Is it Legal to Carry a Pocket Knife in Las Vegas?

Carrying a knife around may seem cool and possibly make you feel safer when walking the streets of Las Vegas, but it is important to know whether the law actually lets you parade around with a knife. Even pocket knives, which can seem harmless due to their size, may not be allowed. Below is information regarding the legality of carrying a knife in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The Rules

The state of Nevada does allow individuals to carry knives in public, however, there are four main exceptions to this rule. These include:

  • In order to conceal carry certain types of knives, the person must obtain a permit;
  • Clark County mandates the person obtain the sheriff’s permission to conceal carry a knife when it has a blade that is three inches or longer;
  • It is against the law to have a knife at a school or a child care facility; and
  • It is against the law to brandish knives in front of two or more people. 

Because Nevada does not have a statewide law prohibiting knives, local governments can make their own, stricter, laws. Clark County, for example, has the prohibition of carrying a knife with a blade longer than three inches.

Penalties for Violations

The penalties for violating Nevada knife laws are dependent upon the particular charge. 

For first offenders, carrying a concealed knife without a permit results in a gross misdemeanor with penalties of up to a year in jail and/or up to $2,000 in fines. A subsequent offense makes the charge a category D felony, which carries between one and four years in state prison and up to $5,000 in fines. Likewise, possessing a knife in school for first offenders results in the same penalties. Brandishing a knife, however, results in a misdemeanor charge with up to six months in jail and/or up to $1,000 in fines for a first offense. Carrying a concealed knife within Clark County limits is also considered a misdemeanor, with similar penalties if convicted of up to six months in jail and/or up to $1,000 in fines. 

Common Defenses

Of course, there are many defenses to Las Vegas knife charges. These defenses may persuade the District Attorney to bargain down the charges or dismiss the charges altogether. Typical defenses to Nevada knife crimes, depending on specific charges, include:

  • The knife blade was less than the allowable length of three inches;
  • The weapon was not concealed;
  • The knife was brandished in accordance with state self-defense laws; and
  • The weapon was not prohibited to be on school property.

As long as the  District Attorney does not have enough evidence to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt–the burden of proof placed on the state in criminal cases, then the charges should be dropped.

In short, while it is generally legal to have a knife in Nevada, there are exceptions to this rule that if violated could result in severe penalties. Before you start walking around with a blade, be sure to look up local laws so that you are not caught in a situation where you have criminal charges against you. 

If you have been hurt in Las Vegas, Henderson, or anywhere else in Nevada due to the fault of another contact H&P Law today. We have helped thousands of injured across the state and will do the same for you.

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