
That being said, obtaining a CCW is relatively easy. Nevada is a “shall issue” state, which means that anyone who is eligible for a CCW permit must be granted one.
In order to obtain a CCW permit, in-state residents may apply through their local sheriff’s office. Out-of-state residents may carry concealed weapons in Nevada with their home state’s CCW permit as long as they have concealed carry reciprocity.
People without a CCW permit may open carry guns in Nevada. People convicted of felonies or battery domestic violence may be able to get a CCW permit if they have their gun rights restored through a governor’s pardon.
Carrying a concealed firearm without a current and valid CCW permit is a category C felony. The maximum penalty includes:
- five (5) years in Nevada State Prison, and
- $10,000 in fines.
Simply forgetting to carry one’s CCW permit carries only a civil fine of $25.
Typical defenses to carrying a hidden weapon without a permit include:
- The weapon was not hidden,
- The defendant left his/her current and valid CCW permit at home, and/or
- The state made a clerical error
Depending on the case, a defense attorney may be able to plea bargain an NRS 202.350 charge down to a lesser offense.
In this article, our Las Vegas criminal defense lawyers discuss:
- 1. Do I need a permit to carry concealed weapons in Nevada?
- 2. What is a concealed weapon?
- 3. Where can I carry concealed firearms in Nevada?
- 4. What are the penalties for carrying a concealed weapon without a permit?
- 5. What if I left my CCW permit at home?
- 6. How do I fight charges of not having a CCW permit?
- 7. What if I have an out-of-state CCW permit?
- 8. Can I get my CCW conviction sealed in Nevada?
- 9. Will my CCW conviction get me deported?
- 10. How do I get a CCW permit?
- 11. Related offenses
Yes. Nevada gun laws require people to have a valid CCW permit (and ID) in order to carry the following types of firearms concealed:
- handguns (with a barrel of fewer than 12 inches long), and
- pneumatic guns
Therefore, CCW permits are required to carry concealed pistols or revolvers because they are a type of handgun.1
Note that people with CCW permits do not need to submit to background checks to purchase firearms in Nevada.
Nevada law requires a valid CCW permit in order to carry the following weapons concealed:
- explosive substances (other than ammunition), and
- other unspecified “dangerous” or “deadly” weapons.2
People who are uncertain about whether they need a CCW permit in Nevada are strongly advised to contact an attorney before attempting to carry a concealed weapon. Sheriff offices review applications for non-firearms CCW permits on a case-by-case basis.
See our related article on Nevada switchblade laws.
Weapons are considered “concealed” when they are not readily observable. For example, a weapon becomes concealed when people carry it:
- under their jacket,
- in their backpack, or
- in their pocket
Even when a person openly carries a gun in a belt holster, Nevada law considers the gun concealed if the person’s blazer or jacket shields the gun from plain view.3
People with valid CCW permits may carry concealed firearms on the premises of any public building except for the following locations:
- public schools and private schools (without written permission),
- child-care facilities (without written permission),
- facilities belonging to the University of Nevada, the Community College System, any other vocational/technical school, and any other property belonging to the Nevada System of Higher Education (without written permission),
- courthouses and courtrooms (judges and some employees are exempt),
- federal, state, and local government buildings (without written permission),
- prisons, jails and detention facilities, and
- any buildings with metal detectors or signs prohibiting firearms at each public entrance, or places where carrying concealed firearms is prohibited by federal or state law4
Carrying a concealed firearm in a prohibited public building is a misdemeanor. It makes no difference whether the person has a CCW permit. The punishment includes:
- up to 6 months in jail, and/or
- up to $1,000 in fines5
Also see our article about carrying concealed in casinos.
3.1. Gun-free locations
There are other locations in Nevada where carrying a firearm (concealed or not) is prohibited. Some examples of gun-free zones include:
- Legislative buildings;
- Post offices;
- Some military bases; and
- Hoover Dam6
The penalties vary depending on the location and whether the controlling law is federal or state. Learn more about open carry laws.
The penalties for carrying a concealed weapon without a valid CCW permit depends on the weapon:
4.1. Firearms and explosives
Carrying a concealed firearm or explosive substance without having a valid CCW permit is a category C felony in Nevada. The punishment includes:
- one to five (1 – 5) years in prison, and
- up to $10,000 in fines (at the judge’s discretion)7
However, it may be possible to get the charge reduced to a lesser offense or a full dismissal.
The penalties for carrying a concealed machete without a CCW permit turns on whether the defendant has any prior convictions for carrying a concealed machete in Nevada:8
|Carrying a concealed machete without a CCW permit||Penalties|
|First offense||gross misdemeanor:
|Subsequent offense||category D felony:
People who simply forget to carry their CCW permit and ID while carrying a concealed weapon in Nevada should not face criminal charges as long as the permit is current and valid. Instead, they may have to pay a $25 civil fine.9
Common defenses to NRS 202.350 violations include:
- The weapon was not concealed
- The defendant left the CCW permit at home
- The government made a clerical error
6.1. The weapon was not concealed
CCW permits are required only when a weapon is concealed. Perhaps the police incorrectly believed the weapon was concealed when in fact the defendant was openly carrying it. Typical evidence that may demonstrate that a defendant’s weapon was visible includes:
- surveillance video,
- photographs, and/or
As long as the D.A. cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the gun or weapon was obscured from plain view, criminal charges should not stand.
