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DANGEROUS WEAPONS IN NEVADA

In Nevada, there are various weapons that are wholly illegal to possess under any circumstances and there are other weapons that a person can possess but not carry concealed. Carrying a concealed firearm in particular requires a concealed weapons permit. Doing so without a permit can result in serious felony charges.

NRS 202.350 is a broad statute that encompasses a number of different types of weapons and different sets of circumstances. Under this statute, people are entirely prohibited from manufacturing, importing, selling, gifting, lending or possession of certain “dangerous weapons”, while other weapons are legal to possess generally but not legal to carry in a concealed fashion.

MANUFACTURE, POSSESSION, SALE, GIFTING, OR LENDING OF CERTAIN DANGEROUS WEAPONS ENTIRELY PROHIBITED

NRS 202.350(1)(a) and (b) entirely prohibits the manufacture, importation, sale, gifting, lending or possession of the following weapons:

  • Blackjack: The term “blackjack” actually refers to a broader group of weapons that can look very different from one another. Generally speaking, they are very effective bludgeoning devices. The group shares the following common traits: They are weighted, which is often accomplished by filling one end with lead powder, lead shot, or molded lead clay. Many also have a strap of some sort on one end and many are short and easily concealed. Click here to read more information and examples of different blackjack weapons.
  • Slungshot: A slungshot, which is also often referred to as a monkey fist, is a weight attached to the end of a long cord. It has similar characteristics and mechanisms to a blackjack.slungshot
    • Note of Caution for Members of the Motorcycle Community: Many people within the motorcycle community have decorative leashes on their bikes, which are often referred to as “whips”, “getbacks”, or “getback whips”. They are made of braided leather straps in the respective club colors and have a metal clip on one end.getback whip
    • States such as California and Florida have previously arrested people for possessing these decorative leashes under the premise that they fall within the definition of a slungshot and are therefore illegal to possess. Nevada law enforcement has yet to adopt California or Florida’s approach, but it’s still something to be mindful of.billy club
  • Billy: A billy club, otherwise known as a truncheon, riot club or baton, can refer to any short club made of wood, plastic, or metal.
  • Sand-Club or Sandbag: A sand club or sandbag is usually just a sack filled with sand at one end. It could also be something as simple as a bar of soap or a lock in a sock. While similar to blackjacks in basic principle, the sand club or sandbag is flexible enough once the sand or other weighted item has been removed to be rolled up and easily concealed.brass knuckles
  • Metal Knuckles: More commonly referred to as brass knuckles, this weapon consists of a band of metal with four finger holes and a metal bar. It is worn over the knuckles. People often get around the illegality of having actual brass knuckles by merely wearing large rings on each of their fingers.

POSSESSION OF MACHINE GUNS OR SILENCERS ILLEGAL UNLESS OTHERWISE AUTHORIZED BY FEDERAL LAW

Unless otherwise authorized by federal law, NRS 202.350(1)(b) prohibits individuals in Nevada from possessing, manufacturing, importing into the state, holding out for sale, or giving or lending any of the following weapons:Machine Gun

  • Machine Gun: Nevada defines a machine gun as “any weapon which shoots, is designed to shoot or can be readily restored to shoot more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger”. However, that statute then goes on to specifically exclude any gun that would otherwise fall within this definition so long as it is authorized by federal law.guns with silencers
  • Silencer: Nevada defines a silencer as “any device for silencing, muffling or diminishing the report of a firearm, including any combination of parts, designed or redesigned, and intended for use in assembling or fabricating a silencer or muffler, and any part intended only for use in such assembly or fabrication”. Generally speaking, they are devices designed to help muffle the sound of a gunshot that go on the end of the gun barrel. Here too the statute provides an exemption so long as the silencer is authorized by federal law.

POSSESSION OR USE OF CERTAIN WEAPONS WITH THE INTENT TO INFLICT HARM

NRS 202.350(1)(c) prohibits a person from possessing or using the following weapons if that person also has “the intent to inflict harm upon” another person:Nunchaku

  • Nunchaku: In Nevada this weapon is defined as “an instrument consisting of two or more sticks, clubs, bars or rods connected by a rope, cord, wire or chain used as a weapon in forms of Oriental combat”.ninja star
  • Trefoil: Also commonly referred to as throwing stars or ninja stars, Nevada defines a trefoil as “an instrument consisting of a metal plate having three or more radiating points with sharp edges, designed in the shape of a star, cross or other geometric figure and used as a weapon for throwing”.

