Nevada's Gun Laws Are Some of the Most Relaxed in the Country

Las Vegas
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Las Vegas police stand guard along the streets outside the Route 91 Harvest Country music festival groundss of the Route 91 Harvest on Oct. 1, 2017 in Las Vegas.

The tally is astonishing: 58 people were killed and over 500 were injured, as country music fans gathered to take in Jason Aldean perform on Sunday night at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival in Las Vegas. All of that carnage was the result of one man, a lone wolf situated on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, firing off continuously from above. As The New York Times reported, Police found 19 rifles, two of which were situated on tripods in front of his window, and hundreds of rounds of ammunition in his hotel room.

While Nevada has some of the least restrictive gun control laws in the country, it is not yet known whether the alleged shooter, Stephen Paddock, 64—who killed himself before police gained entry to his hotel room—obtained these guns, some of which were semiautomatic machine guns, lawfully. Nevertheless, in light of what is now the deadliest mass shooting in American history, the debate over gun control is back in the spotlight.

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Nevada received a “C-” rating from The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. Below, a brief overview of what’s legal in Nevada, which may help explain why it received that rating.

--No purchasing permit is required and there is no need to register or license handguns, rifles and shotguns in Nevada.

--A permit is not needed to carry rifles and shotguns.

--There is no limit on the number of firearms an individual can possess.

--Gun silencers or "suppressors", which muffle or silence the sound of a gun being shot, are legal, despite federal law generally prohibiting the use and ownership of silencers.

--There is no mandatory waiting period before residents can purchase a firearm.

--There is no magazine capacity limit for assault rifles.

--Semi-automatic weapons and machine guns are legal in Nevada if they are possessed in adherence to federal law.

--The transfer or possession of 50-caliber rifles and larger-capacity ammunition magazines is legal in Nevada.

--Concealing a firearm without a permit is a felony in Nevada. But a concealed firearm permit may be obtained by taking an eight-hour concealed firearm permit course approved by the sheriff.

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