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Open Carry in Las Vegas? Know the Rules (2024 Guide)

Las Vegas is an open carry city, which means that it is legal for residents and visitors to carry visible firearms in public areas, provided they are not prohibited by law from possessing a gun. However, there are restrictions on open carry in certain locations, such as schools, government buildings, and any private property where the owner has posted signs prohibiting firearms.
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C.L. Mike Schmidt Published by C.L. Mike Schmidt

What is Open Carry in Las Vegas?

According to SCLG, open carry involves visibly wearing a firearm on your person [1]. This can be done in several ways, including:

  • Wearing a handgun in a holster attached to a belt
  • Carrying a rifle slung over the shoulder
  • Using an “inside the waistband holster” that leaves the pistol butt visible, often referred to as the “Virginia Tuck.”
  • Placing the gun in the waistband without a holster is known as “Mexican Carry.”

In essence, a firearm is considered openly carried if it can be easily seen by casual observation.

Conversely, concealed carry means the firearm is carried in such a manner that it is not visible to the public, such as keeping a gun hidden within a clothing item or a bag. It’s important to note that storing a gun in a vehicle’s glove compartment is not classified as concealed carry. In Nevada, obtaining a permit to carry concealed weapons requires demonstrating knowledge of firearm safety, and permits can be acquired from the county sheriff by state residents.

Openly carrying firearms is legal in Nevada unless otherwise prohibited by state or federal law. Note that people with felony convictions (convicted felons), domestic violence convictions, or certain protection orders against them may not carry guns at all. Hopeful gun owners must pass background checks to buy a gun commercially or through a private sale – SCLG

It’s also legal to openly carry loaded firearms in Nevada. The visibility rules for open carry apply strictly to the firearms themselves, not to magazines or other accessories, which do not need to be visible.

Also Read: Nevada Open Carry for Non-Residents

Where Can’t You Carry a Handgun in Nevada?

According to Las Vegas Advisor, in Nevada, carrying firearms (whether openly or concealed) is prohibited on the premises of public schools, colleges, universities, or child-care facilities, including their parking areas, unless authorized in writing by the institution’s president, principal, or facility head [2]. Additionally, open carry is forbidden in state legislative buildings or any location where the legislature is conducting its affairs.

Federal properties also enforce restrictions on open carry, including courthouses, federal agency offices (such as Social Security offices), military bases (where Department of Defense policies and specific post orders apply), USPS properties (including parking lots), and VA facilities including hospitals and cemeteries.

At the Hoover Dam, all firearms are banned, and the Red Rock National Conservation Area prohibits loaded firearms (meaning no magazine or ammunition in the chamber).

Regarding private property in Nevada, signs that prohibit guns do not carry legal weight, allowing individuals to legally carry firearms even in locations with such signs. However, property owners or managers have the right to ask individuals to disarm or leave the premises. Failure to comply with such a request can result in arrest for trespassing.

Private-property owners can and do prohibit open carry and most gun owners respect the right to private property (in the same way that they respect the right to bear arms). The ones who have a problem with being unarmed in places that don’t allow open carry simply don’t frequent them – Las Vegas Advisor

In Las Vegas, several private businesses are known to discourage open carry. These include but are not limited to Sprouts, Buffalo Wild Wings, Ethel M Chocolates, Red Robin, Raising Canes, most shopping malls, and most casinos.

Penalties for Gun Crimes in Nevada

Even without committing a violent crime, unlawful possession of a firearm carries substantial penalties. Possessing a firearm in a location where it’s prohibited by Nevada law is considered a misdemeanor, with potential consequences including:

  • Up to 6 months in jail,
  • Fines up to $1,000,
  • Possible community service.

Certain individuals found in possession of a firearm face even harsher penalties. For example:

  • A felon, fugitive, or drug addict possessing a firearm is guilty of a Category B felony, punishable by 1 to 20 years in prison and potential fines.
  • Illegal immigrants or individuals diagnosed with certain mental illnesses possessing a firearm face a Category D felony, which can lead to 1 to 4 years in prison and fines up to $5,000.
  • Violating a restraining order by possessing a gun is classified as a gross misdemeanor, potentially resulting in up to 364 days in jail and fines up to $2,000.

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References:

1. https://www.shouselaw.com/nv/defense/laws/gun-laws/open-carry/#1
2. https://www.lasvegasadvisor.com/faq-general-open-carry/

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