The kind of clientele who came to frequent the sawdust gambling joints of the desert oasis of Las Vegas 70 years ago didn't mind running into the occasional cowboy with a sidearm, back when the biggest event in town was the horseback Hellzapoppin' Rodeo & Parade. Heck, Benny Binion of the downtown Horseshoe Casino WAS a pistol-packin' Texan.
But the urban corporate moguls who run Las Vegas today don't think that way. Sinatra is gone, Dean Martin is gone, Elvis is gone. In a world with a fragmenting music and entertainment culture, they're struggling to bring in the urban yuppies with celebrity chefs and hip-hop artists and topless swimming pools and X-rated hypnotists. The last thing they want is for those sheltered young urbanites to be scared, and they've got it in their heads that guns are "scary."
So any local who's been here awhile will tell you, your right to walk up the Las Vegas Strip – the crowded four miles of Las Vegas Boulevard that are home to most of the town's major hotel-casinos – while openly packing heat is largely theoretical.
Try it, and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police boys in beige (who in effect work for the casino barons) are likely to stop you, ask your business, "run your ID," tie you up for 15 minutes, and let you go with a warning. Dare to walk on another hundred yards, and a new pair of Metro's finest – maybe that pair of motorcycle cops staked out to fine you a hundred bucks if you try to make a long left turn on a short yellow light – are likely to stop you, ask your business, "run your ID," rinse and repeat.
Why, in recent years most of the major Nevada casinos have even disarmed their own security guards, citing "the advice of their attorneys over liability concerns."