6.2. The defendant left the permit at home
Nevada law criminalizes carrying a concealed weapon without having a current and valid CCW permit. It is not a crime simply to forget to bring the permit while carrying a concealed weapon. Once the defense attorney can produce proof that the defendant had a current and valid permit and merely lost it or neglected to carry it on his/her person, the D.A. should drop the charges.
6.3. The government made a clerical error
Like all government bureaucracies, sheriff’s offices are not above making mistakes with data entry, filing, and record-keeping. If the defense attorney can show that the sheriff’s office was mistaken about the defendant not having a current and valid CCW permit, the D.A. should drop the NRS 202.350 charges.
Nevada recognizes some other states’ CCW permits, and the official list changes on a yearly basis. Currently, Nevada recognizes the CCW permits of the following states:
- Idaho Enhanced Permit
- Mississippi (Enhanced permits only)
- New Mexico
- North Carolina
- North Dakota (Class 1 only)
- South Carolina
- South Dakota (Enhanced permits only)
- West Virginia
If a person moves to Nevada who has an out-of-state CCW permit with Nevada concealed carry reciprocity, that out-of-state CCW permit remains valid for only sixty (60) days into his/her Nevada residency. So the person should apply for a Nevada CCW permit from his/her county of residence as soon as possible after moving.10
(Scroll up to question 4 for the penalties for carrying a concealed weapon without a valid CCW permit.)
Usually yes, though the waiting time depends on the specifics of the case:
|Nevada CCW offense||Record Seal waiting period|
|Carrying a concealed firearm without having a valid and current CCW permit (category C felony)||5 years after the case ends.|
|Carrying a concealed machete without having a valid and current CCW permit (first offense; gross misdemeanor)||2 years after the case ends.|
|Carrying a concealed machete without having a valid and current CCW permit (second offense; category D felony)||5 years after the case ends.|
|Carrying a concealed weapon in a prohibited location (misdemeanor)||1 year after the case ends.11|
|Dismissed charges (no conviction)||No waiting period.12|
Possibly. Any firearm-related conviction carries the risk of deportation for non-U.S. citizens.13
Any alien who is charged with a crime in Nevada should seek legal counsel as soon as possible. The prosecutor may be willing to change the charge to a non-deportable offense or dismiss it completely.
Nevada residents must apply for a CCW permit through the sheriff’s office in the county in which they live. Non-Nevada residents may apply for a CCW permit in any Nevada county.
As a shall-issue jurisdiction, Nevada is mandated to grant CCW permits as long as the applicant meets all necessary criteria. The prerequisites for getting a CCW permit in Nevada are:
- the applicant is no younger than 21 years old;
- the applicant may lawfully possess a firearm (for example, no past felony or battery domestic violence convictions);
- the applicant has completed a pre-approved firearm safety course;
- the applicant has no outstanding warrants;
- the applicant passed a background check;
- the applicant is not currently on probation or parole;
- the applicant is not a substance abuse addict; and
- the applicant has not suffered from mental health issues in the last five (5) years
CCW applicants have to get fingerprinted and photographed. Law enforcement takes up to six (6) months to process the CCW application. CCW permits are valid for five (5) years.
In Las Vegas, the fee for processing the CCW application is $96.25.
For more information, see our article on how to get a CCW permit in Nevada.
11.1. Being an ex-felon in possession of a firearm (NRS 202.360)
- 1 to 6 years in prison, and
- up to $5,000 in fines (at the judge’s discretion)
11.2. Using a firearm in commission of a crime (NRS 193.165)
If a Nevada court determines that a gun was used during the commission of a crime, the judge will enhance the sentence by one to twenty (1 – 20) years. But this enhanced sentence may not exceed the sentence for the underlying crime…
So if a defendant receives 10 years in prison for armed robbery, the enhanced sentence can be no more than 10 additional years for a total sentence of 20 years.
Learn more about increased penalties for using a firearm in the commission of a crime.
11.3. Brandishing a firearm (NRS 202.320)
Drawing a gun in a rude, threatening or angry manner is illegal in Nevada. Brandishing a firearm is a misdemeanor, carrying:
- up to $1,000 in fines, and/or
- up to 6 months in jail
Call a Nevada criminal defense attorney…
If you have been arrested for carrying a concealed weapon in Nevada, please phone our Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys for a consultation.
See our related article, Carrying a concealed weapon in Las Vegas – 3 things to know.
¿Habla español? Visita nuestra página web en español sobre leyes de Nevada para llevar armas ocultas.
Arrested in Colorado? Go to our informational article on Colorado concealed weapons laws.
