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Nevada Knife Laws: The Complete Guide

Understanding Nevada Knife Laws

You can carry a knife in public in Nevada as long as its blade is under four inches. However, there are restrictions on the types of knives you can carry; you cannot carry switchblades, stilettos, or balisong knives in public. Additionally, you are not allowed to conceal any type of knife, regardless of its blade length.

In most public places, open carry of knives is allowed except in certain places such as schools, government buildings, and airports. However, it’s essential to keep in mind that using a knife in a threatening or violent way is prohibited and can lead to criminal charges, regardless of the legality of carrying a knife.

In Nevada, carrying a weapon unlawfully is a misdemeanor offense under NRS 202.350. If found guilty, the person can be imprisoned for up to 6 months or fined $1,000. Certain types of knives, such as switchblade knives with a blade longer than 2 inches, have more severe penalties. Carrying such a knife is considered to be a category C felony, which carries a prison sentence of 1 – 5 years and/or a maximum fine of $10,000.

Important Knife-Related Definitions in Nevada

To better understand Nevada knife law, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the terminology that will be used. Below are some of the most common definitions of knives.

Switchblade Knife

According to Nevada’s knife laws, a switchblade knife is defined as a knife with a blade longer than two inches that can automatically open by sliding a button, squeezing the handle, or using a similar mechanism. The knife must have a spring blade or snap blade, or resemble a pocket knife in appearance. Knives that do not have an automatic release and are held in place by a spring are not considered switchblades under these laws.

The Blade

According to a supreme court ruling in the case of Bradvica vs. State, the part of a knife that is sharpened or used for cutting is defined as the blade under United States law.

Concealed Weapon

To put it simply, a weapon is considered concealed if it is not easily noticeable when carried on a person. For instance, if someone cannot tell that you are carrying a knife when you move your clothing aside, then that knife is considered a concealed weapon.

Dangerous Weapon

The law defines a dangerous weapon as any object that is used or meant to be used for threatening or causing harm to someone’s body. Examples of dangerous weapons include:

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

Dangerous Knife

In Nevada, any knife with a blade that measures two inches or less from the tip to the end where it meets the handle is considered legal, as per the recent amendment made to Senate Bill 176. The amendment aimed to make knife laws more relaxed and provide clear definitions for people to better understand what types of knives are allowed.

Legal Knives in Nevada

In Nevada, it is legal to own and possess any type of knife, including those such as:

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

Nevada Knife Carry Laws

Nevada knife carry laws are still strict, especially in schools, even after the 2015 amendment that made some changes. Here’s what you need to know about carrying knives in Nevada:

  • It’s against the law to have or bring any dangerous weapon, knife, explosive, firearm, pistol, or paintball gun onto school grounds. This applies to all schools including public and private institutions, daycare centers, and any vehicles used to transport students. A licensed childcare provider operating out of their own home is also included.
  • Carrying a machete, dangerous or deadly weapon, pistol, revolver, or other firearms in a concealed manner is against the law. However, it is permitted to publicly carry knives other than the aforementioned items.
  • To carry a concealed weapon other than a pistol, revolver, or firearm, you need a written permit from the county sheriff. The permit should state the reason why you need to carry the weapon, and also describe the weapon.
  • 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.


Active duty officers, licensed personnel, and certified government employees are exempt from Nevada’s knife carry laws. They are permitted to carry concealed weapons.

Nevada Knife Length Laws

In Nevada, there are no restrictions on the length of knives following the 2015 amendment. This means that you can possess and carry any legal knife with any blade length throughout the state. Nonetheless, it’s important to note that various counties might have different regulations. For instance, concealing a knife with a blade longer than three inches is prohibited in Clark County.

Penalties For Violating Knife Laws in Nevada

Carrying a Concealed Knife Without a CCW Permit

Carrying a concealed knife without a permit is illegal and can result in a gross misdemeanor charge. The possible consequences for this offense include fines up to $2,000 and up to 364 days in jail.

Possessing a Knife at School

Possessing a knife on school grounds, including in colleges and universities, in Nevada is illegal. This is a serious offense and can be charged as a gross misdemeanor, which may lead to imprisonment of up to 364 days and/or fines of up to $2,000.

Brandishing a Knife

In Nevada, it is a misdemeanor to threaten someone by waving a knife around. The consequences may include a maximum of six months in jail and/or fines up to $1,000. It is crucial to understand that this is different from assault with a deadly weapon (NRS 200.471(2)(b)(ADW)), which is when someone puts another in danger of immediate bodily harm with a knife or other dangerous item. Furthermore, assault with a deadly weapon can be carried out by a single person, whereas threatening someone with a knife typically requires two people. Additionally, the consequences of committing assault with a deadly weapon are much more severe than merely threatening someone with a knife.

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Nevada Knife Laws: The Complete Guide 3

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Open Carry a Knife in Nevada?

In Nevada, it is legal to openly carry any knife regardless of blade length, but the law may vary by county. However, it is important to note that carrying any knife or dangerous weapon on school property, a school bus, or at a childcare facility, whether open or concealed, is prohibited by state law.

Can You Conceal Carry a Knife in Nevada?

Carrying a concealed weapon in Nevada means having a weapon on yourself in a manner that cannot be easily seen by others. It is important to note that certain knives, like belt buckle knives, are designed to be concealed. If someone else cannot tell that you are carrying a dangerous weapon, you may face legal charges.

Can a Felon Carry a Knife in Nevada?

Convicted felons are usually not allowed to carry firearms, but there may be different laws regarding knives in different areas of Nevada. To be sure, it is important to check with the relevant authorities before carrying a knife as a felon in various counties.

Can You Carry a Knife in Las Vegas Casinos?

The laws in Nevada generally allow carrying knives in public places, as mentioned earlier. However, private establishments such as Las Vegas casinos have their own knife policies which they enforce. The Wynn Hotel and Mandalay Bay Resort both have strict policies prohibiting all types of weapons.

Knife-Related Charges? We Can Help

In Nevada, there are clear definitions for different types of knives such as blade, dirk, dagger, and switchblade, and these definitions are based on their ordinary meanings. It is against the law to possess a knife that is built into a belt buckle or a switchblade, but owning any other type of knife is permitted in Nevada. If you’re facing knife-related criminal charges in Nevada, contact our Las Vegas criminal lawyer at the Spartacus Law Firm right away for a consultation.

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