Knife Laws in Nevada

Nevada posted a freshly minted expansion to knife rights on July 1st, 2015, expanding the right to buy, sell, manufacture, transfer, and possess several kinds of knives formerly banned by the state’s statutes. Prior to that date, it was illegal to own belt-buckle knives and switchblades with blades longer than 2”. However, among many other alterations made by Amendment No. 203, (BDR 15-87), “Senate Amendment to Senate Bill 176,” these knives join many others as fully legal to own and, in most circumstances, carry in Nebraska.

The bill likewise makes more blades eligible for concealed carry, allowing the carrying of dirks and daggers but still forbidding carrying a machete hidden. The state also attempted to become one of the growing number of knife-friendly regions in the United States by passing a preemption law to repeal all contrary local rules. However, this portion of the bill did not pass and local ordinances remain in force.

Legality of Knife Possession

Following the passage of SB 176, Nevadans and those visiting the state can own, buy, sell, manufacture, or give away any kind of knife or bladed implement. Switchblades and belt buckle knives can now be owned legally, though most Internet resources do not yet reflect this 2015 change. Trefoils, as Nevada law calls throwing stars of all descriptions, are legal, as are pocket knives, balisong knives, dirks, daggers, stilettos, hunting knives, KA-BAR knives, Bowie knives, throwing knives, gravity knives, ballistic knives, machetes, swords, and many others.

Ownership of any knife type is now legal under Nevada law except for those which violate the still-existing ban on metal knuckles. This effectively outlaws knives with metal finger rings, such as trench knives from the First World War.

Open carry rights are also very wide in Nevada. Section § 202.265 of the Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) prohibits dirks, daggers, switchblades, and trefoils on all private and public school premises and in school vehicles, such as school buses. The law specifically exempts kitchen knives being actually used to prepare or consume food, utility knives being used for school projects, or scalpels utilized for training by medical students.

Knife Length Limit

With the two-inch blade restriction lifted on switchblades, there is now no length restriction on knives in Nevada for purposes of ownership or open carry. The law does not specify length limits for concealed carry.

Concealed Carry of Knives

NRS § 202.350, now heavily amended as of July 1st, 2015, forbids concealed carry of machetes. It is now legal to carry switchblades, belt buckle knives (which are concealed permanently by design), daggers, dirks, and other legal knives concealed. Swords presumably count as “machetes” also, and sword-canes likely fall into the same category. Nevada residents can request a concealed carry permit for knives otherwise illegal to carry hidden from their county sheriff, in writing.

Other Knife Law Considerations in Nevada

The failure of Nevada’s knife law preemption provision leaves ultimate decisions about the legality of knives in the power of local ordinances. With the passage of SB 176, many of those ordinances which exist show considerably narrower definitions of legality than the state law does.

The whole of Clark County, Nevada, plus the townships or cities of Henderson, Las Vegas, and North Las Vegas all forbid concealed carry of knives with blades 3” long or longer. Reno is even stricter, banning blades 2” long or longer, and some municipalities probably still outlaw switchblade and belt-buckle knife ownership. Knife owners need to take care and research carefully to stay within the limits of local ordinances while moving about inside the Sagebrush State.

Resources and Further Reading