- NRS 202.3667; NRS 202.253; NRS 202.350 Manufacture, importation, possession or use of dangerous weapon or silencer; carrying concealed weapon without permit; penalties; issuance of permit to carry concealed weapon; exceptions. 1. Except as otherwise provided in this section and NRS 202.3653 to 202.369, inclusive, a person within this State shall not…(d) Carry concealed upon his or her person any:(1) Explosive substance, other than ammunition or any components thereof;(2) Machete; or(3) Pistol, revolver or other firearm, other dangerous or deadly weapon or pneumatic gun.2. Except as otherwise provided in NRS 202.275 and 212.185, a person who violates any of the provisions of:(a) Paragraph (a) or (c) or subparagraph (2) of paragraph (d) of subsection 1 is guilty:(1) For the first offense, of a gross misdemeanor.(2) For any subsequent offense, of a category D felony and shall be punished as provided in NRS 193.130.(b) Paragraph (b) or subparagraph (1) or (3) of paragraph (d) of subsection 1 is guilty of a category C felony and shall be punished as provided in NRS 193.130.3. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, the sheriff of any county may, upon written application by a resident of that county showing the reason or the purpose for which a concealed weapon is to be carried, issue a permit authorizing the applicant to carry in this State the concealed weapon described in the permit. This subsection does not authorize the sheriff to issue a permit to a person to carry a pistol, revolver or other firearm.4. Except as otherwise provided in subsection 5, this section does not apply to:(a) Sheriffs, constables, marshals, peace officers, correctional officers employed by the Department of Corrections, special police officers, police officers of this State, whether active or honorably retired, or other appointed officers.(b) Any person summoned by any peace officer to assist in making arrests or preserving the peace while the person so summoned is actually engaged in assisting such an officer.(c) Any full-time paid peace officer of an agency of the United States or another state or political subdivision thereof when carrying out official duties in the State of Nevada.(d) Members of the Armed Forces of the United States when on duty.5. The exemptions provided in subsection 4 do not include a former peace officer who is retired for disability unless his or her former employer has approved his or her fitness to carry a concealed weapon.6. The provisions of paragraph (b) of subsection 1 do not apply to any person who is licensed, authorized or permitted to possess or use a machine gun or silencer pursuant to federal law. The burden of establishing federal licensure, authorization or permission is upon the person possessing the license, authorization or permission.7. This section shall not be construed to prohibit a qualified law enforcement officer or a qualified retired law enforcement officer from carrying a concealed weapon in this State if he or she is authorized to do so pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 926B or 926C.8. As used in this section:(a) “Concealed weapon” means a weapon described in this section that is carried upon a person in such a manner as not to be discernible by ordinary observation.(b) “Honorably retired” means retired in Nevada after completion of 10 years of creditable service as a member of the Public Employees’ Retirement System. A former peace officer is not “honorably retired” if he or she was discharged for cause or resigned before the final disposition of allegations of serious misconduct.(c) “Machine gun” means any weapon which shoots, is designed to shoot or can be readily restored to shoot more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger…(e) “Pneumatic gun” has the meaning ascribed to it in NRS 202.265.(f) “Qualified law enforcement officer” has the meaning ascribed to it in 18 U.S.C. § 926B(c).(g) “Qualified retired law enforcement officer” has the meaning ascribed to it in 18 U.S.C. § 926C(c).(h) “Silencer” means any device for silencing, muffling or diminishing the report of a firearm, including any combination of parts, designed or redesigned, and intended for use in assembling or fabricating a silencer or muffler, and any part intended only for use in such assembly or fabrication.
- Id.; Knight v. State, 116 Nev. 140, 993 P.2d 67 (2000) (“Further, we doubt that the legislature sought to bar the concealment of common household items when it enacted the statutory provisions prohibiting concealment of a dirk or dagger. Penal statutes should be strictly construed and any reasonable doubts resolved in favor of the accused…For these reasons, we conclude that the steak knife at issue here is not a dirk or dagger as a matter of law.”).
- Huebner v. State, 103 Nev. 29, 731 P.2d 1330 (1987) (” The weapon was certainly concealed from the arresting officer by its disguise as a pen, or it would have been confiscated at the time of the arrest. In addition, there is evidence that the place on Huebner’s belt where the weapon was clipped was concealed by a jacket worn by Huebner at the time of his arrest.”); Nevada Attorney General Opinion 93-14 (6-21-1993) (“The language of this section would be narrowly construed to include only those concealed weapons which are actually on the person or in a container carried by the person. “).
- NRS 202.3673.
- 18 USC § 930; 54 USC § 104906; 49 CFR § 1540.111; 49 USC § 46505; 43 CFR § 423.30.
- NRS 202.350.
- NRS 202.3667.
- NRS 202.3667.
- NRS 202.3688.
- NRS 179.245.
- NRS 179.255.
- 8 USC § 1227.
- NRS 202.3657.
- NRS 202.360.
- NRS 193.165.
- NRS 202.320.