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Nevada & Utah CCW

CCW classes for the Nevada & Utah state permits

There are numerous instructors offering the official training classes for concealed carry permits issued by the neighboring states of Nevada and Utah. Recently, I had the opportunity to sign up for such a class in order to get my own permits. Allow me to share my experiences and recommendation to any of our club members (or site visitors) who may also be interested in obtaining their concealed carry permits for these states (along with the reciprocity in 30 other states).

When I was in Vegas on a previous business trip, I was referred by colleagues to the services of John Soro, manager and instructor of Shooting Basics, LLC. John is a certified instructor for the state of Nevada as well as Utah.

So when I found out that I would be returning to Vegas to meet with a client, I took that opportunity to do the training & qualification shoot offered by John.

Let's start at the beginning. Nevada and Utah are some of the few states that offer CCW's to non-residents.

Once you acquire these permits, they are recognized by additional states. Here is the current list (always subject to change, so check carefully before any travel and never just assume that your permits will be recognized). States that were listed as recognizing the Nevada permit are: Alaska, Vermont, Montana, Idaho, Arizona, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Minnesota, MIssouri, Arkansas, Lousisiana, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Michigan, and Iowa (maybe).

If you have both the NV and UT permits, then add the following list of states: Ohio, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware, Mississippi, Wyoming, Alabama, North Dakota.  Note that New Mexico is NOT in this list!

Once again, I cannot stress enough that this list may change with the political winds, so always check before you plan to travel with iron!

As you can see, there is a lot to be gained by getting the Nevada and Utah permits!

The Nevada permit requires that you complete a full day of training (in Nevada) with a state certified instructor, and score at least 70% proficiency in qualification shooting with handguns. The day AFTER you have taken the class, you need to submit your paperwork in person to law enforcement (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Dept) for fingerprinting and ID photo. So that means that you need to schedule your trip so that you will be in town for at least half a day during a weekday (Mon thru Friday) in order to take care of the police business. It is like going to the DMV; allow a few hours. Many instructors do offer classes on Saturdays, but you will need to stick around until Monday in order to complete the process.

Nearly all of the certified instructors are also certified by the state of Utah to conduct their training as well; so it is not necessary to travel up to Utah in order to meet their requirements. Most of the class content is the same, except for a few areas that are Utah specific. When you get fingerprinted by the Las Vegas police, you can request an official printout of your fingerprints that you will include with your Utah paperwork.

I met with John on a Wednesday for the class. He conducts classes either on an individual basis or small groups; you can ask him when you contact him to make arrangements. I cannot speak for other instructors, and there are quite a few of them in Nevada, but I would assume that they operate in a similar manner (private or small group).

John met me at my hotel, and we actually did the classroom portion up in my room. Most of the content will be very familiar to club members who have taken (or teach) the NRA basic classes. In addition to covering shooting basics and doctrines of self defense, John also covers the specifics of Nevada and Utah practices. To his credit, we were able to cover all that was required and all that I inquired in a pleasant and productive academic style. Sure, with my background, I knew most of it already -- but John managed to review all that was mandated by the states without being boring. We fulfilled the requirements without it feeling like traffic school! And, of course, you have to take and pass the written test! Most of it you already know, but some of the questions are state specific, so pay attention to what the instructor tells you.

In addition to the classroom elements, you will have to go to a range and qualify with the firearms that you want listed on your permit. The shooting may occur on the same day as the class, or on a separate day; depends on the instructor. In my case, we simply made it one very full day. John drove me over to a local indoor range, and watched me make a lot of holes in the ten ring. I scored a 100%, but the state only requires better than 70%. For members of our club, none of you should have any difficulty in qualifying. It is way easier than holding your own in a Dick Conti Fun Match.

Effective July 1, 2011, the state of Nevada no longer requires you to qualify with each specific model & caliber of semi-automatic pistol. If you qualify with one pistol, your permit is authorized for any pistol.

Nevada requires that you shoot 30 rounds at a large B-27 silhouette target. 6 rds at three yards, 12 rds at five yards, and 12 rds at seven yards. Slow fire (if you want) and two-handed, strong arm shooting. Currently, Nevada allows you to qualify with any one revolver in order to carry any/all revolvers. It is not make/model/caliber specific. The CCW just says "Revolver".

For semi-automatics, it is a different story. You must qualify with each specific make/model and caliber of what you want listed on your CCW. There is no limit on how many guns you may qualify with. Note that some instructors do set their own limits, and charge up to $25 per gun. But that is their own policy; not that of the state. The good news is that Nevada recently passed a bill that would eliminate listing each and every semi, so that if you qualified with any one semi-automatic, it would be good for all semi-autos. That bill goes into effect late summer or fall of this year. It might even be applied to current CCW applications; but no one is sure at this time. I will let you know when I get mine in the mail!

Utah does not require a listing of firearms. One permit covers them all.

After you have completed the classroom training and qualified on the range, your instructor will help you fill out the paperwork for the applications.

For Nevada, you will need your drivers license. If you are a naturalized citizen, then you will need proof of US citizenship. If you were born American, then just your drivers license. (I brought my passport along, just in case.) You will also need a cashiers or certified check for $100.25 payable to Las Vegas Metropolitan Police (ask your instructor ahead of time). If you are also going to apply for Utah, then bring an extra eleven dollars cash to pay for a copy of your fingerprint card.

Shooting Basics LLC charged me $100 for the Nevada class; and an additional $40 for Utah. Those rates may be subject to change, depending on the weekday, season, number of participants, etc. -- so you have to ask. Considering the quality of what John Soro offers, I thought what he charged was quite reasonable and well worth the expense. (For even more money, some instructors will bore you stiff for 8 hours, and then charge you extra for each gun to qualify.)

For Utah, you need to have your instructor sign off on the Utah paperwork, and then you mail it in yourself along with a cashiers check for $65, a passport photo, a copy of your drivers license, and the official fingerprint card that you got from the Las Vegas police for $11.

Here it is in summary:

Nevada: $100.25 for the application; approx $100 for the class. 30 rds of ammo per firearm to qualify (bring extra ammo, of course).

Utah: $65 for the application; approx $40 additional for the class (if you are taking Nevada concurrently). $11 for the fingerprint card from Las Vegas police.

Contact John Soro of Shooting Basics LLC at 702-281-1571   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Follow up report: I filed my paperwork for both permits around June 10, 2011. The Nevada permit arrived in the mail around 6 weeks later, and reflected the change in the law that no longer specified models & calibers for semi-auto pistols. Utah took around 2 months and is good for all handguns.

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