Nevada Knife Law – The Complete Guide (In Plain English)

Nevada knife laws have always been straightforward. However, some long clauses might be confusing. This guide will attempt to demystify Nevada knife laws to make them easier to understand.

Does Nevada Have Statewide Preemption?

Nevada does not have state-wide preemption, meaning state law can differ per county. Local municipalities can have stricter knife laws, so you must do your due diligence to avoid any trouble.

Important Knife-Related Definitions in Nevada

Before digging into Nevada knife law, it helps to define some terminology you will see throughout.

Switchblade Knife

Nevada knife laws define a switchblade knife as a spring blade, snap blade or any other knife with a similar appearance to a pocket knife. The blade is longer than two inches and can automatically engage by sliding a button, squeezing the handle, or another mechanism.

As per the above description, any knife without an automatic release with a blade held in place by a spring does not qualify as a switchblade.

The Blade

United States law defines a blade as the part of a knife that is sharpened or the cutting part of a knife. This definition is from a supreme court ruling of the case, Bradvica vs. State.

Concealed Weapon

A concealed weapon is a weapon carried upon a person in a way that is unidentifiable by ordinary observation. This description means that a knife is considered a concealed weapon if someone cannot quickly tell you are carrying a knife when you move your clothing out of the way.

Dangerous Weapon

A dangerous weapon is any object used or intended to be used to threaten or cause bodily harm to another person. According to the law, the following are considered to be dangerous weapons:

  • Blackjack
  • Slungshot
  • Dagger
  • Sandbag
  • Metal knuckles
  • Dirks
  • Sand Club
  • Billy
  • Nunchaku
  • Switchblade
  • Trefoil (throwing star)

Dangerous Knife

A dangerous knife is a knife with a blade longer than two inches measured from the sharp end (the tip) to the blunt end where it meets the handle.

The definitions above are as per the amendment of Senate Bill 176. This amendment made numerous changes to the knife laws, making them more relaxed and clarifying definitions so people can understand what is allowed.

So, what knives are legal in Nevada?

Legal Knives in Nevada

No law forbids the ownership or possession of any knife in Nevada. This means that it is legal to own knives such as:

  • Stabbing knives such as dirks, daggers, and switchblades
  • Balisongs or butterfly knives
  • Hunting knives like bowies

What Knives are Illegal in Nevada?

According to Nevada law NRS 202.350, no knife types are considered illegal to own.

There are, however, situations where certain knife types are illegal to possess. Keep reading to find out which.

Nevada Knife Carry Laws

The 2015 amendment changed a few things about Nevada knife carry laws, but they remain strict, especially in schools.

Below is what you should know about where and how to carry knives in Nevada:

  • Possessing or carrying any dangerous weapon, knife, explosive, firearm, pistol, or device used to mark a person with paint or any substance on school property is illegal. School property includes the Nevada System of Higher Education, private and public schools, child care facility, vehicle, or any school transportation. A childcare facility is any childcare institution licensed by the state and can be located in the home of a natural person running such a business.
  • It is illegal to carry concealed a machete, dangerous or deadly weapon, pistol, revolver, or other firearms. This means that it is legal to carry all other knives in public.  
  • You must have a written permit from the county sheriff to carry a concealed weapon (exclusive of a pistol, revolver, or other firearms). The permit must explain the reason or purpose for which you must carry a concealed weapon. Additionally, the permit must include a description of the weapon to be carried.
  • It is illegal to draw, carry or procure from another person a deadly weapon, dirk, sword, or sword cane in front of two or more people in an angry, rude, or threatening manner that is not in self-defense but unlawfully in a fight or quarrel.

Exemptions

Nevada knife carry laws do not apply to active officers on duty, licensed personnel, and other government employees certified to carry concealed weapons.

Nevada Knife Length Laws

After the 2015 amendment, there are no knife length limitations in Nevada. Therefore, you can own and carry any legal knife of any blade length in the state.

However, local counties can have different laws. For example, it is illegal in Clark County to conceal carry any knife with a blade longer than three inches.

Fun Fact: Las Vegas is in Clark County, Nevada. However, because Sin City is an incorporated municipality, the knife length laws do not apply.

Nevada Knife Laws by Demographic

Here’s what you need to know about age and criminal history restrictions regarding knives in Nevada.

How Old do You Have to be to Carry a Knife in Nevada?

Generally speaking, there are no age restrictions regarding carrying knives in Nevada.

However, there is a law that applies to pupils.

The law states, under sec 6 NRS 392.466 (4), that a pupil can have in their possession a knife or firearm but only with the approval of the principal.

How Old do You Have to be to Buy a Knife in Nevada?

There are no age restrictions regarding who can buy a knife in Nevada.

Can a Felon Carry a Knife in Nevada?

Generally, a convicted felon is prohibited from carrying firearms and not knives.

Local knife laws differ in Nevada, so it is crucial to consult or check with the relevant authorities before carrying a knife as a felon in different counties.

Nevada Concealed Carry Knife Laws

The rules differ regarding open or concealed carry knife laws in Nevada:

Can You Open Carry a Knife in Nevada?

You can open carry all legal knives regardless of blade length in Nevada. But, remember, this is a state law, and it might differ per county. You cannot carry open or concealed any knife or dangerous weapon on school property, school bus, or childcare facility.

Can You Conceal Carry a Knife in Nevada?

Conceal carry in Nevada is defined as carrying a weapon upon a person in a way that is not discernible by ordinary observation. Note that some knives, like belt buckle knives, are concealed by design.

If another person cannot identify that you are carrying a knife or dangerous weapon, you can be charged with a crime.

Additionally, according to the law, it is illegal to conceal carry a machete or any other dangerous weapon. Finally, you must seek a permit from the county sheriff to carry a concealed weapon in Nevada.

Can You Carry a Knife in Las Vegas Casinos?

According to the Nevada state knife laws cited above, you can carry knives in most public places. That said, private properties like casinos in Las Vegas are in charge of setting (and policing) their own knife policies.

For example, the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas prohibits weapons of any kind. Mandalay Bay Resort has a similarly strict weapons policy.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, understanding Nevada’s knife laws doesn’t seem overly complicated. With that being said, I’m just a normal dude, and working my way through all of the legal jargon was a grind.

So, while I did my best, always check your state website for the most up-to-date information!

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