Vegas Metropolitan Police officers patrol Tropicana Avenue near
Las Vegas Boulevard after a mass shooting at a country-music
festival nearby on October 2, 2017.Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Nevada’s gun laws received added
attention after nearly 60 people
were killed and more than 500 others injured when a gunman
fired rifles from a Las Vegas hotel onto a densely packed crowd
of concertgoers across the street.
The gunman, whom police identified as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock
of Nevada, opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay
Resort and Casino. Police said he aimed down and across the
street at concertgoers attending the Route 91 Harvest festival,
packed with thousands of people. Authorities found Paddock dead
in his hotel room upon arrival.
The Wall Street Journal
reported that the gunman appears to have used at least one
fully automatic rifle and had between 18 and 20 weapons in his
According to the Law
Center to Prevent Gun Violence, Nevada state law does not
prohibit the transfer or possession of .50-caliber rifles,
assault weapons, or high-capacity magazines. It also does not
license gun owners, require guns to be registered, limit the
number of guns a person can purchase in one sale, or impose a
waiting period on gun purchases.
Steve Gomez, an ABC News consultant who is a former Los Angeles
police officer and FBI special agent, said the open-carry law in
the Silver State means that virtually anybody can carry a gun in
“It’s like the wild, wild West,” Gomez said.
When it comes to machine guns and automatic firearms, Nevada
prohibits possession or use unless otherwise authorized by a 1986
The federal law
prohibits the transfer or possession of machine guns
manufactured after May 19, 1986. Machine guns owned before that
date are still legal to own and can be transferred to another
party with approval from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco,
Firearms, and Explosives.
Nevada does not permit the open carrying of guns in public. But
the state does not have any laws in place that prohibit guns in
casinos and other gambling facilities, such as the Mandalay Bay.
The resort, in its policies, states that weapons “are strictly
prohibited” on the property.
The Silver State requires a purchaser to submit a variety of
mental health records to the National Instant Criminal Background
Authorities are still investigating how the shooter came into
possession of the firearms.