Firearm Laws

What do Columbine High School, Virginia Tech and Sandy Hook Elementary School all have in common? According to CNN they are some of the 25 Deadliest Mass Shootings in U.S. history. With all the media attention that these incidents receive, owning a gun and the “right to bear arms” is now one of the most hotly debated topics today.

That’s why an accusation of Assault with a firearm is very serious. It will not only result in jail time and heavy fines; but it could also hinder your attempts to get a job, a loan or even an education.

In this article we cover the basics and what you need to know to protect yourself when it comes to the gun laws in Nevada.

What is a firearm?

A firearm is “any device designed to be used as a weapon from which a projectile can be expelled through the barrel by the force of any explosion or other form of combustion.” (NRS 202.253).

Who can carry a gun?

Article 1 Section 11 of the Nevada constitution states “Every citizen has the right to keep and bear arms for security and defense, for lawful hunting and recreational use and for other lawful purposes”.

Anybody can own and carry a gun in Nevada except for ex-felons, fugitives, undocumented immigrants and children under the age of 18 years.

Possession of a firearm when under influence of alcohol, controlled substance or other intoxicating substance can result in a penalty and/or forfeiture of the firearm (NRS 202.257).

Open Carry

Open carry means that firearms can generally be carried openly throughout the state of Nevada with the exception of the following areas:

  • On school or child care property.
  • Buildings on airport property.
  • County and municipality owned parks.
  • Buildings in federal National Parks.
  • Buildings with metal detectors at the entrance.
  • Buildings used by state or municipal governments with “no weapons” signs at the entrance.
  • Buildings used by the federal government (offices, post office).
  • Private property when “no weapons” signs are posted (not a violation of law, but not in compliance with the property owner’s request).

CCW Requirements

“Nevada has limits on regulation and does not require permits, firearm registration or owner licenses for firearm owners” unless the firearm is concealed. (NRS 244.364)

A firearm that can be concealed is one with a barrel less than 12 inches long. In order to qualify for a Nevada CCW permit you must among other things be 21 years old, be a US citizen or legal resident, have no criminal convictions or felony convictions, be mentally competent, and not be a habitual user of drugs or alcohol, a fugitive from justice or have a D.U.I. conviction in the past 5 years in any state.

Claiming Self Defense

For example, if you are having an argument with a person at a bar and he pulls a knife and threatens you with it, if you injure or kill that person you may be able to claim self-defense. However, simply saying I was afraid is not enough to claim self-defense. There must be a reasonable belief that your life was in danger to justify injuring or killing someone.

You can’t claim self defense if you used unnecessary force, were not in immediate danger or if you were acting in “imperfect self defense” in which there was no actual danger.

Stand your ground

Nevada is one of more than 30 states with so-called “stand your ground” laws. If you have a reasonable belief that you are in immediate and imminent danger you have a right to defend yourself with deadly force. An individual feeling threatened has no duty to retreat whether or not the aggressor was armed.

Nevada’s “stand your ground” law would consider the use of deadly force justifiable as long as a person who feels threatened wasn’t involved in an illegal act and didn’t initiate the confrontation.

If you’ve been charged with a gun related offense you need the help of an expert criminal lawyer who understands and can navigate Nevada’s complicated gun laws. Call Weiner Law Group at 702-202-0500 or fill out our contact form to find out how we can help.