CONCEALED CARRY OF GUNS AND OTHER WEAPONS

The weapons mentioned thus far are illegal to possess or manufacture irrespective of whether the weapons are concealed. The following weapons are legal to possess, but illegal to carry concealed. Certain weapons are allowed to be carried concealed, but only with the proper permit. Others are entirely disallowed.

Firearms, for example, can be carried in a concealed fashion, but only if the carrier has been issued a concealed carry permit by Nevada law enforcement. Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department page for more information on obtaining a concealed weapon permit in Clark County, Nevada.

NRS 202.350(1)(d) prohibits a person from carrying any of the following weapons concealed on his person:grenade

  • Explosive substances: Although ammunition would technically qualify as an explosive substance, ammunition or any components thereof are specifically excluded from this definition and therefore legal to possess and carry in a concealed fashion.machete
  • Machete: A machete is defined as a “broad, heavy knife used as an implement or weapon”. In other countries machetes are commonly used as a tool for cutting down sugarcane and clearing underbrush.
  • Pistol, Revolver or Other Firearms: A firearm is defined as “any device designed to be used as a weapon from which a projectile may be expelled through the barrel by the force of any explosion or other form of combustion”. In Nevada, a person is only allowed to carry a firearm in a concealed fashion if he has first obtained a concealed weapons permit from local law enforcement.firearms
  • Other Dangerous or Deadly Weapons: This is a catch-all provision that makes it illegal to carry concealed any weapon considered either dangerous or deadly.
  • Pneumatic Gun: Nevada defines a pneumatic gun as “any implement designed as a gun that may expel a ball bearing or a pellet by action of pneumatic pressure”. In other words, pneumatic guns are weapons that fire projectiles by using air pressure. This includes paintball guns, air pistols, air rifles, and some pellet and bb guns.pneumatic gunpneumatic gunpneumatic gun

EXEMPTIONS FOR STATE AND FEDERAL OFFICERS AND ACTIVE MILITARY

Section 4 of NRS 202.350 exempts sheriffs, constables, marshals, peace officers, correctional officers employed by the Department of Corrections, special police officers, Nevada police officers, on duty federal officers, and on duty members of the Armed Forces of the United States from this statute. This means that all of the previously listed persons are legally allowed to carry any of the weapons listed within this statute.

This is true regardless of whether the officer is active or honorably retired with one exception – if the police officer was retired for disability and wants to carry a concealed firearm, his former employer has to have specifically approved his fitness to carry a concealed weapon.

POTENTIAL PENALTIES

Carrying a concealed firearm without a permit, possessing machine guns or silencers that are not otherwise authorized by federal law, or carrying explosive substances or other dangerous or deadly weapons in a concealed manner are all category C felonies, which carries a potential sentence of 1 to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.00.

First offenses for possession of a blackjack, slungshot, billy, sand-club, sandbag, or metal knuckles or for the concealed carry of a machete are all gross misdemeanor offenses, which is punishable by up to one year in county jail and a fine of not more than $2,000.00. Any subsequent offenses of this nature will be charged as a category D felony, which is punishable by 1 to 4 years in prison and a fine of not more than $5,000.00.

DEFENDING ILLEGAL WEAPONS CHARGES IN NEVADA

Potential defenses to the above-listed crimes will depend on the particular facts of the case. In every case it is the prosecutor’s burden to prove every element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt before obtaining a conviction. Issues such as the details of the supposed concealment, the person’s intent, and the specifics of the weapon in question will all be very important to the case.

Even in situations where the evidence of guilt is strong, an experienced criminal defense attorney will often be able to negotiate for a favorable deal with the prosecutor. For these reasons it is imperative that a person who is arrested seek the help of a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.

We have represented many individuals accused of weapons-related offenses both in Las Vegas and throughout Clark County, Nevada. If you or someone you care about has been charged with any of the above crimes, call us now for free consultation to discuss your options and the best strategy for your particular circumstances.

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