Due to the coronavirus crisis, LVMPD closed it's Records and Fingerprint Bureau making it impossible for people to renew their concealed firearm permits, at least until it reopens. Because of this, Sheriff Lombardo has granted an automatic an extension until July 15, 2020, for all permits that expired on or after March 17, 2020.
The extension length is 120 days, but not this does not mean that all expiring permits get an automatic 120 day extension. Rather, permits that expire in that time period are valid until July 15, 2020. While not a perfect solution, it's a nice and unexpected surprise.
NRS 202.366 states "Unless suspended or revoked by the sheriff who issued the [concealed firearm] permit, a permit expires 5 years after the date on which it is issued."
Taken at face value, the law says a sheriff can't extend a concealed firearm permit. Yet NRS 202.3687 allows a sheriff to issue temporary permits.
NRS 202.3687 Temporary permits.
The sheriff has the authority to issue temporary permits. In Clark County, I've heard of this happening once when the guy's permit couldn't be approved in 120 days (the regular one came later).
So while the NRS doesn't give the sheriff authority to extend a permit, he can grant temporary permits. By being creative, the extension of expiring permits can be construed as a temporary permit. The NRS doesn't specify exactly how the temporary permit is supposed to be handled, so sheriffs are likely well within their rights to handle expirations this way.
And if the sheriff is technically violating the law by doing this, who, outside of Michael Bloomberg and his crazy moms care? Bearing arms shouldn't be subject to a permit if you want to put clothes over your gun.
So let's say some crazy attorney sues arguing that the sheriff doesn't have this authority. Or you get arrested and a renegade district attorney files charges against you for carrying a concealed weapon with an expired permit.
There is a legal doctrine known as estoppel. If you rely on the sheriff's word that your permit is valid until July 15, as he is in a position of authority, he cannot then arrest you and the government (which he represents) cannot punish you. While the government can do what it wants, judges and juries have the ultimate say. Relying on a rather absolute statement like this puts the government in an indefensible position if they choose to prosecute you for doing what the sheriff said was okay.
It's a lot more complex than that, but let's go easy on the legal details. Basically, government would look really stupid and bad to go back on the sheriff's word.
Next, should you get busted in some other county or state and they find an expired permit, several things are going to happen. I can't be sure right now, but the first thing the cop is going to do is have his dispatcher run your permit. I'd bet dollars to donuts that Metro has put something in "the system" about extensions. Second, if the cop has any sense he'll call Metro to verify your story about an extension (at least the DA will). Agencies call each other's records bureaus all day and night long.
You'll probably never do anything to run across this kind of situation in the first place. So while the law gets bent in a lot of ways, this one is favorable to concealed carriers in Southern Nevada and we should be grateful to Sheriff Lombardo (I know, I know). It's not that he actually hates us, it's just that he's the product of old-school law enforcement that is suspicious of armed citizens.
What needs to happen now is:
Clayton E. Cramer
Gun Free Zone
The War on Guns
The View From Out West