The following was submitted to the Senate Judiciary Committeee ahead of today's hearing on AB352.
From: Wilkinson, Brad
Subject: Open Carry of Firearms in Public Buildings
Date: February 26, 2015 at 2:58 PM
To: Fiore, Michele Assemblywoman
Cc: Erdoes, Brenda
You have asked whether the open carry of firearms is prohibited in a public building. To answer your
question, we must first discuss the issue of the legality of open carry of firearms in this State.
Section 11 of Article 1 of the Nevada Constitution provides that “[e]very citizen has the right to keep
and bear arms for security and defense, for lawful hunting and recreational use and for other lawful
purposes.” However, the constitutional right to keep and bear arms is not an absolute right, and the
Nevada Legislature has enacted certain restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms. For example, the
Legislature has enacted NRS 202.350, which generally prohibits the carrying of concealed weapons,
including firearms. The Legislature has also enacted NRS 202.360, which prohibits certain persons from
owning or possessing firearms, including, for example, convicted felons who have not received a pardon
restoring their right to bear arms, fugitives from justice and persons who are mentally ill. The
Legislature has not, however, enacted any statute that prohibits the open carry of firearms by persons
who are otherwise authorized to possess firearms. For that reason, open carry of firearms by a
person who is not prohibited from possessing firearms is legal in Nevada, subject only to any specific
prohibitions against carrying a firearm in certain locations.
With respect to such specific prohibitions that would apply to the open carry of firearms, NRS 202.265
generally prohibits the carrying or possession of firearms while on the property of the Nevada System of
Higher Education, a private or public school or child care facility, or while in a vehicle of a private or
public school or child care facility. Likewise, NRS 218A.905 specifically prohibits a person from
possessing a firearm in the Legislative Building “without legal authority.” Possession of a permit to
carry a concealed firearm is one type of legal authority that allows a person to carry a concealed firearm
in the Legislative Building.
This office is aware that some persons have argued that NRS 202.3673 prohibits the open carry of
firearms in a public building. However, that argument is not legally sound because NRS 202.3673, by its
plain language, regulates only the carrying of a concealed firearm by a person who has a permit to carry
a concealed firearm. NRS 202.3673 simply does not apply to the open carry of firearms in a public
Because there is no general statutory prohibition against the open carry of firearms in a public building,
it is the opinion of this office that the open carry of firearms is not prohibited in a public building, unless
otherwise prohibited by a specific statute such as NRS 202.265 or 218A.905. We would note, however,
that not all portions of a public building are necessarily open to access by the public, and persons who
are openly carrying firearms are not, therefore, authorized to carry firearms in all portions of a public
If you have any further questions regarding this matter, please do not hesitate to contact this office.
Bradley A. Wilkinson
Chief Deputy Legislative Counsel
Legislative Counsel Bureau
Legislative Counsel Bureau
401 S. Carson St.
Carson City, NV 89701
Phone: (775) 684-6836
Fax: (775) 684-6761