Thursday, August 6, 2009

California vs Nevada

The difference between California and Nevada gun laws will be discussed in this blog. The differences between these two states are overwhelming in terms of gun laws. As I mentioned in pervious blogs California has some of the strictest gun laws, and with this comparison you would agree that Nevada is much more lenient on gun purchases.

In Nevada, you may carry a loaded or unloaded firearm on your person without a permit so long as the firearm is fully exposed (known as "open carry"). An example of open carry is when a handgun is carried in an "outside the pants" hip holster. Full or partial concealment (such as a purse, jacket, etc.) is considered "concealed carry.” Clark County Nevada requires registration of handguns only. All other counties do not require registration of any guns. Clark County is the Las Vegas area, but all other counties in Nevada do not require registration of a handgun or a long gun. This means you cannot tie any gun to a single person in Nevada besides Clark County. With that said, Clark County only wants the handguns to be registered not long guns. Essentially, every long gun in Nevada does not have to be registered. Nevada also does not require a state waiting period. You are able to walk into a store and purchase a weapon, and walk out with that weapon that same day. There is no FBI “NICS” check for firearm transactions. The only check a firearm purchaser has to go through is the Nevada state system.

On the other hand, you are not able to carry a visible firearm on your persons in California. In order to carry a gun on your persons in California you must have a concealed weapon permit. This permit allows you to carry a firearm, but the firearm must be concealed at all times. Another difference between the two states is that you must register your gun at the time of purchase here in California. Also, you must wait ten days after you purchased your firearm in order for the department of justice to run a complete background check. After the ten days has expired and the background check has been completed you are able to pick your weapon up from the dealer. You have to go through the same process whether you are purchasing a long gun or handgun here in California.

As you can see from the above information two different states have completely different laws in regards to guns. It almost seems like we are talking about two different countries in terms of the differences on gun control. California is still in the process of making guns harder and harder to get, but the mere fact is these laws are just hurting the law abiding citizens.



  1. Wow, I had no idea about how different the gun laws were between California and Nevada. Are there similar differences between other states? Does California have the most strict policy? I don't know much about gun control, and I'm probably biased towards California because I'm used to it since I've lived here all my life, but personally, I prefer California's laws. I think it would freak me out to be walking around and see an average citizen carrying a gun on their hip with no reason. I don't think it's very smart to not require registration of guns (besides Clark County). When a crime occurs with a gun, the registration often helps in identifying the suspect. Also, I think the waiting period is a smart idea because, in the heat of the moment, or during a fight, it would be all to easy to walk in and purchase a gun, then walk out and kill somebody.

    Like I said, I'm sure I have these thoughts because I'm used to the way California does things, and I'm not into hunting. If I ever choose to buy a gun, it will probably be a thought out decision, not a spur of the moment kind of thing. Therefore, the California restrictions would not hinder my purchase.

  2. The information above on California is incorrect. It is completely legal in California to open carry an unloaded handgun or rifle.

    No permit is required for open carry. Though there are restrictions... you may not open carry within 1000' of a Gun Free "Safe" Zone.

    1. Correct at the time of initial reply. No longer correct. California Penal Code Section 26350PC prohibits ANY unlicensed open carry within the state, and licenses aren't forthcoming if you don't have a law enforcement exception.

  3. Actually, Californians can open carry firearms provided that they are unloaded (ammo can be on hand though). See for more info.

  4. This is a year later so perhaps there's nobody around to answer this. I'd like to purchase a used 22 long rifle in Nevada from an individual (not a dealer or store) for use on my property in California. I don't anticipate carrying it around in a vehicle, but it's possible at some point fort some reason (eg. to shoot cans with my sons). Do I have to register it with California before bringing it into the state? Is it legal to carry in my car or pickup to bring it home? Is it legal to keep in my trailer (2nd residence) loaded or unloaded?

  5. Im pretty sure you have to hand it over to a licenced FFL dealer for the 10 day wait (which you will have to pay for) and go through the legal CA registration. Im a CA resident in the sierra nevada area, 60 minutes from reno and NV's gun laws are pretty enticing to me to just move there.