Can I Open Carry in a Vehicle in Nevada?

In Nevada, if you are legally allowed to possess firearms, you may open carry handguns in your vehicle without any permit or registration requirements. The driver and carrier must make sure their vehicle is parked or located where guns are permitted.

What Does Open Carry Mean?

Gun safety and carrying may be confusing to those looking for additional safety, but who have no experience in carrying a gun. Open carry means carrying a gun in a way in which it is visible to other people. Some open carry methods include carrying your gun in a holster or on your belt so it is not covered by your clothing, carrying a larger gun, such as a rifle, in a sling-type holder, tucking the gun in a waistband with no holster, or other carrying methods. When one’s clothing covers or hides the gun being carried, it is no longer considered open carry and it is considered a concealed weapon.

Who Can or Cannot Open Carry?

Some people may be prohibited from carrying weapons at any time do to criminal past or restrictions, such as:

  • Undocumented citizens or illegal aliens
  • Drug addicts
  • Fugitives
  • Convicted felons
  • Those dishonorably discharged from Army or Armed Forces
  • Those who struggle with mentally illness
  • Those convicted of domestic violence
  • And others

Children under the age of 18 typically cannot open carry guns, but they may be eligible for some exceptions in regards to hunting.

Guns and Vehicles

To conceal carry a handgun in your vehicle, a current and valid permit is required. Carrying a handgun concealed without a permit (NRS 202.350) is a category C felony. The penalty includes:

  • 1 to 5 years in Nevada State Prison; and up to $10,000 in fines

What about keeping a handgun in your vehicle? The term “carrying” refers to someone carrying their handgun on their body. For keeping a handgun out-of-sight in one’s car, such as under the seat, hidden in a trunk or glove box, etc., a CCW permit is not required. You may also keep your handguns in plain view, such as on the seat or in a cup holder, as it is legal.

NOTE: It is not legal to store a loaded shotgun or rifle in the car. Also, Red Rock National Conservation Area prohibits having loaded firearms, carrying in your car.

Prohibited Carriers

State laws in Nevada and federal laws keep certain people from possessing guns, such as:

  • Convicted felons
  • Those convicted of domestic violence
  • Fugitives
  • Those who struggle with mentally illness or adjudicated as mentally incompetent
  • Undocumented citizens or illegal aliens
  • Those dishonorably discharged from Army or Armed Forces
  • Those who renounced their American citizenship
  • Drug users and addicts

If you are an ex-felon and in possession of a firearm, it is a category B felony (NRS 202.360).

  • Penalties:
    • 1 to 6 years in prison, and up to $5,000 in fines.

Prohibited Places

In Nevada, there are certain places in which guns are prohibited, such as:

  • Childcare and day-care facilities
  • Public schools
  • Post offices
  • Nevada schools for higher education, such as College of Southern Nevada, UNLV, UNR, Nevada State College, etc.

There may be some exceptions and people may be able to receive written permission to carry guns in such locations, but it is rare.

DUI and Guns

Driving under the influence, with a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or higher, is a misdemeanor. If there was a serious injury or more than two DUIs prior to this instance within the last seven years, it becomes a felony. If a defendant receives a DUI and has a gun in the car, they will face an additional penalty of possessing a gun while under the influence, according to NRS 202.257.

  • Misdemeanor – up to 6 months in jail, and up to $1,000 in fines and the defendant may also be required to forfeit the gun.

At The Defenders, our team prioritizes you and your needs. Our criminal defense attorneys know the intricacies of these laws and how to navigate them in order to firmly represent Nevadans who are faced with any criminal charges. Your safety is our priority, so it is important to follow proper carrying regulations, when possible. But, if you are faced with difficulties regarding carrying a weapon, our team is here for you.

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