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Is it Legal to Carry a Sword?

It is ordinarily not illegal to carry a sword, but in some circumstances, it could be. There is actually a statute prohibiting parading or drilling while armed without a license that specifically says it is okay for "benevolent or social organizationsbenevolent or social organizations" to carry swords. 

Under Nevada law, several kinds of knives are legal to own in the state. Additionally, it is lawful to open carry certain knives. However, it is not legal to conceal carry a dagger, machete, dirk, or any knife that is not legal to own in Nevada. The same is true for any instrument that would be considered a deadly or dangerous weapon.

Nevada Knife Laws

Like most laws, Nevada knife laws are wordy and somewhat confusing. Much of the law comes from caselaw, or from cases that have gone before the Nevada courts. Most of these cases address owning and conceal carrying knives. Below are more details on the law:

What is Legal?

In Nevada, you can own the following and still be complying with the state’s knife laws:

  • A dirk, dagger, or other stabbing knife;

  • A butterfly knife or balisong;

  • A bowie or other hunting knife;

  • A throwing knife or throwing star.

What is not legal includes a knife which is made as an integral part of a belt buckle and switchblade knives.

Deadly or Dangerous Weapon Defined

Nevada’s state legislature has not defined dangerous or deadly weapon. In 2000, however, the state Supreme Court followed the logic of Missouri’s Supreme Court, which said that there are several factors that should be considered when determining whether or not an object is dangerous or a weapon is deadly. In Knight v. State, Nevada’s Supreme Court noted the following factors:

  • The reason the defendant was carrying the weapon;

  • The manner in which the defendant carried the weapon;

  • The instrument (or weapon) itself;

  • The particular individual (the defendant) carrying the weapon; and

  • The circumstances under which the defendant is found in possession of the weapon.

In 2006, Nevada’s U.S. District Court following this logic in U.S. v. Salinas finding that an ice pick, which was partially concealed in Salinas’ shirt pocket while he stood in an alley near an apartment complex waiting for someone, fell under the meaning of a dangerous weapon in the concealed carry code of the state.

Nevada Attorneys

Nevada law is pretty straightforward when it comes to defining various types of knives. Specifically, the legislature uses the ordinary or plain meanings of the words blade, dagger, dirk, and switchblade when defining what they are. Under state law, it is illegal to own any knife that is made as an integral part of a belt buckle or a switchblade. All other knives, however, are legal under Nevada law. While it is legal to open carry any type of knife, it is not legal to conceal carry. Notably, state law prohibits conceal carrying a dagger, machete, dirk, and any knife that is illegal to own in Nevada. Likewise, any instrument which could be considered dangerous or a deadly weapon is also forbidden by the law.

If you or someone you know has any questions about Nevada knife law, or any other legal question, contact the knowledgeable personal injury attorneys at Parry & Pfau today.

(image courtesy of Henry Hustava)