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Las Vegas Gun Laws and How They Differ From the Rest of Nevada

By    |   Monday, 02 March 2015 03:46 PM

Although there is a move afoot — again — to bring Las Vegas gun laws into line with the rest of Nevada, there’s actually not much difference in the laws as they stand now.

That’s because, under gun owner-friendly Nevada state law, the state calls the shots except in a very few circumstances. Though as the gun rights advocacy group OpenCarry.org notes, most states allow local governments to regulate guns, Nevada counties are allowed under state law to determine the penalty for "unsafe discharge of firearms."

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Other than that, the state government is the authority for gun laws in Nevada. County sheriffs issue concealed-carry permits, but Nevada is a "shall-issue" state: Meet the requirements — meaning mostly, stay out of trouble and show proof that you learned how to carry and use a firearm safely — and pay the fee (about $100) and the sheriff has to issue you a permit. One permit covers all your handguns and all the handguns you buy while you have the permit.

Nevada honors CCW permits issued by states with similar or stricter requirements. According to the Las Vegas Sun, those states are: Alaska, Arkansas, Idaho ("enhanced" permit only), Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota ("Class 1" permit only), Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia.

Nevada’s also a “stand your ground” state, along with 29 others. You have no duty to retreat, and you can protect yourself, in some instances, with deadly force. But state law requires that you have a right to be where you are when you shoot, that you didn’t start the fight, and you’re not "actively engaged" in a crime at the time. Also, you have to be in “reasonable fear” of danger at the time you shoot.

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Clark County — basically, Las Vegas and the Strip area — adds one thing: a requirement to register any “firearm capable of being concealed.” According to Nevada law, that’s a gun with a barrel less than 12 inches long.

State law has a tight rein on the county law. In Clark County, you don’t have to register a handgun until three days after you buy it, and you don’t have to register a weapon until you’ve lived in Clark County for 60 days. OpenCarry.org notes that has the effect of protecting gun owners traveling through or visiting Las Vegas.

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police make it easy to register a gun. The department’s website spells it out: Bring your unloaded gun to any LVPD police station or other law enforcement office in Clark County. Show your ID. You’ll get a “cursory background check” and a registration card. There’s no fee.

The interesting thing about the Clark County difference is that the state law covering it doesn’t mention the county by name. It’s written to apply to a county with a population of 700,000 or more, with a concealed-carry registration rule in place before June 13, 1989. Practically speaking, that’s Clark County — Las Vegas and environs — with its population of 1.95 million in the 2010 census. The second most populous county, Washoe, doesn’t even come close with 421,000 people.

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Although there is a move afoot - again - to bring Las Vegas gun laws into line with the rest of Nevada, there's actually not much difference in the laws as they stand now.
las vegas, gun, laws, differ, nevada
Monday, 02 March 2015 03:46 PM
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