Nevada Knife Laws – A Guideline of Knife Usage in the State

Knife Laws in Nevada
By Pranay Das Updated

Much like all the other states in the U.S., Nevada has its own set of knife laws that regulate the possession, carrying, buying and selling of knives. Nevada’s approach towards its knife laws is pretty much middle-of-the-road by nature. They aren’t very stringent yet they aren’t very relaxed. And unlike a lot of its contemporaries, it clearly defines its rules which makes them easier to follow.

Nevada Knife Laws

Nevada permits its inhabitants to own, manufacture, sell, buy or give away any kind of knives.  Switchblades and belt buckle knives, which were earlier illegal to carry, can now be legally owned too, thanks to the recent changes that have been made. Amendment No. 203 (BDR 15-87) made to Senate Bill 176 has made these knives fully legal to own, and in most circumstances, carry in the state.

The bill also lifted the ban on a number of other blades for concealed carry. Included among them are dirks and daggers, which you can now carry in a concealed manner. However, in order to carry a machete or a sword in a concealed form, you would have to get a proper CCW (Carrying Concealed Weapons) permit first.

In its attempt to become one of the most knife-friendly states in the U.S., Nevada also strived to pass a pre-emption law to repeal all contrary municipal and local knife laws. However, this section of the bill did not pass and local ordinances are still in power. This means that the individual cities and counties of Nevada still practice their own individual knife laws.

Limitations on the Length of the Blade in Nevada

With the restrictions on the two-inch blade for switchblades lifted, there are currently no limitations on the length of knives to own and carry in Nevada. The state also does not specify any length limit on concealed carry of knives.

However, individual town laws are not that relaxed. Las Vegas, North Las Vegas and Henderson in Clark County, for instance, forbid concealed carry of knives that have blades longer than three inches if you don’t have a CCW permit. Reno, Washoe is even stricter since it bans blades above two inches. There are still a number of cities and counties that still ban belt buckle knives and switchblades.

Open Carry vs. Concealed Carry of Knives in Nevada

Nevada defines concealed carry as carrying a weapon with oneself or carrying it in a container in such a manner that will not be discernible by simple observation.

As per Section 202.350 and its amendment in 2015, it is legal to carry dirks, daggers, belt buckle knives (which is concealed by design), switchblades and other legal knives in a concealed manner as well as in an open manner. However, concealed carry of machetes is forbidden. Swords are considered to be in the same category as that of a machete and are henceforth, prohibited to be carried in a concealed manner.

You can apply to your local sheriff for a permit for carrying a knife in a concealed manner. You have to submit a written application as to what kind of knife you want to conceal and the reason behind it.  Once you get the CCW permit, you are eligible to carry your knife in a concealed manner in any county across Nevada.

Penalties for Violating the Rule for Concealed Carry of Knives

The penalties for a first offense for carrying a concealed knife without a CCW permit is up to $2,000 or 12 months imprisonment or both. It is placed under the gross demeanor penalty.

Types of Legal Knives in Nevada

As we mentioned earlier, there is no pre-emption law in the state of Nevada. Each county has its own set of knife laws. When it comes to the state laws, Nevada in itself has lifted restrictions on multiple knives, such as the belt buckle knife and switchblade in 2015. The list of legal knives includes:

  • Bowie Knife – A type of fixed-bladed knife that comes with a clip point and a cross-guard.
  • Dagger – It is marked by its sharp point and two sharp edges on either side.
  • Dirk – Used extensively by the Scottish regiments in the 1800s, this is a longer version of the dagger.
  • Throwing Knives – A type of knife that is specially constructed and weighted in a way that it can be thrown effectively.
  • Stiletto – Used as a stabbing weapon, its most identifiable feature is its needle-like appearance due to its long slender blade.
  • Balisong Knife – Popularised by the Filipinos, a Balisong knife is marked by its two counter-rotating handles that serve as the resting spot for the blade.
  • Pocket Knives – A foldable knife that contains one or more blades that fit inside the handle of the knife.
  • KA-Bar Knife – It is a type of combat knife that first gained popularity during the Second World War.
  • Ballistic Knife – It refers to a type of knife that comes with a detachable blade that can be ejected by the press of a trigger on the handle.
  • Gravity Knife – A variant of knife that has its blade concealed in its handle that opens up by the force of gravity.
  • Belt Buckle Knife – A type of knife that functions both as a blade and as a belt buckle. Its blade is concealed within the belt.
  • Switchblades – Also known as an ejector knife, its blade is contained in its handle that can be opened with a lever or switch.

Types of Illegal knives in Nevada

Presently, the Nevada Knife Laws does not have any restriction on any types of knives to own. However, there are a few types of knives that are prohibited to be carried in a concealed manner. They are as follows:

Machetes – Used as an axe, it is made up of a broad blade.

Kukri – Popular in the Indian subcontinent, it has a distinctive curve in its blade.

Sword – It consists of a long blade attached to a hilt and it is primarily used as a slashing weapon.

Restricted Places to Carry Knives in Nevada

The list of restricted places where the carrying of knives is strictly prohibited are as follows:

  • Educational institutions such as schools, colleges, universities, etc.
  • Licensed childcare facilities center (and vehicles belonging to them).
  • Government buildings such as courtrooms, municipality offices, police stations, administrative buildings, etc.
  • State and National Parks.
  • Public transport.
  • Federal properties such as airports, banks, etc.

Penalties for Carrying Knives Inside a School Premise

The penalties for a first offense for carrying a knife inside a school premises is up to $2,000 or 12 months imprisonment or both. This penalty also falls under gross demeanor.

Exceptions/Other Restricted Circumstances

It is also forbidden to brandish or draw a dirk, dagger, sword or any other deadly weapon in a threatening fashion in front of two or more people. In case of brandishing a knife, the penalty for a first offense is a misdemeanor charge. This may include imprisonment for up to six months or a fine of $1,000 or both.

Section 202.350 does not define what types of knives (other than machete) qualify as ‘dangerous or deadly weapon’. However, Section 202.265 and 202.320 indicate that dirks, daggers, swords, and switchblades may be considered as ‘dangerous and deadly weapon.  If you are found carrying a deadly weapon while executing a crime, the penalty involves an increased jail-time, which may extend up to twice the sentence period that is initially assigned for committing the crime.

Wrap Up

Nevada knife laws are more clearly defined than some of its other counterparts. Over the years, especially since 2015, the state has lifted a number of restrictions on the types of knives that you can own and carry. As of now, machetes, swords, and kukri are the only types of knives that cannot be carried in a concealed manner.

However, the lack of a pre-emption law makes the knife laws of the state contradictory to the knife laws of its counties and cities, which are on the stricter end of the spectrum.

References

[1] https://www.leg.state.nv.us/Session/78th2015/Bills/Amendments/A_SB176_203.pdf

[2] http://www.handgunlaw.us/documents/USKnife2.pdf

[3] https://law.justia.com/codes/nevada/2010/title15/chapter202/nrs202-355.html

[4] https://www.leg.state.nv.us/Session/78th2015/Bills/SB/SB176.pdf

[5] https://www.leg.state.nv.us/NAC/NAC-407.html#NAC407Sec105

[6] https://p2lawyers.com/blog/2018/12/30/is-it-legal-to-carry-a-knife-in-nevada

[7] https://www.leg.state.nv.us/Session/77th2013/Exhibits/Assembly/JUD/AJUD717O.pdf

[8] https://law.justia.com/codes/nevada/2010/title15/chapter202/nrs202-320.html