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Amended Omnibus Gun Bill One Step Closer To Law

Lawmakers are considering a measure that could implement what are known as "Red Flag" laws.
Paul Boger
KUNR Public Radio
Lawmakers are considering a measure that could implement what are known as "Red Flag" laws.

A bill to tighten portions of Nevada’s gun laws is picking up steam after a month-long delay. 

In a 4-3 split vote, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved an amended version of AB291 nearly a month after lawmakers in the Assembly passed the bill on a party-line vote.

The new version of the bill keeps proposals that would ban bump stocks and lower the legal blood alcohol level to operate a gun to .08. However, the amendment completely removes sections of the original bill that would have given counties the ability to tighten gun laws.

Instead, the measure would now create what are called “red flag” laws, giving families or law enforcement the ability to petition a court to temporarily seize a person’s firearms if they present a danger to themselves or others. The bill would also make it a misdemeanor to negligently leave a gun where a child could potentially get a hold of it.

"I’m here because I believe this policy can save lives," said the bill's sponsor Democratic Assemblywoman Sandra Jauregui of Las Vegas. “This new iteration of my bill will enact policies that create an immediate impact on the public safety in Nevada.”

Yet, gun rights advocates continue to argue that the measure places an undue burden on law-abiding citizens and that the current language of the bill gives law enforcement the ability to take guns at will.

Speaking in opposition to the measure, Dan Reid with the National Rifle Association said the state’s proposed red flag legislation is a slippery slope.

“With these laws, it removes your constitutional rights, not because of a criminal conviction or mental adjudication, but based on third party allegations with evidentiary norms well below what we normally expect when we remove somebody’s constitutional rights,” he said.  

The bill still has a few legislative hurdles, but for now, will head to the full Senate.

Paul Boger is a former reporter at KUNR Public Radio.
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