Nevada Knife Laws

If you wish to carry a knife in Nevada, whether for protection, hunting, or general use, you must be familiar with the Nevada knife laws that apply in different parts of the state. While state laws permit both open and concealed possession of most knives in most circumstances, knife laws vary on a county-by-county basis, and no state law preempts these local laws.

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This means that even if Nevada is relatively permissive in its treatment of knives under the law, individual counties may have stricter knife laws in place. If you carry a knife where you shouldn’t, being a visitor or otherwise unfamiliar with the local laws is not a valid defense, and you could face serious charges and penalties.

If you’ve been arrested and charged with breaking a Nevada knife law, an experienced Nevada criminal defense attorney can help you understand your legal options and work to pursue a favorable outcome in your case. Contact De Castroverde Law Group Criminal & Immigration for a free consultation to discuss your situation.

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Are Switchblades Illegal in Nevada?

A switchblade knife — one with a snap or spring blade of two inches or more that you can automatically engage — is not illegal in Nevada. However, you may not bring one onto the property of any Nevada school or childcare facility or into any vehicle associated with a school or childcare facility. You may be allowed to carry one in public with a valid concealed carry permit.

Are Butterfly Knives Illegal in Nevada?

It’s legal to own a butterfly knife in Nevada. Like switchblades, these knives, also known as balisongs or fan knives, are prohibited on school and childcare properties and in associated vehicles. In certain jurisdictions, you may carry one in public with a valid concealed carry permit.

Can You Carry a Knife in Public?

Generally speaking, Nevada permits openly carrying knives. However, because Nevada knife laws can differ from one county to the next, it’s essential to know the local laws in any Nevada city or county you may be visiting.

Concealed carry is permitted in certain jurisdictions and spaces and for certain types of knives. Again, these laws can differ widely, so it’s worth confirming what’s allowed if you’re traveling to an unfamiliar place. Nevada does universally prohibit the concealed carry of machetes.

What Are Some Prohibited Uses of Knives in Nevada?

Nevada prohibits certain uses of and actions taken with knives. Drawing a knife in a threatening manner, for example, is a violation of Nevada knife laws if you do so in the presence of two or more people. There is an exception for drawing a knife in a necessary act of self-defense. The use of a knife in any fight or quarrel is also illegal.

It’s also illegal to bring a knife into specific locations and spaces. While these locations may vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, bringing a knife into a school, daycare center, or other childcare facility is forbidden. The law makes exceptions for peace officers, school security guards, and individuals who have written permission from the school or a high-ranking member of the Nevada System of Higher Education.

What Are the Penalties for Violating Nevada Knife Laws?

A conviction on charges of violating any of Nevada’s knife laws can result in severe penalties, including fines and prison time. Nevada usually categorizes first offenses as misdemeanors or gross misdemeanors. Misdemeanor violations carry penalties of a $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail, while gross misdemeanors — such as carrying a concealed knife without a permit — are punishable by fines of up to $2,000 and up to a year in jail. Knife-related offenses resulting in severe injury or death will be punished more harshly.

You may also face more severe charges and penalties if your knife law violation occurred during the commission of another crime, in which case you’re likely to see the charges rise to the level of a felony.

When Does Pulling a Knife Count as Self-Defense?

Pulling a knife can be an act of self-defense, and self-defense can be a valid defense strategy if you’re charged with violating Nevada’s knife laws, but several conditions have to be present. For starters, if you were responsible for starting an altercation, pulling a knife cannot be considered self-defense.

Additionally, you need to have been responding to an immediate threat — if you had reason to be worried about suffering physical harm, a self-defense claim could benefit your case. Finally, drawing a knife must have been a proportional response rather than an escalation.

What Other Defense Strategies Can Work in Knife Cases?

When you’re facing knife charges in Nevada, your attorney will review the facts of your case to identify a defense strategy that can improve your likelihood of seeing the charges reduced or dropped. Several defense strategies are known to work in knife cases, depending on the circumstances:

  • You were openly carrying rather than illegally concealing your knife
  • The police found your knife through an illegal search
  • The type of knife was legal in the context in which you had it in your possession
  • You were legally permitted to carry the knife by virtue of your employment

Other defense strategies can also work in knife cases. The best strategy will depend on the facts of the case and the nature of the charges against you.

Speak with a Nevada Criminal Defense Attorney

Being charged with a violation of any Nevada knife laws is a serious matter. Given the consequences that may result from a conviction, potentially facing fines, jail time, and other penalties is a risk that demands a robust defense. As experienced Las Vegas, NV, criminal defense lawyers, De Castroverde Law Group Criminal & Immigration is prepared to help you fight weapons charges that threaten your freedom.

When you get in touch with our team, we’ll hear your side of the story, conduct a thorough investigation into the facts of your case, and get to work crafting a strong defense by looking for weaknesses in the prosecution’s case. We’re here to provide the knife charge legal defense services you need and will advocate for you at every stage of the legal process. Contact us today to get started with a free initial consultation.